The weekend allowed no time for Freelancing but I’m back in business again beginning with finding a guy called Hovis, who allegedly is close to Quintaine. Like just about everyone else in this universe, he is hanging around in the bar. He wont give me any information unless I beat him in a race of all things.
I was hoping for a footrace Decathlon style, but this being a space sim it’s the usual fly through hoops affair you always see in these games. This proves to be really, really easy to win even if my ship doesn’t look like its built for speed. He does pull a fast one at the end setting a load of gun turrets on me but I ignore them and fly on to win at a canter.
I forgive and forget about the little gun turret incident and Hovis comes through with the information that Quintaine is on a space station so near I can pretty much see it from here. I fly over and he is already coming under attack from the pesky Rheinlanders who I see off before docking. After a more than frosty reception, Quintaine refrains from throwing me out of an airlock and agrees to come with me when I reveal that I have the artefact.
It’s around this point that I start to come up against an increasing number of larger ships. A torpedo launcher of some description is looking like a good idea but so far I only ever buy the equipment I need after the fact. We still make it safely back to Leeds but there are yet more Rheinlanders poking about. Quintaine tells us how a mysterious figure called Kress warned him before going into hiding and gave a clue where to find him if he ever needed a safe haven. This looks like as good a time as any to take him up on that offer and we all head off, except for Tobias who is safer left out of it.
There is a cutscene on launching showing us all flying to the jump gate. The detail on the ships is impressive and seeing the pilots on the inside I cant help but be reminded of Star Citizen. One of the real problems with the POV in this game is that all this detail in these ships is lost on me most of the time. The only ships I ever get a good look at are my own.
Predictably, given the cutscene, we are attacked at the jump gate when two Rheinlanders come out of cloak. We see off one but the other cloaks again and goes to get reinforcements. What follows after are a series of larger battles culminating in the jump gate out of system having a cruiser parked on it. Tobias decided we needed some help after all and shows up around this point to help in destroying it.
After a lot more running and a pit stop on another station to get instructions as to Kress’ whereabouts, we are given some coordinates to head to. When we get there, it looks like the entire Rheinland fleet ever a step ahead had the same idea. We need another last-minute offer of help at this point, and as luck has it, Kress’ fleet shows up to lend a hand. This still doesn’t make life easy but we destroy every Rheinland ship, then fly off to meet Kress.
His crew is about as pleased to see us as Quintaine was but Kress himself is far more helpful even if he is working for The Order who are in theory a terrorist group. He says he is on the side of peace and the news reports exaggerate the truth. Quintaine chooses to reveal at this time that he needs the Proteus Tome to complete his work translating our artefact. This sounds to be an alien Rosetta Stone and is in safekeeping in a museum. I turn down the offer of Kress letting his agent retrieve it and head there with Juni to do the work myself.
The flight there is uneventful for once, but I do pass through possibly the best looking bit of space yet including a giant ringed purple planet. I’m curious to fly into the rings and see if they turn into asteroids but I’m running out of time so I leave it for now and meet up with The Order’s agent, Lord Hakkari. He basically tells me to wait for him to sort it out. We aren’t happy with this option and Juni decides to stay and work on getting the Tome herself leaving me once again to my own devices.
That was one long and convoluted mission with a lot more twists than I included in the write-up. If the purpose of the plot is a gradual tour of the Freelancer universe, it’s doing a good job of it. Every one of these plot missions always leaves me feeling like I need a better ship. I have plenty of spare cash, maybe 70,000 at this point but I’m not seeing anything worth spending it on. Fingers crossed I can find a better ship/weapons dealer in this system.