Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Passive Aggressive

The cold water runs down my back and washes off the last of the neuro-embryonic fluid, and I palm the shower off. I'd been in Isho for less than 72 hours and station maintenance were already proving how inefficient they were. I pull on a pair of gray fatigues and a shirt before heading for my desk to look over fittings and review the events of the past few days.


Well, first of all, I applied for membership to The Black Rabbits Academy, and after an interview with one of their agents at some bar in the seedier parts of Amarr, I put in a request to the dock crew to pack up my fittings and prepare Misericorde for storage and transport. The Tribunicia had been pulled into the hangar by the time I made it down from the bar, and I could see the loading crew trying to squeeze the last components of the Rifter into the hauler. For a moment I pondered how much faster Caldari MTACs could do it before stopping myself.

No more pondering how well the Caldari State works. Mostly because it doesn't. The State War Academy didn't give me anything but a nice jacket with a fancy graduation patch. Maybe when everything collapsed, and the Guristas were still going strong, the Caldari people would see who the real betrayers were.


I can feel the vibrations from the Tribunicia's engines despite my half-sleep as the cheap skeleton crew did most of the piloting. The fluid inside a capsule has strange quantum properties negating the kinetic effects of high-speed space travel, but my neural connection to the ship itself brought every little tremor to my attention.

My lieutenant says something about pirates on the other side of the gate ahead. We're about to detour, lengthening our trip to Usi/Isho by another few jumps before he receives a transmission from the other side of the gate. Conveniently enough, anti-pirates had intervened at a perfect time. But weren't anti-pirates just pirates who won't admit it? Too afraid to show their true faces? These thoughts slide across the forefront of my mind as I drift back into oblivion.


My Rifter hovers above the docking pad in the Perkone factory station in Isho. We've been sitting here for hours, my lieutenant tells me. I was napping in my pod, worn out by the journey. I'm barely probing out into the nets to see what I missed when an invitation to a fleet communications network scrolls across a Guristas Associates channel. I key in and tactical systems place me in a fleet network under command of a Black Rabbit, from TBRA's parent corporation.

They've begun sieging a POS tower in the system next door. Despite knowing I won't be able to do much in my frigate, I scramble the crew to undock. They obey without question. Crewmembers with less flexible morals than I were jettisoned in cargo containers several systems back.

Misericorde gates into the next system and I warp into the siege, locking the station and engaging weapons for a time. I know full well my autocannons won't have any effect, but it helps crew morale (and even I found some small entertainment in it) to see our weapons live. In the interest of ammo conservation, I disengage and gate to the next system to make sure no uninvited guests attempt to crash our 'business reception' with a mister 'POS', leaving the real work to the pair of Gallentean dreadnoughts pounding away at the station's shields.

There were a few moments when we suspected a counter gang by the Monsters corporation, and one of them attempted to probe my out of my safespot watching the gate, but none of it ever came to fruition. After an hour and fourty five minutes of scan after scan after scan, I get the green light to warp back to the siege and just manage to target the POS and get a rocket away before a small sun appears where the tower had once been anchored.

At the same time, a number of battleships begin to close on our system, and another Rifter pilot and myself play babysitter to the dreadnoughts recharging their capacitors as the rest of the fleet warps off to hunt down these new arrivals, eager for blood after the one-sided engagement with the POS. I don't know all the details after this, because I'm still not privy to all channels of communication, but the dreadnoughts got the location of a raven near our home station and engaged it, popping it just as I warped in and aligned for the dock.


All in all, the whole deal with the POS was pretty exciting, and my first fleet op with the Black Rabbits. That said, I didn't engage any live targets the whole time. I'm determined to catch an unsuspecting pilot tomorrow and score my first kill. I've noticed a novice (even more so than I am) Caracal pilot in and out of Isho and the surrounding systems several times, and he seems like as good a start as any.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Hello. My name is Bakaris."

"Hi Bakaris."

I figured I should start this thing off by giving a background of my time in EVE. I started out a couple of years ago and after a month or so I got into a mining corp known as Black Star Industries. I had no desire to mine anything, so I began training with the corps security division and was in line to take over as head of security (don't ask how, to this day I don't know myself). I'd been reading Alia Xi's Caldari Piratess for some time and had been itching to get into piracy as well. It just seemed fun.

Coincidently, Black Star forbade piracy in any form, so my first jaunts as a can flipper were done late at night when few other corp members were up and about, and with much timidity. I remember how excited I was the first time someone took the bait.

I remember how shocked I was when he popped me in less time than it took to get my weapons online. Still, I was persistent and began venturing into lowsec systems frequented by Kane Rizzel and Flashfresh. I befriended a corp whose name I can't recall for the life of me, and flew with them for a couple weeks, losing numerous ships. For whatever reason, it took me awhile to realize you can't pirate in a Caracal and nobody seemed inclined to tell me.

At the same time, BSI was funding replacement Caracals, and the same fittings I was supposed to be using to defend mining operations were being used to fill up the killmails of pilots more skilled than I in lowsec systems. BSI chat would often look like

BAKARIS: Um. Wow. I just ran into a gatecamp while ratting in lowsec. They roasted my Caracal.
VIPER: Again? Just stay out of lowsec. If you need money you can run missions with us. *wires 15 million ISK to me for replacements*
BAKARIS: Yeaaaaaaah okay.

About two months after I payed for my first pilot license, I encountered money troubles and had to take some time away from EVE. I started up again a couple months later, and for about a month I continued to lose ships in lowsec. My subscription burned out and I forgot about New Eden for a long time.

Now I'm back, determined to succeed where I've failed so often before. To this day, I have yet to score a single killmail, and I still can't fly anything effectively but a Caracal and sometimes a Rifter. I've been looking at the Guristas' Black Rabbit Academy as a way to stop failing so hard, while in the meantime I acquire some ISK to pad myself by ratting in CVA-owned nullsec.

Before I head back to ratting, I also want to give a quick run-down of what I fly.

Our Lady War - A Caracal from my PvE days in BSI, this is my boring rat hunter. I currently fly Our Lady War III, having lost the others to various 'gatecamps.'

Misericorde - My favorite little baby is my Rifter. I'm still working on the skills to fly it effectively, but it's much more to fun to fly than the Caracal, and doesn't hurt my wallet so much when it explodes. The Devil's Dictionary defines a misericorde as such:
A dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used by the foot soldier to remind an unhorsed knight that he was mortal.
Fitting name for a Rifter, I think.

Desikratis - A Cormorant destroyer I use for can flipping in Amarr high-sec. The Desikratis is generally docked, because particularly like her.

Tribunicia - Though not interesting in any way at all, the Tribunicia is a Minmatar hauler used to ferry ill-be-gotten goods between nullsec and Empire space. Much to the dismay of those who destroy her, she rarely carries anything of value.

That's all for now. My goal is to have at least a kill by the next time I write.