31 December 2008

Back to the Beginning

I've heard stories, or perhaps tellings, of the original wormhole that brought our ancestors to Eve long ago. It's always been in the back of my head that one day I would like to venture to this system, New Eden, to see the collapsed portal myself. Yesterday evening I finally got up the courage to fulfill that desire. Myself and my CEO were talking about how we never really have ventured into nullsec before. We'd both made a number of excursions now into lowsec but never so far as to go into nullsec. So we figured, why not now. Grabbing a couple of shuttles and throwing on some disguises we then discussed where we wanted to go. Nullsec was a pretty big place and we really had no idea what there was to see, or even if there was really anything of great interest to see there. So I brought up the idea of going to the New Eden system. I thought it was a nullsec system but I was wrong on that account. If I remember correctly now, it was a .3 security system. So it wasn't nullsec but all the same it would be an entertaining little journey.

Setting our nav computers to the destination system, we discovered we really weren't all that far from it. About 29 jumps. Okay, so to some that isn't close but when your traveling in a shuttle, it doesn't take long. For the most part, the journey was pretty uneventful. We did happen upon one rather large gate camp, perhaps 15 to 20 ships (beginning to love those pretty red blinky lights they make on my overview) but either they weren't even interested in bothering with a couple shuttles, which is a good possibility, or as i suspected, the shuttles were just a little too fast for them. A shuttle can uncloak after a gate jump and be in warp before most can even scan their overview to see what just appeared.

The only other interesting event was when we picked up a tail about 2 or 3 jumps away from New Eden. He had us a bit nervous as he was traveling in an interceptor. The interceptor is the only ship I really worry about given how fast it is and often times can go into warp after you but come out of warp before you. Anyways, at first we thought it was just coincidence that he kept showing up at the same gates but when he started showing up at the planets we would divert to before going to the gates, we knew he was following us. We still made our way to New Eden and were quick to make a safespot but didn't want to hang out too long with what appeared to be 5 or 6 people in system along with our stalker. So we snapped a couple photos of the collapsed wormhole (which I'll edit into this post at later time once i get around to uploading it from my camera) and high-tailed it back out.

At this point, I have to say, New Eden certainly is a place I suggest everyone at some point should go visit. It's really quite magnificent...if you can get over the strange feeling of nausea you feel when you're in the system. It's like everything around you is moving, like a slow moving liquid. And when in warp, instead of the pretty blue-ish tunnel you usually see surrounding you, it's replaced with a strange black swirl that's sort of hard to describe.

So anyways, with the interceptor still on our butts, we set a course back to our HQ system. We got two hops out from New Eden and finally got aggravated. I mean this guy just wasn't quitting. So we decided to throw him off a bit. I quickly jumped from planet to planet, creating some safespots while my CEO jumped to the next system and did the same. And then we waited. Eventually the guy piped up in local comm. He claimed he was actually unarmed and was just doing a little recon on active corporations in those systems. I laughed and asked him not to feel hurt when I told him I didn't trust a word of that. He got a little chuckle out of that himself. It ends up he actually was a pretty decent guy, another from an industrial corporation based in high sec. It makes sense I guess since I can't imagine someone hunting solo in low sec in an interceptor. But still, I wasn't about to go over and shake his hand. (at this point we knew he was sitting at the gate between the system i was in and the system my CEO was in.) Anyways, we chatted a few more moments, said the usual parting "fly safe", and he moved on. My CEO confirmed he jumped into his system and shortly after into the next. I then jumped myself into the system where my CEO sat in a safe spot and we waited for some time to make sure the interceptor pilot had left.

In the meantime, we made a decision. Our original goal was to venture into nullsec and since we still had some time left, figured why not still go. So we did a quick search with the computers map system and found the nearest 0.0 system, locked it into our nav computers and headed out. Now maybe I'm wrong, but I was actually surprised to see the nearest 0.0 system we could find was like 20 some hops away. No matter, again being in shuttles, it didn't take long.

There was one rather nervous moment when we jumped into the first nullsec system. Sitting there was two ships gate camping, and a very short distance away, a warp disruption field. We quickly warped to a planet than made a beeline for the next gate. Once in the next system and realizing there was absolutely nothing to see, we decided it was time to dock and get some sleep. But unfortunately, after checking the map, without going WAY out of our way to get back to high sec to safely dock, the only way back was past that gate camp. Two ships were at the gate, but there was certainly more in the system. We talked it over for a moment and figured what the hell. We were both in clone disguises ((alts for the unenlightened)), both flying shuttles, and neither one really caring if we lost both our ships and our clone's lives. Shoot. If anything it would have just made getting back to HQ a LOT faster.

So we hopped back in system. At first we were going to make a beeline for the gate and just see if we could make it through but at the last moment, I made the suggestion we warp to the same planet we'd gone to when we'd first arrived, seen as we knew that would put us at a heading that wouldn't intersect with their field. Sure enough after warping from the planet to the gate, it bypassed the field. Actually, it was somewhat comical as it seemed they had set up a second field and we warped in right between the two fields and immediately jumped.

So all in all it really turned out to be quite an interesting evening and certainly something we'll be doing again soon. Who knows. If you see a fleet of gallante shuttles (our shuttles of choice) flying through a system near you, say hello. It just may be me and my companions in disguise out for a little exploratory stroll.


27 December 2008

A Little R & R

So I've been enjoying a little vacation planetside in a small dead end system called Mahtista. Few people even know of the place, and of those that do, few even give much thought to it. I personally love those types of systems as i can generally do my mining in peace. Take for instance this place. Few places within empire space can boast only having no more than 4 or 5 pilots in system even at the busiest times. There are no corporate stations to be found within the system so thus the reason for so few people ever visiting it. As for planets, there's only one planet with a stable enough atmosphere to sustain life. Without much resources though, the planet still is left to be ignored.

But on that planet, I have a few friends that have chosen to live out an existance and it is these people whom I have come to visit. Just for a few days. It's always fun to go and visit old friends. Especially close ones you haven't seen in what seems like forever. But soon, I will be returning to the usual daily life so no worries there.


22 December 2008

Stepping out of my Norm

So as the title suggests, that's what I spent a good bit of this weekend doing. I'm a miner. Pure and simple. I recently finished training for the skill to fly a Retriever, a beautiful mining ship built to handle strip miners. And let me tell you it kicks some butt. Generally, with my Osprey and it's 3 t2 mining lasers, I was pulling in about1.5 to 2mil per hour of mining. Probably would be more if it wasn't for the occasional trips I have to make back to station, come out in my hauler, a Hoarder that can carry just a little over 12,000 m3, haul back what I've mined and get back out there in my Osprey again. But with the Retriever, I can pull in roughly about 4.5mil worth of material in only a half hour. Stack on top of that me finishing the skill training for the Mammoth. So now I can mine more, for a longer time, and well.....yeah, it's definitly filling the pocket book a lot faster and making me more capable of expanding my abilities to support my entertainment and the corporation.

But that's not what this entry is about. This is about me stepping out my that normality for me and into the so-called unknown for this simple little miner.

This weekend I received an invitation from a member of our alliance's military division. They had a small fleet already building up and we're looking for anybody and everybody willing to mount some guns and head into low-sec to hunt pirates. At first I was a little hesitant. When you spend most of your time training skills for mining, the aspect of turning killer can be a bit daunting. Yes, I know. I've assisted in the killing of can tippers in the past but to me that still seems....different. And yes, I've been on that mission op into low sec but again, fighting rogue drones versus living breathing...thinking...pirates, is a bit more nerve racking for me. But what the hell. I didn't buy two jump clones for nothing. So with that in mind, i threw together a Griffon frigate and headed out to meet them. By the time I caught up, they were already in low sec. Though there is always a risk of gate camps, I figured in my frigate I should be okay as I can generally go into warp before they even start a targeting sequence. Fortunately I ran into nothing of the sort and was soon caught up with the fleet in a safespot.

I always heard hunting in low sec could get boring, with waits that can sometimes take hours before catching any prey but I guess it never really sank in until this weekend. After a few hours of not really finding anything noteworthy or chasing dead ends, we finally decided that our best tanker, and I guess hardest hitter, would set up in an asteroid belt pretending to be killing rats. Surprisingly it seems we should have done that sooner. He was sitting in the belt for no more than perhaps 5 mins when suddenly a ship, a force recon, decloaked a short distance from his position. Both ships quickly locked onto each other and the order was given for us to move in. What we hadn't quite prepared for was the distance we were from his location. Our pilot was nearly freaking out as it appeared the recon ship was going to destroy him before we could get there. But it seems just in the nik of time, we dropped out of warp, right on top of the recon. Immediantly, we all locked onto him, scrammed and webbed him and layed into him with every available weapon we had. It was only a short time before his ship went up in a pretty red ball of fire. I think our pilot who had acted as bait couldn't breathe a heavier sigh of relief. We let the pod go as we're not full blooded killers and see no purpose in podding. Unless of course he's got a decent bounty on his head.

After that, things got a good bit busier as we took down 3 other ships, a caracal, an arbitrator, and another caracal and on the following day a hulk, but that was only cuz we got bored and tired looking for something to kill and he just happened to be the first we came across before we intended to disband and head home.

But something is bothering me just slightly. Why is it that i don't feel the least bit bad about the kills. I mean, reality is that not all of those were pirates. Especially the hulk. He was there to mine and in that way was no different than me. But yet, i feel no ounce of regret in helping to destroying his ship. In fact, I almost wanted to scream "Yarr!" over the local comms as we warped in for the kill. Just call it pent up frustration perhaps?

Anyways, I know my dps was certainly not much in helping to take down any of these kills. But I'm not a combat pilot and instead prefer using ECM's to assist those who are. I can't confirm it but perhaps me breaking the recon's lock is what saved my fleet mate. And that to me is just as important as laying down dps. Actually, truth be known... after warping in, I'd at first forgotten to even activate my guns as i was focused on getting my ecm's up and running....oops. Just don't tell that to my fleet mates. hehe.


16 December 2008

Making Irregular Out of Regular

So there's one thing that most who truly know me, know not to ever let happen....that being to let me get bored. Strange things happen when I do. Sometimes by my own hand...other times, well....I'm just lucky that way I guess. (Insert my big grin right here.)

Since I last made entry, there really hasn't been much in the way of ops or battles or anything else of that sort. I made a new friend, who I promptly accepted into the corporation. She's a newer pilot but I suspect has a lot of potential, especially in the area of security and defense. A bit of a firebrand if you ask me...though I guess that's why she got the nickname Starfire. I'm really not much of a combat person myself so I've directed her to ask any questions she has towards our combat director but at the same time, I fully intend to keep up on her training and perhaps take her under my wing in the way of supplying whatever it is she needs to become the great pilot I feel her to be capable of.

Otherwise, we've added a few other new members to our ranks. Some are fresh out of the academy, others have been around perhaps as long as our directors have. This is good as I almost prefer to keep the newer members as newer pilots. Or at least newer than myself or the other directors and our CEO. Eventually, when we have sufficient time under our belts not to be considered so much as noob ship pilots, then perhaps we could consider older pilots than ourselves.

Otherwise, I've been busying myself by trying out other career options. For instance, I was reading the journal of another pod pilot who spoke of his friend towing garbage around for a living so the other day i randomly entered garbage into the market terminal. Low and behold, you really CAN buy garbage! And better yet, there were people willing to buy it for twice the amount I could buy it at. So for perhaps an hour or two, I hopped around the systems towing garbage in my hauler. Made a few million isk. Not bad eh?

Then the other day I decided to go for a spin in my salvager, a cormorant destroyer fitted for salvaging missions for the other folks in my alliance. Hopping around the local asteroid belts, I picked up a fair amount of wrecks that miners had left behind, to include a few cans partially filled with ore. Now some may say me taking the ore would make me a can tipper but I would argue that as I originally left the cans alone and after seeing them there 30 to 45 minutes later, still unattended and the listed owner being in another belt mining, I figured it to be abandoned. Better me, a fellow miner to have the ore than some true flipper. So after doing that for perhaps an hour, with a combination of the loot, the small amount of ore left in the can, and the parts I was able to salvage from the wrecks, I brought in roughly another 3 to 4 mil. People really should learn to clean up after themselves! I may just have to make a career out of this. Who knows how much I could make looting and salvaging in lowsec! ....if I could avoid the pirates that is....

So yeah...just if you have any more trash laying around, just call me! Your regular Eve garbage man!


08 December 2008

When a stream becomes Niagra Falls

So I realize it's been awhile since last I made an entry. To say these past couple weeks have been hectic would be an understatement. Fortunately it's starting to settle back down but not into the previous routines.

Basically, my corporation has gone through a complete revamping. It started with a major theft in our young corporation. We're not sure still of the reasons it happened but the one who did it was caught red handed and after repeatedly denying he was responsible, was eventually fired. In my opinion, i would've fired him the very day it happened but the CEO was a little more lax about it then I. Of course this theft caused a lot of upset in the ranks and people began considering leaving the corp, perhaps joining with another corp from our alliance. I can't say I blame them. It seemed nearly every other day, our young CEO was changing the way things were being run. And it also seemed he knew little of the actual corporation assets control computers. For instance, this theft could have been avoided if necessary precautions were made and a more thorough knowledge of the corporation control was held by said CEO. Anyways, I still think he's a good guy, he was just lacking in the necessary knowledge needed to be a good CEO.

After that, came the 7 day war.

A pirate corporation, consisting of 8 heavily experienced combat pilots, declared war on our alliance. I'm not sure why or even why the war ended when it did but given my new position, which I'll explain in a moment, I'll soon be finding out from the Alliance leader.

But let me admit to you in saying these guys were brutal. I wasn't available for the one major engagement we had with them but as i understand it, it wasn't pretty. We lost a few too many ships, only to take out a handful of their tech II drones. The only enemy ship we nearly destroyed, barely escaped by docking in the station the battle took place outside of. After that it was mostly us just stockpiling gear, ships and ammo, sneaking it past them as they camped outside of our HQ.

Rumor says they withdrew their war dec because they became aware of how much we were amassing within the station right under their noses....but I'm not entirely sure. Our objective was to annihilate them to no end by throwing wave after wave of small inexpensive frigates at their battlecruisers and battleships, locking them in place, while our larger ships sat at a distance, pounding them with torpedoes and electronic warfare equipment.

So while their small, 8 man corporation sat there camping our HQ, making no money and getting only a handful of foolish or suicidal pilots that would undock, our large, roughly 150 man alliance, was amassing weapons and ammo and gear and continuing to build our bank accounts...again, right under their noses. The day was set to make the assault on them but 2 days before it was to take place, we received notice that they were withdrawing. Again, I'm still not entirely sure why. We did receive a message saying something about they were impressed that we had actually fought back. Something about they underestimated us a tad in thinking we were pure carebears with no teeth. A compliment or an insult I'm not entirely sure really.

Anyways, shortly after the war ended, our CEO stepped down. In fact, he left the corp completely for a couple days there. I'm not entirely sure what all his reasons were but he turned over control of the corp to his XO. I guess after talking to a few people in the corp, this newly promoted CEO came to me and offered me the position of being his XO. I was a little hesitant at first. I mean...me? A young pilot such as myself being the XO of a quickly growing corporation? It was a little overwhelming at first and I was slow to respond but eventually I accepted. In the following days, we discussed what path to take with the corp and more specifically who we felt could be trusted as directors.

So after appointing people to the necessary positions, rearranging the command structure and the corp assets, I think we have created a stronger, more controlled (though still fun) corporation that will last long into the future. Or so I hope at least...