Saturday, June 14, 2008

Taxi Service

I mentioned last time that INSRG is folding its banner and moving out of the North. I had taken a brief hiatus this past week and ran Level 4 missions for Caldari agents. It brought in a steady stream of income, but the pay was meagre compared to what I earned from ratting in 0.0, so I did not do those missions with a great deal of gusto.

When the time came to move our assets to the South, I was more than ready. I hauled all my luggage and toys into the designated low sec system that we were jumping out of, and hollered for corpmates to be my bellboy (since I don't own a capital ship). The actual moving op happened on a weeknight, was as chaotic and raucous as any form of moving can be, but we finally sorted everyone out. The system was clear of nosy pirates for the whole duration of the move, and anyone who came in were either awed or scared off by the Ragnarok-class titan and her capital escorts on scan.

I was flying about in my crow, safe in the knowledge that all my baggage were secured for the move, when I discovered that flying into a moon's center produced some rather odd visual disturbances:

When the order finally came to start the op, I took many pictures of the titan, like any proper tourist would do, and almost missed the actual jump like a complete fool. After all, this was the very first time I had been in the vicinity of a titan, and so my distraction was understandable. This one here shows the titan activating a jump portal, which allowed us to "teleport" into another system far away:

A close-up of the Ragnarok with its hull gleaming in the sunlight:

After a grueling hour or so, we finally arrived at our new home. A big thank you to the titan, supercapital, and capital pilots!

The naughtiness started just a day after the move, and this was the result of a doomsday device activated on an unsuspecting IAC fleet. Game over! About 30 enemy ships were destroyed, most of them being Tech II ships. Some 4 to 5 of us perished when we could not warp off from the grid or got desynced. (The rest of the white wrecks were NPC rats.)

All in all, a fairly warm welcome for us into our home in the South. This is starting to turn into one of the best corporations I have ever been in, and I think I'll fit in just perfectly. Keep checking here for more shenanigans that are sure to come!

Monday, June 9, 2008

All Things Must Come to an End

A new beginning. Again. Wait, three times in a year ain’t enough?

This morning, as I woke up groggily and grabbed breakfast before dashing out of my house to go to work, I read an important announcement from Insurgency alliance leaders. Now, before any of you angry zealots go off on me for giving out intel, I can almost assure you that the news is out on CAOD by the time I finish polishing this entry. So ridden is Insurgency with spies, even in its leadership positions, that any announcements made over the alliance forums would most certainly leak like a troublesome sewage pipe the moment they were made.

Anyway, word is that Insurgency is finally laying down its defiant flag and disbanding. After falling from the lofty throne of conquering Branch, the subsequent loss has devastated the morale of many members, who fled in droves just as quickly as they jumped on the bandwagon when the going was good.

Is my sixth sense just too acute, or what? Just a day before the announcement was made, I made the difficult decision of joining another corporation within Insurgency, one that is of elite reputation and has the firepower and organization to back it up. In a scenario that is eerily déjà vu, I find myself bailing from a ship moments before it is due to hit a reef.

I joined Game-Over, an ex-BoB corporation.

(Strangely enough, my main is yet again camped in and so cannot get to an office, while my alt was already accepted. I may resign to podding myself out of my +3 set of implants if it doesn’t look clear by tonight. Only the truly special/lucky/talented can get at Bri’s corpses, since I’m usually one slippery chick.)

It is oddly amusing that high smack trails me whenever I leave a corp, usually the "backstabber - typical girl yadayadaya" sort of remark. I’ve always behaved with integrity, and have made a reputation of myself as a pvper with a brain and not your average gold digger chick (though donations will bring you much luvin’…!), but some people simply cannot accept my laissez faire attitude when I choose to go. To clarify, I abhor corp hoppers and will do my utmost to stay in one for years if possible, but it’s plain silly and futile to try to repair a boat that has its hull fatally breached. For those nay-sayers of mine (btw, I’m flattered if you read this blog), note that I did not leap off the bandwagon right when Insurgency lost Branch, and actually stepped up for a limited amount of duty. Anyway, such is the manner that I find true friends, ingame and out-of-game – those who can see past their own egos and stay in touch despite petty differences. I digress.

For anyone remotely familiar with Insurgency, the reasons why it fell was painfully obvious. There were simply too many bandwagoners, too many spy-ridden corporations all doing indiscriminate recruiting, and too little visionary leadership save for a dedicated few who tried their best to hold everything together (a big thank you to d solo, C4, and the fine ginger FC). It was like rallying a mob of gangsters who had some success in the underworld. Of course, one may claim that hindsight is always 20/20, but I had expected Insurgency not to adhere for too long when I first joined for pvp pastures. I had even voiced concerns about the “ghetto-ness” of some alliance members back then.

But in all, I am rather blasé about all of this. I had awesome fun, but it turned into yet another fallen alliance that allowed discord to reach a tipping point and could not harness the power of its members combined. Que sera sera.

This is your newsperson for the North signing out; I do not expect to be back for a long, long time to come. It has turned into a sea of blues, which was what I was escaping from in the first place. All good things must end someday and it could well be a blessing in disguise...

Fly safe you monkeys – especially bato, what was with that fleet landing in your own inline bubbles, and ignoring my greetings in local! *pouts*

Update: I got my pod safely out of Vale using 5,600 isk, logoffskis en warp, and the bloody sacrifice of a noob alt, but it was a very close shave. And to clarify the "sign out" comment, no I was not emoragequitting, but rather stating that I will not be able to report news from the North in much detail in the future.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We didn’t want that ___ anyway!

When I fought with the Northern Coalition against BoB down south half a year ago, a particular alliance stood out to me: Firmus Ixion (aka FIX). Word was, they were a “pet” alliance who paid rent to BoB for living in Querious. They sure didn’t seem like your usual docile “pets”, bringing on multiple fights, clinging to I1X like a plague despite being completely outblobbed and outgunned, and proving to be a nuisance to the typical NC’er who tried to operate out of there. I had even more respect for them when they reformed and forged a home for themselves in the Drone Regions. It is really unfortunate timing that caught them right smack in drone politics and they seemed to have gotten chased out of their space again. These guys seriously deserve a home far more than many mega-alliances.

Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this entry. The point was, last night I managed to leeroy my Gistii Crow into a tiny bubble camp in Tribute. D’oh! A most deserving explosion, since I should’ve known better than to directly warp to the exit gate. I know the cool MM boys like me reckless like that… Anyway, it reminded me of a time when I waited hours for rescue, then danced right into the lap of a hostile Insurgency roaming gang…

This tale is dedicated to an old friend and a brave pilot, Brainstem, and serves as a fitting tribute to my time in the North.


Once upon a time, before I turned into a naughty cowgirl and moved to Insurgency, I was a good carebear blasting away at creepy crawlies that dropped valuable drone compounds that could be refined into high-end minerals. The payout was good, except that no bounties were to be had. Apparently, CONCORD deemed rogue drones to be of little menace, offering no security status increase for each drone killed. At that time, many of us had blinky red auras that made empire travel difficult. Someone had a brilliant idea: why not make a road trip to Venal, home of the Guristas, until we were all bloated with isk and Concord would forget our past transgressions and welcome us with open arms?

It all began on a fine Sunday morning. Four of us, all in Raven-class battleships fit for travel, began our journey to a quiet spot in the Venal constellation. Launchers were filled to the brim with cruise missiles, speed modules were slapped onto the thrusters, cloaking devices were primed for emergencies (another bright idea from Brain – not many of us knew how to rat in cloaked ships at that time), and off we went. The journey there through friendly Northern Coalition space was entirely uneventful. We hit our spot and started ratting in gusto, egged on by the promises of a faction or officer spawn.

This went on for a good hour or two. Suddenly, my radar flickered with something orange: an Insurgency pilot named “fumb duck” (we shall call him FD) had come into the system, no doubt looking for tasty morsels. We were all ready and warped out to our safe spots and cloaked. After 5 minutes, he left the system, and I warped back to finish up the Gurista battleship that I was working on.

Mistake. This solo pilot was skilled enough to check which belts we were working on, and he returned while I was en warp. I landed right on top of his ship (some nano-cruiser, I had no idea since I was a nub), and was immediately scrambled. Now normally this would be the end of the said Raven pilot when his backup arrived, except for a caveat…

Back story: Insurgency was set to orange at that time as we were not allowed to engage each other in Tribute, home of Morsus Mihi. Which was all fine and dandy for this hunter who found us in Venal (not Tribute), except that for some reason, all four of us had the mistaken notion that Insurgency was not permitted to engage us in Venal.

Absolutely sure that FD had committed a diplomatic transgression (recall we were all nubs), I told him in an outraged and haughty tone to hold fire and that any shootings will be recorded and passed on to alliance leaders of Insurgency. Our belief was so firm that one of us actually rang up the leader of our alliance for “Insurgency breaking their pact with MM and attacking us”. During the delay in confirming this, I told FD to drop the point on me, “immediately, or it would be reported to alliance leadership”. He did, and I warped back to my safe spot and cloaked. We then moved a few systems and he followed, but never aggressed us again and left us alone.

This proves that epic lying through the teeth works best when one has no idea that one is lying. Also proves how little the average grunt knows about alliance territory and politics, and that orange is a confusing color.

Unfortunately, we had somehow stumbled deeper into hostile territory in our escape flight, beyond the home system of Insurgency. By that time it was just Brainstem and I (the rest got blown up), cloaked in two ravens, sitting in extremely ‘hot’ space where red gangs (Phoenix, Phalanx, Insurgency, etc.) passed by every 10 minutes. We had no idea what to do and didn’t want to lose our isk-making ships. So we sat, and asked for help from the alliance. And we sat while they formed up an impromptu fleet of 40 (amazing now that I think about it) to rescue the damsel in distress… and sat while they traveled some 20 jumps to our location.

By then, Insurgency had wised up about the Venal/Tribute mistake and gotten wind of our incoming fleet. They figured something was up and formed up a fleet of their own in short order, then patrolled the area even more vigilantly. Our friendly fleet did not wish to engage and told us to move quickly to their locale so we could be escorted home.

I hesitated to leave the safety of my cloak, while Brainstem was already on his way to the next system. He hollered at me to come with him quickly, and I decloaked and warped… just as the entire hostile fleet landed on the exit gate I was on. I jumped.

Like a game of chess, one knows with a sinking feeling that one has committed a final move for the opponent to claim checkmate. That did me in; I had missed the tiny window of opportunity to escape and no cloak was going to save me from their angry swarm of vagabonds, who promptly decloaked my battleship and blew it to smithereens. Surprisingly, my pod got out safely. With a sigh of relief for my implants, I met up with my alliance mates and made it back home.

That’s probably not the kind of excitement that a noob can ever encounter in a typical day of carebearing.

The lone survivor of that road trip was Brainstem. The rest of us all got blown up, but we had a great laugh about it afterwards and were gifted with new ravens from our corp leader. This new Raven, named Chocolate Chip, was my trusty ratting steed in Cobalt Edge, Venal, and Branch for a long, long time until it was eventually stolen in the Great Escape from Branch.


Fly safe, dear friends and foes in the North.

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