I have a confession to make.

After two years in EVE, until night before last I still didn’t have a jump clone. Expensive implants? Yes. (Why do you think I was so hell-bent on not getting caught during the INDY war?) But no jump clone.

It was a pride and faction thing, mostly. I don’t like doing missions well enough to grind the faction, and I love Ironfleet too much to take an employment history excursion into a high-faction corp. Besides, living and salvaging exclusively in high-sec, the only pod risk was during the odd war. It was never really an issue.

But, on the off chance that FW might turn out to be fun, I started doing missions for the first time about two months ago. (Don’t mistake me — I’ve seen missions, I spent months and months flying logistics ships for a friend in his level fours. But I’d never run my own.)

Missions went swiftly (especially level twos) in my Cerberus. But I never did more than about three a day, they were just too boring.

So along comes faction warfare. Jim was having great fun blowing up Thrashers in a big blob, so I decided it was time to get my damned clone and go get in on the fun. Sunday, I powered through a metric fuck-ton of missions. I got close, but not close enough. Then on Monday, I did as many more as I could find time for, and late Monday night, I finally broke 8.04, bought a jump clone, and jumped into it.

I immediately (yesterday) grabbed one of my old logistics Osprey fits from my mission-support days, and went out on fleet ops with RapidTaco and Boromor. Got in one good fleet fight with The Taco, he was primaried and calling for shields, and I was feeding them. It was fun. Who knew?

The other converging factor here is that Ironfleet is very flush right now. Remember when armor plates were useless salvage items? Selling for 200 ISK to speculators? Well, let’s just say that Ironfleet speculated heavily in “worthless” armor plates, then sat on them after the rig recipes were fixed to use them again, then sold them (a lot of them) when the price looked to be peaking between 150k and 160k ISK. All in all it was a speculation that unfolded over most of a year, but it was very very profitable. For the first time in my EVE career, I can afford to fly some nice ships into stupid situations and watch them go kaboom.

So, late last night and early this morning, I pulled one of my fancy rigged Basilisk TII logistics cruisers out of mothballs. I tweaked the fittings a bit, jumped it down to Nourv, and found RapidTaco pulling together a fleet. We headed out, chasing intel reports of various enemy concentrations. About an hour into the fleet OP, he asked us whether we’d like to go touristing into 0.0, which was nearby.

As it happens, we very much would like. And so, we did.

Somebody even said “Yarr!” (Possibly, that happened more than once, I couldn’t comment.)

If you told me, as recently as two weeks ago, that in two weeks I’d be sitting in my very expensive logistics cruiser in a sixty man fleet in zero-frickin’-zero, conducting military operations that were superficially similar in appearance to a 0.0 gate camp, I would have told you to stop smoking the crack cocaine. And yet, there I was, and it was cool.

I’m deliberately being a little bit vague about where we went, why we went there, and what we did. You’ll have to cope with that. Trust me, it was fun. And then we got word of a Gallente fleet, so we moved very rapidly in an attempt to, shall we say, insert ourselves up their pipe from the rear, if you catch my meaning and I think you do. Sadly, they scattered like baby rabbits when we hit their system, although we did catch and destroy two Dominix battleships.

We never got a big fleet fight, so none of the heavies on my watch list ever got primaried nor needed shield repair. I did minor shield touchups, mostly. But we did have a Kitsune who got taken into structure, and although I was too slow to help him during the fight, my armor repair drones were able to give him a full armor restoration in the field.

Word is that as we were going out, Boromor’s fleet was just coming back from a triumphant day in which they killed a dreadnaught, jumped some heavies into Gallente high sec to kill a gang on the gate, and then took an entire fleet of disposeable caracals into Gallente high sec, getting many more valuable kills from the surprised and outraged denizens.

I don’t know how I’d feel about it if I didn’t have more ISK to play with than usual, but right now I’ve got to say, this factional warfare stuff is being a whole lot of fun.

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