Archive for the 'Salvage Notes' Category

Never, never, never let anybody tell you that a young character with minimal skillpoints cannot be a useful, even vital, member of your organization.

Yesterday TorpedoTed cast hungry sensors on a loaded AC-ME Iteron V flying outbound from Isaziwa. Apparently, it was on autopilot, with Vryder “Business As Usual” 04 nominally at the controls.

Needless to say, our man chased it into Oiniken and engaged it in his T1 rocket kestrel.

I am unclear on details (especially as to why he did not tackle) but apparently he followed it along its programmed course, shooting rockets like they were cheap, until it popped in Ahynada like a cardboard pinyata.

Much candy fell out:

2008.01.07 01:45:00

Victim: Vryder04
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: Advanced Combat Machines and Equipment
Destroyed: Iteron Mark V
System: Ahynada
Security: 0.8
Damage Taken: 2452

Involved parties:

Name: TorpedoTed (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Kestrel
Weapon: Phalanx Rocket
Damage Done: 2452

Destroyed items:

Reflective Plating I (Cargo)
Small Ld-Acid Capacitor Battery I (Cargo)
Hardwiring – Inherent Implants ‘Noble’ ZET100 (Cargo)
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Power Diagnostic System II, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Small Armor Repairer I, Qty: 25 (Cargo)
Multi Sensor Backup Array I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Kestrel, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Salvager I
Cap Booster 200, Qty: 10 (Cargo)
EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
F-S15 Braced Deflection Shield Matrix, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Cargohold Optimization I
50mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Snoop Scanner Probe I, Qty: 295 (Cargo)
Medium Hull Repairer I, Qty: 17 (Cargo)
Shield Recharger I, Qty: 12 (Cargo)
Miner I, Qty: 13 (Cargo)
125mm Railgun I
ECM – Spatial Destabilizer I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Gallente Mining Laser, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Small Capacitor Booster I, Qty: 9 (Cargo)
Propulsion Jamming (Cargo)
Bookmark, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Murky Energy Transmitter I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Sansha Ship Log 136423760 (Cargo)
10MN Afterburner I
Thorium Charge S, Qty: 23
Science (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender I
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
‘Langour’ Drive Disruptor I
Cybernetics, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Lucent Compound, Qty: 28 (Cargo)
Warp Core Stabilizer I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Cap Booster 100, Qty: 40 (Cargo)
Gleaming Alloy, Qty: 44 (Cargo)
Small Rudimentary Energy Destabilizer I (Cargo)
X-Large Shield Booster I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Fathom Scanner Probe I, Qty: 306 (Cargo)
Interphase Heat Diffusion Plating (Cargo)
Gallente Frigate (Cargo)
Gallente Shuttle, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Civilian Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Mining Drone Operation (Cargo)
Large Shield Extender I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Marauder Spur (Cargo)
Medium Shield Booster I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Civilian Data Interface (Cargo)
Small Tapered Capacitor Infusion I (Cargo)
ECCM – Radar I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Tracking Disruptor I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Small Energy Transfer Array I, Qty: 15 (Cargo)
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Magnetic Plating I (Cargo)
Signal Distortion Amplifier I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Medium Converse I Deflection Catalyzer (Cargo)
Cap Booster 25, Qty: 118 (Cargo)
Small Peroxide I Capacitor Power Cell (Cargo)
Lustering Alloy, Qty: 6 (Cargo)
Serpentis Ship Log 166832001 (Cargo)
ECCM – Omni I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold II
Small Hull Repairer I (Cargo)
Photon Scattering Field I, Qty: 6 (Cargo)
ECCM – Gravimetric I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Residual Survey Scanner I (Cargo)
Strip Miner I (Cargo)
Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I (Cargo)
Small Shield Extender I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Heat Dissipation Field I, Qty: 9 (Cargo)
Small Remote Armor Repair System I (Cargo)
200mm Railgun I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Heat Dissipation Amplifier I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Ballistic Deflection Field I (Cargo)
Civilian Codebreaker (Cargo)
Stasis Webifier I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Motley Compound, Qty: 12 (Cargo)
Large Shield Transporter I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
R.S. Officer’s Passcard, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Passive Barrier Compensator I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Drifter Spur, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Asymmetric Energy Succor I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Mining (Cargo)
XeCl Drilling Beam I, Qty: 6 (Cargo)
Explosion Dampening Field I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
50mm Reinforced Nanofiber Plates I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Warded Radar Backup Cluster I (Cargo)
Medium Remote Armor Repair System I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Inhibitor I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Suppressed Targeting System I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Hardwiring – Zainou ‘Deadeye’ ZGM1000 (Cargo)
‘Abandon’ Targeting Disruptor I (Cargo)
Sensor Linking (Cargo)
Caldari Cruiser (Cargo)
FZ-3 Subversive Spatial Destabilizer ECM (Cargo)
1MN Afterburner I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Medium Graviton Smartbomb I (Cargo)
ECM Burst I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System I (Cargo)
Bookmark, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
50mm Reinforced Crystalline Carbonide Plates I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Large Converse I Deflection Catalyzer (Cargo)
Rocket Launcher I, Qty: 6 (Cargo)
Civilian Analyzer (Cargo)
Nanoelectrical Co-Processor I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Small Energy Neutralizer I, Qty: 9 (Cargo)
50mm Reinforced Steel Plates I (Cargo)
Metal Scraps, Qty: 40 (Cargo)
Large Asymmetric Barrier Transpositioner I (Cargo)
Heavy Neutron Blaster I (Cargo)
125mm Carbide Railgun I (Cargo)
Medium Armor Repairer I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Small Proton Smartbomb I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Medium Capacitor Booster I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Multispectral Frequency Probe (Cargo)
Civilian Shield Booster I, Qty: 8 (Cargo)
Metallurgy (Cargo)
‘Malkuth’ Standard Missile Launcher I, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Shield Upgrades (Cargo)
‘Arbalest’ Rocket Launcher I (Cargo)
Cap Booster 50, Qty: 160 (Cargo)
Signal Amplifier I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Basic Miner, Qty: 12 (Cargo)
Salvager I (Cargo)
Passive Targeter I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Partial Weapon Navigation (Cargo)
Standard Missile Launcher I (Cargo)
Small Capacitor Battery I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Inhibitor I
Explosion Dampening Amplifier I (Cargo)
Beta Hull Mod Reinforced Bulkheads (Cargo)
Energized Reactive Membrane I (Cargo)
Medium Shield Booster II (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 4
Small Hull Repairer I, Qty: 12 (Cargo)
Sheen Compound, Qty: 39 (Cargo)
Cargo Scanner I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Hardwiring – Zainou ‘Deadeye’ ZML100 (Cargo)
Residual Survey Scanner I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Type-D Altered SS Reinforced Bulkheads (Cargo)
Dark Compound, Qty: 20 (Cargo)
200mm Reinforced Titanium Plates I (Cargo)
Large Shield Extender II (Cargo)
Precious Alloy, Qty: 57 (Cargo)
Magnetometric Quest Probe, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Co-Processor I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Survey Scanner I, Qty: 12 (Cargo)
ECM – Multispectral Jammer I (Cargo)
Remote Sensor Booster I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Compact ‘Limos’ Assault Missile Bay I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Heavy Capacitor Booster II (Cargo)
Conjunctive Ladar ECCM Scanning Array I (Cargo)
Bandit Spur (Cargo)
Magnetometric Sift Probe, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
ECCM Projector I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Medium Capacitor Battery I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Small Graviton Smartbomb I (Cargo)
100mm Reinforced Steel Plates I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)

Note that five kestrels were among the items destroyed — so Torpedo Ted killed five times his own tonnage in this encounter without even considering the Iteron and all its goods.

And then Vryder04’s pod fell out.

Since we’ve been repeatedly assured by Vryder04 that our war is pointless, that we are accomplishing nothing, and that nothing has changed in AC-ME’s day to day routine because of our activities, apparently TorpedoTed decided that it was time to conduct our war at a higher volume:

2008.01.07 01:46:00

Victim: Vryder04
Alliance: Independent Faction
Corp: Advanced Combat Machines and Equipment
Destroyed: Capsule
System: Ahynada
Security: 0.8
Damage Taken: 406

Involved parties:

Name: TorpedoTed (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.0
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Kestrel
Weapon: Gremlin Rocket
Damage Done: 406

Ouch. And it had been such a friendly little war up until that moment. Ah, well, c’est la guerre…

Of course there came a great clamor over corp chat for assistance in looting and salvaging the wreck before reinforcements could arrive. TorpedoTed scooped the corpse, and then made many heroic trips to station hauling the highest-value goods in his Kestrel:

TorpedoTed hauling loot from Iteron V

I showed up in my covert ops frigate to help with salvage and take what I could carry, then I left him hauling while I went for a badger (this one) that I had in Paara.

By the time I was ready to jump back into the system, TorpedoTed was calling off the salvage operation and announcing many hostiles in local. I jumped in, found myself under the guns of Phogg in a battleship, and decided that, indeed, it was time to move on to the task of preparing a military answer to the response squadron.

Much of the remaining action took place while I was evading Phogg and swapping out my Badger I for something a bit more combative. TorpedoTed led his pursuers on a merry chase — before all was said and done we saw Chebri in a Slasher and a Raven, we saw Vryder04 back in a Megathron, we saw Murdock Jones in his Enyo, we saw Cordus in a shuttle and then later in his Drake, we saw more of Phogg, and there were others.

Chebri went hard for TorpedoTed, and eventually caught him. Once she caught him, apparently, she didn’t know what to do with him. He was expecting an AC-ME fleet to land on his head, but it wasn’t there, and he was warp scrambled with a speed disadvantage, so what could he do? He turned on his rocket launchers, and kept them on until Chebri warped away in armor.

He chased her. (I love this guy.) Caught up with her at a planet, but she used her speed advantage to stay away from him and disengage.

Somewhere during all this I finally arrived in system with my stealth bomber, and started driving people away from the stargates. Fired many missiles, especially at Murdock Jones, who kept warping away and coming back. At one point he got within 30 KM of me, but he never landed a shot.

For all the missile firing, there weren’t any targets I could effectively engage in the bomber, and the real action was obviously over. Out of curiousity I shot a lot of missiles at the Megathron and the Drake, to see if their tanks were as strong as I expected. Of course, they were.

Eventually I was to the point where there were five or six hostiles on the grid and chasing me (it was hard to say exactly how many, things were busy and I forgot to get a screenie). So I decided it was time to cloak up and disengage.

All in all, a good day at war! I wish I could claim to have had much to do with it, but it was all TorpedoTed’s doing — I provided fireworks display but had nothing to do with any of the day’s actual victories.

Late last night, as sensible people were heading to their slumber, I logged into the game for one last combat sweep of the Isaziwa belts.

Only one AC-ME pilot in system, and he was nowhere to be seen in public. But what’s going on the belt at Isaz 13, Belt 1?

Looks like a typical newbie mining operation, one cormorant mining destroyer and one Badger. They are doing it right, the Badger means there won’t be a jet can worth salvaging, time to go home… wait!

Why are there six cargo cans (not jetcans) on my overview? I don’t show secure cans when I’m sweeping the belts, there are too many.

By Jove, it’s the classic newbie mistake. Somebody said “you need to get cans and mine into them so nobody can steal your ore.” So they got cans. Large standard containers. Six of them. No, wait, five larges and a medium.

Bedamned to three year old Gorack in whatever cloaked ship of nightmare he could potentially be hunting me in. Most likely he’s docked up and snoozing. And besides, if this be bait, it’s very well set.

Time to swap into a Badger II, the Iron Extricator will do nicely. Warp to zero on the first can.

ready to start scooping cans

Doh! Of all the stupid mistakes to make while flying a bacon-wrapped snack during wartime! The Iron Extricator’s hold is stuffed clear full of scordite, from some earlier, similar venture.

Dock, unload, undock, return. Let’s double the risk after alerting the miners, shall we?

The badger has gone home, pilot has returned in a Caracal. Hmm, that suggests a desire to shoot at me. Is this lesson in game mechanics going to be punctuated by Concord?

Scoop. Scoop. Scoop.

“Captain, sensors report that we’re being targeted.”

“At ease, sensors, at ease. We’re giving them no excuses, scooping unanchored cans is no crime. Concord will protect us.”

Scoop. Scoop. Scoop. Begin the slow process of aligning for departure.

By now the mining destroyer has dropped into my wake and is bumping me from behind. No effect on my trajectory. The cruiser is hanging off about 15 km. Note that the mining destroyer still has one mining laser active:

chased by a vengeful mining destroyer

I give them about 90 seconds to say or do something, then decide the day’s fun is over.

Warp out, dock, and “Take the loot out of the cargo hold this time you dockside morons!”

Despite the hitches, that’s salvage the way it’s supposed to go.

Yesterday, being a party day, I didn’t spend online much. Nor did the INDY opponents, except for elements of their combat arm.

I spent some time in Isaziwa with nobody much hostile in system. Salvaged a bit of ore from an unrelated party, just to keep my hand in. Then went and talked to a locater agent to inquire about the whereabouts of the known mining characters. All the ones I checked were docked in Isaz except for one who was in Inoue, but he vamoosed as soon as I hit local.

Being bored, I set up an Observator probe to look for abandoned ships in deep safes. (People used to leave the most amazing stuff floating loose in space, back before probes were improved.) All I found was an abandoned Condor frigate, sadly. Chebri showed up in system while I was probing, but since I was working in a cloaked ship, I just ignored her and she eventually went away. It’s projects like this which ensure that Ironfleet remains a going concern no matter how many wars we have going.

There are new diplomatic developments on another front, of which more tomorrow.

The new developments kept my attention fully in one system tonight, and I never saw Chebri there, so I, personally, have no news of that war to share.

However, a young corpmate of mine was at another Ironfleet office this evening, fitting up some ships with which to join in the excitement, when he noted an abandoned ship floating derelict some 75km away from our office. It belonged to Chebri… briefly.

Now it’s in our hangar, and the one unit of Tritanium it carried added to our stores. For it was indeed an Ibis (apparently Chebri met with a misfortune at some point recently, presumably at the hands of some other enemy), and now it’s both salvage and plunder.

Salvage is salvage, and if it formerly belonged to an enemy, so much the sweeter!

Last post I wrote:

For a while after salvaging got formally added to the game, these Dread Gurista wrecks always gave the unbroken salvage parts you use for building Tech II rigs. (Sadly, since a patch many months ago, I have not gotten any salvage of any kind from these wrecks.)

I don’t know whether the long dearth of Tech II salvage was a bug, now fixed after Trinity, or whether I simply had a long run of bad luck. But today I happened upon a Dread Gurista Invader wreck in the roid belts (Thanks, Oregrinder, for not looting or salvaging it) and it had a mix of Tech II and Tech I salvage, including a Micro Circuit.

(My encounter with Oregrinder was fun. After I looted the Dread Gurista wreck, he took offense and started shooting at me with his mining cruiser. So I warp scrambled him and began shooting back. He managed to flee, the hard way, after a long stern chase. Eventually he outran my “helpless hauler” far enough to warp away, but he was well into armor. He never came back for the ore he’d been jettisoning, so of course I had to salvage it.)

Every so often, as all inhabitants of the belts know, the usual belt rat spawn is replaced by a slightly better class of rat. In Caldari space, that means the usual Gurista pirates are replaced by “Dread Gurista” equivalents. It’s quite rare.

The nice thing is, these Dread Guristas drop better loot. They always drop at least one brick of Gurista or Dread Gurista Ammo, usually a copper tag of the appropriate type, and sometimes (rare drop on a rare spawn) a Dread Gurista railgun (equivalent to Navy Issue in most if not all respects). There’s also usually a named module of some sort.

For awhile after salvaging got formally added to the game, these Dread Gurista wrecks always gave the unbroken salvage parts you use for building Tech II rigs. (Sadly, since a patch many months ago, I have not gotten any salvage of any kind from these wrecks.)

All of the above makes a salvager like me careful to watch for Dread Gurista wrecks in the belts. A lot of the miners kill bet rats on autopilot, and don’t know or don’t care that there is sometimes worthwhile loot in the wrecks. That’s great, more for me.

Tonight, however, I saw something odd and inexplicable. There was a Dread Gurista wreck in one of my local belts, and it was white. Instead of the usual yellow/green (don’t ask me, I’m color vision impaired) color of a wreck somebody else killed, it was the white that usually means “wreck from a ship I killed.” Only, I didn’t.

So, I checked the ownership of the wreck. It didn’t have any.

Does anybody know how a belt rat gets wrecked in space without anybody owning the wreck? I’d love to know.

As it happens, the loot table on this one was fully populated:

– Dread Guristas Iron Charge S x1000
– Guristas Bloodclaw Light Missile x1000
– Dread Guristas Copper Tag
– Dread Guristas 125mm Railgun
– ‘Anointed’ I EM Ward Enhancement

Salvage, as usual these days, yielded nothing.

It turns out that it requires precisely five and two/thirds salvos of cruise missiles from my stealth bomber to kaboomski a Hulk.

And therein lies a tale. You want to hear it?

Tough shit, I’m telling it anyway.

The day began with a typical recon sweep of the local belts, to see what flotsam and jetsam might have washed in from the vasty depths of space o’er night. Got all the way to the last belt before spotting anything interesting.

What I spotted was something I have not seen in months: an unescorted Hulk, mining merrily into a whole constellation of jet cans. (Usually these days they are mining into a little-buddy hauler, or warping home with each load, or mining somewhere harder to find, like inside a mission space.)

Now, this Hulk looked fairly crunchy; he was flying a full rack of Vespa IIs to deter entrepreneurs more casual than myself. I’ve tasted those drones and I don’t like the flavor much. But they don’t really threaten a tanked hauler, not in the time it takes to scoop a load. And besides, Hulk pilots with itchy trigger fingers are hard to find. So, the fifty-thousand ISK question: does this Guido carry a warp scrambler?

Uncloak, lock, ship scan. Why, no! No, he does not. Of course, now he knows he’s under scrutiny.

Time to dock and swap ships. No point in taking the Crane, tiny cargo hold that it has; might as well take one of the trusty old cheap Badger IIs.

Come out of warp, bump the Hulk, open the first handy can. Jackpot! It’s full (full!) of Plagioclase. So I shove as much as I can into my Badger, look at the rest, jettison my load, and scoop the rest into my jet can and my cargo hold.

Negative response from the Hulk. Set warp for the hangar. Cogitate.

Combat pilots in EVE like to talk about the game of rock/scissors/paper. I know that every encounter in this game has that character, but I feel it acutely in situations like this. Should I keep hauling ore, while he finds a friend or a tackler who could stop me? Or should I recon his reaction, and respond only once I know how he’s going to react?

He’s in a corp, so friends are likely. But, he’s acting a little bit like a victim, so maybe he’s foolish enough to remove ore from an Ironfleet can? I decide it’s time for a stealth bomber flyby at extreme range. If he’s still there, alone, in the Hulk, I can always bring the haulers back into the game. And if he’s gone for backup, I can react to that, or guard the Ironfleet can. Plus, there’s always a chance he’ll be flashing red when I come out of warp, and then I could drive him away.

While warping back, I decide to check local for any intel it may provide. It sounds like he finally noticed me, anyway:

Cyriakus > Marlenus is stealing out of floating containers watch it
Praxis Medden > Everyone fears being robbed from, yet nobody seems to learn to kepp the ore in the cargo
Lemmy Danger > Kill him :-)
idurai > kill them all!

Sadly, there’s no time to chat with my fan club, because just about then my stealth bomber comes rumbling out of warp. Target: 1 Hulk, 50 clicks off the bow. Flashing red.

Well I be damned, he must have flipped the Ironfleet can. “Cruise missiles away!”

I wonder how many salvos I can hit him with before he warps?

Rumble and thump, rumble and thump. Is this turkey never going to leave?

Rumble and thump, rumble and thump.

As I said up top, he went “Kaboom!” after the first two missiles in salvo number six. If he attempted to warp, I couldn’t tell. Maybe he was AFK, maybe he was humping a roid, I dunno. I do know he stopped long enough to pull in his flight of Vespa IIs. Maybe that was his undoing? He should have had plenty of time, but no:

2007.12.16 18:50:00

Victim: Cyriakus
Alliance: NONE
Corp: CMZ Industrial
Destroyed: Hulk
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 5915

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 5915

Destroyed items:

Plagioclase, Qty: 21571 (Cargo)
Scordite Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Pyroxeres Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Veldspar Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Vespa II, Qty: 3 (Drone Bay)
Mining Laser Upgrade I
Modulated Strip Miner II

Dropped items:

Residual Survey Scanner I
Power Diagnostic System I
Scordite Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Pyroxeres Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Plagioclase Mining Crystal II, Qty: 3
Veldspar Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Vespa II, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 2

Now, the trouble with the stealth bomber is, she’s a wallowing pig (sorry dear, I love you anyway) who will never close all that range in time to get the salvage. I’ve got to warp home and come back with a salvage vessel.

Only the Jovians know what eldritch horror of a revenge ship this Hulk pilot keeps handy, so the salvage run is potential suicide. But who cares? The Tinfoil Salvager is fleet, effective, and she’s a freakin’ Kestral, with Tech 1 mods. A good salvager should never be flying more ship than he needs for the job at hand.

Back I went in the Tinfoil Salvager. Coming out of warp, there he is! He’s flying something that’s flashing red at me, but there’s the wreck. Get busy, close on the wreck, look at him. Condor? He’s in a Condor? His revenge ship is a CONDOR?

No matter, I’m still screwed if he’s tackle fitted, this salvage frigate has four salvagers high and I’m fresh out of half-full Quafe bottles to throw out the pee-bottle ejection port at him. Time to open the wreck, and start stuffing loot in my hold. Meanwhile, he’s locked me up and shooting, and my shield is starting to melt. Cargo hold is full, there’s still salvage but oh well, warp!

Made it out without a scratch on the armor, both Modulated Strip Miner IIs safe aboard. Home, dump, back.

Ah, good, he went away. Grab the rest of the loot, start salvaging the wreck. Nice, a pristine Lorentz Fluid, I do love Tech II wrecks. Whoa boys, here he is flashing red! What’s he flying this time?

Iteron V. Guess he decided it was the ore that matters.

Waitaminit, there’s still a lot of ore here. My day’s work is far from over!

Home again, ship swap again. This time I think the Crane’s the thing — big enough to haul some ore if that’s all I find there, shooty enough to eat an Iteron V if he’s foolish enough to still be there. Which, of course, he won’t be.

Only, he was.

“Scramblers on, boys, and crank up that missile launcher! And Navigator? Don’t forget to follow him, we don’t want him steaming out of scrambler range at an embarrassing 119 meters per second!”

Sure enough, there he goes, trying to outrun my blockade runner. As I drop into his wake and start pounding him open one missile at a time, I hear a funny noise. Sort of a “fweet! fweet!” sound.

Can it be? Can this day possibly get any better? Has this optimist really fitted a popgun on his Iteron V?

Why yes! He has! It’s a hauler duel — my favorite thing ever.

Only, he’s outclassed. I’ve got him outgunned and out-tanked by factors of 10 to 1 or better, so it’s over soon. I never even got to turn on my shield booster:

2007.12.16 19:05:00

Victim: Cyriakus
Alliance: NONE
Corp: CMZ Industrial
Destroyed: Iteron Mark V
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 4519

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Havoc Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 4519

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold I, Qty: 3
125mm Prototype I Gauss Gun
Salvager I
10MN Afterburner I

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold I, Qty: 2
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 9
Medium Shield Booster I

And that, boys and girls, was the last I saw of of Cyriakus. Then followed the boring part of a successful salvage op — consolidating all the ore into a couple of Ironfleet cans, waiting for agro to expire, bringing out the B.F. Bustard, and hauling the fruits of the op home to the hangar.

The final haul: roughly a fifth of a million units of Plagioclase ore, a pair of Modulated Strip Miner IIs, a pair of Vespa IIs, a handful of mining crystals, and a small assortment of Tech I mods for the fitting hangar. Not a bad morning’s work, if I say so myself.

Hey ho, Jim Bridger here.

Big Mar tole me about our new friends from ACME, said he stopped by to wave at a mining op tonight and clean up some broken wrecks that was layin about. Left a fat juicy can of ore because he was flyin his fancy salvage frig that he dont want to lose.

Made me smile. Since I got the interdictor, I havnt had time to do much salvage. Got my cheap old fleet of salvage destroyers just gatherin space dust and gettin lonely. So I pulled one out — The good ship “Iron Stick” I think it was, grabbed a bookmark from Mar, and went to have a looksee.

Sure enough, came out of warp next to a fat can. Was right in the middle of a big fat cloud of drones, mix of mining and combat, was a barge and a cruiser and I think a frigate all right on top of me.

Of course Big Mar has paved the way, reputation-wise that is, cause they was all locking me up before I even had time to hitch up my pants or say howdie.

Got down to busness, jetted me a can, put it on the tractor, locked up as many drones as I could, salvaged the drifting ore, and began haulin’ wood out of that clusterfrick.

Overview turned to flashy red, my shields startedto get a smidge melty, and I blazed away for a bit at the drones. Not much joy, not with the ammo I was packin and no webber on board. How about that cruiser? Is he tanked decent, or is this one of them mining cruisers with a thin crunchy outer shell and a tasty cream-filled middle?

“Plinkety plinkety plinkety plinkety plink!”

(That’s the sound of small arty rounds bouncing off the cruiser.)

No joy, time ta go. Cant winnem all, and there’s still a buncha ore in an Ironfleet can, heck we might even keep it if they don’t flip it back right quick, I’ve seen Mar do crazy things with his haulers sometimes.

Then I start to think: How many points of scramble do they got on me? I didnt see any scramble messages, but I wuz busy. Can I warp?

I can warp. Yay!

Docked safe, honked at Big Mar, he sez he’ll go have a look. But, by the time he got there, they stripped our can (or maybe blew it, they dint have long) and went home, nobody and nuthin left but some cans-o-rat-loot. Which he snagged, the way he is about leaving loot behind — so, not a total waste of ammo, just almost.

Today I met my first AC-ME lecturer. Seems Alexandria Phoenix is one of those folks who doesn’t approve of anybody who has a different gaming style than she does, and so she lectures those of us who play differently about our failure to play the game her way. As she puts it (see below) we “need to have things explained and be told how to act.” She must really love pirates!

The people I call “lecturers” are sort of a sub-species of smack talker. They generally don’t resort to profanity or threats, and they limit their insults to the topic at hand — namely, by putting a pejorative name to whatever I’ve done (usually salvaging ore that I did not mine myself) that they disapprove of. They cannot stand to have their pejorative name disputed, and they will argue endlessly in an effort to get me to accept their pejorative language as accurate. Usually (and this time was no exception) they’ll digress into various suggestions about how I should play the game differently — mining my own ore, following “the rules” as they see them, going to more insecure space, whatever.

This particular lecture is worth repeating because, about halfway through, Alexandria bizarrely begins to criticize me for my lack of courtesy, while continuing to insult my gaming preferences in a most discourteous manner:

To set the scene: I’ve warped to zero on a jettisoned cargo can floating near a mining barge that had a few comba drones out. Turns out the can has just a few more veldspar nuggets in it than can fit in my hauler:

21:42:31 Alexandria Pheonix > go away marlenus
[Me scoops a shipload of ore, begins the slow process of warping out.]
21:43:44 Marlenus > Okay!
21:47:57 Emporors Champian > i wanna sing christmas songs
21:48:27 Emporors Champian > and give a little serman
21:48:45 Alexandria Pheonix > i wanna sing anti orethief songs
21:50:33 Alexandria Pheonix > have fun with ur 4000 veld it’ll get u maybe a few thousand

[There’s actually a reason, important to the plot, why I’m flying in a hauler that only has about 5.5k cubic meters of haulage space, but I don’t think Alexandria Phoenix ever realized what that reason was.]

21:52:26 Alexandria Pheonix > how much did u get exactly?
21:53:09 Marlenus > Who counts? A shipload here, a shipload there, it adds up over time.
21:53:49 Alexandria Pheonix > oh well u set me back 20 minutes, its almost like a miner malfunction…
21:54:07 Alexandria Pheonix > /emote shrugs
21:54:30 Marlenus > Not sure how I set anybody back — are you talking to me?
21:54:40 Alexandria Pheonix > yes
21:55:08 Marlenus > Oh, you mean I set back the “how much ore can I throw overboard?” project.
21:55:09 Alexandria Pheonix > u set me back 20 minutes worth of ore…not bad but it’s easily made up, why don’t u get ur own miner or a few miners to mine for u instead of stealing
21:55:24 Marlenus > I don’t steal, I salvage
21:55:40 Alexandria Pheonix > it’s not salvaging if its in a container marked with my name
21:55:49 Alexandria Pheonix > which if you would have looked it is
21:55:49 Marlenus > Why would I mine, when space is full of dangerous free-floating cans that need to be cleaned up?
21:56:14 Marlenus > I say it’s salvaging, you’re welcome to disagree but you won’t get me to change my terminology
21:56:41 Alexandria Pheonix > well at least ur cargo’s small on that ship
21:56:54 Marlenus > Sad but true
21:57:14 Alexandria Pheonix > oh well that means u can’t steal everything from those of us who actually work for a living
21:57:27 Marlenus > Salvage
21:57:44 Alexandria Pheonix > …we already agreed to disagree so i’ll use my term u use urs
21:58:08 Marlenus > Hmm, I missed the bit where we agreed on anything, sorry
21:59:31 Alexandria Pheonix > …don’t say you’re sorry if your not
21:59:44 Alexandria Pheonix > and why would u ‘salavge someone else’s stuff anyway
21:59:53 Alexandria Pheonix > it was afterall someone elses
22:00:03 Marlenus > Deal, if you won’t say I agreed to something I didn’t. Say, you seem to have a fairly stern tone, today.
22:00:19 Alexandria Pheonix > i just don’t like thieves
22:00:26 Marlenus > Ironfleet takes the position that stuff floating loose in space is not owned
22:00:34 Marlenus > So, we don’t see it as taking someone else’s stuff.
22:01:07 Alexandria Pheonix > well u have some messed up ideas, cause my can’s still here and it still belongs to me
22:01:17 Marlenus > And me, I don’t like folks who try to tell other folks how to spend their leisure hours, so I guess we’re about even
22:01:49 Alexandria Pheonix > well if you’ve no courtesy to someone trying to work for a living then you need to have things explained and be told how to act
22:01:56 Alexandria Pheonix > as does a child who acts wrong
22:02:04 Marlenus > Dude, have you forgotten that we are both playing a computer game?
22:02:13 Marlenus > I’m not working, and I’m sorry to hear that you think you are!
22:02:22 Alexandria Pheonix > i’m a girl first off
22:02:31 Marlenus > That was the “declarative” dude, not the gender prescriptive dude.
22:02:43 Marlenus > And it’s funny to hear you speak of courtesy, when you have begun and continued this conversation with … very … little of it.
22:02:44 Alexandria Pheonix > and in this game to earn money you work for it by doing legal tasks
22:03:59 Alexandria Pheonix > i have no courtesy for those who share none with someone who’d spend their time taking a role that is legal to game standards
22:04:03 Alexandria Pheonix > including not stealing
22:04:37 Marlenus > Tis fine that you have no courtesy, but isn’t it a bit odd to complain of missing courtesy in others when you’re deficient your own self?
22:05:09 Alexandria Pheonix > no i’m prefectly courtious to many other players especially those who play by a legal role in the game
22:05:32 Marlenus > LOL, but you asked ME for courtesy while showing me none, that’s raw hypocrisy I’d say.
22:06:01 Alexandria Pheonix > no i’m saying you should show it not asking, just saying you should to those of us who actually try to play by legal game rules
22:06:21 Marlenus > “You dirty thief, you should be more polite to others!”

Sadly, at that moment a snow cloud blew in front of my satellite dish and I lost my connection. So Alexandria got the last word.

Had an exploration success today, tracked down a Radar signature in .7 space that actually had stuff in it. Unfortunately I don’t know enough about invention to know how useful the stuff I got was. It’s got some modest market value, anyway:

1 — Tuning Instructions
3 — User Manual
130 — Electronic Link
58 — Spare Parts

Invention is part of the long term corporate industrial plan, so these will get bunged into the deep storage hangar until we figure out what they are good for.