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.


Kirith Kodachi / Farseer Bill said...

Great story! I'll have to dredge up some of my own sometime :)

batolemaeus said...

Reminds me of me in my rigged and t2 fitted nighthawk in deep venal. It was an expedition and i worked 6 hours on with probers trying to get me. When i finally cleared the stage of all siege railgun batteries, siege blaster batteries (yep, they do the same damage as those pos modules. nasty), and a fair share of rats, a 50 million bounty bs spawned right when a hostile gang came into system and started probing like mad..

I still wonder how i got out alive. I went 8 jumps through hostile territory without a cloak or scout.

Oh, and nice to see you experienced one of our moving little camps. You never know where they sit next. Even i, the master of inline bubbles, don't know it.

The Congo Sovereign said...

remember - out of that experience we setup the Congo...

stories lead to stories..

Wotlankor said...

Well when I first entered 0.0 I lost 3 Ravens in two weeks.

Almost made me quit EvE.

My 4th Raven however still exist this day in a remote hangar deep in Stain 0.0 space. Ready to be pulled out.

Bri said...

Nice to hear stories from everyone. :)

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