Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Upping the bar

Back in my clone vat i was still dreaming. Then the monster in me took control again. I hired and press ganged new crew members to replace the recently lost ones. Once again i contacted some guys within the Caldari Provisions Corporation. Some war veterans are more than happy to deal in a shady way and get their pensions up.

(Caldari Provisions is one of the companies that were created by war veterans of the Gallente-Caldari War. Specializing in the distribution of supply and logistics, Caldari Provisions have carved themselves a nice little niche within the Caldari State and are looking towards expanding their operation in other empires.)

Once in the cockpit again and with a more or less eager crew to handle things i set the course to one of the most notorious low-sec system of the Heimatar region - Amamake. Home of some of the most ruthless and even barbarous pirates of New Eden.

(From the New Eden solar system, where the gate of EVE once led to the old world, humans expanded in all directions at a furious pace, exploring and colonizing rapidly.)

The Pator Tech School in Amamake was camped by some pirates whose ships furiously blinked in red on my system overview. Red blinking ships always mean that they can be killed without remorse. My brain analyzed the situation not so fast as the fire control computer and it reported a danger advice in the severe lethality category. The ships were heavily tanked battlecruisers and battleships i knew from the fleet tactics course at the State War University. I ordered a new course, deeper into the not so traveled outer systems.
  • Battlecruisers (BC): A class of powerful combat vessels midway between cruisers and battleships.
  • Battleships (BC): The foundations of any respectable fighting force.
In the system of Damalin the scanner presented the signature of two pirate outposts and of 2 cruiser classed Scythe ships.

(The Scythe-class cruiser is the oldest Minmatar ship still in use. It has seen many battles and is an integrated part in Minmatar tales and heritage. Recent firmware upgrades "borrowed" from the Caldari have vastly increased the efficiency of its mining output).

So the pilots were probably mining in one of the Asteroid belts. Asteroid belts contain some very valuable ores which can be unearthed and mined by the use of special modulated lasers. These lasers are unable to hurt the shield or armor of a ship though. Checking the personal files i got from a contact within Concord i saw that they have been fairly new to this region and unexperienced pilots in addition. Once again i gave the signal to ready the battle stations. The ships were not in the same belt so i thought them easy prey by taking them out singly.

The engines screamed as the Merlin class frigate came out of warp drive only to be spurred upon the cruiser with flaring exhaust trails of the Afterburner engines. Within fractions of a second the laser control center got a solution on the Scythe and all weapons were fired upon it. Diving into a tight orbit around the prey we could see the shields flare brightly upon the onblast of energy. Then whole chunks of armor were blasted and melted away as my electron blasters and rockets tore the shield down.

The aproximity alarm went off. Looking on the overview i saw the second scythe cruiser arriving into the belt. My vision went red and i ordered a retreat to a deep space safe spot. That bar was too high for our Merlin and I didnt want to loose another ship and crew, even a miserable crew like this. We left a burning scythe shot into structure and a slowly advancing cruiser to rescue some survivors.