Saturday, 26 June 2010

I am a Mage

Alot has happened since my previous post. Back then i was still just a scrounging pirate for the Tuskers corporation. Unexpectedly, but eventually, i grew out of it (the piracy). I still can't entirely explain why it happened, but i know that i only lasted as long as i did due to the awesome friends that were made, and whom remain so to this day.

Found myself on a journey through Ushra'khan (for the second time), then some solo piracy, before finally following Wensley into the Against All Authorities alliance. Unfortunately, some events led to a corp migration and i never got the chance to move into another corp within the alliance as i decided to take an Eve break at this point. But not before i had some mega amounts of fun alongside Izzybella with some duo action - Speed Freaks, part 1 and part 2.

Only the other day (after my 2 month break) did i take note of this little blog under my bookmarks list and began reading through my past journal of events. Man, did that bring a smile to my face. They really were some of the best times i've ever had in Eve and the fond memories came slipping back.
So i resubb'd! Reading about my past endeavours really got me pumped to write something too.

Second day back in the universe, i was out roaming in my 'ranis. After chasing a Rifter through a couple of systems, i ended up in OMS. Watched his warp trajectory and followed suit toward it's planet cluster. Landed smack-bang on top of a Cheetah and uncloaked it! Scram; blasters; security status, (this knocked me below -2.0). It seemed to be an active pilot though, probably thinking it safe to idle at zero on the planet cloaked whilst probing whatever the hell it was probing. It paid off for me though and i was rewarded with a complete Sisters probe set; launcher, probes and all!

I found myself roaming with a few Tuskers later on in the day, some awesome guys who mostly joined long after i left the corp. We had a run-in with 'some' Eve-uni guys. It's here that i take my hat off to the Ivy guys... man, they executed their move brilliantly. Let me explain.

Our small gang of frigates got word from a scout in the system ahead of us about another small frigate gang of Eve-uni guys. This got us excited and we were looking forward to a fight. Our scout lured them into our system and as they followed him in, he warped to us where we had set up our position at a belt. We waited. A lot of what i'm about to explain will be a good spoonful of guesswork, but accurate guesswork hopefully. Maybe it'd be better to call it an inference, reading between the lines:

The Vengeance assault frigate came first. Being the first ship to land upon us, there was nothing for us to do except make it our primary target. So we did. But i reckon they had meant for us to make it primary. They sent in the tankiest-ish ship they had at the time to ensure we attacked it first. Then came a few other frigates and we had to try to kill the Vengeance as quickly as possible. I had guns overheated but after recieving yellow-boxes from those new enemy frigates as soon as they had landed meant they were going to primary me. This made sense, i was the Taranis - the glass cannon. What did i do? I GTFO. But only to a distance of around 20km, my drones still attacking.

They switched over to another one of us and i moved back in to help finish the Vengeance off. Yeah, it was still alive. Just. At this point Ivy League's reinforcement had arrived and it was no longer the small gang of frigs we had anticipated in the beginning. As they took down one of our Dramiels, i was ECM'd by their Blackbird and Kishin's Navy Slicer was damped by the Keres. This was clever. I couldn't put out any damage (only drones doing their thing), and the Slicer's offensive range would be put out. Our gang only just managed to blow up the Vengeance and some of us made it out in time.
We were blobbed... but damn, that was one hell of a blob. I probably didn't get the point across, but they did it neat and tidy is what i'm trying to say. It was all common fleet tactics but unlike many other groups out there, they executed it smoothly. If they didn't mean for this perfection to happen, then damnit that was very lucky with the electronic warfare and timing etc... either that, or we sucked. (We didn't suck, fyi).

At some point in the middle of this roamage, we encountered some strange guy in local (See the above image). He called me a mage. A Mage. WTF. I am no 'mage'. Despite what my first name may imply. The only thing i cast, is bullets in your face, m*****cker. Don't give me none of that poxy 'mage' bollocks. I am no dirty spellcasting 'mage' with a wizard hat. I'm a bald, badass child-eater.

... The crazy guy continued to stalk me through systems, trying to sell me frigates. W.T.F.

Monday, 3 August 2009

My Dominix, baby.

Bug Akane, a local friend, had tipped us of 2 myrmidons in Onne. They were pilots of 2005 and 2008 and were camping nubcakes at the high-sec gate. I wasn't impressed.

I gave the situation a thorough thinking through. Two pilots who should be seasoned well enough in PvP to give us some solid resistance in respectable battlecruisers while half the guys in my own fleet were half dead it seemed (or AFK). I weighed the two sides and decided my Gank-Brutix was not fit for the job alongside of what our living fleet members could muster.

"I'm taking the Dominix out, guys. Give me the green light, Bug, when you've confirmed their safespot mate."

Latronicus scouted me through the macro-haven system that is Jovainnon but no sooner had the system been cleared of threat, Vim - a flashy status guy belonging to Brick Squad - jumps from Aeschee into the system just as I landed on the stargate itself. Brutix. Worried of having blown my cover in such a hostile place I hastily jumped into the smelly-pit that is Aeschee. As my lumbersome battleship aligned toward the Onne gate, the Brutix had jumped in after me. He decloaked some 15km away and it confused me why he did not point me in the brief window of vulnerability before I warped.

Things did not get better, a Hurricane pilot was on the Onne gate of which I landed upon. He was in allegiance with the Brick Squad guy in the Brutix. I jumped. Hurricane pursued. I made haste in an attempt to warp to safety. My velocity had even touched and exceeded the speed needed to initiate warp, and for an instant it seemed I had made it. I didn't, the Hurricane had me tackled at the gate.

By this time, Vim the Brutix had jumped in to join the party and as they released drones and began their assault, I hesitated only a split second on whether to burn back to the gate and jump, or face them in a manner which defines the very meaning of valor, courage, and crazy.

I took the Brutix first, if his fit was anything similar to the last time we encountered, it would not take long to deal with him. I scrambled the Brutix and secured a long point on the Hurricane for good measure, (I had changed my fit slightly for the 2 Myrmidon's I had planned). I had no problem micro-managing the 2 armor repairers and I had no need to trouble myself with the second Cap Injector, yet. My set of Heavy Neutron's and Ogre's burned through the Brutix and I turned toward the Hurricane whilst initiating target lock on Vim's capsule.

The Hurricane posed little threat on its own, yet more of them came streaming in. Latronicus was giving live intel of approaching forces on the other side of the gate as they came. Another Hurricane had appeared. I recalled and redeployed drones as necessary and continued my constant damage, overheating my guns at the nearing of the Hurricane's structure. My Booster 800's were running low. I succeeded in downing the ship and;

My attention turned toward the final Hurricane but no sooner had I done so, I was informed of incoming ships; Armageddon, Dominix, Onyx and a Vulture landing on the far side of the gate. Soon enough, they came streaming in. I had completely ran out of Booster 800's at this point and this last Hurricane was mid-armour. I pushed the guns to the limit and had to burst my MWD in order to keep up with its attempt of escape. I did not even see the structure breach when it exploded. I didn't notice the opportunistic Vexor amidst the slug-fest at the time, either. As the other hostilities drew closer to me, I scooped what loot i could and blasted the rest. I deagressed and decided to attempt a jump back into Aeschee. At this moment however, i realised i still had Vim's capsule targeted. It took my full mental restraint from podding the lad. Amazingly however, it was precisely at this point when I noticed none of them had me tackled. I swung my ship around and mind-blowingly warped to safety! I was surprised the ship managed it, considering the empty levels of capacitor.

My beloved fleet-mates rejoiced at my escape and I recovered in a safespot, Cap-less and wounded. Latronicus dutifully continued feeding us with intel and it seemed they had assembled a cute little gate-camp for me on the gate borders between the 2 systems. Latro had kindly supplied me with a few Booster charges to last me a while.

A few moments passed and I believed the system devoid of all threat when -

"Myrmidon at belt six-one!" exclaimed 250, former Tusker (hopefully not for much longer) and fleet member.

I aligned my Dominix towards the belt just as 250 announced the arrival of the other Myrmidon. I did not hesitate and warped directly to him. Unfortunately, his Caracle was caught whilst I was mid-warp.

I landed on the belt 5km from one and 12km from the other. I laid a Scrambler on the nearby Myrmidon but the other escaped my clutches. My fury of blasters and drones was unleashed in vengeance upon the foe, pushing me to keep my MWD running in order to maintain blaster range. I tanked the damage with ease and just before I had destroyed it and sent it to the naughty corner, his friend had valiantly returned! I had burnt out a single blaster at this point however, and it had prevented me from activating the group of blasters it was assigned with... a small dent in my unsurpasable powerz. This Myrmidon proved feisty and had wit about him for he burned fast out of my point range. I recalled my drones just as local spiked up a little. 'Gf's' were exchanged in local. I remained in a safespot to sit out the remainder of my GCC and once that was up and over, proceeded away from Aeschee (where they were still camping me), into Hulmate to dock and cherish my wounds.

Win points:
~Brutix, Hurricane, Hurricane, Myrmidon.

~Ogre II x1
~Heavy Neutron Blaster II x1
~Crap-load of Booster 800's


Friday, 31 July 2009

Invisible Mischief

I’ve discovered something. Something amazing. I’ve discovered the art of cloaking.

BEHOLD my new favourite baby; (ninja'd from Google)

As it were, the monotonous life of piracy was at an all time low for me. I was unrelieved with the same stuff over and over again. Routine procedures involved; Pick a ship, weigh the risk, undock, roam, come home, dock.

This changed a few weeks ago. It’s much better now; Pick a cloaky ship, undock, roam, come home, sit in space like a hermit whilst peeping at passers-by.

The Recon ship has been a welcome change in versatility and opens the door to a lot more mischief!

My first roam with this seductive ship involved a little roam in the neighbourhood with two good friends of mine, after finding a Ferox in an exploration site, I had zoomed in all invisible-like and then BOO! Uncloak, Point, Damps, wave, teehee! The pilot could do nothing but accept his fate. Unable to counter something his ship could not lock and not fast enough to escape my grip, he drifted aimlessly as my beautiful friends arrived on the scene and poked him from a safe distance. The Ferox dissolved eventually with not a single speck of harm returned to us. Sexy is, as sexy does.

I’ve also taken a liking to a particular fellow who resides in the pipe to Amamake system. He’s a fairly new pilot, who likes to fly large expensive ships. After killing his Thorax once, I had discovered him to be in a Megathron multiple times. However, he has escaped my clutches twice with the cheeky usage of Warp Core Stabilisers. I refused to give up and returned with a True Sansha (3-point) Scrambler for the job. Caught him at a belt and then called in the cavalry. He was easily detained and after reducing him to structure, I commenced ransom.

~Caster Rom > o/ mate
~Mekirel > say agin?
~Caster Rom > 90 million isk to Caster Rom, and we will spare your ship
~Caster Rom > your ship and pod will be allowed to go free :)
~Mekirel > dont even have that much
~Caster Rom > almost unharmed
~Caster Rom > How much do you have matey?
~Mekirel > 30
~n1231 > cease fire against my ship
~Mekirel > done
~n1231 > ty
~Caster Rom > You have 2 options Mekirel
~Caster Rom > 75 million isk to Caster Rom
~Caster Rom > or eject from your ship to save your pod
~Caster Rom > We will let your pod go unharmed
~Caster Rom > should you choose to eject
~Mekirel > i seriously only have 30 mil
~Caster Rom > Then please eject from the ship mate
~Caster Rom > Otherwise you will lose both your ship AND your pod
~Mekirel > how does ejecting help me?
~Caster Rom > Your pod is saved
~Caster Rom > We will let your pod go unharmed
~Caster Rom > in fact, you're a nice guy
~Caster Rom > If you eject your ship, we will let your pod go free AND i will send you 20 million isk.
~Caster Rom > You have my word, Tuskers do not lie.
~Mekirel > some how i doubt you
~Mekirel > you sure you dont just want my 30 mil
~Robert Mason > Check our Ransomboard -
~Caster Rom > Thanks Rob, there is our ransomboard
~Caster Rom > it is proof of past negotiations
*Self-destruct message is spotted in our logs.
~OOMPUS LOOMPUS > this happened to me a week ago, they DO NOT LIE
~Caster Rom > ok, 30 million for hte ship please
~n1231 > i minuyte left approx
~Mekirel > 30 mil ok?
~Caster Rom > ok
~Caster Rom > 10 seconds my friend
~Mekirel > there you go
~Caster Rom > Thank you
~Caster Rom > you are free to go.
~Robert Mason > thankyo fly safe
~n1231 > your free
~Mekirel > ty
~n1231 > enjoy the continued exstance of your ship
*With thanks to Robert Mason for providing a copy of this log. Also after further looking at this guys history, his 'no isk situation' was an obvious lie.

On a more recently organised roam, I had probed out a Drake with my ULTIMATE GANG ASSIST Arazu, and uncovered it to be right next to a Wormhole, he did not jump through into the Wormhole as I had expected once I had disrupted his warp drives but remained immobile and stationary. That works for us too, I thought. The gang arrived and he was skilfully bumped away from the black-hole by Mr Ronan. Ship exploded and we held the pod for a short while in the hope of the pilots return. He returned a few seconds too late however and was already podded.

“Who took the Corpse?!” yelled FC Paul Jons.

“It can’t have been me! My Arazu’s not even here,” reasoned Caster.

"Whose idea was it to put Caster in a cloaky ship…” murmured Mr Ronan.

Sir Wensley himself took us on a roam this night towards Amarr space. We consisted of a strong cruisers, assault frigates and frigates gang and me being the cloaky one, was gifted with the scouting chore. The roam itself was smooth, disciplined, enjoyable and relaxed. But the path was as we expected – System empty, empty, empty, blob, empty, empty, big blob, empty, empty, Nub-Chimera and Scorpion setting up a POS, empty, empty, blob, empty and empty. We did however bag a Drake on the way, suffered no losses and had good fun.

And that concludes the tale of the ULTIMATE GANG SUPPORT Arazu, for now. I’ve yet to train Recon V, but I plan on doing so after I complete my cross-training for a Rapier. Maybe after I’ve unlocked the awesomeness of the Pilgrim and Curse too… Either way, this opens up a door to a monstrous amount of new ships and possibilities for myself and I look forward to it!

*Caster Rom raises a jug of Beer.

To Piracy, to the Tuskers, to you dear reader, and to Cloaky cloaky ships!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Who do you think we are?

Lately, i have been losing more ships than i would have liked - something every capsuleer would have experienced no doubt. I don't think much of it either, except for the only problem it poses for me. The lack of available ships. Currently at this very moment, my hangar consists only of; a shuttle, Megathron, 2 Dominix', a salvaging Cormorant and an Ibis. Not the most... magnificent collection of ships, nor is it particularly useful in the average situation.

Losing ships lately means my isk flow is poor and my budget is running low. My 'efficiency' still stands to be decent, and my intake of value in loot and ransom exceeds my losses significantly, but i'm just too goddamn lazy to do anything with it. My hangar fills over time with items which i would never have a need for using myself, yet i continue to do nothing with it. Myself to blame, and i reap the consequences. Hence, i have resorted to parting with my beloved Taranis' and made do with the Incursus hull.

There was a greater energy amongst the Tuskers than usual today. Many excellent pilots have joined our ranks as of late, including the new arival of Leon vanUber in the afternoon. A large number of Tuskers and friends promptly formed up a fleet (consisting of a general assortment of frigates) and set out for a roam in the neighbourhood.

Leo Solunar was hunting potential targets for the fleet and was taken aback at the chance of landing on a Hyperion battleship on a planet whilst believing to be in pursuit of a Caracal. He called 'point' and summoned the fleet to his location instantly. I was first to land on grid beside him in my Incursus and began a tight orbit of the tracking-disrupted battleship. A Thorax had appeared almost an instant later and was made the primary target. A Harbinger had also come in aid of his friends by this time and being the first (tech 1) frigate to land there, i was primaried and almost instantly disposed of. I was out of the fight, and so early into it too. I got my Capsule out safely just as our fleet began to land. The Thorax was shortly eradicated from the skirmish and i had warped back into the action at a distance to spectate the outcome of the confrontation.

Our frigate force flew in close-orbit of the Hyperion in order to stay under its tracking. I watched helplessly at the frenzy of drones - belonging to both parties - whirling frantically amongst the enfolding chaos. Our Merlin and Rifter were destroyed quickly, leaving the immense task in the hands of the 2 remaining Ishkurs (Leo and Leon). I watched with awe as they fought ruthlessly without retreat. Leo had begun taking heavy damage from the opposing light drones and the Neuting Hyperion was not making things easier. He continued hugging the battleship while focusing all dps upon the Harbinger. His nosferatu was being overloaded in an attempt to mitigate the cap-draining battleship. Leon had broken free of the enemy's neut range and had begun aiding Leo by picking off the hive of drones. When the last opposing drone had been disposed of, Leo was sitting at 7% structure. The 2 enemy ships were still there and he continued orbitting closely. He was still at 7% structure when the Harbinger finally fell.
The Thorax pilot had returned in a Dominix sometime before this, and its Ogre II hit the jackpot in striking Leo's Ishkur down. Grohal of the Tuskers had also streaked into the fray upon hearing the action and was supporting Leon in taking out the drones. He was unfortunately taken out too, in a truely heroic fashion.

Amazingly, Leon held the field as the opposition warped to safety. He began approaching the resulting wrecks of the engagement to loot just as i had decided to head off home - I had witnessed it all. It was a fight worthy of the most highest praise.


I stayed up late into the night on Eve (because i'm just too cool) to chat with the lads. They were out testing ship fittings and generally enjoying themselves in Hevrice while i was stuck in station without a frigate or cruiser to play in, having lost my Incursus earlier.

A Rough Neck (a local pirate alliance) was reported in an Ishkur and as Leo began chasing it around, it seemed intent on staying safe. Being the stupid oaf i am, i undocked my Dominix for a peek. The Ishkur obviously noted this new found battleship on his scanner and despite my fear of scaring it off, we unknowingly triggered a silent reaction and an inevitable chain of events.

As i docked up once more there was a spike in Local soon afterwards. An Armageddon, Drake, Ishkur and Wolf were seen towards a nearby planet. Leo had initially caught the Ishkur before the others had arrived and had called for support. My Dominix made another appearance and set warp towards Leo. I was lucky the planet was directly in front of the station undock and i entered warp almost instantly.

I was unfortunate enough to notice my lack of Cap Boosters a little too late in mid-warp and prepared for the worst in the upcoming engagement. Leo was in trouble as i landed and i assigned both my Heavy Neutraliser and Warrior light drones upon the enemy Ishkur. Leo's Enyo went down as the Ishkur fell into structure and my target lock dropped. I moved onto the Wolf, believing the Ishkur to be destroyed (it had actually managed to escape and i had my point on the Armageddon).

My armour was falling considerably and my Dual-rep's were barely holding in the absence of Cap boosters. My ship was surely going to be lost on the onslaught of both the laser and missile boats but Toady11 had come to my aid at this point in his own Dominix and saved my ship with his remote-repair system. The Wolf posed little threat and was eliminated from the equation in little to no-time at all.

My armour was holding nicely at this point, despite my lack of cap and the combined force of both the Dominix' drones overwhelmed the Armageddon. Leo had also returned to the battle in a Myrmidon as our attention was placed on the Drake. A Rapier had also appeared at some distance from us in the midst of this fight and it was revealed that the pilot we believed to have been idle was actually observing us. It disappeared quickly once more and we put the Drake out of its misery. Despite losing his Rifter early on in this engagement, Jeneral Jane had returned and did a super job of capturing the pilots capsule, and we invited him into our ransom channel.

I requested 50 million for the safety of his pod. He offered 20. I asked for 25 million, nothing lower. He began stalling for time and questioned the guarentee of his safety. He was being cheeky and we knew it. We didn't care, we wanted him to bring some more guys in. We were not yet satisfied. We held his pod securely in place, despite his refusal to pay up. We waited.

Local soon spiked up and several Battleships and support types were reported. We disposed of the misbehaving capsule and left the field to a more safe location.
The new arrivals began 'unpleasantries' in local at our 'cowardice' but we ignored this. They wanted some, so we would give them some. I made myself comfortable in my other Dominix - the RemoteRepping Neutralising Dominix - to compliment Toady's.

Our fleet rendezvoused in space and once the green light had been given by Jane, we warped simultaneously into the waiting arms of the enemy. Leo's system had crashed upon landing but despite this was able to provide us with automatic drone support. Leon's Vexor was primaried and began taking heavy hits and i tried boosting his armour in reaction to this. However, he was out of range and moving away, not realising we had RR on the field. He did remarkable nonetheless as he navigated away and survived all on his own accord.

The Harbinger was our primary, and i unleashed my set of Neutralisers and Ogre II's upon it. It went down quickly in a flare of indigo light and we turned out attention quickly to the Megathron. A Rook and Rapier uncloaked at this point some 80km away from us and i abandonned my heavy drones without hesitation and deployed Hammerheads to counter the new guests. I was instantly Jammed however, and my medium drones had automatically began defending me from the first aggressor - the Megathron.

Leon vanUber had MWD'd toward the Rapier at first sight to keep it in place, and both his Vexor and Leo's Myrmidon took care of that complication. The Megathron did not last long afterwards and upon its death the Rook wasted no time in disappearing. It was later realised that the Megathron pilot was actually the one in the Ishkur who had initially started this fiasco.
We had held the field with no losses. The loot was scooped and we dispersed from the scene.

It was an excellent engagement for us. The event had escalated twice and we responded each time in a solid manner. As a team, we worked well together and rallied in aid of our comrades without a moments hesitation. We fought alongside one another with complete confidence in the guy to our right, left and back. This was proven over and over again today.

It had been a slow week for all so far which made it uplifting to profit from this last engagement and I was glad to have been given the chance to make use of the ships I had left. We endured smack-talk and taunts and in turn, swiftly silenced them.

Who the hell do you think we are? We are the goddamn Tuskers.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Recent Times

The Good Times.

Ronan had planned a Nano-Op for Sunday night, 2330 hours. He had been expecting very few numbers to show and had arranged for it to be a more suitable time for the US time-zones. He did not expect to log into Voice Comms to find a larger number of drunken Euro's cocking about.

As the fleet returned to Hevrice to regroup for Ronan's nano-op, the fleet make-up was discussed and formed. This consisted of a variety of Vexors, Stabbers, a Claw and an Arbitrator.

"Can i bring a Smartie-Nano-raping-Vexor for the LULZ?" I asked Ronan.
"HAHA Do it!" Exclaimed the slightly-wrecked Wensley. Ronan didn't sound too impressed.
I fit my Vexor with any scrap modules i could find in my hangar, i knew this particular cruiser was sentenced to doom. I fit 3 t1 Smart-bombs along with a few crap drones i could scrounge. I was ready.

We didn't need to travel far before encountering 2 hostile Vexors. As the fleet warped in and engaged at mid-range orbits, i charged in - Smartie's booming - and took out some friendly drones in the process. Ooh yeah!

In the system of Mannar - while the fleet was standing by in a Safe and others scouting in the neighbouring systems - i was checking out a distant cluster of planets and had scanned down a seemingly inactive Megathron at a Stargate. A few seconds passed before the Megathron appeared beside me, i admired the beautiful ship for a while before i smacked the point on. The nano-fleet landed beside me and we began working our magic. The Megathron had deployed Garde II sentry drones, but as we were so close, they posed no threat. As i fired off a few explosions from my smart-bombs for good measure, the Mega had then redeployed his sentries 20km from us and i began to take some heavy hits. Egrat managed to jam him with his drones and i managed to warp out in structure, abandonning my Ogre I and Hobgoblin I's.
I repp'd up and returned to the scene in time to witness Egrats Arbitrator esplodes. The Mega was below 10% structure and was just able to rid me of my amazing ship, too. The Mega esploded.

Some time later, the gang found ourselves alone with another Drake pilot in the system of Onne once more. It was piloted by Bug Akane and he was well known within the Tuskers for helping us probe out some awesome kills in times ago. After refusing to help us probe out some other stuffs nearby, we decided to look for him. Knowing full well he was in an off-grid deadspace pocket in a mission, the drunken euro's suggested surfing through the scanner plexes. As the fleet seperated for different complexes, there was a sudden;

"Caster has point on the Drake! Caster has point on the Drake!" I screamed.
"In warp."

As the fleet began to land beside me one by one, someone muttered "...wait." I gave a chuckle before shouting;

"HAHA Made you warp, made you warp! Eyeeeee made you warp!!" My uncontained laughter poured through voice comms.
"There's a name for people like you, Caster." Wensley replied.

Bug Akane later accepted our Devil's fleet invite, and ->this<- happened.

Ronan's nano op ended with a further 2 Rifter kills, caught by Wensley.


Joc, Menthez and I: The triangle of Love.


The Bad Times.

The past few days has put my wallet under alot of strain. I have lost a monstrous amount of ships lately; some from being silly, some from being manly and others for being an asshole.

Bad luck has been the worse loss of them all, however. On a roam with Leo Solunar in his frigate, we had warped to a gate and Leo had jumped through. However, a Myrmidon had landed beside my Vexor on the gate and he had jumped through to catch me. It was a flaming brotherhood pilot and his gang. I was not going to be able to out run them from the gate, being in a Vexor.

"Just allign to a celestial in front you, hit mwd, and ju-" Leo was suggesting, before i cut him off.
"I'm just going to log out. I'm going to quit game." I didn't have an agression timer, so theoretically i should disappear on the spot. I did it.

"How does it look, Leo?"
"Your ship - Cheeky one - is still on scan... and yeah, they've scrammed you."
"Argh, bollox." I sighed.
"No, wait!" Leo started, "You've disappeared! They're confused in local! You must have made it!"

Nothing could contain my laughter. It was genius, i had always wondered if that trick would work if and whenever i would encounter a serious gate-gamp, but i had never had the opportunity to try it out. I now know it works. My laughter didn't last long.

As the action was now taking place over in the next system, I made my move to log back in. I found myself in space once more, with my Vexor in warp enroute to my last known location, the Stargate. As i landed, my client crashed.

"Oh bollox..." I muttered, as i made haste to return. However, as my UI began to load up, Damage notifications lit up my screen. "What the -" I was confused, was this a lag update from when i dropped ofline?
It wasn't. The hostile gang was back and they had me. As my ship neared structure, my client crashed once more. Bollox on toast.

After rebooting my system, i found myself in a fresh clone, 2 jumps out from home.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Rumble in Hevrice

The flaming brotherhood corporation have been entertaining us in Hevrice lately.
Joc kept the Tuskers Comms channel updated with intel of his attempts to bait a flaming brotherhood Prophecy battlecruiser. When the point was called, three Tusken battlecruisers undocked simultaneously from the station along with a hostile Armageddon which was on its way to aid the falling Prophecy.

Joc and Leo were both flying the Caldari Ferox, whilst Vajo undocked in a general support-fit Brutix with ECM drones. I had taken out my good old Man-tix for the job.

Our slightly nimbler Battleships alligned quicker than the lumbering Battleship which had undocked with us, and we soon dropped out of warp beside Joc. As we tucked in for a good meal of the Prophecy, the Armageddon landed behind us some 10 seconds later and Vajo and I fed it some juicy Tracking-Disruptor lurve. With the Amarr beast tamed, the Prophecy was reduced to the bone.

Attention was turned toward the Armageddon at this point, in which posed no problem for us. As the Amarr Battleship fell, a Thorax appeared on the scene and was instantly OMGWTFBBQALPHA'd. Another Brutix warped in right on cue, and was also melted in our moment of insanity.

By this point, the original Prophecy pilot had returned in a Hyperion along with a supporting Rokh. Talk about escalation... A hostile Vagabond had also arrived to whore some killmails and our gang made the decision to loot what we could and vamoose. I was able to loot a fair amount, with only the Prophecy wreck being beyond my reach before i warped out. Joc wasn't so lucky though, and his Ferox was caught. A martyr to the cause!

A total of approximately 22million worth of Isk was recovered from that engagement - a 5million extra for each of our pockets. Can't complain.

The lesson i learnt today: Battlecruisers are the bomb.

As the heat dispersed, i decided to go on a cheeky solo roam with a resolve to stay close to home. I stumbled into Joc as i jumped into the system of Adirain and no sooner than i did, he had called point on a Drake in belt 4-1. My Taranis was in there in an instant and aided the Nano-Omen in taking down its shields. As we held off our damage to ransom the pilot on the recieving end of this negotiation, Joc discovered the pilot had ejected! Exclaims of surprise and glee had erupted in Comms as we were rewarded a free Battlecruiser!
I held my position as Joc warped off to dock up his Omen before returning for the Drake. However, as he confirmed his warp towards me, a radiating explosion took to my ears and i watched in horror as the previously-existing Drake engulfed me in its indigo flash of light. My jaw dropped.

"Umm... Joc, umm... The Drake... The Drake exploded... and i swear to god i didn't even touch it."
Another Tusker present on Voice Comms suggested it could have been a Self-destruct, "Check your logs mate, it may have been a Self-destruct".
I checked my logs.

22:36:26 Notify Drake belonging to BleedingAngl self-destructs.

Epic cries of 'NO' were soon heard in the Comms channel. Disappointment flooded through both Joc and myself, knowing we missed out on an opportunity for both the Killmail and even the ship itself. Had we known it was self-destructing we would have made haste in its recovery. Foiled by the stranger with a missing letter in his name.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Desperado. Suicidal.

Caster was sprawled across his bed in his Captain's Quarters, bag of potato chips sitting on his chest and the TV flickering gently from across the room. He was almost asleep as his eye-lids began to drop, the soft breeze from the ventilation system above his head felt good against his face.
It had been a tough week, his ships had been dropping like rocks and it didn't particularly help that his crew was beginning to lose all faith in the Captains ability to keep them all alive for longer than 20 minutes. I've either lost my touch, or someone's planted AID's in my implants. Probably the latter. The overwhelming feeling of depression was finally pushing him asleep until the Communications Unit blinked loudly.
"Ah shi-" he muttered as the bag of chips rained onto the floor from the unelegant movement he produced to get off the bed. Caster trudged over to the wall-mounted unit and as he leant heavily against the wall for support, flicked the green switch. The 8" screen display beside him flickered to life to reveal a distinctive looking Gallentean woman.
"Izzy," Caster managed to croak in recognition. Izzybella - capsuleer and pirate, an old friend of Caster's - grinned wildly behind her red tattoo streaks.
"Heya Rom-rom, up for some roaming fun? Perhaps a drink or two afterwards? That is, of course, if it turns out well."
Caster sighed and emphasized his facial features of fatigue, "Not today, sorry... I've not been having the best of luck lately... I was drinking a few hours ago anyway, so I wouldn't be suitable for plugging into anything, anyhow."
The gallentean smirked at the Caldarian counterpart and asked, "Which ship? Or... ships?" An eyebrow was raised at this point, a sign of genuine curiosity. Caster was not going to be able to rid himself of her when she was in this heightened state of mood. He let out another sigh.

A few days previously, i was so bored and stumped as to what to pass the time with, i had decided to take my Megathron Battleship on its first flight operation, solo. As i undocked into the vacuum of space, my scan picked up readings of a Rupture within 15AU's of my location. A cruiser, why not, i thought. As i swiftly narrowed the scan toward a 5 degree reading toward an asteroid belt, i willed the cumbersome ship into warp. The Rupture left the belt as i was in warp. This process of cat 'n mouse continued for a while and i didn't enjoy it very much in my Battleship, even if it was slightly amusing. I made route toward a few neighbouring systems but no sooner had i jumped into Jovainnon, PreZiDenT called a point on the Rupture - Hevrice belt 5-1.
"Roger. Caster jumping into Hev. Caster in-warp," i confirmed.
"Please hurry, mate. My Rifter is going down fast," PreZ urged. "Typhoon and Oneiros have landed on grid." Oh shit, i thought. My ship was already mid-warp toward the belt, it was too late. I would have to engage. PreZ had lost his Rifter at this point, and i began to lay into the Minmatar Battleship. I broke through it's shields in little time and was met with a much stronger, resilient armour plating. I wasn't going to be breaking this so long as the Oneiros continues to remote-rep him. I noticed the Rupture had strayed closer at this point, and decided to switch all systems onto the cruiser. My large faction munitions violently shattered against this nimble ship, and its armour plating dropped considerably in just 2 volleys. However, now it had drifted out to a further ranged orbit and was most likely being repp'd by the Oneiros sitting the 49km distance away from us, i had no time to see if that were the case. I switched once more toward the Typhoon, drones and all. I didn't last much longer and my Battleship was destroyed. PreZ had also lost his Ishkur frigate in a futile, but valiant attempt to buy me some time. He gets a free bag of cookies and a beer next time i see him.
I managed to bring my pod safely home, and had a chat with Egrat (a fellow Tusker) regarding the event and my poor Mega' fit. I wasn't too bothered, it was my first time navigating a Battleship for solo purposes and i was happy to have learnt from the experience and to get advice on future fittings. Another Megathron is already on the way from Jita and when i finally take it out, it will melt faces.

"Ouch, that musta hurrrt!" She exclaimed, rolling her tongue on the last syllable to emphasize the pain. She was still smiling after he finished his recount of the event, much to Caster's irritation. She had made no attempt to hide her moment of joy at the part of his ships destruction and had let out a high pitched cry of entertainment.
"Honestly, i don't know what my problem is lately. I was even more embarassed with myself the other day in my Taranis. Was doing my usual business out and about, scanned some battleships in a belt, warped in to be cheeky, accidentally at 0km, landed right on top of them..." Caster hesitated. Izzybella leant forward, eyebrow raised once more, and nodded curtly to encourage him to continue. "I just sat there. Really, just sat there." There was a brief moment of silence until the realisation of what that meant, hit her. She threw her head back and snorted with laughter. Such a rough diamond, this one. Very unlady-like, Caster cringed.
"HAH! I love it! Anymore?" Her face was pressed up against the screen, the hunger for more was evident in her eyes. As reluctant as he was, Caster obliged.
"Lost an Ishkur shortly afterwards, can't even remember how that one happened. Then i lost a Gank-thrax later in a camp on the Aeschee-Adirain gate. The bastards."
Izzybella didn't look satisfied, "that was it?" She asked. Caster pushed himself off the wall in a rage, thrusting his face into the screen, his own eyebrows raised in disbelief.
"WHAT D'YOU MEAN THAT WAS IT? F**king.... they f**king hurt my feelings, they did. I'd like to see you lose two ships in such a pathetic manner and be happy about it, to be honest."
"It can't be helped, these things happen. Don't pop a vein, and grow some pubes for for-f-sake!" She now held a face of amusement, as if knowing something further. "I, er, I heard something, briefly, about this... arranged 1 v 1 you gave to a Navy Vexor in your Brutix?" She alsmot whispered the last words, as if mockingly. One hand scratching the back of her head whilst the other fiddled with something beyond the view of the screen.
Caster scowled.

I was roaming once more in systems not too far from home, this time in my gank-fit Brutix, or MAN-tix as i like to call it. After a few jumps around all the familiar systems, i decided to split from my usual patrol of known systems and venture into a little new territory. As i jumped into the 0.3 system of Heydieles, i noticed a Vexor Navy Issue at a Caldari outpost plex. I warped straight in, however the pilot was careful and was already fully aligned toward another plex. He warped as i landed on grid with him. I followed, but he left before i made it out of warp this time. As i swung the battlecruiser around toward a newly created safespot, the Vexor pilot hailed me on a private comms channel. I accepted, and he offered a 1v1. I obliged. We formed a fleet and he requested me to warp to his location. I obliged once more. As i landed on grid, he was 50km out. Not the most ideal of situations in my short-range, blaster boat. I began movie away from him, alligned to a far-off cluster. He maintained range and deployed a flight of light scout drones in my direction. I therefore began to web, and destroy each drone in turn, spurting my afterburner occasionally. He began to further deploy medium Valkyrie drones, all the while not venturing near enough to warp disrupt me. My attention was on the drones once more, but having no armour repairer available onboard, my armour was slowly chipping away. By the time he was down to 2 Valkyrie drones he deployed another 3 light's and i began entering structure. Still, perhaps due to my stupid stubborness which seemed to defy all meaning of common sense and logic, i stayed to play it out. As i neared 50% structure, the vexor made it's move and MWD'd into blaster range. This however, also meant he was in my blaster range, too. All seven of them. Overloaded. My blasters erupted with a deafening sound and the Navy Vexor shook violently as it was reduced to beyond minimal armour integrity in only a few volleys. Despite this, the fight was already over, my adversarie had seemingly timed his last second pounce perfectly. My Brutix exploded in a firework of blue just as the Navy Vexor touched structure.

"What a bitch," Izzybella commented. Caster was glad she didn't laugh this time, even if the edge of her lips did twitch occasionally.
"Yeah, but he knew what he was doing. It was a good fight, sort of." He gave his bed a glance, the sudden longing to be in it had hit him and his shoulders slouched in fatigue. "How goes things on your front? Hows your app' for the Tuskers turning out?"
"Ah, not too bad. Intriguing bunch of guys. They're running a background check i think, and i've got a few tiny last requirements to sort out, and hopefully it'll all go well." She only smiled now, her previous self having evaporated in the presence of thoughts on her personal goals. A moment of thoughtful silence followed, before a ringing noise raised both their heads. "Hmm, it's mine," she grumbled as she fumbled through her peculiarly styled garments for her Cell-phone. "I'm gonna have to catch this, sorry Caster. I'll catch up with you later."
"No worries." The screen flickered off.
Finally relieved from what felt like some form of life-draining interrogation, Caster Rom trudged back toward his bed - carefully sidestepping the potato chips - and threw himself onto it. The breeze from the Air-ventilation system above felt really good on his face.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Feast, Famine, Fabulous.

The past few weeks showed a bumpy seasonal effect of targets in the area. At first, people were on a consensus that Verge Vendor and surrounding areas were running pretty dry. I was feeling fairly parched as well throughout this little season, the food was thinning out.
There's been the occasional catch, the occasional small-time entertainment, the occasional smile and laughter. But in general, things were going slow, at least it seemed so for me. This draught continued for a week or so before things slowly improved in a gradual crescendo.

There was a few of this, this and this. Occasionally, i was so despressed with lack of activity that i resorted to gate camping the Macro Haulers which stream through Hevrice regularly.

Then there was some of this, this and more this.

I was in dire need of some sort of group activity at this point, and was glad for the roaming ops which followed. One particular operation led by Wensley stood out in particular. This particular roam involved particularly small ships - frigates. We managed to bag an Industrial Command Ship - an Orca! This was a first time for many of us and the factor of its guardian ships - Blackbird, Hyperion and a Raven - made the encounter even more special. We were prepared to ransom several of these ships, however due to the faffing about of these funny pilots and the iminent countdown of the POS bubble activating, we had little choice but to crack their nuts. Both a Hulk and a Drake take-down followed shortly after the very same evening. It was a very satisfying feeling at the end of the day. See: A Quiet Saturday With The Tuskers

A more recent operation consisting Remote-Repping Battleships also ended in success. This also being my first time putting a Battleship to use meant i was fairly aroused (:random thesaurus selection from the word 'excited'). Our gang consisted of 3 RR Battleships (Ronan and myself in a Dominix each and Egrat in his shiny Armageddon) and a squad of supporting gang-mates. Things began slow with litte happenings as we did a short circuit around the neighbouring systems. Just as the night seemed bleak, a fellow corpmate - Yarhh - gave intel of a missioning Golem in the 0.4 system of Onne. The first squad of support ships in the fleet was ordered byJolo to engage first, in hope of luring out a lurking Ishtar, but without luck the order was then given to the Battleships and Alex Rudd in his Blackbird to enter the system and engage the Marauder with the others. We were lucky to have Yarhh and his Ship scanner available, which gave us a heads up on the juicy, succulent faction mods which entailed alongside this Golem package. A generous offer of a 1.5billion isk was offered to the pilot, who however claimed he only had 500million at hand. The decision was made to destroy the ship and gamble with the Loot-gods. We were met with a good enough result and arranged for a cloaked transport ship to bring the treasures home.

All in all, i can humbly say... We are in good business once more! As for my new resolve for profit, i think i can safely give that a green tick thus far.