But that was by far not the weirdest incident on this otherwise uneventful roam.
Later - I was actually on my way back to Hevrice to call it a night - my scanner spotted a Thorax in Aeschee. It had not been renamed, so the pilot's identity was immediately apparent. Two months ago he got his capsuleer license. Showtime.
I managed to get a point on him and the ensuing fight hardly was a fight. He went down quickly without any resistance. Being the savvy businessman I most certainly am, I quickly locked and pointed his pod, asking for the usual rookie-fee of 5 million ISK. He decided not to pass on this exclusive offer and paid without any fuss.
A model customer indeed, who greatly contributed to the whole procedure going along smoothly from beginning to end.
But I promised this to get weird, didn't I?
Well, I had not looted the wreck yet, so I went to rummage through the cruiser's remains. I was pleased to collect a pair of meta 4 medium railguns and some other named modules. "That's nice," I thought as I was warping to a safe spot, "now let's see how much this stuff is actually wor- SWEET MERCIFUL MOTHER OF BOOTY!"
I was checking on a hardly spectacular power diagnostic system - regional markets however sold it for fifty million ISK. It was no faction equipment, nothing you would find in any complex; the thing was you couldn't find it anywhere anymore, markets being the exception. Archaic, outdated technology, not being produced anymore, but still worth a small fortune to collectors.
So this is how I swooped roughly 70m from Belgardion in one go.
I knew now his clone must have been worth a lot more than 5 million ISK, but I couldn't care less. It just could not have possibly gotten any better, really.
Except that it did, right the next evening.
I found Hevrice to be unattended when I headed out. Some young pilots seemed eager to seize this opportunity. Can't have that, naturally. While waiting out my global criminal countdown, a Merlin decided to play. But neither can we have that - piracy is serious business after all.
Now this of course isn't better than getting 70 million ISK out of one engagement. But three kills within 20 minutes is quite a good omen for things to come.
I wouldn't be disappointed: Belgardion was in Aeschee. It was time to look for that ratting boat of his.
There was no such thing to be found. Instead, "Belgardion's Iteron Mark II" presented itself on scan. And of course I was able to narrow him down to an asteroid belt. Oddly, he wasn't there.
But he had not moved, either. Further scanning pointed me to Aeschee IV's only moon. And a small control tower. Nothing else.
"He can't be serious" is what I must have thought while warping in, landing right on top of his industrial.
There was no way he could have threatened my Taranis as I pointed him. Another ransom was due:
Jaxley > Hello again.
Jaxley > I wonder what your ship has loaded. 20 million to buy it free?
Belgardion > Hello again.
Belgardion > Actually, I don't have nothing.
Jaxley > Well, your pod was worth something yesterday.
Jaxley > It won't be at risk for the same sum.
Belgardion > Yes, you're right. Here's the money.
Jaxley > Always a pleasure doing business with you.
Jaxley > Thank you.
Sigh. I played with the thought to demand 50 million ISK. He was sitting next to his undefended tower after all, wasting no thought about setting it up in one of the most hostile systems around. And he didn't hesitate to fit a 50 million ISK module before on a cruiser he could barely fly. I'm sure his cerebral cortex was plastered with some of the most expensive implants to date, I'm sure he had the money, I'm sure he would have paid up.
You just got to be baffled in the face of a fellow this clueless, who throws ISK around in such vast proportions. And apparently, you also grow soft.
I informed him about the danger of setting up a control tower in a place like Aeschee and referred him to EVE University before disconnecting him from my channel.
This already rather entertaining episode didn't end there just yet. Yes, it gets even better.
He kept warping to the moon - now safe from me, but nobody said anything about my corporation. So being the good comrade I most certainly am, I informed other Tuskers about this curious fellow in the helpless ship, who had enough ISK for everybody. Noir Avla thus made haste to the moon for some bonus cash.
Belgardion managed to escape this time, but - as Noir noticed - not before he commanded his tower to unanchor.
If you take another look at the ransom negotiations, you will see that it did not involve the control tower in the slightest way. It was still fair game for me as well as for everyone else.
I therefore went to get an industrial myself, while Noir made sure the unanchored tower would stay where it was. A short while later, I loaded the 100 million ISK package into my cargo hold. The path back to Hevrice was clear and the tower safely stored, ready to be thrown on the market.
If it does get any better than this, I would very much like to hear. You really can't expect me to believe you, though.