25 November 2008


Been a little slow getting a chance to sit down and write about the past weekends events but sometimes paperwork can be just a little overwhelming and prevents me from making my own personal logs about my experiences. Either way, this past weekend certainly was interesting.

A summons was sent out a few days prior to the weekend alerting the alliance that a mission had been given that would take us into the low security sectors near to our headquarters. I was a little hesitant about answering the call myself, given my lack of training in combat. However, the desire for something a bit more exciting than my usual humdrum activity in the mining business was too hard to pass up. I figured it'd also be good experience for myself and some of the other younger pilots in my corp to get a feel for a high level mission in lowsec so i mustered as many of my corpmates as I could and we set out to meet up with the rest of the alliance at a station one jump away from the mission location in lowsec. Once the troops from all the alliance corporations were formed up at the station, the call was given by the fleet commander to move out. In a large assortment of ships ranging from small rifters to the massive rokh we undocked from the station and set course into lowsec, our scout flying ahead to make sure the area was clear.

There was a slight problem at first, being a pilot that was recently ejected from the alliance due to the discovery that he had gotten himself involved in piracy. Our alliance stands firmly against pirates, going so far in fact as to have a team dedicated soley to the purpose of hunting down any pirates that dare to enter our home system and an adjacent system where we tend to go for our mining. The pilot was of course angered by his dismissal and we were a bit concerned about him possibly being a problem but determination drove us and we made for the gate anyways. By the time we reached it however, he had already moved on. That didn't mean he wouldn't still be a problem but to what extent we didn't know and chose to carry on with the mission as planned.

Jumping into lowsec, we quickly made our way to the acceleration gate, the entry point where we would begin our attack on the drone base located at the other end in deadspace. Our suicide dummy jumped in, gave us a report of the situation and after first sending in the larger vessels to aggro the drones defenses, the remainder of us followed. That, by the way, was a mistake we would end up paying for. Warping into the area, my eyes grew wide at the vast amount of drones already engaging the larger ships. Missiles and gunfire lighting up the darkness of space in one explosion after another. Quickly I gathered my senses, looked through my targeting list and selected the closest nearby fighter equivelant in size to the rifter i was flying. I quickly powered up my cannons, locked the drone into my targeting crosshairs and pushed the throttle to max. Immediantly, a sentry gun locked onto me but our support ship sent me more than enough shield boost to make its attacks nearly unnoticable. Being small and quick, it was my job, like the others who flew in the smaller ships to take out the small drone fighters as the larger ships would have difficulty fighting such nimble vessels. In the meantime, they focused their firepower on the larger, slower moving drones, picking them off one by one while us frigates did the same to the smaller drones. The battle was going quite well, having yet to lose a single ship when our singular mistake came to bite us full force in the ass.

A note and warning to those who take on missions of this nature in areas of lowsec. Always leave a man behind at the entry gate to watch your backs. We really should've known better but on this day, the thought didn't even cross our minds. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

Anyways, as i was saying, we were doing quite well with nearly two thirds of the enemy drones having been neutralized. I was focused myself on a particular drone that was really aggravating the hell out of me in his ability to avoid my projectile cannon's punches when suddenly my radar screen lit up with blinking red lights like christmas come early. "what the..." i stammered. Glancing out of my cockpit windows, the looming forms of numerous battlecruisers and battleships filled the darkness of space before me. Pirates! Not one or two but somewhere in the vicinity of 6 or 7 large ships had just warped in, weapons at the ready. Quickly my mind sifted through this turn of events and I realized that there was nothing I could do to help. Against such a force, I would find myself detached from my ship and possibly my body in a very quick manner so I did the only thing I could think of doing. It seems the fleet commander was in full agreement as well. With us already having the aggro of the drone enemy, there was no chance we would survive a fight against both forces. Tucking our tales between our legs, we all turned and fled...except the rokh. Well...he turned to do so but a ship of that size takes some time to make that happen. Just after I hit the button, shooting myself into warp, I heard the news over the com. The pirates had laid down a Cynosural Field, thus preventing our poor rokh pilot from being able to escape. Surprisingly, he held his own for quite some time up until the arrival of the pirates motherships. Against such a massive force of both drones and pirates, it was only a matter of time. Fortunately for our pilot, he managed to eject from his ship just before it blew and rushed to escape the resulting shockwave of destruction.

Regrouping at the station, we licked our wounds, patted each other on the back for having escaped so narrowly and made our way back to headquarters.

So should we have stayed and fought? Should we have done our best to protect our rokh pilot and his ship and most likely lose our own? After a long discussion about the events it was determined we had all done the only feasible thing there was to do. Run. If we had stayed, it would likely have only been worse. But hey, at least we were blessed with the knowledge that the pirates felt the need to bring in such a large force to tackle what was otherwise a pretty small fleet in terms of firepower. Hopefully soon though, even those tables will turn.

Before I sign off though....one last thought that was shared amongst the fleet. Given the ejection of the pirate from our ranks, there is the possibilty that the massive pirate fleet that ambushed us might have been tipped off by this rogue pilot. I mean....could these pirates really have assembled a fleet of that magnitude so quickly without a previous heads-up? Maybe....but the question still remains....


23 November 2008

First Corporation Kill

Today was my corporation's first confirmed kill!

As I've said before, my corporation is a young corporation. Most of our pilots are young in the sense of their pilots license and very little experience is shared amongst us going up against real pilots instead of the pesky little suicide pilots of the local Gurista pirates. What's commonly referred to as rats, Guristas attempt to harass the miners, throwing themselves at our ships, knowing themselves to be ill equipped to defeat most anybody. But today, today we went up against a real pilot, one whose had proper training and access to the equipment necessary to take down other pilots.

For the past couple days, after the defeat of Marcus, another can flipper decided it seemed, with the death of Marcus, to set up shop in his stead. Three of us were victims of his thefts, him swooping in at the helm of a badger class ship, swiping the oar from our cans before quickly warping back out. And if attacked, he would return in a cruiser, the Caracal, to wreak destruction for what he deemed stupidity. But it was him who turned out to be the less intelligent one.

After being harrassed nearly all day by this pest, it was decided it was time for him to be freed of his ship and to feel the cold void of space. Hopping in my rifter, I powered up my systems and set out. I won't deny, it was a horrible ship to fly against the caracal but determination drove me to take the chances. At my side, I had two fellow corp mates, one in another rifter and the other in a destroyer. Also joining us were some alliance mates. It was really the alliance mates who we were expecting to make the attack and kill but in the end, it was my own corporation who sealed his fate. Also joining us, and becoming our latest member was a young miner, perhaps about the same age as myself, flying his own cruiser, an osprey. The osprey was by no means equipped for combat though, instead bearing perhaps a missle launcher and numerous mining lasers. I don't think he intended to get involved in the battle but after having made the mistake of shooting this flipper before and in turn getting himself shot down when the pirate returned in his caracal, he was more than willing to help in playing bait.

While our alliance mates set up in one belt, their warships floating a short distance from their own bate, we set our corp mate up in another belt. Under the rules of Concorde, unless the pilot whose can was robbed was a part of your own corporation, you were not allowed to open fire else face Concorde's wrath. So with two bates, two corporations out on the hunt, I'd say we definitly raised the chances of us catching this nuisance. And sure enough, it happened. Flying in, in his normal fashion, the badger moved to take the can. The comm came alive as Prof, our newest member called out, notifying us the prey had taken his bait. Quickly we turned to warp in. My two wingmen arrived just in time to see the flipper warp out but after getting a few shots off at him, we knew he would return. What he didn't know was that we were armed and that more of us than the couple he saw were warping in after he'd left. So when he returned, just as we knew he would in his Caracal, the fight was on.

I locked my targeting computer on him and opened fire just as my corp mates did. Our shields and firepower were seriously outmatched by the shear strength and fire of his ship but determination and numbers turned evened our odds. With our enemy having a warp disrupter, my chances of keeping my ship were even slimmer. So in the end, when the fog of war cleared, yes, I lost my rifter as well as one my corpmates losing his rifter, but along side our wrecks was the wreck of a Caracal. The loss of two Rifters versus the loss of a Caracal? I'll take that!

Yep. Today was a good day for my corporation!


22 November 2008

Who Am I

I wake up everyday, most often at my home but nearly just as often in strange places far from the station I call home. But then again....is that even home? I mean...where I grew up and where I trained for my pilot's license just seems so far from here now. Nearly 30 system jumps away. I am a Minmatar and of this I am proud. But here I find myself now calling Caldari space as home. So is it really home?

Bah, now it just sounds as though I'm being a big sap. Frankly, I'm happy with where I'm at now. Only a few weeks old in terms of being a pilot but already feeling as though I've begun to establish a small name for myself. Flying about in my small Probe Frigate back in Minmatar space, my commlink had come alive with that small blinking white light, notifying me I had mail. Reading it, I learned it came from the CEO of a small, budding corporation who was looking for new solid pilots to join his corp and help to build it into something great. At first I was hesitant. I mean, this was the first offer I had received since I'd undocked from the station for my very first trip out behind the controls of a ship. But at the same time, being so new myself, it was tempting to join a new corporation and be one of the original members of what could be something great.

So after much pondering, I made the necessary steps and turned in my application to this young corp. At first, yes, it was small. maybe no more than 10 members. But already in perhaps the three or four weeks I've been a part of it, we have developed by leaps and bounds. We are also now a part of a fast growing alliance who seems to have a great plan set out for themselves and just as our corporation was fairly new so too is this Alliance. So as my corporation and the Alliance grows, so too will I and I look full-heartedly towards the future and the grand possibilities I see coming for us.


17 November 2008

One Less Can Flipper!

Today was a glorious day for my alliance. I know I wrote my first entry just earlier today but the excitement of the day just has me too excited not to goad about it for at least a bit and as this wasn't just any flipper, it makes it that much sweeter.

For the past few weeks, us poor miners have been haunted by the presence of a pirate named Marcus. I won't give his last name out of respect for him as he gave us respect for podding him when all was said and done.

Anyways....as I was saying, this particular pirate has been harrassing us constantly, warping in quickly in his apocalypse to swipe the hard earned oar from our cans before warping out, his warp signature fading quickly behind him. And fast he was! Most times he would be there and gone before you could even put a call out for help. So a few days ago it was discussed amongst the Alliance and a decision was made. Marcus had to die.

For three days we hunted him. We had a rough schedule of his appearances. spies out everywhere to keep a lookout for his movements, and even a cloaked ship that stalked him for a bit, eventually discovering one of the two safespots he used where he would stash his stolen goods until he could return later with a hauler for pickup. This past saturday we made an attempt to catch him in the act, but unfortunately ran into a bump. As a corporation, all is well in catching a thief. But unfortunately Concord, the ruling military presence in all of Eve highsec, does not allow for us to openly attack him as an alliance unless acts of aggression have been made against all of the corporatons within the alliance. Given our task force was a conglomeration of the various corporations, this meant that only a select few would be allowed to fire upon him when he flipped the can, else face the wrath of Concord.

So that day was his day. After snatching the good from the can, we warped in on him but with with only a couple people able to retaliate, he was safe. And he knew it. For quite a bit of time he just circled the can, taunting us, perhaps hoping we would make the deadly mistake of opening fire on him first. But we refrained, instead just trailing behind him, more than willing to let him know we were onto him....that no longer would his actions be tolerated. Eventually of course, he warped out and we called it a night. Our day would come we all knew as we chuckled later over the communications link.

Today was that day.

The bait was set. We set ourselves up at a safespot a short distance away and waited. This time we were prepared. This time we would use the minimal loopholes that existed within the laws of Concord.

Grabbing my hauler, I stood by myself a short distance away at one of the nearby stations, ready to hop in when given the go while the rest of the fleet stood by in a another safespot a short hop out from the belt. Sure enough, Marcus took the bait. Warping in, he swiped the oar from the can and given he was in a ship not capable of carrying all the ore, he dropped his own can, tranferring the remainder from our bait can into his before warping out, possibly to get his own hauler. We fouled though. The fighters jumped in too soon, making him well aware we were present, ready for him to slip. In his usual lightning speed, he was gone but we already knew he was cocky. He knew the laws of Concord and believed himself to have the upperhand like our last encounter. Waiting for the all clear, I warped into the belt with my hauler and quickly moved to take back from his can what he'd stolen from us, but only taking a portion. Quickly I warped back out, knowing it wouldn't be long before he arrived again.

Sure enough, he returned a number of times. Though knowing us to be close by, he kept himself at a safe distance of 100km, giving himself the opportunity to study the situation without actually being close enough for any to warp in and engage. What happened afterwards was a bit of blur with the rush of it all so forgive me if my details get a little skewed.

I remember at some point him warping in about 30km out and actually destroying his own can. It had me a bit on edge hearing the gunfire as I and a couple others were now sitting there stationary in our rifters.

Alas, again, I don't remember the exact details but something was done on his part now to which our main task force now had the redlight. What ended up being his last run, he warped in again at a mere 20km. I'm not sure what he was thinking by now but quickly our fighters turned to engage. Blasts of laser fire streaked across the sky, drones released from both him and our own ships, armor repairers engaged. The fight was on! Given I had no redlight by rules of concord, I could not engage myself but instead did my best to try and bump his large ship with my tiny rifter in hopes of at least slowing any possibilty of him moving to warp out without actually engaging him and bringing concord into the fray.

I'll give him credit. Even with such a powerful force bearing down on him, he stood his ground, tanking the repeated blasts of gunfire. But his fate was sealed...and he eventually knew it. In one last act of defiance, he activated his self destruct sequence. So maybe it was not a pure kill but it was a kill nonetheless and as we watched his ship light up in a glorious ball of fire, the comm channel lit up with the cheers of my alliance mates.

I watched in blissful glee as his pod narrowly escaped the ensuing destruction. He seemed to pause for a short moment, perhaps waving goodbye to his trusty steed before warping off into the unknown.

Granted, I was not able to be a part of the actually killing of this regular nusance but i feel proud to have been a part of this task force and even more so proud to claim this Alliance as my own.

Today was a glorious day indeed.


Waking Up

I drifted into consciousness from a rather fitful sleep. Sitting up on the edge of my bed, I looked about in the dimness of the little bunk room, the only light coming from the small nightlight sitting atop the desk a couple feet from where I'd slept. Even spending the vast amounts of time that I did now in the dark void of space, I'd grown accustomed to always sleeping with a nightlight. My little bit of creature comfort against the dangers that lay beyond the walls of where I slept. The life I'd chosen was a dangerous one. Perhaps the most dangerous occupation in all of Eve. Fighter pilots and pirates, and everyone else involved in the conflict, considered their occupations to be the most dangerous, but I feel I could seriously argue that point.

I am a miner. I hop in my pod every day, link into the ship and head out into the vastness of space in search of the best asteroid fields I could find. The goal being to bring in the best monetary return for the long hours of what many feel to be a very boring profession. Simple as that you may first think.

Simple? Perhaps. Boring? I think not.

Every sensible pod pilot knows one fact that remains above all others. If you're not docked, you're not safe.

Okay....sure...but why is a miner's life the most dangerous occupation of all? Well, unlike the warriors and pirates out there roaming the depths of space, with their big guns and powerful shields and MWRs and everything else, we roam about in ships carrying nearly nothing but mining lasers and big cargo holds. We find quiet little fields with nothing but asteroids hoping to blast away for as long as we can stand, occasionally towing our hard work back to a nearby station for refining and eventual sales to the various manufacturers that rely upon people like us for the minerals we bring in. However, just when your getting all settled in, kicking back to read a book perhaps or reconfigure for the thousandth time your mp3 music lists.....BAM! Your ship gets rocked by the very recognizable blast of a detonating missile from an attacking ship. Maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe they won't have a scrambler. Maybe you'll be able to warp to a safe spot or a nearby station to dock. Maybe they just want your ore and will willingly let you go for a small price. And then again.....most likely not. You can do nothing but hope and pray that help will arrive soon. And that you'll survive till they do. Sure...you can stay in high sec and enjoy the comforts of knowing Concord is always nearby, standing by, ready with a myriad of ships to come to your rescue. But if you want the really good stuff, if you want that ore that will sell for 10x the amount you'd get over the lowly veldspar that so many already mine....you gotta go where concord isn't. You gotta go to lowsec. You gotta go where lawlessness rules. A place where it's kill or be killed.

But for me....not yet. Soon...but not yet.

I stood from the bunk, gathered my belongings and headed for the docking bays. It was quiet in the halls, most still being fast asleep. As I walked, I checked my skill training log, noting the time left for the completion of my information download. Hmm....maybe i should switch it to another, shorter one? No. Patience. That's what my fellow corp mates and alliance mates taught me. So that's what I'll do. Currently I'm training Analytical Mind to level 4. A long process but supposably one that will help speed up the training for the myriad of other skills I plan to train eventually. I laugh to myself. So many plans. So MUCH time...

I paused at the entrance to the docking bay and smiled proudly (as I always did) at the crouching form of the Osprey. My Osprey. The lowliest of cruisers perhaps in the sense of combat, but the best the cruisers had to offer for both protection and more importantly to me, mining yield. Dozens of crewman milled about preparing the ships mining lasers for me. The day before I had it retrofitted for combat purposes, providing cover for a couple corp mates being harrassed by an annoying can flipper, but today it was my turn to hit the fields. There was money to be made in dem dar hills! I climbed aboard and immediantly went to my pod, plugging its wires into the plugs in my body. Think Matrix for all you greater newbs who know nothing of the life of a pod pilot.

Checking the evemail system, i read over the couple that were left in my alliance box as well as in the corporate box. Nothing too grand or of notable interest today. Yep. Today looked to be like another full day of mining. I then checked the systems over quickly, sent the request to control to undock, took a deep breath and as control gave me clearance, i was already enroute for the bay doors, ready to once again head out into the vastness of space. Pirates, can flippers, or just plain nusances, I was ready. Hope you are ready for me too. You can kill me as often as you wish...or leave me in peace to mine. But like it or not, I am here to stay.