Back in June when I moved over to Truck Simulator my intention was to return to Elite after a short break. That I needed a break was clear. I had reached a sort of crossroads and could not decide what I should do next. Then I broke a couple of buttons om my joystick whilst driving a truck – critical buttons for ship management so going back to Elite with that piece of hardware was out of the question. On the horizon was a new Joystick and Throttle combination from Thrustmaster which was going to be designed to work with Elite. That was originally due for September – so I thought “I’ll wait for that to come out” and in the interim I continued driving my trucks and bought the steering wheel and pedals that I wrote a review of.

Time passes quickly when you’re enjoying yourself and sometimes there are delays to release dates in computing hardware/software. The new Thrustmaster T.16000M Hotas FCS finally came out close to Christmas. By that time I was heavily into SCS’s ‘Help Santa’ challenge and discovering the newly released roads of France. The American Rescale was released mid December too with all the wonderful new vistas to see there. Small wonder that I wasn’t back playing Elite!

I finally bought the new joystick 2 weeks ago and fired up Elite for the first time in 8 months! My first task has been to get used to the ship handling again, so I spent the first couple of hours playing the tutorials. I was surprised how slow the sidewinder seems compared with a Peterbilt 389! But thinking about it, that’s all a question of scale and relative proximity to other objects.

Once back in the actual game I had to take the ship I had last flown back to HR783 from SPOCS-103. My memory proved to be correct when I found it was Nyati – my Lakon T6 freighter. I was lucky enough to get a well-paying mission part of the way to Gliese 9073 and I was on my way. I think the main lift for the take-off was provided by the butterflies in my stomach! I needn’t have worried as I didn’t see a single soul on the trip – human or ai – until I was in the no-fire zone of Gresley Orbital. Huge sigh of relief – the T6 is not a combat vessel so I’ve configured her for defence. The home run from there to HR783 and Roth Hub was similarly quiet and I quickly got back in the swing of dropping into systems and punching out again efficiently.

At Roth Hub I swapped ships to the Imperial Courier – God Speed. The Courier is a responsive ship to fly and I felt a good one for some general handling within my home system. Whilst dropping into Stiles Ring to practise landing on an outpost station I was hailed by another ship – my friend Bertrand had flown over to see me and say Hi! He was in his Eagle – an excellent fighter that he has upgraded significantly. We rubbed shields in greeting and chatted about the changes in the game. Bertrand warned me that the ai has significantly improved and I should be very wary of the higher ranked ones! Message received and understood – I shall be operating in ‘chicken’ mode until I can get to visit engineers to upgrade my vessels 😉

After some general handling it was time to get back in the business of making money. I did a few missions in God Speed and then swapped back to Nyati to make as much money as possible with her larger load capacity. Apart from one mission when I had an assassin sent against me it has been relatively peaceful. Fortunately the assassin struck in Tlapana which is a High Security system. I was able to evade and stay in one piece long enough for the Security forces to engage them and then make my escape with 34% damage to the ship. Although Nyati’s weapons are defensive, she can get the occasional kill. Last night in HIP 10818 I was interdicted and submitted with the intention of running. Only the attacker took a while to appear on my scanner so I concluded that this ‘ai’ wasn’t a hot-shot. Sure enough he turned out to be in an Eagle with missiles and multi-cannons – not strong enough to get through my shields quickly. So I targeted him and then began running away whilst lobbing mines back at him. One of them hit and took out his shields and probably did some damage to his hull at which point security turned up and completed the kill – I got 14670cr’s as a bounty for assisting in terminating a criminal 🙂 I think that’s Nyati’s third kill!

Face-off - Friendly meeting with Bertrand du Guesclin.
Face-off – Friendly meeting with Bertrand du Guesclin.

Nyati sets out on another mission.
Nyati sets out on another mission.

I will be back in Truck Sim sometime tomorrow and I shall be swapping between Elite and Truck Simulator every Sunday so you can expect posts from both!

An addition to stock for my Elite: Dangerous fleet – The Imperial Courier…

I had been contemplating one of these vessels since I achieved the required rank in the Empire but there were always challenges that I set myself that called for different ships at the time. Now, finally, I need again a fast ship to carry messages and light cargoes on behalf of the Empire. That ship has to also be good in the field of battle as befits a ship of the empire… And she is! I have named her ‘God Speed’ for, as any Imperial Citizen will tell you, the Emperor is God and it is right that I request that our Emperor grant my ship speed as she goes about her duties on behalf of the Imperial Society and in the Emperor’s service.
God Speed departing Rich Orbital

All Hail to our Emperor, Arissa Lavigny Duval – Bask in Her Glory!

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.