Sometime ago, I wrote a series of posts telling a story based around my activities in the computer game, Elite: Dangerous. It was a way of giving some life to my tales from a game that most of my readers would probably never experience. One of the characters in my tale was a bounty-hunter called Jaxon Border. He was first introduced in an episode called Waiting.

Over the last few years I have come to know an artist on Twitter through my interest in Truck Simulator – one shared by her partner. She goes by the twitter moniker SI’yann. In recent months she has decided to pursue her dream of becoming a digital artist and she is now open to take on commissions.

I sent her a link to my story with a suggestion that she might like to draw Jaxon Border for me. I think the story as told in English may not have translated too well into a clear description of the character in French, so we exchanged several messages as the work progressed. The first rough sketches were presented and I have to say they were very close to the Jaxon Border in my minds eye. Subsequently, with some refinements, we reached agreement on the final sketch…

Then it was up to Si’yann to come up with the colour version with a small amount of guidance from me. Here’s Jaxon in colour…

In many ways this digital art by Si’yann has captured the Jaxon Border I envisaged as I was writing and the decision to have him seated at the bar works so well for the character. Bounty hunter that he is, he’s clearly got his eye on something or someone seated away from the bar – possibly me, Anson22, just before our first meeting? 😎

This was a new style of Character for Si’yann and I think she’s done great! If you’d like a character from your writings brought to life, then perhaps you should consider asking Si’yann if she might be able to help you out😊👍

Continued From

An ISS Captain peered round the corner of the door, laser pistol in hand. He acknowledged Border and holstered his weapon before pulling out a scanner. Two junior officers appeared behind him in the doorway. As he viewed the screen of his device it spoke – “Border, Jaxon, recognised; bounty hunter co-opted to assist ISS in this sector.” “Clone, 22nd in series, Anson, non-resident; possible suspect in crime.” It stopped speaking. The Captain waved it over Jenckque’s body in an irritated fashion – “Damned thing – must be on the blink!” then, pointing to one of his subordinates – “You read the victim!”

The young officer took on a bemused look as his scanner also registered nothing. “Captain Hoathe” Border interjected – “Perhaps the two bodies down the corridor?” Hoathe nodded and turning to leave prompted his team “Don’t let the Clone leave – probably our man!” I didn’t protest – this was Border’s show and I felt I could trust him to see me right. Border turned to me – “You’re sure that’s your friend Jenckque? No mistake?” “He’s changed a lot but I guess I’m sure that’s him… I recognised his voice.” Border frowned – “He’s not appearing on the Citraxx system – I’m not reading him either – even dead he should be there!”

A new face appeared at the door – glasses held in place by an extended forefinger… “Hi Jaxon… Chief finished in here yet?” Border shook his head – “He’s having scanner problems and he’s checking the two down the corridor.” “Damn – clear weapons fire Terminates… should be straight forward.” Said the doctor – “those two down there yours?” Border nodded – “they were shooting when I arrived – I didn’t have much choice!” – He said, grimacing, and the doctor looked back down the corridor as the Captain started making his way back.

“This is damned stupid – those two don’t exist either…!” He waved his tablet around for all to see – “What the hell’s going on Border?” “John, I think someone has erased these from the Citraxx system.” Captain Hoathe stared at Border – “You’re givin’ me crap…” He said. “Do you have another explanation?” asked Border. “Have you scanned these bodies Border?” “No, but I did tag the two down the corridor a day or so back – got their info on my tablet. I’ll pass it to you – just watch out for overwrites. Those guys existed yesterday!” After a minute or so Hoathe looked at the files – “That’s amazin’ – These guys aren’t real… they’re angels and they’re shooting?” “Where do you fit in and who’s this?” he said, finally involving me in the investigation!

“I was waiting here for my friend…” I said, pointing to Jenckque’s body. Border caught my eye with a quick shake of the head – (don’t tell too much). “Just came down to my quarters and these guys started shooting at us!” Hoathe looked at me carefully – “I guess that’s the truth then – or you’ve spent too much time with Border!” He broke into a smile… “Don’t leave the station until I give the ok. I probably want the full story from the pair of you tomorrow after the autopsies have been done. Doc, All yours!”
“C’mon,” said Border “You need a beer and somewhere else to sleep.” We wandered off to Dayzee’s.

British (English) Monarchs have required The Royal Navy (along with other Commonwealth navies) to present the fleet for review on important dates during their reign. The first ‘Spithead’ reviews took place in the Medieval period when England sailed to war against France. Henry V’s review was the first to be recorded but somehow slipped from the pages of Shakespeare’s play! Because of the difficulty involved these reviews occur infrequently and are often tied to events such as visits by important foreign dignitaries or in commemoration of past victories such as the recently celebrated Battle of the Atlantic.

I thought I’d hold my own Spithead review of the active vessels in my Elite fleet. And I present each of those in current active service for you to review 🙂

HumouristMy Cobra mkIII named Humourist. The story behind the name is a bit complex. Humourist was a Horse that won the Epsom Derby in 1921. Tragically he died not long after from the effects of undetected tuberculosis. In line with its naming policies, the LNER named one of its Gresley A3 pacific locomotives Humourist after the race horse. My Grandfather would tell you these were fine machines as he drove them. I chose the name for my fictional ship in a story that I started writing prior to Elite Dangerous – see The Delivery. It seemed only natural that my first newly purchased ship in the new Elite should take on the name. And it reflects the character of the Cobra mkIII – a real joker. She is a jack-of-all-trades and very good at a lot of them with speed as her key attribute. Interdicted by a pirate she can fight well or run very well. Her only limitation is her size which limits her trading ability. Despite my doubts about her suitability I currently have her fitted out as a mining vessel – that speed comes in handy when pirates attack and the max load of 32 tons means you don’t die of boredom!

Redgauntlet_05Redgauntlet – My Vulture. The ship looks like a mailed fist and fights in the same way. The name Gauntlet would have fitted well, but as a Scotsman’s son it had to be Redgauntlet from the works of Sir Walter Scott. I have run this ship as a multi-role vessel and found her capable of doing light cargo and courier missions. Fast and very manoeuvrable she looks after herself well against most ships regardless of size. After initially using her in that multirole mode, I’ve rebuilt her to what she should be – a space superiority fighter and she can kill just about anything out there – just don’t be tempted to try tackling three well armed Anaconda’s on your own though!

Rosefinch climbing away from the rings of SWOIWNS HV-D C2 12Rosefinch is a Diamondback Explorer. Not as manoeuvrable as the Diamondback Scout she gives a bit more flexibility allowing, as the type name suggests, long range exploration. I’ve used her for that role and also for exploration and fast courier missions within human space where the risk of pirates is greater. She is another ship that can run or fight – a large pulse laser can do a lot of damage to an opponent’s shields and the twin multi-cannons rip hull very well. With a surface reconnaissance vehicle on board she has the ability to perform additional mission roles. I chose the name because she makes me think of a small bird as painted by a cubist and the colour is a subtle pink.

Dark of Night departing Bruce's Folly, Maiden SystemDark of Night is my Cobra mkIV. I love the way this ship is hated by so many other pilots… In my experience she can run (slowly), fight well when the target isn’t too fast and shift 48T of freight whilst carrying two surface vehicles. She’s also a joy to land on planets away from bases. The name came from the free colour scheme provided by FDev on Black Friday which I think suits this vessel very well.

Nyati docked at Rich OrbitalMy latest addition to fleet. Nyati is a Lakon T6. The first vessel that I have bought since the Vulture that is really aimed at a single role. This ship is a trader and I’ve equipped her to run when attacked. She’s the only ship in my fleet to carry heat sinks, chaff and ecm to protect her from attacks from pirates. She looks like a rounded house-brick and handles as you’d expect – leave lots of time to slow down for a landing. The Lakon T series ships tend to be referred to as Space Cows so I chose to name mine Nyati – That is Buffalo in Shona.