"Did he just run away from us? Are we sure something scarier than us didn’t just undock as well?"
"Well I thought of that, but there are no shuttles on scan."
-- Fodder, Burke - Clear Skies 2
[ You lost another Purifier?! ] Even over the comm link Eta's exasperation was palpable. [ This is now your third... ]
"Fifth!", I corrected.
[ ... fifth, whatever. Do you get them for free with your morning coffee or something? ] She took a breath. [ And since you're going to tell me anyway: How did it happen this time? ]
"Glad that you ask!" I replied happily, ignoring her little barb.
"You know that I hadn't had time for flying since the Tannakan conquest last week, so when I undocked yesterday after rearming my ship, I again went for some defensive plexing."
[ Still uncomfortable fleeting up with random others, and heading to the frontlines, eh? ]
"Yes." I admitted, with only a hint of embarrassment. "But seeing that, defensive plexing is perfect: I do something for the war effort, and it's an open invitation for hostiles to come and shoot me. And it worked out as planned: I was in my second plex, when Rakkas Kanenald in his Wolf assault ship dropped by for an exchange of pleasantries, counsel, and highly explosive ammunition."
[ Let me guess: you foolishly decided to engage with your mismatched weapons, he kicked your butt, 'good fights' were exchanged, drinks for everyone. Can I go now? ], she ended sarcastically.
[ Drat! ]
"...you're right, though, in that I did engage, and started launching my ordnance as soon as I was in range. I briefly considered also putting a point on him, but piloting manually I just couldn't keep consistent range, so I didn't bother. He did land a couple of hits on me, which were easily handled by pulsing my shield booster, aaannnd ... suddenly he was in low armor and high-tailed out of the plex!
Rakkas Kanenald> unexpected :)
were his exact words."
[ That's a first! ]
"Yup." I grinned at the memory.
[ But how... oh, he came back, right? ]
"That he did. And I knew for sure that he wouldn't have come back if he hadn't thought of a way to counter me. Plus, I saw a Myrmidon and a Falcon skulking around on scan, though in the end they didn't interfere with the fight.
"Obviously, the chances weren't very good, but I didn't want to just bail and run, so I decided to change my tactics: instead of aggressively orbiting him, I decided to try and kite him, let him come to me. Unfortunately, he had refitted from Autocannons to Artillery, and my low transversal was just what he needed.
"Plus, for some reason I had switched from my Navy Mjolnir missiles to Nova Furies - so my damage projection was far insufficient. The shield booster bought me some time, but inevitably the bleed-through from his artillery strikes tore my ship apart.
"So ... *poof*. And then in the excitement I forgot to warp my pod out. ... I could have accepted the pod ransom, but I think I was too embarrassed at that moment."
[ At least you were cheap. ] Eta sighed. [ I hope you learned your lesson of flying this paper bag-excuse for a ship. ]
"Are you kidding? This was fun!"