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Moondance: Betrayal by Vince-T Moondance: Betrayal by Vince-T
I've decided to expand the moondance series to cover also the events leading up to the climactic battle between Vince and Shiromy. So, as a preview, here's a little sample of what's to come in the future.

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This stinks! Vince thought to himself as he walked out of the Corelian Government complex and onto the VIP landing platform, where he had parked the Barracuda. Nyrus had arrived fifteen minutes later after Wes had explicitly called for him. Not only that, he'd been unusually apologetic, much different than the coleric outburst he had displayed during the hearing. One had assured that The matter would be settled and the troops be called off to ensure a continuing positive relation between the two nations. He could trust Wes to be sincere about this, but Nyrus definitely was hiding something. Not least the strange presence that Vince had felt at some point cried treachery. The snide Corelian was up to something. Vince wouldn't be surprised to find ties to the brotherhood if he looked closer. While he boarded the Barracuda he made a mental note to place Nyrus under observation.

Vince wasted no time leaving the planet. With a sigh he leaned back in his pilot's seat while initiating the hyperjump to New Cophuran. The jump would be a short one. Three hours in hyperspace were just enough time to try and get a bit of sleep, before finishing up on the things that needed doing to complete the PSA transition. After all that intrigue and scheming he was looking forward to a few hours of relaxing, before turning his attention back to the great problems of the galaxy. He closed his eyes. Hopefully the galaxy would one day be able to take care of itself. He always had that dream of settling down and opening a bar on some backwater planet or space station - a rest for the brave and the bold. Or maybe a nomad starship wandering the galaxy. Something like that.

A hard jolt violently tore him out of his contemplations. Before him hyperspace reverted back to white lines, then dark space.
Right in front of him hung a starship. Firing up his sublight thrusters he tore the yoke sideways and spun off his collision course, while raising his shields. Whoever had pulled him out of hyperspace was likely hostile. As if to confirm his suspicion the cruiser opened fire. An inferno of energy blasts broke out, as the cruiser seemed to unload whatever armament it had on him. "I knew this was to easy!" Vince growled to himself as he spun and bounced around to evade the assault. Were this a standard BRX yacht he'd likely be dead already. Their lack of 'proper' shielding and armory made them little more than armored limousines. The Barracuda was a different matter. Once again the countless modifications he had added through the years proved their worth, as a couple of lucky shots bounced off the powerful shields. Still the Barracuda wasn't all powerful. Even the shields wouldn't last forever. The longer he stayed here the greater the risk for him to go down. He needed to find the source of gravity and eliminate it. Continuing his evasions he ran a long range scan of the area and discovered the source of gravity that had trapped him. A small modified strike cruiser hung in some distance. The sensor screen showed a pair of bubbles extruding from its sides, likely gravity well generators. "Very well" Vince said darkly. "You're dead!" Firing up his additional thrusters Vince set course for the distant interdictor, all the while evading the pursuing cruiser. Eventually a new signal joined the already blaring cacophony of alerts:

[MISSILE WARNING!]

Somebody really wanted him dead. He switched on the automatic turret and watched with one eye as it locked on to the incoming warheads and its four barrels spat their barrage at them. Still the missiles kept on coming. More and more were fired at him creating a deadly cloud that followed him like a swarm of angry bees. The Interdictor was coming closer. Soon it would be in range for his own weapons. But he saved those. Likely the ship's sensors would catch on any lock and defensive turrets would be on stand-by to intercept his torpedos. Vince's eyes narrowed as he eyed the swarm of missiles on his tail. Thanks to the Barracuda's speed they didn't close in too quickly. They might prove useful after all. Deactivating the auto-turret he diverted more energy to shields and kept on racing towards the interdictor. Barely a few hundred meters away he activated the Barracuda's Cloaking system and broke off his course. loosing their target the missiles now locked on to a new target - the Interdictor. Whatever defensive weapons that ship might have, they wouldn't be able to save it. As Vince steered away from the doomed ship he noticed a number of things that were most unresting.

He hadn't bothered checking out the cruiser on his sensors, also, despite from their very first encounter head-on and close up he hadn't really taken a closer look at it. Now, seeing it from a far, he realized something disturbing: He knew that ship. Checking on the sensors he found his fears confirmed:
It was the Mirage - Mryna's ship - or at least it used to be hers. This was hardly an accident. Whoever was commanding it now, knew exactly whom he'd been fighting. The ship had by now changed course and was heading away from the interdictor at full speed. This revelation drove him to take a closer look at what the sensor readout offered about the Interdictor. What he found there let his blood run cold: Its shields were down and apparently there was no life form aboard,
A trap.

Nicely done! he thought to himself. A nice combination of manipulation and foresight. It then occurred to him, that the whole Corelia affair might be just that. One big setup to make him do exactly what he had done. He had thought Corelia had tried to play him. Now he realized that they, too, were merely pawns on a much larger chess board. As space all around him lit up brightly Vince could all whistle in appreciation. Nicely done indeed.

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I took some liberties on the picture allowing the Barracuda to be hit more severely, rather than keenly evading everything.

Mirage and Barracuda models and design by me.
OC Vince Trageton by me
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