"Shields Offline" said the AI calmly as Mel Corium began to panic, the multicannon's only taking a moment to reload before they'd start pelting his own hull and would eventually turn him to a frozen meat pie in space. The Reticle dot was aligned to Kroll's top right, where the FSD is, in his cobra and the targeting computer confirmed that the FSD was selected. With a flick Corium's finger presses the button to send the ball of hot plasma off the rails and at Kroll's ship. The slow moving plasma didn't seem to make its mark as Kroll simply rolled and continued in reverse, full pips in engines. Those multicannons... they finished reloading and were now nailing Corium's ship. The integrity number started dropping fast.
A moment of pure clarity came as Corium looked down to his ship's hull, as the number dipped under fifty. He knew if he did nothing then he'd die, if he ran.. he'd die, if he tried to jump out... he'd die... Then it hit him, Kroll's got Chaff.... and he was pirating for cargo, which meant he had to have had a scanner for that to make sure he was getting holds worth his time, which meant he didn't have point defense....It echoed in Corium's mind for what seemed like forever, ' NO POINT DEFENSE!" he yelled out as he threw the rest of the distributor energy into his engines and pushed forward on the cobra.
The targeting computer's locking tone dialed in and gave a clear high pitched tone as it locked Kroll's ship, he'd been trying to reverse fast enough to evade Corium that he'd forgotten to put energy back into his shield matrix, leaving them offline. "Rifle," Corium spoke as the AI confirmed, " Rifle One."
The Torpedo left the tube and flew its course, and the next second the audio comms were filled with Kroll's scream as the torpedo slammed directly into his cockpit, and exploded. The cracked cockpit glass behind the Info hologram signed bright blue as the indicator arrived for the collected bounty on Kroll's behalf.
The trip back to Herschel was long and hard as the ships overall integrity was less than 20%, leaving most the modules heavily damaged or malfunctioning. The moment those landing clamps made contact was the moment Corium could breath again. The engineers and mechanics moved to his ship and began their work as he departed to head to the local security office on the station.
The door to the security office slowly closed behind him as he entered with the ship's AI tablet in hand. He'd been scrapping he bottom of the barrel for a while now, looking for a big score, but finally got something that would help him greatly. The security officer gestured for the commander to sit down and get on about what he was here for.
" Claiming the bounty of Commander Kroll, ship scanners showed he had a bounty within the Imperial systems with a net worth of 836,000," claimed Corium as he handed the ship's kill log to the officer.
" Kroll... Kroll... Ah, here it is. Hmmm... Give me a moment. " The Security officer looked through the files on his display as Corium leaned back in the chair, waiting. "Says here you've got a rather large fine with the Federal Systems, care to pay it off with the bounty from Commander Kroll?"
" No thank you, my concerns with the Federation are far far far down on my lists of giving a fuck," Corium retorted, he indeed had a rather large payout in his name for the Federation and he was surprised the officer didn't simply shoot him on sight for it, " Just want the payout from Kroll and the I'm back to my ship. "
Two others entered the office while Corium was dealing with the officer but he didn't care to acknowledge them, he wanted his money and the he was gone. Unfortunately for Corium, he didn't acknowledge them," Commander, Mel Corium?"
" Yes?" he answered.
" We're here on behalf of the Empire due to the death of Commander Kroll, who was on a mission.. again.. on behalf of the Empire," spoke the man behind Corium, who had now turned around and noticed the regalia of the two that entered... they were Imperial Security, typically not seen outside their ships unless you fucked up while docked with a station.
" He's taken care of, no need to thank me. The man was out there killing helpless traders and miners and I was luck enough to encounter him and cashout on his bad luck," Corium laughed as he tooted his own horn.
" Commander, He was under order of Imperial Society to destroy traders and miners within the system regardless of his legality in doing so. In his destruction you have impeded Imperial forces during a military operation, you're under arrest," The officer said as he lowered his hand and placed it on Corium's shoulder.
"You're account is ready Commander, " The desk officer said as he hands back the AI tablet, " Sadly seems like you won't need it, oh well, " he laughs.