Friday, 5 March 2010

Capsuleer Log Entry: 050310:05

Last week I get a convo from an old mate, Q’ui, informing me she’s been inventing t2 rigs. She’s teetotal, and I can’t normally stand a sober capsuleer, but she does happen to know her stuff when it comes to invention. So when she offers me some of her wares at mates rates I jump at the chance. “Well I’ve not lost an Ares for ages now, so sure why not, I’ll pimp a few up” I justified.

I really have improved on my inty flying in the last few months, so it made sense to start upping my gear. Of course it did cross my mind that saying this out loud was going to jinx my survivability, but what the crap.

Later that evening I hopped into an Ares and joined a friendly fleet roaming near Intaki. Sounded like I had missed most of the action and the FC was slowly moving everyone to Villore to dissipate, but hopeful for a catch along the way I caught up and started scouting ahead.

Almost home we start getting reports of a Caldari fleet moving through high-sec and sure enough as I reach Erme about 20 orange stars pop up on my local channel.

Things started to get a little chaotic, the targets appeared to either be separating or not all part of the same group and various reports were coming in over coms about their individual movements. Several were known to be heading back to Old Man Star, the closest low-sec system. Most of the fleet went off to chase them but on a hunch that something more interesting might turn up I set my destination to the nearby trade & mission hub Dodixie.

Flying scout often offers a certain freedom from the main fleet. Following intuition can take time and is not always fruitful, but I am learning to listen to that inner voice and today I was in luck.

As I made my way through each stargate the swarms of Gallente Navy Police ships gave away the route taken by the Caldari. When I reached Dodixie I found around 15 targets in system.

I start warping to various points in an effort to pinpoint their exact location. I had an idea they would set up a ganking formation round the most popular station but unfortunately it seemed they had decided to cut their trip short and did not hang about for long. As their numbers dropped from the local system populous channel I hastily sped to what I hoped was their outgate, in an effort to keep tabs.

My own fleet had enjoyed a light skirmish in OMS and were now docking for a night in the bar, but a few scouts kept reporting intel and some remaining fleet members were on standby should anything interesting get pinned down.

The Caldari were certainly heading home but obviously knew what had happened in OMS and gone for a back-route. I have a tendancy to stick to the wellworn pathes so heading into this largely unfamiliar territory I had my work cut out trying to keep up with them.

I found myself flying closely with another scout from MENTL who was also trying to keep tabs. Perhaps between us we could catch a straggler and hold them down long enough for the dps to arrive. Hell if we got 'em in Gallente high-sec we wouldn’t even need to wait for our fleet, the Navy would finish them off soon enough.

But chasing started to get tough. Time after time I would land a split-second too late, or worse the target fleet would go offensive and sit waiting for me to land at 0. There they would lock me up and force me through the gate whilst they quickly moved off to another exit. I would jump back as quickly as the gate staff allowed and attempt to pick up the trail or guess at their direction. They lead me on quite a merry chase and in the end shook me off long enough to scupper any chances of a high-sec straggler catch.

Once we reached familiar low-sec territory I gave up trying to follow and just burned toward their obvious destination, Tama, which is next to Caldari high-sec.

By this point, although my own fleet was largely finished, friendlies seemed to be appearing all over the place and I had heard that another Gallente fleet was soon to reach my destination from the other direction. I’m getting pretty itchy for a kill by now and hope that I can still pull something off before the squids get home.

I jumped into Tama way ahead of the war targets, who seemed to be taking their merry old time about it, and held my cloak. On the other side a hostile Rifter was engaging a friendly militia member. I can’t remember his ship, the thrill of the chase had my adrenaline pumping and in a moment of blood sighted reaction I went for the Rifter. Burning out to shake off my jump cloak I locked and pointed the target, preventing him from escaping.

Of course just as I was doing this part of the fleet I had been following jumped into Tama and went for me. I hadn’t made enough range from the gate and found myself pointed, not a good thing at all. Overheating my mircro-warp drive I tried desperately to move out of range without losing point on the Rifter. I knew friendlies were close now and surviving for a few more seconds would change the fortune of this engagement... but it wasn’t meant to be. The enemy hit home and my alarms started screaming. A pretty explosion put another Ares wreck on my tally.

As I moved my pod out of danger the friendly fleet started to arrive in system, the Commander of which I knew well. “Ah late as usual Mr Desire” I commented in our shared intel channel. “Yes!” came the simple reply.

Heading home, to lick my wounds and ponder the end of my “not loosing interceptors” streak, a new convo popped up, it was Q’ui again. “Hi Eelis, check your contracts, the small t2 rigs are ready to go”.

I sighed inwardly and accepted the contract. Perhaps I’ll save them for when I’m not feeling quite so gung-ho.

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