Not lost, actually … just very displaced from anywhere I’ve ever been.

I’ve been slowly diving through w-space, looking for poorly-secured goods and incautious players. Today I find myself in an uninhabited C5 hole with a static connection to another C5.

I decided to drop through a hole into nullsec to look for trouble and fun. Found myself in H-YHYM, in a region I’ve never heard of (Esoteria) under the sovereignty of a Romanian alliance (Romanian-Legion, ticker ATAK) which is a thing I didn’t even know EVE had.

Damn, this game is big.

Does anybody remember this post, in which I describe the very first time Ironfleet Towing And Salvage ever came into serious conflict with another EVE player?

One of my friends (and partners in that particular “crime”) described our salvage operation against that POS as “throwing rocks through window panes”. We didn’t know what we were doing, we didn’t get any loot, but we did a lot of damage and enjoyed watching POS modules blowing up really good.

Well, late yesterday, Ironfleet Towing And Salvage returned to its roots … with a vengeance. I lost a ship, too … the first one in almost two years (710 days, to be precise — although Jim Bridger lost plenty during that time, during his leave of absence from Ironfleet to go play in 0.0.)

This story really begins last night. The last thing the Empress and I did before we logged off was to find and survey a new Class 1 wormhole. At that time, there were two active towers in there, both belonging to A Very Cynacle Alliance [AVCA]. And in those towers, there was one live pilot (name of “paragous”) just sitting inside one of the towers (for at least an hour) in a Probe named Anal. (Original, huh?)

Well, life happens. Fast forward 20 hours or so, and when I logged in today…guess how many force fields were on scan? Still two towers, only one force field. Woah, Nelly!

After a quick bit of zipping to my bookmarks, this is what met my wondering eye:

a fat target in w-space -- lookit them hangars and arrays!

Would you look at all those fat hangars! Just sitting there!

However, there is the little problem of the active pilot, one moon over on the same planet, in easy D-scan range.

But, how active is he, really? He seems to be perma-logged in here, but I’ve never seen him move. And he’s what, 10 months old? In a Probe? I’ve got to wonder how scary he’ll be in truth. But, on the third hand, hello, tissue paper bomber?

It doesn’t matter. I’ve got to see what’s inside some of those lovely hangars.

But first, some preparation. I should at least probe down the exit to highsec, so that if I get anything hugely valuable, I’ll be able extricate it to safety. And for that matter, if I liberate some tasty ship hulls, I’ll want to be able to go dock my bomber and come back for them (depending on the level of local opposition).

So, there was some nattering and probing time lost here. And maybe it wasn’t as discrete as it should have been, because right when I was about to uncloak and start torping POS facilities, the Probe shows up.

OK, I can wait. He goes away again.

So I uncloaked and started demolishing the Corporate Hangar Array. It goes smoothly enough, but as I’m into the structure, I see the Probe vanish from d-scan and be replaced with a Hurricane. Shite, he’s reshipped into a bomber killer!

At this point the array goes boom and drops two cans. I just have time to open them and look inside (a bunch of reaction compounds I don’t recognize, some POS fuel, no mods of any kind) when the Hurricane arrives on grid.

I boogied…and came right back cloaked, of course.

The Hurricane sat right on the cans, like a broody hen sitting on her eggs.

There followed some fair few minutes of me thinking, and him sitting. My thoughts were running to the bad odds of bomber versus alert battlecruiser, and my countervailing advantages (mostly, skill points).

Finally I decided, well, I’ve got about sixty klicks of torp range on this beast, and there’s no way a 10-month-old character is going to be fit to reach out and touch me at that range. So, I lined up, uncloaked, and started sending torps down range. This first time, I don’t touch my afterburners; I just stay aligned and see what he does.

Of course, he charges. Turns out he’s MWD-fit and packing autocannons. I let him get close enough to launch drones and tickle me with the ACs in deep falloff before I warped out. He, in turn, took several volleys of torps, which hit him for about 2.5k per volley. But he’s fit to tank Sleepers, clearly, because he can take it for a little while at least.

So this time when I came right back, I set up out in a distant orbit, and turned on my afterburner when I uncloaked. Could he close with me? About the time I got through his shields, he decided not to find out; instead, he warped off, giving me the chance to switch targets and blow up the mobile lab. Yay! A can fell out.

Whoops, the Hurricane is back, and close! Time to bounce.

And again, I came back cloaked, picked my range, and drove him away with torpedoes. Then I blew up the ship maintenance array. Out fell a Hulk — which I don’t have the skills to fly — plus two destroyers, several frigates, and a shuttle. Not the ships I would have rather seen, but still, not bad.

But the Hurricane is back, and this time, he wants to kite me. He’s running straight away, and although at first it seems like I can dictate the distance, eventually he pulls out of torp range.

And then, I have to confess, I don’t understand quite what happened next. From a distance of about 90KM, he appeared to enter warp, and then landed pretty much right on my head.

I’m NOT a PvP god. There are many better than me. So I don’t mind admitting, I’m not entirely sure how that was accomplished.

Possibility 1: A failure of situational awareness on my part. Could he have actually gotten out to 150+ clicks from me, and I just think he was closer? And then he warped to a tactical bookmark after cleverly leading me right over it? I suppose it’s possible; I was pretty busy and my adrenaline was up. But man-o-man, I don’t think he got that far from me at any time.

Possibility 2: I’ve seen some amazing things done with on-grid warps, using the assistance of a probing covert ops ship. So, when a Covert Ops probes you down, can he then fleet-warp his buddy to the probed location, even if the warp is shorter than 150KM? I’ve played with combat covops warps, but I never tried that, and do not know the answer. I know I never saw probes on my d-scan, but I can’t say I was watching carefully enough for that to be dispositive. Certainly there was no sign of a third pilot in local at any time, but a careful covert pilot doesn’t leave much spoor.

No matter. I popped.

Ouch:

2011.04.29 01:23:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Manticore
System: J105700
Security: -1.0
Damage Taken: 1321

Involved parties:

Name: paragous (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.1
Corp: Unfortunate Enterprises
Alliance: A Very Cynacle Alliance
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: 425mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 1321

Destroyed items:

Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo, Qty: 111 (Cargo)
Dual Light Beam Laser I (Cargo)
‘Skadi’ Coolant System I (Cargo)
Gamma S (Cargo)
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo, Qty: 22
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst II
Multifrequency S (Cargo)
Ultraviolet S (Cargo)
Target Painter II
Medium Pulse Laser I (Cargo)
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Large Auxiliary Thrusters I
Coreli C-Type 1MN Afterburner

Dropped items:

‘Shade’ I White Noise ECM (Cargo)
Core Probe Launcher I
Ballistic Control System II, Qty: 2
Dual Light Pulse Laser I (Cargo)
Juggernaut Torpedo, Qty: 928 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo, Qty: 11
Warp Disruptor II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 8
Guristas Ship Log 180983465 (Cargo)
Ultraviolet S (Cargo)
‘Arbalest’ Siege Missile Launcher, Qty: 3

That was an old bomber, too — so old it would have been fitted with cruise launchers, back in the day. See the large rig it had? Oh well, fly it like you stole it…

Moving on. I said “Nicely done” in local, got a “gf” in return. This while my pod is warping to a planet with the hurricane in hot pursuit.

And then, I bounced right back to the tower. Where, you will recall, there were two destroyers and three loot cans.

I am determined to salvage what I can out of this expensive combat lesson.

So, I land on the tower. There’s a dessie in boarding range, so I board it. Hurricane is not visible. The two cans of reaction goos are right there, but I’m interested in whatever dropped from the lab. It’s a few clicks too far away to scoop, so I start motoring over there.

Damn this destroyer, it’s fit for gas mining only — three gas suckers high, and no other mods at all. So it’s a wallowing pigdog. But it gets me to the lab can.

Which I opened. And saw row after row after row of lovely blueprints:

blueprints, lovely blueprints

( click pic for a larger view )

Scoop like you’ve never scooped before, Marlenus! Because that damned Hurricane is back on the grid.

And, I’m out! I wish I’d had time to pop that loose Hulk before I lost the bomber, but I’m just me, I can’t do everything.

So, I jumped out to high sec and docked my blueprints. Then, it was time for dinner and some TV with my girl.

Hours pass.

I watch TV. The Empress sits in space, watching the two towers. When I get back to the computer, she reports that my Hurricane pilot (or somebody) vanished the Hulk and the frigates, then went back to his functioning tower, got back in his Probe, and is hanging in his accustomed spot.

But the defunct POS? Is still defunct. And still has those three manufacturing arrays…

What this job needs is a Drake.

Unfortunately, my only Drake is in my corporate hangar, 28 jumps away. And I haven’t flown it in two years; it will need refitting. Jim Bridger, now Jim has Drakes out the ass … but most of them are down in 0.0, or various resupply centers at the edges of 0.0.

I think about going to a minor market hub about 10 jumps away, but I know that will be frustrating and slow. Faster, I decided, to eat the 28 jumps, fit in my stupidly well-stocked Ironfleet hangar, and jump 28 jumps back. Maybe by then the Probe/Hurricane pilot will have logged off for the night?

And so it proved. About the time I was halfway back, he logged.

A lot of jumps later, I’m back on the defunct tower, shooting arrays:

shooting assembly arrays

The popping goes without incident. The ammo array drops another nice set of original blueprints:

more blueprints, yay yay

The equipment assembly array drops three jetcans full of minerals, mostly low-end, plus a couple of module blueprints. I grabbed the Megacyte, some Noxium, and the blueprints:

minerals and more blueprints

Sadly, the drone assembly array dropped nothing.

Since there was not a peep in local, and I brought along a thousand spare missiles…what the heck! I went ahead and blew up all of the defensive arrays. Here’s the last one going “Kaboom”:

defense arrays go boom

And then, a good day’s salvaging work done, it was time for bed.

I haven’t run the numbers on the facilities I blew up, or tried to price my trove of not-very-expensive but nicely-researched blueprints. (Yes, they are all originals; or it least, every one I’ve clicked on so far has been both original and heavily-researched.) Did it sting to lose the bomber? Yup. But would I have done anything different? Tactically, sure. But all in all, it was an operation in the best spirit of Ironfleet … I had to do it.

I leave you with a final look at the structure kills on my combat log:

stuff I killed

While reading more Tiger Ears, I found a sentence that perfectly encapsulates the Ironfleet attitude toward ransoms. I’ve never sought one, though I couldn’t have said precisely why. Now I can, just read the bold letters:

My Onyx lands almost on top of the Iteron, the warp bubble inflating to prevent its escape. The hauler is not built to withstand missile fire, and the Terror assault missiles wreck the ship frighteningly quickly. The pod is captured by the warp bubble too, but I don’t even consider a ransom. I’m not a social person and don’t like awkward conversations with strangers.

Nope! I don’t either.

If you’re at all interested in my recent wormhole hunting lifestyle, a useful and informative blog to read is Tiger Ears. It’s not necessarily exciting; like me, the author has a tendency to document every encounter, sometimes at rather lengthy length. But it is extremely educational, because it’s a detailed day-by-day account of life in a C4 wormhole with a static exit to a C3. And so almost every post is a “What’s in my wormhole today, what I found in the neighboring wormhole, where did these wormholes connect, what I found there, and what we did about it” post. Plus combat reports, if any.

The end result, which I’m still wading into the ancienter-and-ancienter history of, is a ton of information about sensibly-chosen mostly-victorious small tactical encounters in w-space. Not always exciting — sometimes my eyes glaze over — but reading it is like getting several months of life-in-wormhole experience, without all the hundreds of hours spent scanning. Ironfleet recommended.

Hunting the wormholes some more today. First action of the day was an Anathema covert ops sitting uncloaked at a planet, probing; but I messed that one up. Ended up engaging from outside point range due to impatience and poor planning; he’ll want new underwear, but he got away.

Fast forward several hours. The Empress and I are in a new wormhole, and judging by the d-scan, there’s a drake ratting solo in here somewhere. Now, I’m not going to attack a Drake, but he might be coming back in a salvage ship, so I need to find him.

I do some tricky probing. (My tricky probing needs a ton of practice.) Drake vanishes. WTF? I was being careful. Then I see why … there’s a Coercer destroyer on d-scan, sitting at a nearby planet with probes out. That’s not very dangerous looking, or very smart-looking, either.

The Coercer pilot may be probing, but he’s not watching his own d-scan very carefully. He’s still there when I warp in, and he isn’t even moving. He’s still trying to lock me when my second volley of torps blows him to smithereens:

2011.04.28 02:18:00

Victim: odditee vevesparious
Corp: BLUE ORE FEDERATION
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Coercer
System: J112934
Security: -1.0
Damage Taken: 2461

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo
Damage Done: 2461

Destroyed items:

Core Probe Launcher I
Salvager I
Gamma S
Dual Light Pulse Laser I
Astrometric Pinpointing (Cargo)
Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I
Medium Shield Booster I
Small Armor Repairer I
Quantum Co-Processor I
Medium Pulse Laser I
Overdrive Injector System I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Ancillary Current Router I
Multifrequency S
Dual Light Beam Laser I

Dropped items:

Gamma S
Dual Light Pulse Laser I
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 3
Medium Pulse Laser I
Ultraviolet S, Qty: 2
‘Skadi’ Coolant System I
Multifrequency S
Dual Light Beam Laser I

Note the three different flavors of laser, the lack of even a Prototype cloak, and last but not least, the Astrometric Pinpointing skill book in the cargo hold.

He just sat there, too, until I pointed his pod:

2011.04.28 02:19:00

Victim: odditee vevesparious
Corp: BLUE ORE FEDERATION
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Capsule
System: J112934
Security: -1.0
Damage Taken: 386

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo
Damage Done: 386

The best part, though, was when I looked up his corp info. There in the corp description, I found:

Small corp looking for mates to beat Incursions. Level 4 missions, Mining. Future worm hole ops. Future POS in the makng.

Remember, my guy is just a baby; his character is only three weeks old. A lot to learn before they put up that POS? You betcha. But in just three weeks, he found his way into a wormhole and was looking around for trouble. I admire the spunk, I truly do.

So, as promised in the last post, I’ve been noodling around in W-space with The Empress of Greater Mars. My internets have sucked due to local storms, so all I’ve really done is lurk and scan and wait for targets.

Tonight, shortly after I logged in, The Empress noticed a Covetor mining barge on the scanner. The system had been empty and she had probes up, which were quickly relocated to avoid detection. The Covetor launched drones, so I figured he was mining…and here I made another newb mistake.

We had probed out a grav site the previous day, but due to poor bookmark labelling and cluelessness, mistakenly thought we didn’t have the bookmark. So, careful probing. (Turns out the bookmark was available … doh!)

Apparently the probing wasn’t careful enough, because by the time The Empress got a warp in, the Covetor was gone. By the time I got on grid, there was nothing there but a jet can.

A moment later, the Covetor pilot turned back up on the grid … in an Imicus. I sent The Empress to go watch the POS, while I watched the Imicus.

He motored over to the jetcan, as if checking its contents, or making a bookmark the hard way. Then he left, and arrived back at the POS.

Where, The Empress reported, he got in an Iteron. And sat there.

And sat there, and sat there, and sat there…

Eventually, she took a screenshot:

nervous iteron pilot

And then we waited some more. This wormhole hunting game is not for the impatient.

Then, finally, he warped. And showed up under the sights of my bomber, 22km away, just like a clay pigeon sliding in front of the bead of your shotgun.

The rest was anticlimax — a cheap but very satisfying kill. He popped when the first volley arrived:

2011.04.27 03:40:00

Victim: Clacius
Corp: Elatum Legionum
Alliance: Steel Union
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Iteron
System: J155124
Security: -1.0
Damage Taken: 1922

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedo
Damage Done: 1922

Destroyed items:

EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse
Compulsive Ion Field ECM I

Dropped items:

‘Shade’ I White Noise ECM

I was hoping he’d be so stunned I could shoot the pod, but that wan’t very likely, and didn’t happen. He did come right back in an Amarr shuttle to look at his empty wreck, but of course didn’t linger.

About half an hour later, and just as I was about to post this, he suddenly swapped back into his Covetor. Could he, would he, REALLY?

Sadly, nope. He logged.

If I’d felt like being much more patient, I probably should have let the Iteron go, and banked on the resulting false sense of security convincing the guy to come back out in his Covetor again. But, y’know, I wanted to kill something.

Hey, everybody.

This can flipping business, it’s fun, but it’s kinda limiting. The worst part is, you can’t shoot at anybody who doesn’t screw up somehow. And sometimes I just want to, you know, shoot people.

But, I’m sort of a misanthrope. Every time I try to play in a big corp or an alliance, I get pissed off during the “group activities” and end up not logging in for months on end. No good.

I got to thinking about my PvP strengths, such as they are. I’m able to be very patient, I have excellent missile skills, and I love to scan. During this most recent away-from-EVE hiatus, I finished maxing most of the skills pertinent to flying a bomber.

Obvious solution: go hunting in wormhole space. A lot.

My thoughts were trending that way anyway, and then I found this blog: Confessions of a Wormhole Killer. It’s moribund at the moment, but it’s chock full of anecdotes about hunting with a bomber, with the aid of a confederate in a covert ops ship to do the scanning. I was inspired. I had to read the whole thing.

Then I spent much of yesterday figuring out where I left my bombers, and updating their fits. These are old bombers, dating from my time in TEARS; all the ones I found had large rigs in them, if that gives you an idea. I also had to find a scanning confederate. So I called up my old buddy, the lady I used to call The Empress of Greater Mars. It turns out she used most of her skill points from the learning skills refund to get Level V on all the probing skills. Perfect!

Last night we found a wormhole, an inhabited Class 3, just a bit before downtime. We deployed into the hole, did a little preliminary surveying, and went to bed.

Today, when I logged in, I found some Germans active in there. I only had about half an hour to play this morning, but there was a Mammoth on scan…

Long story short, I’m still a noob, and rusty on the wormhole jump mechanics. I didn’t blow anything up. But there came this moment when I was sitting on a wormhole, cloaked, in my bomber, and a battleship jumped in…

Now, if he jumps in, he can jump right back out. I knew this. But I got buck fever. I wanted to shoot something. It had been too long. So, I decloaked, locked him, started shooting, painted him, orbited him… and my salvos started hitting him for almost 3,000 (!) damage a salvo. (I gave my bomber some nice, if spendy, upgrades in this latest refit, based on hints and tips from the Wormhole Confessions guy.) So my battleship punching bag? His shields were gone in two shots. And then, of course, he jumped back out, doubtless to go buy a new set of clean underpants in Jita.

I’d forgotten how much fun bombers in wormholes can be. I’ll do better, next time.

Ironfleet has always maintained that we are just in the ore hauling business for, you know, the ore. And back in the day, I hauled a lot of ore. But these days, genuine jet can miners are hard to find; the Orca, hauler alts, and cheap cargo rigs offer too many alternatives.

There’s always that one guy, though. Today, it was Capo Kicx, a sixteen-month veteran of the game and the junior member of the 2-person Kicx Family corp [KICX]. He was mining in a Hulk, flying Tech II combat drones, and had accumulated two full jetcans of assorted ores.

Well, that would not do. I had to flip that ore into Ironfleet cans. I really thought that might get me a combat reaction, and perhaps it would have. Except, Capo suffered a disconnection, and warped off without his drones.

I salvaged them.

Eventually Capo got back on line, and his Hulk returned. In space you cannot hear the screams of “WTF, where are my drones?” But still they scream.

Then he docked, and did not return. I got to scrounging in my assets, and discovered that I had an ancient dusty Bustard in this sytem, placed here years ago for just this sort of eventuality. It was fully cargo-expanded, so even without rigs (when I fitted this ships there were only large rigs, and they were oh-so-spendy!) it can haul a full jet can in one load. Two round trips and quick refine later, I was up 4.5 million easy ISK.

Just in it for the ore, I tell you!

So I was meandering the belts when I found a Hulk piloted by a three-year-old character, flying Tech I drones.

Probably no hope of getting a rise out of this guy, but he had several rat wrecks out, so I started my standard “clueless looter” routine.

After I cleared the first wreck, he pulled in his drones. That’s not a good sign of agression, darn it!

As I chundle toward the next wreck, he opens a convo. For a change of pace, I took it. This is what he had to say as I finished looting his wrecks. Note especially the dire threat he opens with, followed by his meek and timorous words when I called his bluff:

[20:16:46] Arclightuk > Fuck off or i will bring all levels of hell down on you
[20:16:52] Marlenus > You go boy
[20:17:00] Arclightuk > lol i like yiouyr spirit
[20:17:12] Marlenus > So scared of hulk pilots, I am
[20:17:25] Arclightuk > have you watched the pvp hulk on you tube?
[20:17:35] Marlenus > Yeah. You gonna do that to me?
[20:17:43] Arclightuk > ha ha you are in a badger!
[20:17:47] Arclightuk > type thing
[20:17:51] Marlenus > Take your best shot, big boy
[20:18:24] Arclightuk > you are ok, im not bothered if you loot
[20:18:37] Arclightuk > im too busy watching californication
[20:18:39] Marlenus > LOL, than why all the threats of hell and damnation?
[20:18:54] Arclightuk > i thought it sounded scarey
[20:19:04] Arclightuk > us care bears like that sort of thing
[20:19:10] Marlenus > Heh. One last chance, you want to shoot at the helpless badger before I warp out?
[20:19:24] Arclightuk > no your good. loot all you want buddy
[20:19:34] Marlenus > ciao
[20:19:40] Arclightuk > cheers

He huffed and he puffed, but he didn’t blow my house down! {sadface}

I know, I know. Serious PvPers my age are expected to scoff at the lowly Caracal. It’s a one-trick pony, nice DPS in a cruiser hull with five heavy missile launchers, but it’s too slow to catch anything and if you tank it properly, it can’t tackle all that well. I’ve always loved it, but when it comes to flying it, there’s usually something that will serve my purpose better.

But still. Remember I’m flying a freaking hauler, lately. We hauler pilots really don’t like heavy missiles.

So there I am in the belts, quietly demonstrating to a Retriever pilot, name of Connectius, why we don’t jet-can mine in the modern age. As I wait for his response, which never happens, I notice two things. The first is a Dread Gurista wreck, and the second is its owner, sitting near it in a Caracal.

However, by the time I make the connection between DG and Caracal, I’m in motion toward the DG wreck. Those things can have great loot.

Seeing me rumbling toward his wreck, the Caracal pilot targets me.

Ohshit, ohshit. Is this guy actually ratting? A mining cruiser I can fight, but a fully armed Caracal? Not necessarily smart.

So I pull his employment file. Interesting — he’s still in State War Academy, and he’s only 26 days old. He could be ratting in high sec, but if he’s fit right, he could still toast my buns. On the other hand, 26 days, and ratting in highsec? The flavor says “real new guy”, and that means the odds are against a good (dangerous to me) fit. The way to bet is what a veteran would consider a comedy fit, even though I still remember how freakin’ hard it was to fit my first cruiser with ISK I earned ratting, so I tend not to laugh at the fits that result.

All this finishes flashing through my brain as I pulled up on the DG wreck. Tag and ammo, nothing sweet. Do I really want to do this? This could really HURT goddammit! If he’s actually fit for PvP, with a point and a full rack of missiles, and has enough speed to keep me inside his point range… but he’s NEW. Surely he won’t be able to do all that in a Caracal?

One way to find out. They don’t call us Ironfleet Towing And Salvage for nothing! I yoinked the DG loot.

And boom! I’m getting missiles on my shields. Point the schmoe, get out in a nice long orbit, and start throwing missiles at him!

Nice dent out of my shields, let’s touch those up, nice, holding nicely as long as my cap does, let’s have a look at the damage messages in the little window…WTF?

Son, sometimes it pays to be a gambler. This boyo is shooting me with light freaking missiles! I guess he’s had no time to train the heavies, yet.

Good thing, too. His salvo of five lights was hitting me for about 20% more damage than my one heavy was hitting him for. And I can tank that … not forever, but for what looks like a really long time.

His shields? They take a little dent each time I hit him, and he dosn’t have the regen to tank it. I wait for some active repping out of him, but I don’t see it. Maybe he’s all passive?

Suddenly, the distance between us starts to widen. He wants to run! Can’t have that, so I give chase at my stately 247 m/sec rumble:

chasing a fleeing caracal in my Crane of Destruction

Everything is going my way today, because he can’t open the distance. By now, I’ve about shot out my first stick of 40 missiles, and his shield is just about gone, and showing a tiny bit of armor bleed. Hope the reload doesn’t take too long!

It doesn’t. The slow methodical battering continues. He stops shooting at some point — I thought maybe he was out of missiles, but apparently not judging from the kill mail. Finally, after 58 salvoes of one missile each, the Caracal explodes:

Victim: Tot Troto Corp: State War Academy Alliance: Unknown Faction: Unknown Destroyed: Caracal System: [redacted] Security: 0.5 Damage Taken: 16189 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: 16189 Destroyed items: Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 39 Ballistic Deflection Field I Heat Dissipation Field I Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 5 Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction Beta Reactor Control: Shield Power Relay I Dropped items: Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 26 Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 1040 (Cargo) Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction Beta Reactor Control: Shield Power Relay I

While the last missile was in the air, he tried to convo me. I accepted, but by then his ship was dead, and he had nothing to say. Finally I offered a “good fight” (which it was) and we exchanged pleasantries. He was cool, sad to lose his ship, but says he had fun too. I like his aggression, hopefully he’ll go far in Eve!