Undercover Report: The Screaming Eagles

Spotted with an unknown member

The briefing seemed to have lasted for hours when in reality it was only a few minutes. I was surprised to see so much progress in less than two days – we hadn’t gotten a lead in weeks and now I was off to meet a contact from the Screaming Eagles.

Not that I was looking forward to such a dangerous mission, but command gives the orders and I follow them. The hastily acquired Cobra MK III shuddered slightly as it dropped from out of witchspace. It was specially outfitted for my little infiltration: new transponders, registration number, and a paint job I wasn’t even sure had dried yet. With the scope clear, the flight over to Cleve Hub was short and uneventful.  The landing gear had hardly touched the deck when my comms lit up with a message from a ship far above me on the other side of the docking bay with the registered commander name ‘Mockomega’.

“Welcome to the station, Commander.”

I paused, unsure if I should respond. There was no way it wasn’t the contact, as my sensors were not picking up any other ships in the area. Time to see what that passphrase command dug up was any good.

“Colton sucks.”

I waited.

“Fly to Volta Station in the Kremainn system, we’ll have someone waiting for you. Good luck – you’re going to need it,” Commander Mockomega sent, before immediately launching his own Cobra MK III, boosting across the docking bay and out of the station entrance. As I launched my own ship and flew out of the no fire zone, I brought up the navigation menu and saw that the Kremainn system was just a short jump away.

Halfway to Volta Station a thought hit me – what if the passphrase had been wrong, and I was flying right into an ambush? The thought disappeared as I dropped from supercruise. Volta was nine kilometers away and even though there were no contacts on the scope I diverted power to the shields anyway, expecting the worst.

Only as the massive station grew in the viewport did I notice a bright ion flare from the station. An Imperial Eagle, painted black as the void of space, had hidden unnoticed among the station’s support structure, which the computer immediately identified as Commander Mesafalcon, leader of the Screaming Eagles.  Instead of firing, there was a comm channel request – I opened it.

“Greetings Commander,” said Mesafalcon without hesitation. I used the same passphrase from before.

“Excellent, I’m pleased to see you’ve arrived. Are you ready to begin your first trial?” I stopped, holding my breath – so far everything had gone smoothly but this was just the beginning. We had no intel on what the trials would actually be.

“Of course” I answered, hoping he wouldn’t pick up the nervousness in my voice.

“Then our first order of business will to be to send a message. The organization that oversees the mining operation in this system has been making our lives difficult recently. I think it’s time we taught them a lesson. follow me, Commander.” with that, Mesafalcon boosted away, heading for the ice rings of Kremainn 4.

We were greeted by an amazing site as we dropped into the resource extraction site, massive chucks of ice spun lazily, dwarfing the mining vessels moving between them.

“That one, there” said Mesafalcon, targeting a Diamondback Explorer that was using its mining laser to carve a trench into the ice boulder nearest to us. “You get ready for him to drop his cargo and I’ll take him out.”

“Acknowledged.” I said bluntly, taking a position out of the diamondback’s line of sight.

The moment our lasers flashed out to strike the shield, the pilot panicked and tried to boost away, spewing cargo as he went.  While I scooped up the cargo, Mesafalcon charged after him, a good hit to the starboard thruster sending the poor miner spinning out of control right into one of the immense towers of ice, blinding both of us momentarily with the reactor explosion.  Before I had a chance to congratulate my murderous wingmate on his latest kill, he shouted “Look out, the cops are onto us!”

With almost 7 kilometers distance between us and the security patrol, I was sure we could make it out on time, but as we boosted out of the mass lock zone one of the patrol’s Anacondas fired its railgun, knocking out my shield and damaging the frameshift drive.  Reacting instantly, Mesafalcon flipped his craft around and flew back towards the small fleet that was chasing us, multi-cannons blazing. In stunned silence I rebooted my FSD, I couldn’t believe he would take such a risk for someone he’d met less than 20 minutes before, but against the odds we both jumped to safety.

“Thanks for saving my ass back there, I really owe you one!”

“Don’t worry, you can pay me back by proving your worth to us, the eagles always look after their own.”

Over the next few hours we continued our raids, stopping supply convoys, taking a share of lone traders cargo, harassing the patrol ships. We even managed to intercept and destroy an Orca liner that was hosting the wedding of the security force commander, who was the puppet of a rival pirate faction. I mentioned that the small cargo bay of my Cobra was almost at capacity, and Mesafalcon directed me to follow him to Wohler Terminal.

“Make sure you hang on to that cargo,” he said. “you’re going to need it later”

As we docked at wohler, Mesafalcon began to tell me what the next trial would involve.

“This one will be a bit trickier” he bagan. “One of our rivals, another pirate called Denair, has been bribing the Kremainn security forces to do his dirty work. Our boss, Colton, was on his way to Eravate when he was captured. We know he’s being held on Denair’s ship in the Kini system, and you’re going to come up with a plan to rescue him!”

“Wait, shouldn’t you be the one rescuing your own leader?” I wondered aloud.

“Nah, this happens all the time, besides a pirate has to be able to think on his feet, this should make for a good test.” he answered, rather non chalantly for the situation at hand. “Now hurry up and launch, we don’t have much time.”

“Guess I’ll have to come up with something on the way there” I muttered as the FSD charged.  Kini was just another short jump away.

Eagles depart on another raid

Turns out the corrupt security commander that blew up with the rest of the wedding barge we intercepted was the key to Denair’s control of the Kremainn system, and if we had captured him a live he might have made a nice bargaining chip. But the thing was, Denair didn’t know he was dead, so I was betting it would work. Luckily on the way to the drop-point Mesafalcon called in two other members of the Screaming Eagles, Mockomega, the first contact I had met earlier, and Icarus Prime, a notorious criminal in the area surrounding Eravate.

As we flew out beyond the farthest planet’s orbit, the plan was finalized. Mesafalcon and I would handle the negotiation while the others kept watch for any suspicious activity.  When we dropped out at the coordinates Mesafalcon had uploaded to my ship’s computer, we we’re only greeted by the darkness of deep space. Then I spotted it, a black shard barely discernable from the background, it was an Anaconda, pretty bad luck for us in our fleet of tiny fighters. Closing the distance a bit, I saw that the only markings on the massive ship were crudely painted skulls, but the scan confirmed that it was definitely Denair’s ship. The comm channel opened between all 5 ships.

“Eagles!” Denair yelled angrily. “Come to get your boss back I take it”

Mesafalcon spoke up quickly – “Yes, our friend here has a little deal I think you might be interested in.” he sounded calm, a lot more calm than me.

“Well time is credits Commander. Luckily for you, I happen to have some spare time right now.”

With that I decided to launch straight into negotiation, might even take him by surprise. “Looks like your man from Kremainn is ours now. Turns out he should have had a bit more security at his wedding. So here’s my offer give us our boss and the security commander goes back where he belongs without a hair out of place, meaning you get control of the system again. What do you think?”

“What, Philip? Pah! That pathetic waste of space is barely fit to clean my chamber pot. His successor can be bought as easily as he was.”  So much for that plan, and we had made the mistake of not coming up with a backup.

“Did you have another deal in mind then?” I said, hoping not to be answered by a blast of multi-cannon fire.

“I like the cut of your jib.  You seem like quite the brave commander.  Tell you what, perhaps I will let this whole ordeal go if you are willing to show just how… scrappy.. you are. Pretty sure I could take on all of you right now!” This was exactly what I was trying to avoid, we didn’t stand a chance against the huge cruiser denair was flying. I was trying to come up with a new plan when Mesafalcon spoke instead.

“Hey Denair, if you want a fight so bad, why not make it an honour duel? If we win you give us the boss… and you join us.”

“Well, I’m not one to back down from a challenge. If you four are able to best me, you may have your commander back.”

“Then let us set the terms.” said Mesafalcon. “Rule one: This fight will be to the death, or surrender, and rule two: Nobody runs. Right then, we start in ten seconds.” Commander Mesafalcon started the countdown as we charged our weapons and made sure our fire groups were in order.  As soon as the countdown ended I hit the afterburner and flew right under the Anaconda, hitting the flight assist button and flipping the ship around at the same time. The Eagles had his shield at half strength by the time I had my weapons trained.  All four of us managed to outmaneuver Denair and take his shield down.  A few more hits to the engines and the massive ship was spinning out of control.

“I yield!” Denair yelled over the comm, while I could hear alarms and explosions in the background.

“Cease fire.” said Mesafalcon.  The other eagles were laughing at Denairs despair. “Well [REDACTED], Do you accept his surrender?”

“Of course” I said as I moved my ship into position to scoop up a stasis pod containing the Screaming Eagle’s leader. Denair had finally recovered from the most severe damage and began speaking. “There’s your Commander back. I must admit you Eagles have come a long way. Well played!” But Mesafalcon was eager for the other half of the deal.

“Denair, do you agree to join our ranks?”

“Not sure what use pirates would have for a legitimate businessman such as myself, but you have shown yourselves to work with honour and uphold your end of the bargain. I could see myself working with you.”

“Excellent, but we still have some business to attend to.” Mesafalcon said, before all 4 other ships deployed their weapons and turned towards me. I was sure I’d been found out.  Someone had leaked info, or worse, I was set up from the beginning.

“You’ve done well Commander [REDACTED], but there is still a third trial you must face, please shut down your shield.”

I hesitated, but if I didn’t comply there wouldn’t be a way to escape. I had no choice but to shut down the shield.

“Very good, now we will disable some of your systems, if you are honorable, you will not try running.” with that, my thrusters, frame shift drive and life support were destroyed almost instantly.

“We will discuss your performance today Commander, don’t go anywhere.” said Mesafalcon with a bit of sarcasm. I waited nervously, watching the timer on my life support readout tick lower and lower. I didn’t dare reboot any systems especially now that the Eagles were teamed up with Denair. When there were only 2 minutes left on the counter I finally got a reply from Mesafalcon.

“It’s settled, please state officially if you will welcome him into the Eagles. Denair?”

“Hmmm. I would say that they’ve  performed most admirably. Welcome aboard. how about you Icarus?”

“I, Icarus, will welcome him?”

“I, Omega… will tolerate him. For now”

“And I, Commander Mesafalcon, officially welcome Commander [REDACTED] into the Screaming Eagles. You have been beaten down and then restored to life as an Eagle. Like a phoenix, you rise again to uphold our virtues. Take up position on his wing boys, defensive formation. you may reboot commander, we’re escorting you to the station. After that you’re heading out to colonia with us, there’s a special plan for that place. now let’s get Colton back to base.”

“Wait, we’re going to colonia?”

MISSION CONCLUSION

In light of the information uncovered about the Screaming Eagles gang, all citizens heading for colonia should keep on the lookout for the following commanders

  • Mesafalcon
  • Icarus Prime
  • Mockomega
  • Denair

These pirate are usually seen flying eagles and cobras, with the occasional large loot hauler. All Colonia Citizens are advised to comply with their demands and report encounters to the militia as escape attempts will be extremely risky.

Commander Qwertyuiopas, Colonia Miliita Command
Photographs by Commander Qwertyuiopas, used with permission.

Editorial note: The Screaming Eagles is a roleplay-based pirate crew operating in the Colonia area and is not a KOS gank squad.  We feature them here because the Gazette supports all player groups that are dedicated to enriching the Colonia experience.

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