Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Small Universe

“...which part of ‘best speed’ is so hard to understand?”, grumbled the FC over intercom.

*Coming! Coming!*

A few hasty commands, and the engines of my Tristan went to full power, accelerating the ship to warp speed, along with the remains of the fleet.

I was out with the Basic PvP class from Agony Unleashed, flying along through 0.0 in a gang of 80 frigates, and we had for company even such luminaries as Dread Pirate Wensley. Not that I see myself turning into a combat pilot any time soon, but having the knowledge could only be advantageous - especially next time a PvP corp decides to wardec us. Know thy enemy, and all that.

The theoretical part was relatively easy - you can’t be a successful industrialist without knowing a thing or two about the scanner or tactical bookmarks - but as soon as it came to fitting ones ships, any familiarity evaporated. And then the roam began in earnest...

The mechanics of flying from gate to gate weren’t the problem - it was all the other little habits and experience we nublets were missing, like returning to a gate orbit after an engagement, to be ready to jump, or keeping a mental image of the fleet’s operation in order to anticipate the FC’s next commands.

Which brought us to the situation we now were in, with half the fleet racing towards the last reported location of a Loki, while the other half (myself included) literally hadn’t gotten the memo and was now trying to catch up.

As we were speeding through systems, for a moment I thought I saw a familiar name showing up in Local - but we were after a Loki, and keeping up with the fleet took my full attention, so I dismissed it. Sadly, the Loki escaped us, and after a break the fleet ambled back, looking for new targets.

And the name showed up in Local again - I couldn’t believe my eyes. A friend of mine was flying in the class as well, so I gave her a nudge over comms:

“Hey, look at who’s in Local. Look at the Broadsword pilot.”

“Who... No Way! Him!?”

“Yes, him. What do you think - can we bribe the FC to engage him?”

We didn’t need to worry - after not getting a hit on the Loki before, our fleet was lusting for blood. The Broadsword pilot was no easy target - after seeing a fleet of 40 frigates arrive at the gate he was holding, he smartly avoided a fight and jumped through the gate. Unfortunately for him, our other 40 frigates were waiting for him on the other side, and his end came quickly.

We weren’t done with the roam yet, of course, and my little Tristan would manage to get on a few more kills that night, including the final blow on a mighty Armageddon , but I couldn’t help sharing the news with the Alliance right away.

“Guys, you surely remember the corp who had wardecced us last month,”

“The griefers? Yes, what about them?”

“We just came across their CEO ... Bwahahahahaha!”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Run for your life!

“BTD Ganymede, this is Ealur Traffic Control. You are cleared for departure. Fly safe.”

“Ealur Traffic Control, acknowledged. And I’ll try.”

The tugs, who had towed my trusty bestower out of the docking bay into the departure pipe, shut down their tractor beams and let inertia take me out. As my vessel crossed the boundary of the stations environmental shield, the main engines sprang to life and filled the hull with their deep thrum.

‘Fly safe’ - ETC probably savored the irony. It had been about a week since I had rejoined the ranks of active capsuleers, but business hadn’t been good. I tried to tell myself that it was just a slump in the courier contract market - but truth to be told, I had grown weary of this line of work. This contract would be last one - a simple delivery from Akila to Amarr. The only interesting aspect was the minor detail of Akila being a 0.3 system - my first journey into low-sec since my ...accident half a year ago. Which is why I stopped in Ealur to exchange my Expanded Cargoholds for Warp Stabilizers, and let all extra hands leave the ship

However, the pipe turned out to be quite deserted, and after the first two jumps Aura was able to reduce the tranquilizer dosage in my life support system. Two more jumps and I docked in Akila, greeted by an eager young dock master. I had the paperwork ready, and was able to undock again within minutes.

What the... - a new name showed up in the Local list - -9.8 security status, not too promising...

...but I needed to get this cargo out. If not for the reward, than for my self-esteem. Warp drive engaged, I made best speed towards the gate - but my warp bubble collapsed just one klick outside of jump range - time enough for the pirate to lock me up and drop a volley on me. My shields dropped by 140 points, then the gate fires and yanks me to temporary safety.

I knew he’d follow me as soon as he could, so I wasted no time aligning towards the next gate. Eyes glued to the speed readouts, I iniated warp.


The gate fired - my pursuer was here. He acquired a target lock - and I entered warp.

westerferer > boo
westerferer > stabs
Druur Monakh > Sorry mate. Armor against weapons. Stabs against scramblers.

Now the race was on, towards the exit of the pipe. He was just seconds behind me, but whatever he was flying didn’t seem to align much faster than my hauler. One last jump, and I emerged in CONCORD-protected Ealur. In my excitement, I almost forgot to pick up my crew at the station.

It was good to be back.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


About a year ago...

“Honey, I’m home!”, I called out as the bulkhead clanks shut behind me. The backpack flew into the nearest corner, followed by my boots. All lights were on, yet no reply - exactly as I expected it. Walking into the next room, my feet caressing the softness of the carpet, I found my little sister in her favourite position: slouched in a comfy chair, eyes closed, the neuro-transducers streaming knowledge into her brain.

Noticing my entrance, she opened her eyes for a moment, and held up two fingers: Two minutes. Which was fine with me, as I was about three months overdue for a strong drink. The house bar quickly obliged with something frosty, tall, and positively flammable, and I let myself drop into one of my other comfy chairs.

On cue, the “Active” light on Eta’s transducers blinked off, and she returned to the land of the living.

“Welcome back, sis!”, she smiled, “How was it?”

“Ah, you know...”, I gestured into the vague direction of the planet visible through the window. “Hot, sweaty, lots of buff folks doing pushups - and totally classified.”

“How classified?”

Instead of an answer, I just grinned at her and took a sip from my drink. The liquid burned my throat and made my eyes water ... perfection!

“How have things been around here?”

“Well,” Eta began counting off her fingers, “I’m almost done with Analytical Mind, your corp has given you the boot, the hangar master in Hisoufad keeps asking when you’re going collect your ships, aaaaaand your bank account is down to 40M.”

“40M? Oha.” I took another sip. “I thought I had around 600M?”

“You did, but that was before you got blown up with a 500M collateral courier in your hold.” She shot me a curious look. “What _did_ you do the last weeks to forget that little detail?”

“Obviously I practiced denial, among other things.” I drained my glass. “Well, time to get back into the saddle, get some cash to flow. Are Markovian still around?”

“Yep, but their contracts are fewer and less-well paid these days. You’ll have to find other employers, I think.” She hesitated. “You sure you want to go back out there?”

Was I sure? My previous foray into space didn’t exactly end on a high note. But yet there was only one answer.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I wouldn’t be here if I weren’t. I’ll be breathing pod goo again - ”, I looked at my empty glass, “right after a second drink.”

“...and a shower.”, quipped Eta.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This is not the post I had in mind for today, but logging on tonight I was greeted with the news that a fellow pilot and friend had succumbed this morning to a heart attack. EVE may just be a game of bits and pixels, but that doesn't make the relations between its players any less real.

RIP Psi Cloned - you made a difference.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"You should write about your adventures!"

"'Adventures'!" I roll my eyes at my little sister. "I don't have 'Adventures'. Running BPOs to the market, shepherding our miners, general carebearing - that's what I do." I wave at a screen where various capsuleer blogs are scrolling through: "Exploding ship! Ransoms! Tight fights! That's what people want to read - not how the fr**ing damsel got rescued yet again!"

"How do you know?", insists Eta. "Just because not many people write about what we do, doesn't mean that there is no interest. Besides, who here recently lost an Interceptor in Providence?"

"Allright, allright, I can give it a try. If only to shut you up." Eta just stuck out her tongue. "And I wager you already have a name in mind?"

"Yup. 'Hazardous Goods.' Just think of how often you woke up in a new clone after heading out in a hauler."

"I prefer not to," I reply, suppressing a wince. Getting into a new clone always gives me a headache. "Very well. But if this doesn't work, there'll be a bounty on your head!"

"Promises, promises... Listen, sis, I have pay attention to my flying now - the gauntlet is upon me. Talk to you later - Eta out." With that, her holographic image flickered and disappeared from the viewer.

Leaving me with the task of entertaining you, my dear readers, with tales of the life and many deaths of a carebear in EVE. Enjoy!