It’s been slow since I got back into Eve. I’ve been doing a bit of exploring, diving into wormholes looking for excitement, checking local belts for hostility-crippled miners, visiting mission runners in their missions, all the usual stuff. But the pickings have been slim. Most everybody mines in a secure fashion, and anybody who cares about mission salvage has an alt in a Noctis, so there just isn’t as much for a hard-working salvager to do as there used to be. This is not a whine; it was true before I left the game and I’m well aware that I need a new program to keep myself entertained. All this exploratory nosing-about is with an eye toward finding it.

So far, I haven’t. But I get bits of old-fashioned fun along the way.

Today when I popped out my probes to survey the system, just with a general eye toward finding out who might be in space and have cans that needed salvaging, I quickly popped up a little gravimetrics site with a Covetor mining barge in it. A Covetor? Really? Who flies a Covetor these days? If you can fly a Covetor, you’re just days away from flying a Hulk. I haven’t seen Covetors in large numbers since Hulks got cheap. And when was the last time I killed one? Jim Bridger caught one in a Rifter back in 2008, but me? I can’t remember, but the last one I can find in my archives is this one from 2007.

But, here he was. With a jetcan out. He named it “Giant Secure Container” … a trick even more stale than jet-can mining in a Covetor. And get this, he was flying two Civilian Mining Drones (WTF? Never seen those in actual use before) and three Hornet I combat drones. Is this some kind of ridiculous bait?

It gets better. Pilot’s name is Bady Ast, a member of YasTec [YAST] “for 7 years and 8 days.” Wow, birthdate? August 9, 2003! Old enough to know better, that’s for sure!

No matter. I bookmarked his jetcan and went for my trusty Crane. Maybe surprise and the arrogance of age will buy me the hostile reaction I’m looking for. If, as I suspect, this is an old old character who has spent most of the last seven years not playing, maybe there are nuances to jet can mining he has not yet encountered.

So there I was, coming out of warp next to a jet can half full of golden omber and kernite. As usual, I took what I could and transferred the rest to an Ironfleet can.

I’ll give Bady Ast some credit, he pays more attention than the average miner. In fact, he was locking me up before I finished manipulating the ore. Could this be a live one?

Sure enough! As soon as he had me locked, those three Hornets started buzzing me, and Bady was flashing red. So of course I did the usual routine, and started shooting the Covetor.

Interestingly, right when I got through the shields, Bady Ast dropped offline. I though it might be a lame (or really really obsolete and these-days ineffective) logoffski tactic, but he came back online while I was still shooting armor — really, as fast as it’s possible to get back in the game, I’d say. So I’m guessing it was an internet interruption.

So then the inevitable happened:

2011.11.03 23:44:00

Victim: Bady Ast
Corp: YasTec
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Covetor
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 3637

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3637

Destroyed items:

Kernite, Qty: 1514 (Cargo)
Residual Survey Scanner I
Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 3
Expanded Cargohold II
Hammerhead I (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II

Just my bad luck none of the strip miners dropped!

Bady warped away with the alacrity of someone who expects to come right back in another ship, so I docked myself, and jumped in a stealth bomber to go back and observe.

And here is where I probably misplayed the encounter. Shortly after I got back, another character showed up in a Harbinger battle cruiser. And when the Harby pilot got there, she went straight for the Ironfleet ore can.

My natural assumption was that she was an alt of Bady’s. And I didn’t want to give that ore back, because a flashy Harby would be a bit of a challenge for the bomber I was in. So I uncloaked, blew the can, and recloaked.

A moment later, here comes Bady in a Megathron, still flashy red.

And sorely was I tempted. Bombers have a pretty good chance at soloing your average battleship. But the Mega has a huge drone bay, and with the wrong drones, there’s no hope at all. And Bady is old, my friends. Those Hornet Is made it look like he has no skills, but they actually did a surprising amount of damage to my Crane’s shields. If this guy has actually been skilling since 2003, my usual “I can get away with this crazed scheme because skillpoints” plan goes right out the window.

Too, the Harby was still there. And last time I checked (it was a long time ago, true) high-sec aggression mechanics allowed a neutral third party to rep without consequence. I wouldn’t expect repping capability to be fitted on a Harby, but then I wouldn’t expect to find a Covetor jet can mining, either. Just one more chaotic variable, but it was enough to quash my temptation. I shrugged and docked.

It was — maybe — a mistake. The Harby pilot engaged me in conversation, said kind words about this blog, and says that after I left, the ‘Thron popped — get this — three Ogre Is and two Wasp Is. I considered going back, but by then, the relevant aggression timers had run out, and it was getting on toward my mealtime.

(The Harby Pilot, it turns out, is a reader of this blog, and has her own blog called A Scientist’s Life In Eve. I haven’t mentioned her EVE name here, because I can’t see where she used it on her blog, and I’m therefore not sure she’d like them to be associated.)

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