I boarded my Vexor and left the station in Dal. I only had about fifteen more jumps through low security space to reach the holy land of Eifer. I began the uneventful last leg of my trip and started jumping and warping, jumping and warping, jumping and warping... A few jumps in I began to notice that the area was littered with pilots in Iteron and Bestower haulers at the gates. They were moving goods everywhere like it was going out of style! I had seen weird occurrences like this in the Hevrice area as well. I had heard stories of tanked cruisers like the one I was flying being able to survive sentry guns long enough to destroy a hauler at a gate, so I decided I would give it a try.
I followed one of the Badger's through a gate and managed to scramble it on the other side. The gate guns opened fire and I had to rush to close a gap of 15km all while my drones destroyed the ship. I arrived at the wreck, grabbed the loot and rushed out with no shields, no armor and severe damage to my hull. It had been quite close but I was sure it would be worth it for the loot! I glanced into my cargo holds to see what I had obtained! Two tech 1 cargohold expander modules and... that was it. Worthless. I jumped my crippled cruiser into the next system in search of a station and docked up for repairs. One million ISK and a few hours later, my hull and armor were repaired and I was ready to continue my journey.
A few jumps later I was only one system away from Eifer! I prepared myself for what I would find. Women, treasure, newbs in battleships, coffee bars and probably an Old Country Buffet! As I approached the Eifer gate, I saw several blinky red names come up on my overview. Several heavy assault cruisers and a stealth bomber were camping! I quickly jumped through and aligned and warped to a planet before they could follow me through. Moments later several of their ships found me at the planet and I began warping around to safe spots and planets attempting to escape their pursuit. Finally after a hectic few minutes, I was able to sit still and scan around my final destination. All I had on scan was heavy assault cruisers, battleships and a multitude of haulers. This wasn't what I came for! This was scary as hell! Afraid for the safety of myself, my ship and most importantly my pants, I fled the system and docked up in a station next door. I had arrived but what I found was a shark tank, not a treasure trove. Just as I was about to despair, I noticed that the very pilot I had been looking for had entered the same station I was docked up at:
[04:12:51] Spectre3353 > what perfect timing
[04:12:56] Spectre3353 > hello mister rizzel sir!
[04:13:32] Kane Rizzel > o/
I greeted Kane and explained to him how I had arrived at this location:
[04:14:39] Spectre3353 > i was merely on an epic journey from my usual home in lonetrek down to Eifer
[04:14:51] Spectre3353 > i wanted to experience the system you described in your logs
[04:15:03] Spectre3353 > unfortunately it was not full of newbs in battleships and unequipped carriers
[04:15:11] Spectre3353 > instead it was full of hacs probing me down in safe spots
[04:15:24] Kane Rizzel > heh, it gets like that
[04:15:39] Spectre3353 > its ok :P twas a fun trip
[04:15:50] Kane Rizzel > the locals are over zealous sometimes
[04:16:06] Spectre3353 > if i was them i would be salivating at a newb in a vexor as well so i cant blame them
[04:16:15] Spectre3353 > are there any other quieter areas around here you could suggest?
[04:17:13] Kane Rizzel > dunno about quieter but Evati always seems to have targets
One last system before I gave up for the night. I would take Mr Rizzel's advice and give it a shot.
[04:19:10] Kane Rizzel > good hunting
I left the station and set my destination to Evati. Another five jumps to try and find something to justify my journey (which I was no longer referring to as "epic"). I carefully made my way to Evati and began to scan the system. What I found was Rupture in a belt! A very worthy opponent and perhaps the strongest of all the ships in the cruiser class but my Vexor was up to the challenge! I warped in at a distance to scout my opponent and was surprised to see that this was no stranger, it was a pirate I used to see in the Egghelende and Amamake area all the time named Effigies! He had even been part of a gang that destroyed one of my Incursus frigates several months ago. I gave my experienced opponent a friendly greeting over the local system comms and left him to himself. I did not want to mess with such a beast. I docked up at a nearby station, my journey now complete my mind uncertain.
My trip was over. I realized now that the Utopian star system I had set out to find had never truly existed. I had come all this way to try and find myself and to prove something to the universe but the truth was that I already knew exactly who I was and there was no one I needed to prove anything to. These star systems and regions were strange and dangerous and I felt out of place. I wanted to go home!
I paid the hangar manager for long term storage. I was going to leave my Vexor here in Evati. One day I might decide to return and I would already have a fully fit ship waiting for me. Trying to fly it home through low security space was a sure way to get destroyed in a gate camp and if I flew my pod through high security, the trip would be much shorter. I exited the station in my puny pod and punched in my destination. It would be only fifteen jumps using the shortest route but that path included passing through an extremely deadly system called Rancer. Our corporation CEO had made us all promise to NEVER go through Rancer. It was a bottleneck and was virtually always camped by pirates in battleships. I tried once before to pass through in a pod and was smart bombed to death before I even knew what was happening. So this would be my final trial... a gauntlet run through the death trap that is Rancer!
I made several jumps until I finally arrived at the Rancer gate. I entered the system and saw no one at the entry point. I Accelerated into warp and cried out and let everyone in the local area know how things would go down:
[04:41:38] Spectre3353 > RANCER I WILL RUN YOUR GAUNTLET AND I WILL BE VICTORIOUS!
I landed on the exit gate and to my relief, it was not camped and there was not a ship in sight. Instead there were corpses. Not one, not two, not even three but DOZENS. I sat in awe, staring at the mass of frozen bodies and for a moment I almost felt sad. Better them than me, I guess.
A few jumps later and I had arrived home. I docked with the station and immediately went to my bunk. Finally I was home where I belonged. The trip had provided me with a Rifter, Catalyst, Rupture and Wolf for kills and a Taranis as a loss. I had seen some old friends, met some new ones, run into my most feared nemesis the Rapier and finally come to realize the reality of things. It didn't matter what some random pirates on an interweb forum thought of my life or achievements, as long as I was happy with it myself. After pondering this for a few moments I went back down to the hangar, picked out a new ship and launched back into space. A smile slowly crept across my face as I felt once again comfortable and in my place. Time to find some T1 frigates...
Remember Myrskaa (again) - [image: Myrskaa Red Poster] Click to download heap big versions I was inspired by all the other entries in the contest and thought of this one late last n...
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