Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 292

Entry: two hundred ninety-two.

After some consideration, I've left my now previous corp with some friends, Crimson Light Horse Brigade, and joined them to form Spartan Guard. We declared three wars almost right from the outset.

Having never been in a war before, I never realized how painful finding a war target could be. The target might be docked, at a safe spot, or winging by in a shuttle. This on top of the fact that it can be easy to lose a target in one of those transit hub systems.

You know the kind, they have five plus jump gates in them. Unless you're right on the guy's heels, you might never find him, much less catch him.

I did manage to snag ten kills today despite that. That includes pods however, so only three involved an actual explosion.

The first kill, or rather kill plus pod, was a ratter. That's right, he was ratting, but at a celestial beacon which I rather stupidly forgot to check, and thus had to wait at a likely exit gate for him to come to me. As luck would have it, he did, and in a Catalyst no less versus my Rifter. He should have been able to smash me into dust, but given his age, he likely has not seen much combat, and that led to his downfall and subsequent mental transference into a brand new body. He was on autopilot, and I orbited him tightly, raking into his shields, armor, and hull with fiendish rage. When he appeared in his pod, it suffered the same fate.

After this fight, I joined a fleet with Dread Delgarth and went about searching out more targets. After some fruitless searching, Dread Delgarth managed to lure out a Battlecruiser, a Drake. He had had an unfortunate run in with the pilot of this cursed Drake earlier and was nearly blown up.

This had encouraged the enemy. The Drake pilot he had fought earlier was feeling like he could take on Dread Delgarth. Delgarth had, of course, changed to a more traditional Drake fit, and could easily outclass the other pilot on his own. As they began the engagement, Dread gave me the go ahead to jump in system and engage.

Without fail, I warped to the wrong station.

I got the correct station from Dread and then I warped to the correct station this time, outside of which the engagement was taking place, and opened fire in my Wolf on the aforementioned Drake.

This is where the situation would have gone badly for Delgarth had I not come in: The Drake pilot had friends, and they both warped in as well. One was in a Stabber, one in a Bellicose. Even though Delgarth was more than capable of destroying one or even two of them by himself, the combined forces of three would likely have cost him his ship, undoubtedly more expensive than the Drake which we toasted earlier.

But since I was there, we made short work of the Stabber, and then the Bellicose. The Bellicose pilot had the misfortune of being the last to blow up, and had the misfortune of also being podded.

We looted the wrecks as much as we could, with their spy ex-corpmate Manik holding position in an industrial ship right near one of the wrecks. I took what I could, then destroyed the wrecks.

We took a short break. Or rather, we meant to. On the way back to base, I came across another war target.

I came across him via looking at local. I knew what he could fly somewhat and not effectively, so I waited at a gate for him, wondering if he was actively participating in the war against us. As it turned out, he did not exit the system via my gate, which led to his corp's staging area. With my little history of him, I reasoned that I knew where he lived and that I should head that way in the hopes of catching him for another kill.

I tracked him. I had to follow him for four jumps before I managed to get just enough ahead of him that I could destroy his ship and take his loot before he could leave. Without hesitation, I opened fire on his shuttle, which was on autopilot in a time of war, and then his escape pod.

We had a convo afterwards, and it turns out that he had no idea we were at war. His CEO seems not to have told him. That sucks for him, and his corp, since first blood was drawn in self defense. Second blood as well.

After this rather vindictive yet unsatisfying kill, Ranger reported that he had maneuvered nearby to some miners and a hauler. On an high, and in my Wolf, I asked where.

"It's in Amarr space."

Of course it was. Of course. I can't fly into Amarr space without the Amarr navies trying to roast me on a spit. Feeling a bit drugged on adrenaline though, I bit the bullet and go for it. I flew deep into Amarr territory, outrunning the Navy at every turn. Warp, jump, warp, jump...twelve times. And our targets were spread out three jumps prior to the system I needed to get to, so of course, the targets were warned, and they got away, and docked up.

So there I am, deep in Amarr territory, constantly warping around, staying ahead of the Navy, and then I jump into the target system seeing a war target go through.

I had no idea what was waiting for me on the other side, but I didn't fly into space where my head is worth untold fortunes to turn back. I jumped through and immediately attacked the man that went ahead of me, a war target. I pummeled him even as the Imperial Navy assaulted me. I took him and his silly escape pod out while under fire, and warped away to evade the Navy yet again.

After that, the kills ceased coming in, and after hunting rather fruitlessly for an hour, my corpmates and I made our way back to base. I made sure to loot wrecks that didn't belong to me on the way, trying to get someone to shoot at me so I could blow them up. Alas, it was not to be.

All said and done, even though they were relatively new capsuleers, I cost one corporation at least sixty million ISK. This estimate does not include lost implants from poddings, which no doubt numbers in roughly the hundred million ISK range, assuming a decent set of plus three implants. For hi-sec miners and industrialists and missioners, it's not easy replacing those things.

There were plenty of opportunities for them to kill me. Like when I jumped in to attack that last frigate. If three out of eight of them had shown up and attacked me I would undoubtedly have lost my ship, and it would have been a well deserved victory. The first batch of killings was close, except for me being there, but another few of them would have made all the difference and probably done us in.

But this is how I learned. Through failure. The resolve to become better is what gets you through and makes you more able, more experienced, and in this way, more deadly.

Computer: terminate recording.

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