Back to the Black

14Oct08

There’s nothing like a break down planetside to reinvigorate a pod pilot. I leant back in my chair and watched Hevrice V spreading out below me as we powered back up into the black of space. There was a moment of slight turbulence as we passed through the final atmospheric barrier and then the emptiness of space was upon us. It was, as ever, a magnificent sight.

Although the life of a pod pilot allows one to explore the entire majesty of space I always find it important to head down to earth again to remember the sheer scale of our powers. We really are like gods amongst men. There’s nothing like wandering around the dirty streets of a city to make you feel real again. To make you feel alive. One of the prices we pay for our immortal lives is a constant cycle of life and death that devalues both. We need the realism or we risk becoming nothing.

Anyway, I digress, the Federal Freight Storage station was coming into sight and the other passengers were readying their possessions for disembarkation. I stood and followed the herd out into the customs portal but unlike the rest flashed my capsuleer certification and headed straight for my quarters. Refreshed from my break I was ready for the real thrill in life, the feeling of a spaceship resounding as it unleashes volley after volley of projectile ammo. That is what I live for. The rest is as nothing.

Down in my hangar Rupert’s Revenge was prepared and ready to go. I’d left instructions of the technicians to make sure that the Rupture class cruiser was ready for my arrival. I knew what the first thing I’d want to do was. As the docking bay doors opened I felt the familiar joy of my systems melding with that of my ship. Its impossible to describe the feeling of being directly plugged into a spaceship. Your heart is the ships heart. Its pain is your pain. We burst into the black, sensors calibrating and thrust systems roaring into life.

A short journey later and we were in one of my favourite hunting systems. Ouelletta is one of the two low security systems in Verge Vendor that borders high security, well policed systems. As such it is ideal for catching inexperienced prey. The system has other advantages, too. It only contains three belts and is small enough to allow the whole system to be scanned from anywhere within it. Perfect hunting grounds. It was busy this morning, too, and with consummate ease I worked out any kinks from my break by taking down three Catalyst destroyers in the belts. Ah, that felt good. Not the thrill of truly great combat but at least a chance to vent a bit of rage and feel the jump as my guns unloaded. I was really starting to feel a bond with this ship, we’d had many kills together and survived a couple of pretty close calls. That was enough for this morning. I docked up in a nearby station and headed for a computer terminal, I had work to do.

Later on in the day I was back in my hangar and the back out in space. Rather than wait for prey to land in Ouelletta I programmed my navigation computers and set out on a patrol. Old Man Star was as dangerous as ever with militia fleets camping the gates. Although they did target me I managed to make it through without incident. Further hunting resulted in a Stabber leading me on a merry dance through the belts in Aeschee. Every time I pinned him down he managed to warp away before I could close the distance. After about half a dozen attempts I finally landed on top of him and there was no way the speedy cruiser was going to get away from me. My targeting systems got a lock and within seconds his warp drive was shut down, his engines webbed, his capacitor drained, and his ship under fire. The poorly fit Stabber melted under my guns and, because I wasn’t interested in ransoms, so did his pod. I scooped the loot and his corpse into my hangar then headed to a safe place to wait out my criminal timer. As my timer ticked down I got a call from a friend inviting me to a station bar in Aeschee. Of course I was keen so I docked up and headed off to meet him.

With a couple of beers in me it was back into my ship and off to seek further fun and fortune. Local space seemed pretty empty except for a pirate fleet in Jovainnon so I kept moving looking for targets of opportunity. In Costolle I scanned down a Hawk in a factional warfare complex. The thought of the loot from a high tech assault frigate had me licking my lips. I double checked his position only to see he’d been joined by an Ishkur. After a moment’s thought I decided to engage anyway, confident that they had no support in system and sure that my ECM drones would allow me to fight them individually. I landed about 70 km from my targets and proceeded to burn towards them. As I closed in both ships targeted me and then began to fire on me. I chose the Ishkur as my primary target and settled into a nice comfortable orbit 5 km from my prey. My ECM drones were despatched to keep the Hawk at bay while I drained the Ishkur’s capacitor and opened fire. Its drones pecked at me like an annoying swarm of flies but did no real damage. Pretty quickly the Ishkur exploded and I turned my attention to the Hawk who had been whittling down my drones whenever he could get a lock. Again I fired up my autocannons and turned my capacitor warfare modules on him. The Hawk’s tank lasted longer than the Ishkur’s had because I didn’t switch out to EMP ammo to combat his shields. It didn’t matter, though, with his capacitor empty he was stricken and quickly exploded too. Although these were hard hitting, well tanked little ships in principle, they’d failed to do me any real harm and I left the field of combat with 86% armour integrity despite the Gallente guards taking exception to my presence there. Good fights were exchanged on the local communications channel. I scooped the spoils of war before heading home for my bunk, a good day’s work behind me and keen for more.

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2 Responses to “Back to the Black”

  1. It is always a good feeling to get a bunch of kills and then arrive home later with your ship still intact. Always seems to be a rare occurrence for us pirates 🙂 Nice job.

  2. Nice to get a new report from ya, Wens. Excellent work, excellent writeup.


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