There’s a corporation in one of my systems called “Rampaging Alpacas”, which I think is one of the great corp names. Sadly, although they used to be numerous, they’ve suffered some sort of recent explosion, and yesterday when I looked they only had two members. I mention this because all of the players in today’s salvage operation were former members of Rampaging Alpacas but for one, who is still an alpaca. I don’t know why they are mostly now in NPC corporations, but today’s salvage operation would have been impossible otherwise, so I won’t complain.

Anyway, I warped to the belt in my salvage Crane, to find a former Alpacan mining into three numbered jetcans, in a hulk, mining drones out. Cool.

Closed slowly on the first can. It was full. That’s great — I flipped it — but it left me in a bind, because I’ve got a 2.5 minute wait before I can create another jet can. Sigh, can’t haul it all. Filled my Crane from the second can and warped home.

I decided to go back in the Iron Crowbar (as I call my favorite salvage Ferox) to guard my can and (if I’m lucky) secure some more ore.

Warped in at 20 clicks. There’s now a hauler present and only one “enemy” jetcan. I lock my own can and tractor it away from that immediate vicinity. Then I hit the afterburner and head in to see about flipping that other can.

By the time I get there, it’s only got about 10k cubic meters of ore left in it, but what the hey. I flip it, put it on tow, and go powering out of the belt.

When I get 20km past the first (full) Ironfleet jetcan, I drop the partial and pick up the full one, and then keep running for deep space. The idea here is to make it harder for them to flip it back, and to keep the can moving so that nobody can warp to zero on it. Then, once all agro is clear, I can come back in the Bustard and move it in one shot.

Normally that works. Today, an Iskur and a Scorpion showed up, and then the hauler pilot in a Caracal. The Hulk pilot (the only guy who can shoot at me) continues mining.

The Iskur immediately closes with me and launches five Tech II combat drones. I expect him to flip some or all of the ore and then dare me to shoot at him, which would be foolish insomuch as my Ferox is not optimized for catching small fast frigates with good skills.

Only, he doesn’t. He just chases me.

And chases me.

And chases me.

Much more slowly, the Scorpion and the Caracal also follow me. None of these characters has agro rights, so I’m not sure what the plan is. But they are all former corpmates, and I assume they have one.

Eventually I figure they must plan to flip the ore once I leave, and then haul it before I can come back for it. But, they don’t have a hauler present. Maybe they plan to flip it and then pwn my hauler when I come to take it back?

Dunno. But I’m now 200+ km from the belt, all agro timers have run out, so it’s time to move. Drop the can, bookmark it, and warp home for my Bustard.

Warp back (and this is key) 10km from the can. There I find the Caracal pilot, the Scorp pilot, and the Iskur pilot, sitting around drinking Quafe and admiring the jet can one of them has apparently just shat out. But my own can still exists, and nobody is flashing red. Lock the can, hit the tractor. ZOOMcan!

The Caracal pilot begins flashing red as my jetcan flies out of his range. He obviously managed to grab a cruiserload of ore, at least.

Then the can reaches me. It’s still virtually full — he must not have managed to flip any. Dump it all in my hold, warp home laughing.

There’s still another can back at the belt, 1/3 full, so I go back for that. Warp to it. It’s still there. Flashy red Caracal, and the Scorp, and the Iskur, all still there, out at 200 kilometers. Take ore, go home.

Now for some fun. Back in the Ferox. Warp to where the flashy red Caracal used to be.

Sadly, he’s not there no more; he’s 50 klicks away. What the heck, I approach him to see if he runs, and lock him. He locks me back. Iskur and Scorp are standing by, interested neutrals who cannot play. I hold my fire, turn on my afterburner, creep closer. He is running away as if to kite me, but I am catching him slowly, and he’s allowing it.

When I’m at point blank range, I turn on my warp scrambler, hit “keep at 500m”, overheat my afterburner, and start launching missiles. Then I launch drones. If he’s really the world’s slowest Caracal, he’ll be dead soon.

And he is. He starts shooting at me and trying to outrun my scramble range, but he can’t do it. He’s gonna die, while his friends watch helplessly.

This is where the alert readers will be smiling and saying “Marlenus, you don’t know dick about PvP.” Which is true. Because right then the Iskur starts bumping the crap out of me. It slows me down, the Caracal quickly gets out of scramble range, and warps away with dented armor.

So I begin to align for warp home. It’s going slowly, the Iskur is still bumping me and it looks like the Scorp is still trying to lumber into range to do the same. Interesting! Can they really keep me here long enough for the Caracal pilot to come back in something dangerous?

Answer: No. Once I remembered that my afterburner was still on, and turned it off, I was able to get aligned between bumps (nav skills for the win!) and warp out. But it was an amusing and very instructive encounter.

Not to mention: profitable.

One Response to “1.5 Jetcans of Ore”

  1. Alex says:

    Haha, very interesting encounter indeed.

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