“Captain Niobe of the Logos will answer the Councellor’s call.”
-- The Matrix Reloaded
I had returned to the Bleak Lands, chafing a little from the loss of two good battleships. Not that I regretted my actions, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled either.
So I had thrown myself back into the daily mayhem known as factional warfare, specifically into small ship fights in the plexes. I had a couple of ideas of how to change my Executioner fittings, and was eager to battle-test them. Surprisinglingly, some even worked out, even if most often them didn’t .
And then there was the fight against the Merlins. Ho-boy!
I still didn’t remember what had compelled me to stay on the field when I saw the two Merlins on d-scan, especially considering that I was already at 60% armor from a previous fight, and even more so when a third Merlin joined the fight. By that time I was already committed, and had already lost all of my shields and most of what little armor I had remaining.
I ducked and weaved and spun, keeping my lasers on my target while trying to outrun the blaster fire from the Merlins. My armor long gone, hull ripped open, a trail of flames and smoke behind me - and I had only made a tiny scratch into my target’s armor.
And then suddenly it went very quickly: stripped off its shield, the Merlin had no other defenses left, and my next couple of volleys tore through the ship’s metal and converted it into a rapidly expanding cloud of shrapnel. Frackin’ shield tanker!
But no time to celebrate - there were two more Merlins left, and I had less than half a ship left. Mindful to not rip my weapons out of their weakened mounts by excessive g-forces, I turned and engaged one of the remaining Merlins - with the expected result.
But if Fate smiled upon me that day, it wasn’t without an agenda of her own.
A few days later I was out on a little spur-of-the-moment trip in Metropolis, when Eta contacted me.
[ Hey, Sis, got a second? ]
“Sure! .. no, wait - this Drake here is taking an interest in me, and it would be impolite to just ignore him.”
Indeed - the Drake was coming at me, closing the 30-something km distance with remarkable speed. Oversized afterburner? Microwarpdrive? No matter - with my small signature radius I should be able to duck under his missiles long enough to…
…ehm, nope. I smartly warped my pod out, gave my opponent the ‘gf’ in local, and set course back home.
[ Well? ]
“It went as expected: I went boom. But check this: I think he neuted me!”
[ He… who puts a neut on a Drake?! ]
“Well, apparently this guy - it’s the only explanation I have for capping out that quickly. Or I lost track of something I did. Anyway… what’s up?”
[ Remember the POS we shot a few weeks ago? The General has made it his personal project , so he’s out there with LC, both in their dreads, shooting the tower right now.
[ And I was wondering… maybe, the former, eh, associate of yours … ? ]
I smiled briefly at Eta’s habit of talking around what she considered a touchy subject; but I could also see the logic behind her thinking: another dread would greatly speed up the process and reduce the exposure for the capitals.
“I’ll make a call - I can’t promise anything though. Anything important I should add?”
[ Most likely there is going to be only minimal sub-cap support. ]
“All or nothing, eh? That does indeed sound like the General! It might be a deal breaker, though.”
[ Can’t hurt asking, right? ]
“Easy for you to say!”
[ That it is! ] She paused briefly. [ Either way, thanks! ]
“No problem. I’ll let you know what the response is.”
[ Ok. Eta out. ]
The comm link went silent, and I briefly concentrated on the task of traversing Amamake without losing my pod, pondering how I should open the conversation. It had been a while.
The gate fired, and with Amamake behind me, I relegated the act of navigation to my mental muscle memory.
I had a call to make.