"All I ask is a tall ship and a load of contraband to fill her with." -- Quark
“Well, hello there, little Svipul. I have seen you before.” I voicelessly spoke to myself in my pod. “And there is also your little friend, the Exequror, propping you up.”
The two ships were indeed still orbiting the Sasiekko gate in Sosala, a widely popular entry point into the Amarrian factional warfare zone, and this was now my second trip back in. They had ignored me before, and did so again this time, but my luck wouldn’t always hold. Looks like I had chose then wrong night to evacuate my collected loot from the various lo-sec system - but it was something I had delayed far too often already. And so I was now ferrying goods easily worth four times more than my fitted ship itself.
Just an hour before I had already tested my luck when I cross-jumped a Shadow Cartel cruiser gang on my way to Akkio - on the way back I played it safe and took a detour.
Speeding away from the gate, I pondered their setup. It was quite straightforward, actually: the Svipul engages targets, while the logi kept it repped against gate guns and target alike. And the logi being lawful, it could not be attacked first without inflicting gate guns onto yourself.
Soon, the station of Auga loomed large before my Tristan, and my docking request was accepted. There was another frigate hogging the undock - well, I could chill for a while the hangar crew loaded the rest of the loot into my ship. Luckily it all fit - a covert ops cloaking device taking up most the space. And by the time they were done, the pilot I had seen on the undock had left the system as well.
On the way back to Sasiekko I chided myself that I was even surprised at that gang setup - it was obvious, really. I just tended to not think in terms of backup or logistics, since by choice I never had any. But how would you break something like that on your own? Cruiser-sized logistics applied to a destroyer… my Tristan certainly wouldn’t be able to break that, and a blaster cruiser might not be able to catch the destroyer.
Maybe an artillery cruiser, to simply alpha through the repairs?
The gate to Sasiekko fired, and I concentrated. I still wasn’t very much liked in hi-sec, and while the gate into Sasiekko wasn’t quite as guarded as the one into Keberz, sometimes people with itchy trigger implants were around.
Well, not this time. The roundtrip to the station was uneventful, and soon I was back in Sosala, cheerfully ‘waving’ at the Svipul pilot as he tried to resolve a target lock on my fleeting Tristan. My next loot cache was over in the Forge, a journey of about 40 systems.
Maybe I should stage some ships again in Sasiekko - I still had a jump clone there, and with faction warfare still hot, it could provide some excitement when our own home area was quiet. Maybe chase some of the mission runners, since the plexers often had warp stabs, nearby friends, or both.
Ok, one hi-sec system to traverse, and the in-gate back into lo-sec was often camped, so… Of course. Another logi-assisted Svipul.
And this one was more on the ball: he managed to lock me up and put me into half shields before my warp drive caught and propelled me to safety - his point had fallen short.
But when I sped away, I noticed that this Svipul had been assisted by not one, but two Exequrors.
I shook my head. Seriously?