It had to happen sometime. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that it should happen on the day that I was burbling happily about the profits to be had in w-space.

During the day, today, I spent quite a lot of time probing down all the signatures in Greater Mars. In the process, I discovered that all the fresh grav sites had small Sleeper spawns waiting to be harvested; and I also determined that there were a number of new Cosmic Anomalies to stomp flat. So, I dug out the Drake and started with the easy stuff, stomping Sleeper frigates and the odd cruiser, while the Empress of Greater Mars cleaned up the loot and salvage in a tiny frigate of her own.

I think we’d killed five, maybe six, sets of Sleeper frigates and cruisers when it happened. I was clicking the directional scanner frequently; she was (supposedly) probing to watch for new ships in the system. Apparently, mistakes were made. Somebody got careless.

Surprise was total.

She saw it first — a Broadsword heavy interdictor skidding out of warp right on our heads. Bad news. She attempted to boogie.

My Drake, on the other hand, wasn’t going anywhere. There was a bubbly thing. I’m very vague on the technology used by heavy interdictors, but I’m pretty aware that once they grab you, you stay grabbed. On the third hand, by reputation they have fearsome tank but limited ganking power. My Drake, on the fourth hand, has a bit more gank than your average Drake; so I figured my only (weak) hope was to stay and slug it out. Maybe the pilot is underskilled, maybe by some miracle he’s flying alone, maybe I’ll get lucky. So I turned on my warp disruptor, launched my drones (Yay! I remembered my drone bay for once!) and attempted (without much optimism) to punch my way out of trouble.

The Empress, meanwhile, did not succeed in her first warp attempt, but she was making a klick a second in velocity; her second warp attempt worked, so she zoomed home to her fortress of solitude. With, she estimates, 6-8 million in Sleeper loot in her cargo hold. So, at least the ratting effort was not lost.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it wasn’t going very well for Our Hero. The big problem was, it wasn’t very likely that somebody would be roaming alone in w-space in a Broadsword. As soon as I got fully engaged with the Broadsword, an Ishtar heavy assault cruiser showed up and popped a full load of Guarde II sentry drones. My tank, which had been doing fine up until that point, was suddenly and painfully evaporating.

I decided to shift my full attentions to the Ishtar, and managed to chew a respectable hole through its armor; it all happened very fast, but I’d say I got into the bottom third. It was no good though; I was surrounded, pinned down, outnumbered, and outgunned:

2009.03.28 04:34:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Drake
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 37868

Involved parties:

Name: Haffrage (laid the final blow)
Security: 3.1
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishtar
Weapon: Garde II
Damage Done: 17798

Name: Oneiric Missile / Unknown
Damage Done: 15059

Name: Troubadour
Security: -0.4
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: Broadsword
Damage Done: 5011

Destroyed items:

Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 21 (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System II, Qty: 3
Damage Control II
Scourge Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 500 (Cargo)
Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Sensor Booster II
Targeting Range (Cargo)
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 4
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 20

Dropped items:

V-M15 Braced Multispectral Shield Matrix
Scourge Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 500 (Cargo)
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 313 (Cargo)
Viscoelastic EM Ward Salubrity I
Scan Resolution, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Targeting Range (Cargo)
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 3
Large C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 50
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Worse yet, once my Drake popped, the heavy interdictor voodoo continued to work its magic, and my pod experienced some difficulties leaving the scene. There was a brief lull, which eventually (I’m slow) suggested to me that they might be offering to take a ransom; but by the time I figured out what comms channel they were using (local, as it happened, which is not something I tend to monitor in w-space) I just had time to type a “LOLno” before they blew me back to my clone vat in a hail of autocannon rounds.

2009.03.28 04:36:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Capsule
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 390

Involved parties:

Name: Troubadour (laid the final blow)
Security: -0.4
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 253

Name: Haffrage
Security: 3.1
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishtar
Weapon: Ishtar
Damage Done: 137

The ransom offer, in any case, was too high; they wanted 100 million, which is two or three times what the cheap metal in my head was worth. Nor would I have paid in any case; I resolved early in my EVE career never to pay a pirate, and I’ve not yet been tempted to abandon that principle.

And so I was podded, for the first time in more than nine months, and possibly (I say because I might have forgotten one or two that predate the corporate loss history screen) for only the third time in my EVE career. I seem to have the good luck (or bad) of being caught mostly by skilled professionals. Nine months ago, in Faction Warfare, it was Friedrick Psitalon of the Dead Parrot Shop [FOOM] who did the dirty deed; this time, it was Troubadour and Haffrage (with eight and a half years of combined EVE experience between them) of that notorious pirate crew with the coolest corporation name in the game, Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams.

If I’ve got to lose — and paranoid though I am, everybody has to lose sometime — I’m always delighted when it’s to somebody older, richer, and more famous (or infamous, that works too). The Sharks will do.

One fun final note. Remember the Empress of Greater Mars, cowering beneath the protection of her POS bubble with my loot? She tells me that a few short minutes later, Troubadour in the Broadsword dropped out of warp and just about collided with one of her POS guns. He wasted NO time in warping away again — but the guns fired once, so at least we can hope he got his teeth rattled and his paint job chipped, compliments of the Empress’s lovingly hand-polished Illudium Pew-36 Explosive Space Modulators.

11 Responses to “Pwned In W-Space By Venerable Pirates”

  1. MailDeadDrop says:

    It’s a shame that the fortress of solitude lacked a warp disruption battery.


  2. Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" says:

    Haha now to find a way back!

  3. Marlenus says:

    Tony, the Empress will give me a wormhole vector — eventually. She can’t fly my Buzzard, but she does have an Imicus and… adequate … probe skills.

  4. Tixxie Lix says:

    Good write up. Except we’re not pirates. :P

  5. Marlenus says:

    Er, not pirates?

    If it walks like a pirate, talks like a pirate, ransoms like a pirate … it’s a pirate. ;-)

    More seriously, I did think Sharks was a pirate corporation, but I might have been getting my pirates and my mercenaries confused. Sorry for any mischaracterization.

  6. Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" says:

    Hehe, adequate… Interesting.

    But I bet by now you are back in there :P

  7. Marlenus says:


  8. wauke says:

    You do realize that by including this in all of your posts:

    System: J235321

    You’re basically announcing where you are, right? I realize there are 2500 systems out there, but if someone (your old friends for example) had some special place in their black hearts for you, they could just jot down the system name, and if they happen to end up there, it’s a matter of time to find you. And out of those 2500 systems, there’s only so many (class 1 and maybe 2) that a Drake can effectively solo in.

    Just a thought.

  9. Marlenus says:

    Oh, yes, I’m aware of that. But I don’t think it’s a substantial risk. Nobody’s going to find this system just by looking for it, not in any reasonable amount of time. 2500 systems, and if you did nothing else, you could probably find, what, ten, twenty, fifty wormhole systems a day at a stretch? Alts don’t help here, now that the scanner interface needs a human in front of it at all times. And the more you find, the more repeats you’ll find. You do the math — but it looks to me like, searching with monomaniacal focus and doing nothing else, one enemy would require on average several months to find me.

    They do that, they’ll have earned whatever revenge they can wreak. I’m one hell of a lot more worried about a small ratting BS fleet who gets bored and decides to stomp the POS to see if any treats fall out. Which will be a waste of their time and The Empress’s strontium, but hey, that won’t put the egg back in the shell.

  10. Troubadour says:

    Yay! You made me famous! Sorry about your loss. I actually learned last night sometimes in W-Space it’s not always the best policy to kill everyone you meet when I had a chat with a guy who owned a pos I decided to bubble and siege. I ended up giving him the bubbles for his troubles after shooting the shit about w-space and then we even had some frontier-style bartering that went on as I was looking to get some C-72, the only fullerite I can’t find for some stupid reason. I accidentally got separated from my base system after that while trying to crash a WH (force ships back and forth through a WH until it collapses) in an attempt to get a better one to spawn and he pointed me in the direction of kspace, saving me hours of time looking for a way out. W-space has opened up a whole new side of eve for those brave enough to risk it all and move out there.

  11. Marlenus says:

    Eh, the loss was tolerable and mostly served to increase my interest in getting into a heavy interdictor. I’m still in “shoot everything I think I can kill” mode for the most part, so I hold no grudges about that. No gas mining allowed in “my” wormhole, except by me! ;-)

    Fully agree that w-space has refreshed and renewed EVE for me. It’s counterintuitive, but for me, the lack of local and the difficulties of staging large fleets make w-space a lot friendlier and more interesting than 0.0 or low sec, while the possibility of becoming suddenly and swiftly dead keeps it lively.

    How was the bubbling and siege working out for you? I watched some guys camp a wormhole last night with a large bubble, but they weren’t getting any customers. They were a high-sec mining corp and I’m not sure they understood that people coming in the wormhole could just turn around and exit again.

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