I got my first good scare in weeks, playing Eve today.

I’ve got a salvage Merlin that’s all about speed. Salvagers up top, salvage rigs aboard, speed fittings in the lows. It’s specialized for salvaging wrecks that, shall we say, I did not cultivate.

With those salvage rigs fitted, it’s a very expensive Merlin, and I would hate to lose it. So normally, when flying the Miniluxe Salvager, I avoid the wrecks that have loot in them (this will change after tomorrow’s patch).

So, today. Sweep of the belts. Cleaning up empty wrecks. Ignored three corp-branded wrecks in the first belt that still had loot in them.

Finished the belt sweep. On my way back to the station. I’m docking anyway, why not stop by and clean up those three wrecks?

Warp in. There are the four wrecks again, lock ’em and get to work.

About the time I clear the loot from the first wreck, my brain kicks in.

Wait a minute, four wrecks? I could swear there were three here just mere moments ago. It’s odd for somebody to pass through and pop a rat that fast…

And as my eyes flicked nervously to the overview, *blink* there’s now a frigate-sized icon on it, 30 clicks away. Click, Manticore? Stealth Bomber? Targetting me? FLASHING RED? RED? RED? WARP YOU LAZY ENGINE ROOM SODS, CRUISE MISSILES INCOMING! WARP! WARP LIKE YOU’VE NEVER WARPED BEFORE! OMG There go my shields WARP DAMMIT WARP I SAY!

My warp was slow and inelegant, because I was bobbing on the wreck. The first salvo hit me and ate about three quarter of my shields, and I was gone (with much screaming) before the second salvo hit. In subsequent conversation with the very cool Manticore pilot, I found out just how lucky I was. He’d had the skills to fly his Manticore for just a couple of hours, and he didn’t have the fitting skills to fit all three cruise missile launchers, nor all the ship and missile skills to make them extra deadly. But even so, his first salvo hit me for 367 points, and my ship has less than 1200 points total. If I’d stayed stuck on that wreck for another couple of salvos, it would have been very ugly indeed.

All’s well that ends well, as they say. But, having been on the receiving end of a stealth bomber for the first time in my Eve career, I’ve gotta say, they don’t feel quite as worthless as the forum warriors claim they are. With better skills he could have instapopped me, and if I had been just a smidge more inattentive, he’d have got me anyway.

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