Academy Alumni Club, Republic Military School, Hadaugago II, Heimatar
First Contact: The instant when the partial phase of an eclipse begins.
The Brutor man stood looking out the window at the spectacular vista visible from the transparent dome that covered the penthouse club atop the station. His close-cropped too-dark hair, prominent facial tattoos and sunglasses after the fashion of the young men of his tribe did little to hide his late middle age. Still, his physique was solid and broad-shouldered, and his visage stern, the look of a battle-hardened veteran.
“I appreciate the dinner, Rhavas,” he said, “but I don’t think you just came here to talk about old times at school.”
The younger man beside him looked very different, yet still martial in his own way – somewhere between youth and middle age – tall, his physical strength more sinewy and whipcord lean than the muscularity of the Brutor man. Rhavas studied the cubes of ice floating in his drink, ignoring the view before him. He was silent for a long moment before addressing the Brutor. “No,” he said, “there’s something bothering me, I’m just not sure what it is.”
The Brutor shrugged. “You were a bit of an idealist when you were here, as most new recruits are,” he said. “So, you’re not getting the new pilot’s thrill as much any more. Shouldn’t surprise you.” He lowered his voice, obviously not wanting other nearby patrons at the club to hear. “I’m not sure I’ve ever told you how I was recruited to teach here. In the end, it was this or spend a long time locked away in a Republic prison. Who knew I’d like teaching.”
Rhavas looked at Gonakis Eraettafrin as if for the first time. “No, that’s not a story I’ve heard.”
Gonakis smiled. “I was a pirate once,” he said. “It was great fun.”
Rhavas shook his head. “I’m not about to cross CONCORD this early in my career.” He paused. “But I guess I’ve never explored it.” He cracked a half smile. “And for you, of all people, to have been one is … well, somehow both shocking and not.”
His old teacher chuckled softly and reached out a hand. “Give me your neocom.” Rhavas obediently handed over the shiny, flat datapad. The older man tapped on the screen a few times.
Satisfied he had found what he was looking for, Gonakis’ voice was suddenly louder again. “I need to go check on the cadets. Thanks again for dinner.”
Gonakis handed him the tablet back. “Oh, and I’d recommend a Vigil-class frigate for your race training. I suspect someone with your capabilities can squeeze more out of a Vigil than a Slasher.”
The instructor turned smartly and walked back to the rear of the club, leaving Rhavas blinking at the abrupt exit. What race?
Rhavas turned again, looking out the window to cover his confusion at the sudden departure. When he looked down at his neocom and saw the section of the CONCORD criminal code Gonakis had left on the screen, he began to understand.
The Concord standard criminal flagging rules apply to cargo within a wreck. These are the same rules which apply to a can jettisoned from your ship. If you are the wreck owner, should someone other than you remove items from the wreck you will have rights to attack them. These rules do not, however, apply to the structural wreck aside from the cargo. Anyone can salvage usable materials from wrecks, regardless of who destroyed the ship which caused the wreck to be created. As noted above this can be done even if cargo is present.
So … this was Gonakis’ recommendation for an adventure. Not truly criminal, but not exactly above-board either. He had heard of this “legalized theft”, as many capsuleers saw it. Maybe it would tell him if the dark side of the capsuleer world was really what he wanted.
He connected a wire from a jack in his skull to the device, and opened a communication channel to his Trade Manager back at Hek as he walked toward the elevators back to the hangar. “Get four Vigil hulls for me, and get them as cheap as you can – I don’t expect them to have a long life. Contact me with the location as soon as you know where I should pick them up, and tell the Engineering department to get ready.”
OOC: First Contact is the first of a three-part story about Rhavas’ first foray into questionable activities. Next: Part 2: Penumbra.