Monday, March 26, 2012

A wolf named Howler

Hello! Yes, yes I know, it’s been a while since my last post. Thing is, I’ve been enjoying murdering spaceships and got too carried away to write a blog. I decided I’d wait for something big, something momentous to write about. So  here I am, ready to tell you a story. So go grab some popcorn and sit down, I'm about to begin!

This story is about a wolf named Howler, the little assault frigate who thought he could...and boy could he!

Our story begins with me, a handsome young pirate who realized in dismay that piracy is rapidly decreasing his wallet. “A few missions for the man might solve the cash flow problem,”  I thought as I purchased the wolf and started blitzing low level missions. I soon remembered that mission running was as exciting as mining asteroids and looked elsewhere for income. Poor Howler gathered dust in a station I never visited...

It was a month (or more I can’t remember, I lost the purchase slip) later and assault frigates got buffed in the meantime. I wanted to sell Howler (AF prices sky rocketed!) but never got round to it. Soon I was craving for something a little meaner and tougher than a rifter, and with a little push from a fellow rebel, I decided to fit Howler for pvp.

I felt awkward flying Howler at first, the Isk value flashed before my eyes and I could already see the explosion. But soon after undocking I was fleeted with two other rebels in rifters hunting two...incursuses...incursii? Whatever, we tracked them to Belt 1-1 and I warped in at 100km. Of course I landed too far away to be of any use to my corpmates. Swearing at myself for being too careful I kicked in the afterburners and watched my corpmates battle. I was almost in range when a hostile rifter landed close and I decided to chew him up first. By the time the rifter exploded though, it was all over for my fellow rebels and the incursus duo (see how I avoided the plural there?) warped off before I could lock. The call soon came of a hostile fleet at the local sun. Still pissed about my cautiousness in the wolf, I decided it's best if I docked up and switch ship. (I'm glad we did as the resulting battle was a bit of a suicide run, my Merlin didn't make it)

Howler quickly became my go to ship for plexes, making me quite the sum of ISK. It was while plexing that I noticed a Rupture on D-Scan. He was running missions and pretty soon my probing apprentice (alt if you insist on breaking the reality of the story!) came in handy. Howler made a quick snack of the rupture, and now it’s hunger was growing.

I took a break after some more plexing, and upon my return, I was invited by Kaeda and the Starling to join their fleet. We were going Cane hunting! To be honest, this kill was handed to me on a platter by Kaeda and Starling, but Howler did his fair share of damage. Howler also had his first taste of pod goo.

After the excitement I went for some more plexing. I noticed a Jaguar on D-Scan towards the plex and in pure R1fta style, plunged right into the fray. My big concern was weither this Jag would be kiting me. I landed, the plex warp gate stood between me and the Jaguar and we both locked and scrammed. I engaged the afterburners and headed for orbit as both our guns started ripping into shields. In a moment of faildom (it's a word!) I bumped off the warp gate and my speed fell. Huge chunks were ripped out of Howler’s armour as I tried to correct my mistake. As I gained momentum again the Jag’s damage output fell, but this was going to be a tight fight as his shields was holding strong. Howler was soon leaving a smoke trail, but it was the Jag that exploded. GFGF! Afterwards I realised how fast my heart was pumping and I couldn’t keep my hands still. This was probably the best adrenaline rush I’ve had flying spaceships.

Later that day my probing assistant (I upgraded his status after the rupture kill and I’m working on getting him some proper equipment) discovered a wormhole that lead into the low sec system of Arnstur, Metropolis. Inside was a Talos, doing exploration...or plexes, I don’t know...all I know is I saw it on overview, and once one was completed another popped up elsewhere. I made attempts to catch him in the first room/plex/whatever (think I’ll call them sites), but he ran. Soon the site disappeared from the overview. I thought that was that, but soon another site appeared and I warped in as as the Talos appeared on scan in that direction. I landed right on him next to the warp gate. Careful not to bump off the gate again I engaged the mighty Talos and awaited the onslaught of his drone waves. But there wasn’t any, and though it took some time, the battlecruiser was destroyed. My most expensive solo kill to date!

Days passed since the Talos kill and I was on a roam that passed through Hadozeko, my old home system. There I hunted a 3 month old pilot in a thrasher who upon engagement used ECM on Howler. Luckily I got under his guns and when I got lock again shot him down to structure. I was about to celebrate my victory when his ECM kicked in again and he escaped. Though I’m not fond of ECM, he did great for a 3 month old pilot, managing to rip deep enough into Howler’s armour on our approach to make me sweat.

Later, after the GCC countdown was done with (what a drag) and Howler was fighting fit again, I found another destroyer, a Coercer this time, on D-Scan. He was ratting away in the local belts and though we don’t always see eye to eye (especially when they stand in the way of faction modules) I helped out my fellow pirates, the Angel Cartel. Basti Shimaya didn’t put up much of a fight. Or try to get his pod out of harms way. Soon Hadozeko local spiked up with faction warfare people. Not interested in politics, I continued my roam which finished uneventfully.

I was having little luck at our holiday destination, and soon I found myself in the Jan pocket. I warped through the systems with little luck until I found a kestrel, which I tracked to a stargate. I warped to the gate and there he sat, hugging the gate. A shuttle landed on grid then, 15km away. I watched it slow boat towards the gate and an evil grin swept across my face as I realized he was auto piloting. Soon I left a shuttle wreck behind, but the sentries shot a big hole in Howler before I escaped.

I was still laughing (I don’t know why I found this so funny really) when an Iteron MK3 appeared on scan. I tracked it as usual, expecting to find it at some heavily guarded POS. But this one warped from planet 1 to planet 2, and soon planet 3. I warped to the Planet 3 custom’s office and landed just as he warped planet 4. I followed knowing I have this kill in the bag. I landed on him again, he was desperately trying to align somewhere else but soon his ship exploded. His pod was popped right after. I was disgusted to find nothing of real value in his wreck, so I dragged his corps around in Howler’s cargo hold.

That kill however, pushed me under -5.0 security status. This made me an official outlaw in CONCORD’s books. I pondered for a moment (15 minutes to be exact) how this would change the way I travel as gatecamps will definitely have a go at me now. Still, it was a moment worth remembering.

I traversed the Jan pocket looking for fights, often noticing cynos appearing on my overview. I took a page out of uncle Lhorezho’s book and soon a kestrel wreck littered space.

I waited for GCC to expire again and noticed a Rupture at a belt. I engaged warp and I landed close enough to attack. Howler got pummelled by medium autocannons in my approach and the swarm of drones surrounding me was biting chunks out of the armour. I maintained a tight orbit around the rupture and disabled my autocannons while locking the drones. I figured at that stage that this fight wasn’t going to end well for Howler as the drones bit deeper and deeper into the armour. To my surprise the T2 drones fell like flies, and with them out of the way, the rupture wasn’t hurting Howler at all! It took quite a few projectile rounds, but I ripped through his shields eventually and it was over. We exchanged gf’s in local and I flaunted the killmail in corpchat.

A dock and repair later Howler was ready for another meal. I destroyed another Cyno that was at a POS, and that’s when the Omen and Harbinger appeared on scan.

After the rupture kill I was confident I could take an Omen down. I scanned him in the direction of a planet and warped to the planet’s first belt. Both the Harbinger and Omen was this way, I hoped they weren’t together. I landed and found nothing but gurristas. I warped to the belt’s planet to fine tune my scan. I landed right in the middle of the Omen and Harbinger fleet! Cursing, I tried to warp away, but that's when I got cocky. I thought I might be able to kill the Omen before the Harbinger could kill me, I could outrun a Harbinger surely and warp out. I stop the ship, and as the warp drive winds down, a Tengu and Gila lands on me as well. I think about running again, but I was already scrambled by the Omen. I was almost standing still due to the webs and I overheated everything while trying to orbit the Omen. Howler spewed mighty Republic Fusion rounds at the Omen. My armour was wearing thin, but so was the Omen’s. I hit structure before the Omen did, but just as Howler started hitting the Omens structure, the full assault of the four cruisers bears down too hard on my little warrior, and he exploded.

As I warped away in my pod, and exchanged gf’s, I was both sad and happy at the same time. This brave little frigate has met his demise, but he had done so in a spectacular fashion, almost besting an Omen under overwhelming numbers.

I salute you Howler, my most effective ship to date! Please join me reader for a moment of silence.
I arrived in Jan to grab my little stockpile of plunder and headed back to our temporary HQ and logged for the night.

Let’s hope tomorrow brings more good fights!

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