Lowsec Is Dead

Or so they say.

I was just about to kick off my regular roam when I noticed Suzu Fujibayashi on local comms. We've run into each other a couple of times, so I assumed her in an assault frigate, probably Gallente.

I hopped into my Vengeance and undocked. Suzu's Tristan was sitting right next to the docking bay. As I was pondering about re-shipping to level the playing field, Suzu charged me guns blazing. Two blasters and two rocket launchers were tearing into my armor at point blank, but I knew it was nothing the Vengeance couldn't handle. Thus I got to enjoy me some loot delivered to my doorstep, minutes after I had me plugged into my pod. Not that I was proud of dispatching a respected opponent's frigate that easily, but a decent way to get the day started regardless.

A little while later I headed out in a stealth bomber, equipped with two warp scramblers and close range guns. I was expecting an industrial pilot, who frequents Jovainnon to take care of some business around the local customs offices. Her Mammoth had escaped me before, thanks to warp core stabilizers.

I was sitting there cloaked for quite a while. Sadly no industrials bothered to show up.

At some point Valgore requested some firepower for taking down a Dominix Navy Issue he was about to probe out. A few Tuskers took up the call immediately, and I as well went to get my Hurricane. When I reached the gate to Lisbaetanne, Valgore had just entered warp to tackle the battleship.

When Valgore appeared about 60km away from the Navy Dominix, its pilot must've shut down everything in panic, as he dropped out of local comms. He was hoping for the emergency warp protocol to save him, but Firetails tend to be quite fast. The package was safely pointed and all I had to do was close in and whack it open. Loot piñata, best piñata.
(High sec incursions must really make some stupid amounts of money...)

Later that day we had another well known visitor: the illustrous Lady Spank, out in a Tristan as well and looking for some nice duels. Tusker Cable Udan was the first to oblige and got his Rifter exploded. I proceeded to avenge my fallen comrade undocking my own Rifter. It also got exploded - in a rather embarrassing fashion. Pro tip: don't wait to switch on your repair module until a quarter of your armor is already gone.

I didn't want to let Spank depart Hevrice 2 for 0. This time I chose a Punisher, its guns loaded with Fusion ammo, expecting the Tristan to try exploiting my weaker tracking and range control.

We met up at top planet once more and commenced the boat violence. It quickly became apparent that Spank wouldn't close in this time either. All I could pretty much do was overheat everything (as it is custom in the old and honorable way of the lone frigate samurai), activate my guns, afterburner and repair module and watch.

Both our little armor bars were steadily declining, yet flickering back up a bit with each repair cycle. Our distance was bobbing between about 6 and 7.5km. Eventually we both entered hull, a small sliver of armor still creeping back up on each side now and then. In the end we both agreed that it was quite the good fight.

On a sidenote, Spank's rigs were dastardly clever choices. The ambit extension gives the neutron blasters some deadly range, which won't have to worry about opponents coming close either. That's why it can afford to get slowed down by an anti-explosion pump, which boosts up the resistance against the damage type it will most likely have to tank. Long story short, I shall steal this fit.

I was pretty much about to call it a day, exhilarating as it had been. Before going to bed I needed to scout the high sec gate for one of our haulers. To be quick about it, I picked a Taranis. As I was confirming that the gate was clear, Cable called for assistance. His Hurricane had a Proteus pointed at the other side of Hevrice. No time for re-shipping, so I dashed for the belt right away.

As I arrived, Cable reported to be in bad shape, given his ship was fit for kiting but got tangled up in the tech 3 blaster boat's webifier. I dove in close to put a scram and web on it myself, maybe giving Cable enough of a speed advantage to escape. Unfortunately his Cane went down; now the Proteus turned its guns on me.

They couldn't turn quick enough however - even webbed, my Taranis was able to avoid any incoming fire. Tusker reinforcements arrived eventually and the Proteus went down, leaving behind some tasty modules too. Bringing them home rounded off this day nicely.

"Lowsec is dead", they say.


Spirit of the Season

I can't remember a lucky streak like the one I've been enjoying in the recent weeks. It sure didn't end with that mining Navy Megathron from my previous blog post.

Killing my first tier 3 battlecruiser on my own (in a fierce 2 on 1 battle, no less) is worth a mere sidenote next to other crazy and much more profitable engagements.

Two days ago I caught some talk about some Vargur running a mission in Jovainnon, while Taurean and I were busy a few jumps further out. Between scanning and pondering tactics, I bothered to ask what a Vargur was anyway. Once I was told it was a marauder class battleship, I suddenly became much less busy busy and made haste heading back.

By the time Taurean and I were in position, our tackler Konig was lamenting his cruel fate - apparently he got popped messing up his orbit someway. The next bits of intel informed our little fleet that the Vargur had docked and logged off.

However, the marauder had returned after our guys' first attempt to pin it down. I also learned that it had managed to escape after destroying a Lachesis of ours. Yikes.

To make sure it came back a third time and actually stay put, I suggested to bring my Stiletto and position it near the mission gate. I would then log off and wait for our scout's mark to log back in as soon as the Vargur was back on its way to the site.

Luckily, the Vargur pilot did indeed return and warp where we wanted him. Seconds later the marauder was pointed. With that out of the way, our next step was bringing in some boats that packed some punch. Why yes, we had quite the thorough organization going. Seriously though, the whole episode started off bad and just refused to get any better; I was starting to worry how we'd mess it up next.

I could persuade my fellow Tuskers to ransom the guy ("I'm spacepoor, remember?") and invited him to our ransom channel. He complied easily enough to stop shooting, so we could negotiate the terms in a civilised fashion. Another Tusker chimed in that he could bring a ship scanner, so we told our customer to please stand by for a moment.

As it turned out, the marauder had some pretty expensive gear fitted. We agreed to offer safe passage for 1.5 billion Internet Spaceship Kurrency. His counter offer consisted of one fully fitted Heavy Interdictor. We respectfully declined and proposed that he should eject from his ship, saving his pod and his assumed head full of implants.

His final rejection forced us to unleash a storm of DPS upon him. Yet somehow our Hurricane, Malediction, Wolf and Stiletto failed to make any sort of dent into his active shield tank. Worse, the Vargur forced our Hurricane off the field - despite two tracking disruptors on him. Why yes, we began to feel faintly foolish by all this.

With our pathetic little pool of less than effective ships, we pleaded for assistance in our intel channel (in retrospect, I should've just gone and get my Cruor, leaving Taurean to the tackling).

As soon as Tsubutai was done mocking us, he had the grace to jump clones and bring his Machariel into the fray. Shortly thereafter the Vargur exploded, which gave me the chance to lock the pod and see it warp off... I did have my point cycled, do you think I'm stupid? You're stupid!

At least things didn't end as badly as they started and we got roughly a billion ISK out of the wreck.

But wait, there is more!

Earlier today I was hauling some assets from Hulmate to Hevrice. I made the four jumps in my Stabber Fleet Issue, packed my stuff and was on my way home again soon enough. Back in Jovainnon, there was a neutral Harpy sitting on my in-gate. No point risking my cargo under sentry guns, so I engaged warp to Hevrice gate.

Interestingly, the Harpy had a lock on me right as I was done aligning and in warp. If it was ready to engage, I would happily oblige. The Harpy followed me eagerly and buzzed around me for a bit. Micro warp drive and rail guns, also interesting.

It was orbiting me at about 12km when it opened fire and put a warp scrambler on me. I casually flicked on my own overheated scrambler, webifier and afterburner and started to approach the assault ship. This expert maneuver I spontaneously dubbed "Osnap, son" was super effective.

The Loot Fairy, obviously struck by a festive mood, granted me all but one of the Harpy's faction modules. Merry Christmas.



I brought my Stabber Fleet Issue to Adirain, where two rookies in cruisers were merrily ratting together. They eventually ended up in a belt with an unaffiliated Thrasher. When I arrived at the belt, no one was shooting anyone. A peaceful scene, disrupted by me laying into the Omen. Both his Maller friend and the Thrasher had the sense to flee.

As I was looting the wreck, I noticed new locals and checked my scanner. It showed a Megathron Navy Issue. A second later, the thing fell right into my proverbial lap.

Okay, I thought, You can do this! This is why you got this boat! Get right under his guns, pray he doesn't have two neuts and focus down the drones first!

I hit orbit and pulled range. Wait, why was I pulling range? I checked and the button said 1500. I realized the new orbit storing must be bugged as I was drifting out of scram range. In the ten seconds it took me to re-establish point, I noticed hardly any incoming damage. [Looking at the footage, I never hit the orbit button and just over-shot in my excitement.]

Turned out he was completely helpless; i.e. not going anywhere, not doing any harm to me, losing armor damn fast. It was time to invite him for a chat. Doing so, I noticed the Thrasher nearby again, no new pilots in system. The Thrasher landed and attacked me.

I lazily assigned my drones to beat up the young destroyer pilot, ordering the Navy Mega pilot to cease fire if he wanted to save his ship.

No answer. New people entered the system, the Maller was on scan again. As good a time as any to finish this flying pinata. The Thrasher wasn't looking so good either, but kept firing heroically.

Pop went the Thrasher, pop went the pile of half a billion ISK.

I looked at the killmail.

Then I almost pulled a muscle bursting into laughter.