"Hey Barkeep, could I get a carbonic acid and sucrose?" asked Eagle.
"Sure thing Eagle. How are things?" returned the bartender.
"Just great! Thanks for asking. Did you get your supplies okay?
"Yes I did. Thanks. Those pirates haven't given me any more trouble thanks to you. Here's your drink."
"Thanks! Take care." replied Eagle.
"Carbonic acid and sucrose?" inquired a patron of the bartender.
"It is a common drink on his planet," replied the bartender. "I believe they call it 'soda pop' or something to that effect."
"Is it intoxicating?"
"Nah! That is Eagle Douglass. He doesn't drink intoxicating beverages."
"Those Nimrovs are a strange bunch. It is a wonder they are even out this far."
"Eagle is unique among his people," interrupted Essdy Yarnspinner.
"He is one of only a handful of his kind out this far."
"Aren't you the story teller?" asked the patron.
"Yes I am," replied Essdy.
"I'll set you up for a story."
"Do you want to hear anything in particular?"
"Well, you can tell me how this here Eagle fella came to be one of these unique Nimrovs and be out so far from home."
"Fair enough, did you get that tender?"
"You're covered Yarnspinner."
Eagle was saving as much money as he could during his working days on Nimrov 4. He was a war hero, but he was no longer in the military. His court martial, while it exonerated him, left a sour taste in his mouth about military service. Thus, he had to find other sources of revenue. He was working at a number of different jobs and saving as much money as possible. In most cases, you cannot earn a great deal of money working in the Nimrov colonies. However, Eagle's jobs gave him access to things that he needed to achieve his goal. That goal was to get himself a ship. Since he was part of the team that explored the technology of the Izanians, he had some knowledge of advanced technology required for space travel. Nevertheless, a ship would not come cheap. He lived for the dream of exploring his galaxy. With this in mind, he scrounged and traded to gather parts for a ship.
With his experience upon the UNSS Douglass, he had many designs in mind. However, his final design would greatly depend upon what he could obtain. He could fabricate many things himself, but even these parts would require components. Thus, he would spend hours refining the design for his ship. After a few years of trading and fabricating, Eagle had finally created his own spacecraft. It was not a spectacular craft, but it was a relatively fast scout ship even by Commonwealth standards.
One minor design flaw with Eagle's ship was its size. It was very small, and could hold very little cargo. Thus, it was mostly unacceptable to be a freighter. It was what it was designed to be; it was a scout ship. Thus, this ship was only good for looking around. Eagle and the crew of this ship would not likely be able to use it for trading or making a living in the Commonwealth.
Regardless, Eagle Douglass recruited some Nimrov adventurers who were willing to explore beyond their own solar system. One of these adventurers was his long time school friend Sparky Daniels. With the crew ready and willing, Eagle was finally the Captain of his own ship. He planned to take his ragtag crew to explore as much of the vast galaxy as he could. Their ship was by far the fastest and most technically advanced ship run by humans. However, his first obstacle was how to navigate the hypergates. Eagle and his crew were only aware of the one on the fringes of their solar system. They were sure that it led to Izanian space. They were sure that they did not want to put their shields up against that hypergate and be destroyed like the UNSS Douglass.
Eagle dubbed this ship "The Iguana," and after testing the systems of the ship in their own solar system, they felt they were ready to tackle the hypergate challenge. Eagle powered down all of the Iguanas systems and drifted into the hypergate. They entered undetected into Izanian space. As usual, the Izanian sensors didn't detect the ship leaving a hypergate unpowered. However, they scrambled when Eagle powered up his ship's engines. From the sensors he developed based on the Izanian model, they were able to scan the area. Sparky Daniels notified Eagle of the Izanian fighters on an intercept course. They had to get out of their fast.
Luckily, the Izanian intruder scanners detect engine thruster ionization, and the crew had powered up the engines last. Therefore, the Iguana had its navigational computer and its sensors going before they were detected. They didn't know where they were going, but they needed to make good time. Eagle chose a course and heading at random and the chase was on. The Izanians were in hot pursuit, and they were none too friendly.
The guarding Izanian ships were very maneuverable, but they couldn't match the speed of the Iguana. Occasionally, the guard ships would lock a weapon on the Iguana and fire. The Iguana had energy shields, so they were somewhat protected from the occasional blast. Many of the Iguana's systems were getting a workout as they were frantically trying to escape the hostile ships.
It was fortunate that Eagle designed the Iguana to be a fast ship. A slower, less agile ship would have certainly been destroyed. They were in an old fashion dog-fight with nowhere to go. They were beginning to feel that they should head back into Nimrov space. They needed to find someplace to go quickly.
As they were running from the Izanians, Sparky was scanning the area for anything that would aid in their escape. After much maneuvering and evasive flying, Sparky discovered another hypergate. This gate wasn't going to lead them back home, but hopefully it would lead to a more friendly welcome. Eagle decided that they should try to make a break for it. However, they needed their shields to protect themselves from the Izanian energy weapons. Timing had to be perfect. There wouldn't be time to shut down all systems when entering this gate, so hopefully only the shields needed to be shut down.
At first they flew away from the gate. They wanted to create the maximum distance between themselves and the enemy ships. They also did not want the Izanians to block off their escape route, so it had to be done just right. When the Iguana had the Izanian ships behind it, and clear space between it and the hypergate, Eagle knew the time was right. He set the engines at full speed and made a bee line towards the gate. With that burst of speed, he generated a widening gap between the Iguana and the opposing ships. He asked Sparky to keep an eye on the sensors; when they indicated 10 meters, Sparky was to inform Eagle so he could power down the shields. The Iguana was going quite fast with the Izanians lagging behind when they powered down their shields and entered the gate.
They were now much farther than any other Nimrov had ever traveled, but where were they? These bold adventurers needed to keep records so they could find their way back to Nimrov space. Sparky Daniels did numerous scans and noticed the gate indicator GC73:54:11.
This was Commonwealth space. In fact, it was one of the few unmanned gates. The Commonwealth was notified of any entering ship, but any spaceship was free to pass into Commonwealth space using this particular gate. Naturally, this gate was rarely used because the Izanians had little use for the Commonwealth.
They successfully escaped from the Izanians and could do a bit of exploring. Sparky noted the position of the gate so they could make a return trip. After a bit of exploration, Eagle and his crew came upon the Enilmah shipyards. This shipyard is mostly a salvage yard for old ships. However, entry is by appointment only. Thus, despite wanting to check out the outdated space ships, Eagle had to examine them from a distance. The Iguana explored the area for a few days, and discovered a few more gates.
Very little trade comes through gate GC73:54:11 being located where it is, but it was the Nimrov gateway into galactic space. The supplies were running low and these Nimrovs still did not meet any Commonwealth members, but they needed to head back. There was much more to explore, but they had to be heading back to Nimrov space. However, they learned how to "run the Izanian gauntlet" to get into Commonwealth space and that was a first step.Posted by deg at May 27, 2005 11:18 AM