Today I was flying about in a belt in my newest (shiny!) Prowler when I spotted an oddity.

I like oddities; they usually spell opportunity.

Today’s oddity was a Retriever, jet can mining, flying three TII drones. Usually Retriever = newbie miner = tech one drones.

So I took a second look. He was sharing a jet can — his jet can — with a Hulk. The Hulk pilot had corp and alliance tickers, but the Retriever pilot, tigris32, was Science and Trade Institute (starter NPC corp) and was a full two and a half years old. I thought about that for a second, and guessed that he was alt hauler for the Hulk pilot, who must have decided to put him to work. So, I started creeping (still cloaked) toward the can.

Before I got there, the Retriever pulled his drones in and flew away.

To get the hauler? Looks like it; the jet can is full.

Now, normally I haven’t been a can flipper, not in the pure sense of trying to use the flip to fool the other pilot into “stealing” from me unwittingly. That’s just not got a high enough success rate for me; jet can miners tend to pay better attention.

But, there’s nobody around, the Hulk pilot probably has no eyes in this grid at this moment. I flipped the can, moved a way a little bit, and cloaked. Worth a try.

Rumble rumble rumble, here comes tigris32 in a Badger II. He swoops right to the can, and without any hesitation at all he starts flashing red to me.

Uncloak, start locking, lock lock lock, warp scramble, missles away! (I really enjoy it when I get to play the Romulans.)

I’ll give him this much, as Badgers go, this one had some crunch. But he never had a prayer:

2008.12.25 01:33:00

Victim: tigris32
Corp: Science and Trade Institute
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3357

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3357

Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Shield Recharger I
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 30
Cargohold Optimization I, Qty: 3
‘Anointed’ I EM Ward Reinforcement
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Small Shield Booster I
250mm Light Carbine Howitzer I
Heat Dissipation Field I
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 962 (Cargo)
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

After he went pop, I scooped his modules, and one of the three giant secure containers that fell out, and as much of the ore as would fit. Then I moved away some and cloaked again.

By now his egg is gone. What will he come back in?

Would you believe, he came back in a Navy Raven?

I just watched from under cloak for awhile. Eventually, he flipped the Ironfleet can back into one of his. Normally I’d have stalked him until he parked the Raven, then tried again to get the ore; but I had a real-world obligation. So, instead, I crept out to about 30 clicks, orbited the can, and uncloaked long enough to blow it with one missile. His cruise missiles, I’m pleased to report, were plenty survivable; I couldn’t have tanked them forever, but as expected, I had lots of time to blow the can and warp out.

He had stuff to say in local in an unknown language.

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