CURRENT SYSTEM Cheyenne, three jump gates; New LA, Provost and Starlight, two planetary landing sites on planet Dodge.
"Let's see they are to meet me, ... yes there they are on the passives." Jown didn't immediately move. It took about an hour for the passives to "clear" the system to his satisfaction. But then he made good speed to their position to make up somewhat for the search time. He wasn't late, but they were already there waiting for him.
"It wouldn't be advisable to get much closer, our defensive computer has been a little on the blink, might "accidentally" decide you're an active target." "I'm not looking for any trouble and I understand about your software glitch, I've got one of my own. My cargo controller just randomly decides to dump cargo pods without being told to ... in fact there goes some now. Darn, it'll take me all day to track them down." Jown replied. "We'll give you a hand with that, you just take a rest, must be tired after your journey." Some time later, "Well that does it, all except for that one over there, we've got to be on our way. See ya." With that the pirate cargo ship and fighter escort accelerated away toward the jump gate. Jown went and picked up the "last" pod, which was not one that he had intentionally dropped. Then he too accelerated to the gate and was on his way "home".
There were six different systems the pirates used for the drops, but they used drop locations near all of the gates, giving them effectively 14 locations. This way if anyone did get suspicious they wouldn't know where to wait for them. Also the pirates ran constant scout missions through all of these systems and the connecting systems just to know who was coming and going. If any unwanted company was coming their way the drop would be rescheduled. There were occasional bounty hunters, but the pirates, knowing his situation, always persuaded them to move on. All in all it was pretty safe. And it was as Gramps had said, lucrative. It took just under a year for Jown to pay off his debts. 6 months later and he was in good shape, and was getting ichy feet. Gramps saw it coming and advised him not to burn any bridges (like by high tailing it with a cargo load, or a cargo payment). If he left peaceably he would be welcome back at any time (as long as he wouldn't be bringing the wrong kind of attention back with him). Jown assured hem that he wasn't the sort to steal from an employer. "Liberating" from some of the fat corporations, well that was another matter, but not from business associates. Gramps was interested to know where Jown was headed, but Jown wasn't just ready to tell anyone else what he had seen so long ago (had it really been 2 years?).
The unexpected benefit was that while he was there Jown got to know some of the factory folks during his frequent visits to the bar. They wouldn't talk much about the weapons they they made, but probes, well that was another matter. Jown found out just about everything there was to know about probes. Big ones (that wouldn't fit on his ship), small ones, cheap ones, expensive ones, military models, exploration models. When he told them he was interested in a very quiet one, but with sophisticated algorithms and secure comms, but not for military application, they told him about an old model. It was small and no longer used much because it had too limited of a range compared to newer models. But they also weren't expendable, They were designed to be refueled, using standard ship fuel instead of a solid propellant. Also the newer models carried offensive weapons (so much easier to take someone out if you could get close with a small probe). This old one was strictly a probe, no weapons. It had plenty of computer power to run the newest programs and of course it would be relatively cheap.
After Jown said his goodbyes he left with one probe on a hard point and one in his hold (they made him a deal he couldn't refuse, and you never know when one might malfunction).
Posted by strailon Sunday, December 02, 2012 @ 00:00:00 UTC