Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Cleansing: Mission Aborted

For a moment, it seemed like I was worried for nothing. I was warping to my out gate, which Jax Spade already reported as clear, but in Hevrice things change in a heartbeat.

The Tuskers were known to guard their home system with finesse. This was a perfect system to come to if you were looking to fight, but that day I wasn't. I fought to keep my eyes open as it was already quite late in the evening. I just wanted to reach null sec, then I'd sleep.

My warp drive disengaged as I landed at the gate. I yawned, waiting for the Hurricane to stop before jumping through. The yawn abruptly turned into a cough when I saw a small fleet of Tuskers land as well. My half closed eyes were now ajar and my heart was pounding in my throat.

I could've waited at the gate, swung my ship around and warped off. If they agressed I could've jumped through without them being able to follow. I could've, but hind sight is a powerful yet useless tool. Instead I jumped through, fatigue clouding my judgement. I watched the gate fire again as the fleet jumped through as well. I could've burned back to gate, but once again, I didn't. I selected my next out gate and spooled up the warp drive, hoping they were just passing through. The enemy Condor started targeting, and soon I heard the terrible noise of a warp drive being forced to a halt. I activated my microwarpdrive, targeted the Condor and opened fire, launching my drones too. I was hoping to get out of disruptor range of the other two Tuskers while shooting down the Condor but this plan failed horribly as my warp drive was scrambled. Volley after volley slammed into my shields until they couldn't hold under the pressure. The ship now rocked with every volley exploding into the thin armour of the Hurricane. All I could do was get my pod out to safety. Tired and upset, I retired for the night, not even bothering to find a station to dock in.

It was a new day, and filled with renewed vigour I headed to Ishomilken. I still had another Hurricane in Heild, and had a better null entry system from there. I decided I'd leave my current body in Isho with the few ships I had left there and activate a jump clone in Heild. Jax Spade didn't have the luxury of jump clones, he was forced to go through the more jarring experience of self-destructing his pod. Pretty soon though we were both in Minmatar space and after a quick trip to Rens, Jax supplied me with all the mods, rigs and ammo I required. We headed out, Jax once again scouting ahead for gate camps. We would enter null through Skarkon. Jax headed into the first null system, with me close to the gate waiting for his go ahead to come in. His report soon came through.

"Warp bubbles at the gate, gonna try and find safe passage through," then silence. I was getting annoyed and was about to shout at him when he reported again, "Gate camps everywhere!" I could hear explosions in the background, "I'm not going to..." I heard Jax scream for a second, then silence.

How cute, he still screams when he gets podded. "Not through Skarkon then," I replied, even though I knew he wasn't there. I grinned, this was not the first time Jax was sent to his doom. The benefits of having a scout with low skill points meant his clone didn't need upgrading, and he'd receive another Reaper for free to replace the one he just lost. Knowing it would take a while for him to get through the "rebirth" process I sent him a mail to hurry up and meet me in Egbinger, another null entry system.

Why was I so determined to reach null? As you might notice from the topic of this post I've halted the Cleansing. This decision came due to a difficult choice I made, leaving the Black Rebel Rifter Club. I've decided to join the Crimson Reach. Crimson Reach, or CRR, was created by Kaeda Maxwell as a bounty hunting corporation. Initially they were still in the R1der alliance, but they left temporarily to join in faction warfare efforts against the Gallente Federation. As most of CRR's members are ex-pirates, even Kaeda himself, the move to the military seems to quench their thirst for destruction while actually making them some ISK. As I've been spending most my time flying with them, especially Sorn Nordvind, I decided to repent for my sins and join them. The idea of later becoming bounty hunters, something I wanted to do since climbing into my first Reaper, is also part of the appeal.

Concord is a very forgiving institute. They require but one thing to return to their favour, shoot down rats. With my security status looking as it does, only the best rats would do, and those can only be found in null sec. Egbinger was a much better entry into null and now I am shooting down battleship rats in the Great Wildlands. Soon enough though, you realise why Concord is handing out get-out-of-jail-free-cards to anyone shooting rats for long enough. Ratting is a soul numbing activity, with every battleship rat only giving back a fraction of your precious security status. To make matters worse, the better your security status, the smaller these fractions become. I would compare this to my high sec mining days, but it's much more work intensive…and lucrative. Especially if I can find a commander, or even better, the much sought after officers. The chances of finding these are minute, especially when hopping from system to system shooting only the first battleship you find.

Ratting won't give me much to write about, so I might not post for a while. Hopefully it won't take too long.

Nevertheless see you soon in high sec!

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