Bringing home the scientist

16th October 2008 – 8.43 am

My agent is happy with the Green Arisite ore I was able to acquire, particularly as it meant a different faction was denied the ore resource as a result. Now he wants me to find a particular scientist, saying something about him being an AI specialist. I probably should be paying more attention but the prospect of using my Drake battlecruiser as a taxi has my mind drifting, wondering whether if I painted my ship black could I get away with not training in cloaking devices. 'Yes sir, collect the scientist. I'll be right back.'

I warp to the mission coordinates in deadspace, ready to ring on the space doorbell of some ageing don like I have volunteered to drive him to the supermarket, and instead find myself drifting towards a drone bunker. Before I can work out if it is unpopulated and merely a quirky residence the bunker comes alive with drones swarming out of its many hatches. I ready my launchers and start locking on to targets, aiming to destroy the bunker first before too many drones can launch. A single salvo of heavy missiles rips in to the structure like a finger through cheap toilet paper, leaving about as big a mess.

With only the drones to deal with I launch my own drones, but this proves to be a mistake. Normally, the drones add to my firepower and can take care of frigates quickly enough allowing me to concentrate on bigger threats. However, pitting drones against drones is not terribly wise, as there seems to be a bitter rivalry between the 'citizen' drones and the rogue drones. Quite soon after I launch the drones a buzz of electronic communications begins, no doubt lots of name calling and accusations of being inferior to a Z80, causing both sides happily to obliterate each other instead of concentrating on me, which is good enough to keep my shields healthy but I'm going to need to get some more drones when I get back to base.

Finally, all the drones are destroyed, on both sides, and I spy a small acceleration gate that I can use to warp deeper in to the deadspace complex. Activating the gate sends me warping to another drone outpost, this one with a laboratory. Not only that, there are also stasis towers and energy neutraliser sentries. To stop myself from being dragged to a halt in a web I lock-on to the stasis towers whilst I ask the ship's computer what the energy neutraliser sentries do. 'They are defensive structures thaaat draaaaaiinnn...'

'Drain what, computer? And gave you permission to power down during a mission? Hmm, I appear to have a completely empty capacitor.' No capacitor power means I have little ability to engage the enemy or defend myself effectively, particularly with no active shield hardeners running. A quick retargeting along with shutting off all non-essential systems, like the drone bay's disco lighting, destroys the energy neutralisers in a big ball of flame, my ship's capacitor now replenishing as normal. All the while I have been focussed on the towers the bunkers have been launching drones, which are now swarming around my ship. I am beginning to get the impression the scientist doesn't want to come with me.

Even without my own drones the hostile drones are soon reduced to mineral compounds drifting in space and I only need to get the scientist on to my ship and back to base. To get the scientist to agree to meet with my agent I employ my most persuasive argument, a volley of Scourge heavy missiles that blow up his laboratory. I probably should have piloted closer to the laboratory before I blew it up, but the scientist's limp body is soon transferred to my ship and hopefully before the oxygen depletion of floating in space takes its toll. If my agent asks, I found him like that. After all, the mission's codename is New Frontiers: Mad Scientist, I'm only fulfilling my agent's expectations.

Another successful mission!

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