While returning to the Escalating Application on an independent freighter loaded with killsats and related gear, a team of Applicants consisting of Jarin, Alexei, Sarena, Mary, and Edward were forced to defend the freighter, its cargo, and crew from a team of pirates and their boxbot minions. Four boxbots attacked the forward compartment, two the rear, while four pirates and two boxbots attacked the main section, cutting into the hold and causing serious damage.
Fortunately for the defenders, the attacks were not well coordinated. Three of the forward invading boxbots were quickly destroyed or sent out into space, partly due to their own friendly fire, albeit with more collateral damage to the wildly spinning ship’s interior. Though dislodging the last was more difficult, it was accomplished successfully around the same time the pirates in the forward section and the boxbots in the rear section were able to cut or blast their way inside.
Being half-out of the ship after working hard to dislodge the last boxbot in her section, Sarena was able to identify the incoming boxbots and pirates, while Alexei moved into a firing position and the other Applicants rushed back to fortify the main section. Sarena took advantage of the rotating reference frame to strike the pirates on her section with an Overload grenade, followed by a thrown wasp knife which unloaded its payload in a stunned pirate’s chest. Alexei was able to gun down the pirate before he could recover.
The boxbots that had blasted their way in to the rear section unsuccessfully attempted to overwhelm its occupants with similar stun-and-gun tactic. Mary pushed a crate of decoy mini-satellites to cover the hole, but a misalignment only provided cover to the boxbots as they fired fragmentation rounds through the breach. Jarin was able to rush in and seal the hole before the situation could worsen.
With a moment of calm in the former section, the ship’s owner, Gray Xu, was able to exit her cabin and head to the bridge. Not long after, Sarena passed by in search of the pirate who had entered the ship and found him awaiting her at the intersection. They exchanged fire in the form of bursts from the pirate’s SMG and a heavy drive from Sarena’s particle beam bolter. Although she was hit and wounded, Sarena nevertheless fired an unwavering swath that propelled her opponent back to the wall beside the breach, voiding the contents of the pirate’s ribcage to space.
A breach was reported in the rear section where the engine was located, where no enemies had been identified. There was another violent explosion as the boxbots in the main section used a cutting charge to annihilate the box Mary and Jarin had used to seal the breach. At least four pirates were known to be waiting on the other side of the section where most of the Applicants had made their ‘fort’. The battle was far from over…