SEPP - Social Eleu Progressive Party

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The Blue Cobra Flies At Midnight

Chapt 1 : Lucy

The Cobra, it was a modern Mk III, had been painted a lurid bright blue. Caught under the rays of a K class star it turned an equally unpleasing purple-ish colour. It's pilot was Lucy Willis, a space trader with a profitable sideline in illicit goods. In space, people recognise the ship more than the pilot, and the bright blue cobra was certainly recognisable.
The fuel-scoop spluttered and retracted. The cobra peeled away from the star, twisting as it lined up on it's destination, an Imperial spaceport.
Lucy's trade route wove back and forth across the borders between the Empire and Federation and visited various independantly run settlements that existed in the no-mans-space that separated the powers. Such places survived either by being self-suffient or by producing goods that citizens on both sides of the borders wanted, that their governments didn't want them to have. Not all the stops on her route were as easy as this, the home run. It takes skill to deliver illicit cargo without being scanned by the authority ships that patrol the station approaches, and there are certains tricks of flying that can help the smuggler outwit the customsmen.
"SLOW DOWN" flashed red across Lucy's screen, and she eased back the throttle into the blue, but, too late. The blue Cobra shot past the station too fast to safely drop down. Lucy turned her ship into a tight turn, the "loop of shame", and lined up on the station again. Now, the moon the station was orbiting was at her rear. This time Lucy hit the drop down perfectly, and a Coriolis station leapt out of the bloom of scintillating light, the mail slot positioned almost directly ahead. Lucy flicked her fingers restively. There was no need to make a run into the station this time, her cargo was all legal in this system. So instead of boosting up to maximum speed, Lucy slowed to just below the speed limit and turned up the volume of the radio chatter.
A Viper took an interest, sizzleing past the cobra in a needlessly aggressive flyby, then snapped a sharp turn and flew backwards right in front of the cobra, matching speed. Lucy glared at it, it was no threat, just an authority ship with a bored pilot carrying out a routine scan.
Fingers flickered at the comms panal, requesting docking. With a clean scan, there was no delay, and Lucy followed the direction to land on pad 19.
Once set down, Lucy selected the option to enter the hanger, and left the pilots chair. A carryall, blue like the ship and Lucy's matching flight suit was waiting for her in a locker beside the ladder. This Lucy took, lifting the strap over her head. Jabbing at a button on the bulkhead opened the hatch, the ladder sliding out automatically. If you've been travelling for long enough to gain your space-legs, a space stations artifical gravity can take you by surprise. Lucy took the steps carefully, giving her muscles a chance to adapt. A button mounted on the ladders support strut closed the hatch. This would be a short stop, just a couple of days to catch up on sleep, and eat a few meals in enough gravity to keep the food on the plate. Lucy crossed the hanger floor to the exit hatch, which opened onto a short corridor with an elevator at the end. This took Lucy up to the entry booth. It was automated, Lucy placed the carryall on a convayor belt that trundled through a scanner, held up her left wrist presenting her biometric id bracelet to the reader, stared into the retinal scanner, and was allowed to step into a small cubicle that filled with disinfectant steam. Thus purified and approved, Lucy entered the starport.
Another corridor led to another elevator, which lead to a train station, and after twenty minutes travel, got Lucy to yet another corridor. This was in an accomodation sector of the station, economical one roomed apartments hiding behind security doors, the corridor and public areas kept clean but cramped and a little dingy. A lot of these belonged to men and women who worked in space, most were crew on larger vessels living "on the job", and these apartments were more places to store belongings and crash down between jobs than homes. This gave the sector an abandond feel, since so many of the residents were away working for months at a time. Lucy stopped outside apartment 4497delta5 and glanced up and down the deserted corridor before presenting her ID to the scanner mounted on the wall beside the door. It bleeped twice and opened the door for Lucy, who stepped quickly inside, closing and locking the door behind her.
The apartment was small enough not to have many places an intruder caught in the act could hide. A glance around the living area showed it barren, Lucy checked the bathroom, and behind the kitchen counter, the place was empty - as it should be. The blue flightsuit was shed and placed in the laundry unit, the ID bracelet was removed and placed in the top drawer of the bedside table. The pilot stripped down to her skin and took a washbag out of the carryall. A shower, real hot water, was very welcome after the trip. The shampoo that had been in the washbag had an alarmingly chemical smell when the pilot flipped the containers lid open. As the pilot washed her blonde hair the water running into the plughole became cloudy and yellowish. The pilot presevered rinsing her hair untill the water ran clear again, and her hair was back to it's usual grey streaked dark brown. The carryall held a clean set of underthings and a plain charcoal grey flightsuit, these the pilot put on. Dirty underwear, used towel and washbag went into the carryall, which contained nothing else, unless the two sealed and scan-proof pockets were known of. The pilot removed one of these pockets and broke the seal. A biometric ID bracelet, not coded for Lucy Willis, was within. The pilot put it on.

Anita Juri, an explorer taking a break from flying for a few days, put her id bracelet on her right wrist, and lifted her carryall over her head and onto her shoulder.
Leaving the apartment, Anita retraced the journey to the docking hangers that Lucy had taken an hour before. A different train to a different hanger. Anita's ship was larger and stored in hanger 03. Entering the hanger, Anita surveyed her ship with a sense of dismay. It was an Asp Scout that had clearly seen better days, maybe better years and decades. The paint was almost all scrubbed off and the canopy looked clouded and scored. Worse, there was a wound in the port side exposing the ships inner workings. This was a ship that had gone a long way, and fought hard to make back home, or that was how it looked. A control box adjacent to the pad accepted Anita's id, and transmitted to the ship the command to open the hatch and deploy the boarding ladder. The ships secuirty system sent back a challenge, demanding a voice print and password. Anita checked the voice comms were activated and spoke clearly but casually "The blue Cobra flies at midnight". Satisfied by this statement the AspS opened the hatch and the ladder lowered. Anita boarded at once, stowed the carryall into a similar locker near the hatch, and headed straight to the cockpit. She couldn't reapair the ship at all, and examining the engineering report in the systems panal she truly regretted that. The powerplant was running at just about two thirds capacity, Anita scrolled down the modules list and switched off the countermeasures, shield boosters and cargo hatch. Still not enough power. Off with the srv hanger. There were no weapons to shut off, and her destination was too far to get there on emergancy life support. Everything else was needed to get to Anita's next destination. Shields off.
Anita took a deep breath and huffed it out again feeling the ghost of panic rising in her chest. Flying without shields in the bubble is a terrible risk. Especially when you're heading into anarchy systems.
The galaxy map took longer to load than it should have done, it had a lot of information stored in its memory, and the battering the ship had taken hadn't helped. Anita entered the name of her target system, and plotted a route without opening the local map. The less she stressed the nav computor, the more chance she had of getting it and what it had in it's memory to their destination.
Time to go. Anita requested to be taken to the surface. Launching blind is usually fine, but she didn't want to get tangled up with a larger ship today, the Scout was too fragile without shields. As soon as the path to the slot was clear of larger ships, Anita requested to launch. The Scout, despite it's injuries, lifted off cleanly. The thrusters were good. Anita pushed a button on the controls, and the undercarrage clunked away. Now the throttle was pushed forward all the way, Anita did not want to be scanned, so now a risk had to be taken. The scout shot forward and though the slot, wanting even more speed, Anita risked a boost. The ship creaked most alarmingly but surged forwards. Anita began the FSD spooling up as soon as the mass lock was broken. Getting away before the authority ships scanned her was more important than lining up with the destination, so the first jump was to supercruise. Eyes flickering from scanner to space, the reticle came into centre, and "4, 3, 2, 1.... "
The Asp Scout has excellent jump range, and four jumps and one scare later, Anita was ready for the final jump. A pirate had tried to interdict the scout while she was scooping fuel, but Anita had twisted the scout around so that her stern pointed at the star. The stupid pirate had tried to follow her tail around, and been caught by the stars corona. Anita hadn't waited to see if the pirate survived dropping down into the murderous heat, she'd jumped into the next system as soon as the scout had cooled.
This system's primary star was a sullen brown dwarf, a handfull of worthless ice worlds orbited it. There was no reason for anyone to come here unless on route to somewhere better. Anita was traveling straight "up" from the star, watching the scanner for ships arriving. A ship fitted with a wake scanner would be able to follow her through a jump, so Anita was being careful. Pulling away from the star at maximum thrust for a calculated period of time would prevent another ship from getting into range of her wake in time to scan it before it decayed.
There were no ships on the scanner however, and Anita judged she was far enough away that no-one would be able to catch up to her wake in time to get an acuurate scan. The scout turned, seeking the target destination.
Pokomovoi, a sparsley populated anarchy sysytem, currently in a state of upheaval, and not somewhere to flying in ship a vulnerable as the scout. The third planet was a wasteland of rocks and ice, inhospitable but some people lived there. Anita started scrolling down the list of planets and settlements in the nav panel as soon as she arrived, not even scooping in her desire to get to safety. There! Anita ground her teeth as the name she was looking for scrolled past before she could stop. Farouk Enterprise.
There were few ships in the system, and none seemed interested in her, much to Anita's relief. Once, for a time, she watched two blips on the scanner twist and turn in a chase that ended with the lead ship being pulled out of supercruise. A fight between rivals from different factions seemed more likely than robbery, given the state of the local politics. Desperate deeds done cheap in the dead of space.
Farouk Enterprise was tiny, with next to no services to speak of. Anita brought the scout down cautiously, there were no other ships in the air, which was oddly disturbing. The settlement looked deserted, only the skimmers were moving. Anita collected her bag, and left the scount sitting in a rough hanger. The lights flickered constantly and there was no atmoshere, Anita was relying on her flightsuits in-built life support to cross the hanger, she felt horribly exposed without a vehicle between her and vacuumn. Once through the airlock into the settlement, Anita could breathe again, in both meaings of the phrase. There was no train here, the settlement was hardly big enough for one, so Anita walked down a long ramp that lead to the centre of town. There she looked for a neon sign, a bright pink topless female figure that flickered between poses. It was, predictably enough, down a dark alley between two boarded up retail shops. As with most anarchies, just about everything was legal here, and the inside of the bar was hazy with smoke from more than just tobbaco. There was a stage, but no entertainment, and no conversation either, just eyes in the gloom that followed Anita all the way to the bar. This was expected, Anita took a sticky stool and stared at the bartender, saying nothing. He stared back for half a minute before stiring himself. Without asking, he set a bottle of beer in front of her, and backed away, making himself busy at a comms unit. The beer was fizzy and flavourless, and almost as cold as space itself. Anita sipped from the bottle, keeping watch out the corners of her eyes, the denezins of the bar watched back, and the bartender finished fiddling with the comms and settled down to wiping a glass out with a cloth.
After a few minutes of this, a door at the rear of the bar opened and a man swaggered straight up to Anita with a scowl. He said nothing, jerked his head at the entrance, and walked off. Anita followed, wondering if anyone in this dump could actually speak. In fact the swaggering man did speak. After leading Anita up another of the ramps, he stopped and said, or rather recited in a toneless voice "That's a nice ship you flew in there, din't your uncle used to fly one?" Anita made her tone conversational "Not my uncle, he's almost married to his Fer-de-Lance". The swaggering man looked baffled for a moment as he replayed the sign/countersign in his head, then jerked his head at the airlock behind him and held out his hand. The pilot took the id bracelet off and handed it to him, the man grunted something by way of thanks or farewell and left, heading back down the ramp, rubbing the back of his neck. The pilot dropped her carryall to the floor and squatted beside it as she pulled out the second of the sealed pockets. This one also contained an id bracelet. The pilot closed her bag and straighted up, lifting the strap over her head.
hello, fellow cmdrs!
i am actually pretty new to e:d (24 hours playtime) but very eager to join a faction to interact with others who have the same goals as me (which in my case is mostly so exploration ^^). and because of this i would really like to join SEPP. so, how do i do it? ^^'

fly safe,
cmdr johannes von falkenstein
hello, fellow cmdrs!
i am actually pretty new to e:d (24 hours playtime) but very eager to join a faction to interact with others who have the same goals as me (which in my case is mostly so exploration ^^). and because of this i would really like to join SEPP. so, how do i do it? ^^'

fly safe,
cmdr johannes von falkenstein

There is a link to our Discord in the first post of this thread. Please stop by and introduce yourself there.
From Bisley Station > Benzaiten:

Dear Explorer’s Nation,

I recently discovered you have arrived at my home station.
I’m a bit late but id like to say;
Welcome to Bisley Station, The Brightest little Station in Colonia!

I’d love to help you guys grow here.
But my schedule is still pretty busy.
1 {Finish my Mapping tour of 85-110LY arround Colonia (CMDR Huntemdown already refered me to deliver the data to Carcosa)}
2 {I’m currently also waiting for a call from one of my engineers to remodel my Conda and Clipper and probebly pick up a Chieffy right then aswel}
And longterm plans
{Map out the entire slice of the galaxy at a point of personal intrests, which will probebly take most of the year if not longer}
{DW2 just because the first one was great.. though way to slow for my taste XD}

WARNING: Might be infected by Spacemadness amongst other things :3
so it might be a while before i’m really able to help much.
But non the less id like to.

Ra’Senché ...
AKA CMDR Ra Senche
Hi RaSenche, thank you for the welcome :)

Wow, you're keeping busy! I hope to bump into you in Colonia, and on DW2.

You don't need space madness to fit in with Explorer's Nation, that develops as part of the process :p

Edit: FR sent as cmdr Katerina Bloom.
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Just thought i let you know, I had 8+ mill worth of exploration data to sell. I sold it at Finney Dock, 1 system at a time.
I would have told you through discord but none of the guest channels allow you to leave a message.

Capitan Ace Rimmer
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