So my first week in Apollo had gone pretty well. After arriving, I busied myself for a few days on low-paying commercial contracts, but then almost by accident I agreed to take a…less than reputable passenger on an urgent trip. That was tense, creeping from nebula to nebula in my defenseless, completely un-upgraded Ceres, but I got away with it, and a really nice payday in return.
I spent the money lavishly outfitting my ship with a shiny new jump drive, full set of weapons systems, and a countermeasures launcher. I was feeling pretty confident. Cocky, even.
I jumped into Cansa, and immediately my comms screen showed that a pirate was shaking down some poor sap somewhere else in the system. No matter. I set course for my destination station. While waiting for the cruise to complete, I caught up with some email. But then a sudden shock - I’d got careless, and now the pirate was on me. Time to show this guy he’d messed with the wrong Ceres! I targeted him, selected tube two (explosive torpedo) and started to spin up the weapon. Too late! Pirate torpedo in flight! I dumped a countermeasure, spun to right angles, and started thrusting off its line of advance. How’s that explosive torpedo coming along? Wait, tube one spinning up? Did I misclick? That’s an EMP torpedo. Oh well, it’ll have to do. The enemy torpedo has bypassed my countermeasure and is still coming for me. That’s a problem. But I’ll deal with it after I shoot at the pirate ship. As my finger closes on the launch button, I notice that my wild gyrations have taken me actually pretty close to the pirate ship. I wonder what the minimum arming distance is on these torp…
Explosion. Blaring alarms. Error messages. I’m in big trouble. My ship has been hit by an EMP blast. I think my torpedo detonated immediately after launch. Or maybe the pirate torpedo hit me? Don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve taken serious damage. My nav system and RCS are down. I’m drifting helplessly through space.
I immediately head to the engineering compartment. Both systems have multiple failed components. And I’ve been supremely careless; I wasn’t expecting to take her into combat, and I have no spare components on board. I’m drifting blind. What to do?
I don’t have any spare components, but I do have a grapple arm module, and I won’t be using that any time soon. I rip it open and immediately start cannibalising it for parts. Then I’m unscrewing the RCS and nav modules and swapping out components as fast as I can, conscious that I’m still drifting into who knows what - deadly nebulae, asteroid fields, or even a star.
I have just enough components to get both modules limping along, and breathe a sigh of relief as they boot back up and I regain control of my ship. There’s no sign of the pirate as I head to the nearest station with my tail between my legs for major repairs. I’ve learned some valuable lessons today.
Phew! What an incredible encounter. The ship repair mechanic is phenomenal! The tension as I was desperately trying to save my crippled ship was like nothing I have ever experienced in a game. This is absolutely superb. Superb!