Unless you have already completed the Lost Fleet mission, TURN AWAY AND DON'T OPEN THAT SPOILER.
Guys, seriously, don't. There's a lot of amazing stuff out there, it's best to do that mission first than to spoiler your experience.
I sighed as I sifted through the folder with whatever raw intelligence data I gathered in the past.
The truth was, I had nothing to do for all this time. The IOC operation in Inner Core was like a lungful of fresh air, but it was only a one-time action. So by now, I had pretty much nothing to do, and decided to look up whatever I still had from the past.
-Datapad of Doom contents, thanks but no thanks, I don't want to ever deal with it... - I muttered under my breath. - Incident #00139! Heh heh heh, those were the times. Data off Lith station. I suppose the people responsible dealt with this... Data from Tau Ceti sleepership, hmm...
I never managed to fully decrypt the data I ripped from the Unknown Sleepership's bridge.
Apparently Canteen's fellow senior Intelligence agents didn't go far with it. Can't blame them, they have better stuff to do.
I skimmed through the decryption algorythms available. I intstantly mentally excluded all Coalition and Coalition Rogues encryption protocols. After some thinking I did the same with The Order's Low and Med Security protocols. The old Alliance protocols, hmm... Trying to use Alliance Common codes resulted in gibberish. So did trying to apply some Alliance National codes. Until I reached the French High Security code.
-Oh dear... - I muttered as the output was actually quite readable data. I applied the same decryption algorythm to all other files I got from the sleepership and started reading.
Once I was done reading, I started packing up, got myself more or less into a presentable form and headed to Stranger's cockpit.
There was a mystery in Tau Ceti I could potentially solve...
My trip to Sol Sector from Deep Space 17 was uneventful. As I reached the Unknown Sleepership, I looked up the last entry in the ship log. In it, it was said that the passengers headed away to the direction of a jumphole discovered by the scouts.
The jumphole coordinates were: 6/7 F/G.
I set a waypoint and headed towards it. Eventually, I spotted a jumphole in that direction and activated express scan. The jumphole was stable and dockable.
-Let's see what the Universe has prepared for me here - I said, flying towards the jumphole and fast-docked with it.
As my ship flew through the hyperspace tunnel of the jumphole, I wondered what is there on the other side. I've heard the rumors of jump holes having an exit jump hole inside the star or in a dense minefield.
As Stranger exited the jumphole, I was greeted by quite normal space around me.
-Some green nebula around, but no mines, no explosive gas pockets, no immediate danger. Except... Okay, radiation level high, but not "corrode my hull in seconds" toxic... - I said and regained my breath. Then I looked around the system and lost my breath for a couple of seconds again.
-Okay, that explains the radiation - I said. I've heard about this celestial phenomena before, but to see it with my very eves was amazing. I plotted the searching course around the systems, engaged Shtora-17 and moved out. Stranger's sensors were spotting some kind of gas pockets or something, and I decided to not try my luck with them. Naturally, the Nomad fighters were also appearing, but those were actually weaker variations, identical to those normally found in Gurm or Mandar.
Soon enough, my systems picked a faint repeating signal among the background noise. I headed towards the source.
The signal belonged to a dodechahedral object about the size of other asteroids in the field.
-The signal is transmitted on the frequency listed in the Unknown Sleepership's logs... - I muttered and went on with the route. - ...wait. This isn't just a beeper... - I said as I worked with reciever. Soon enough, the signal was read and unencrypted. - "South"?
I modified my searching path, and naturally soon I found another container.
-This one has "Southeast" - I muttered. - Aha, a Jumphole!.. I'll see what's there. If I'll have time, I'll give this system a more thorough exploration.
Once again, I fast-docked with the jumphole and upon leaving the jump, found myself in a lava asteroid field within a purple nebula.
Once again, I found a repeating signal, except that this time it was just a beeper. Correction, multiple beepers. I looked around and found a string of navigation buoys. I engaged cruise engines and started flying along them.
Soon enough Stranger left the field and I once again looked around and once again was surprised to see a strange phenomenon in the center of the system. The two objects, looking like neutron stars, seemed to be spinning around each other with an absolutely insane speed.
-Is this some kind of a spatial freak show? - I asked myself once I once again regained my breath. - Canteen's gonna flip if he sees this...
Some time and a few spotted Nomad Fighter wings later, I found another jumphole.
-Considering these nav buoys, whoever's left them here might have set up shop right beside that gate - I said. - Well, let's hope for the best...
With these words I fast-docked with the jumphole.
-This was a flakking bad idea - I said as I found myself staring down the barrel of a bunch of Ion Cannons as a group of fighters of unknown class approached me.
-Unknown vessel, identify yourself... - one of the fighters' pilot opened up a channel, only to be interrupted by another.
TO BE CONTINUED.
A/N: Hello guys, long time no see.
Well, I hoped that this update will give me a reason to write something, and I wasn't disappointed. I only hope I did it justice now. Like, I haven't been working on any sci-fi writings in a long time and my storytelling skills could have gone rusty with all this time.
Thank you a lot for this wonderful work, OP. Really. I liked these systems and the mission plot a lot. Some of these systems are wonderful, and some of these things I didn't expect to be possible in Freelancer. Can't wait for what you've got in the next part of the Lost Fleet mission...