On the other side of the gate I went looking for another unnamed space vessel that appeared on my scanner. However, that Vexor was still hovering in the back of my consciousness. I had a hunch he was not on a mission.
I turned around and jumped again, adjusted my head and hit scan as soon as I was able to sort out what was what in my ship’s system interface. There it was again, this mysterious cruiser in this empty corner of the solar system. I ordered my ship's core scanner to report any cosmic anomalies, but the result was just more emptiness. I did a 360 degrees directional scan to look for any starbases, but nothing. I looked for wrecks, but there was none.
Was the Vexor a ghost ship? Had it been boarded by Sansha’s Nation? Was I witness to the beginning of a Sleeper invasion from the wormholes? What the hell was going on here?
I started a manual directional scan for the purpose of narrowing down the ghost ship. Since there was really nothing special in this part of space, except a planet and the already mentioned gate, I ordered the scanner to accept all results. Maybe I could get a clue to why this ship was floating around in empty space.
I twinned the tip of my moustache – in my mind, of course, since I was soaked in that awful pod goo – and smiled as I narrowed down the Vexor. A moon! I entered warp as I asked myself: What are you doing at a moon, Mr. Magical Mystery Cruiser?
The warp bubble collapsed and my overview grid loaded. The cruiser was 300 km away, keeping a steady course straight into emptiness at 200+ meters per second. A ghost ship. The pilot must have lost consciousness. Or maybe hot-wired himself into a holoreel? Oh, why bother with probable causes – I have a job to do! The Vexor must be turned into space junk!
Then, suddenly, when my Taranis got within 100 km off the Vexor, my Federation Navy Speech-To-Text-O-Matic Communication Transponder Mk. III made a silly noise (my customized notification sound) and spit out a sentence from the pilot of the Vexor:
Joachim Chelien > You waznt something?An unnamed Vexor in the hands of a fresh recruit. I would be lying if I said I wanted a ransom. I lied:
Saftsuze > i waznt ISK!There was no sign of a blinking wallet on my NeoCom. I was still out of range and that general statement about wanting ISK was merely a tactic of making myself not so scary. I’ve been known to look quite scary in a certain angle and a full moon light. He made no attempt to escape, just kept a steady course towards the emptiness. Oh yes, I would be happy to give him the experience of total emptiness!
80 km later: Locked, scrammed and three smoking barrels!
Joachim Chelien > I cant hit youThree Ogre I in orbit. I laughed in their general direction.
Joachim Chelien > Maybe just nowThe one hit he got. A pinch of red on my shields display.
Saftsuze > you can hit me with ISK!Still no blinking wallet.
Joachim Chelien > ByeI guess he realized it was time to meet the emptiness.
Saftsuze > bye *
* Must. Remember. To. Ransom. Pod.