Deep fatigue had set in as Zakalwe made to leave the fifth sector. The flight from Federation space had not been easy and it seemed as if every new planet presented new enemies and challenges, threatening the long term success of their mission.
He hoped that Flere's running repairs were going well as he activated the latest log section for checking:
Jump 1 – Zakalwe had faced another easy choice as he decided to travel through a still resisting sector of Federation space rather than risking the Slug home worlds. His previous two meetings with Slugs had both led to their demise and he doubted the Phlebas would receive much of a welcome.
Jump 2 – Rebel incursions into this sector had obviously already begun as Zakalwe encountered an unshielded Rebel autoscout. He doubted it would be much of a challenge and two salvoes were indeed enough to take out the primitive craft.
Jump 3 – Another weak Rebel target appeared on the scanners as a lumbering transport hove into view. It dispatched two boarders to attack the Phlebas but luckily for the Federation crew they beamed back off before the transport blew up. Zakalwe managed to recover 40 Scrap and Flere's hacking skills revealed star charts and troop placements for the sector.
Jump 4 – The Phlebas stopped in at a Federation refuelling station. The owners were too beleaguered to offer supplies gratis but Zakalwe carried out minor repairs and stocked up on fuel and missiles. As an afterthought he also traded in his long range scanners for an automated reloader which would grant the ship better rapid fire capabilities.
Jump 5 – Although he had sold his scanners the captain of the Phlebas had made careful notes on their previous findings first. He suspected this distress signal would be a trap and turned out to be correct. The Pirate bomber turned out to be well armed and dangerous so the Federation ship charged its engines to flee and escaped without casualty.
Jump 6 – An empty sector proved perfect for running repairs. Zakalwe and Flere put out the fires in the computer room for Blast door control. They repaired the systems and then set off again.
Jump 7 – Zakalwe chanced that the advancing Rebels would be too slow to absorb a Store they had seen adverts for. He retraced his route but cursed as he saw that the Rebel fleet had moved forwards faster than he anticipated. The Store certainly wouldn't be serving Federation customers even if it remained operational.
Jump 8 – As the Phlebus entered orbit the crew noticed crackling distress signals from a nearby planet. Scanners indicated that a killer virus, possibly a biological weapon, had obliterated much of the biosphere. They quickly left to avoid any chance of infection.
Jump 9 – Zakalwe's luck held as they came across a triple shielded scout and were not attacked. With the weakened hull he feared the prospect of a fight and so was relieved that the scout's on-board AI was occupied with guarding a Rebel supply station.
Jump 10 – Such cowardice was rewarded as the Phlebus randomly came upon a supply train of small ships heading for the base. Laser fire rapidly disabled several of the craft and the crew came away with loot of 27 Scrap and a Small Bomb teleporter. Zakalwe mused on whether this would be more useful than their current Fire Bombs. It certainly required less power.
Jump 11 – The Phlebus reached the Exit sector and traded a stack of 12 useless Drone Pieces for a worthy 48 Scrap with a passing merchant ship.
(This is a game report taking a certain level of artistic license from the game 'FTL Faster than Light'. I'm flying a Zoltan cruiser, which I had the good fortune to unlock after only a couple of plays. Again a mixed performance in this sector and I've taken a bit of lasting Hull damage but any Store in the next sector will be able to rectify that.)