Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First You Wanna Kill Me, Now You Wanna Kiss Me


When a pirate has spent enough time in a region of space, he begins to become familiar with his surroundings. He learns which systems are most active, which systems do or do not have stations, where the best spots to scan from are and how all the systems are laid out in relation to each other. On top of learning the lay of the land, he also becomes familiar with the people and groups who inhabit these areas with him. He gets to know the pilots that are most often seen flying in the area, what ships they fly, how skilled they are and whether or not they are likely to have friends waiting just next door.

Over the course of the past few months here in my home, I have come to know many of the pilots, especially the competing pirates and anti-pirates. One such corporation of pirates that I run into fairly often is VMF-214 Blacksheep. Blacksheep is run by a friendly and polite pirate by the name of Omae G'awd. Whenever I pass through the system where OMG and his corporation live, I make sure to send a hail and jovial greeting. I don't remember how or why we became friendly and frankly I do not care. There does need to be some honor and companionship among thieves. I have never had any direct engagements with OMG but I have combatted with his corp on a couple of occasions.

So I sat on a gate in my Thorax. My usual plated and extremely resilient fit with mostly expensive tech II modules. In local was Omae G'awd and on scan was a Vexor that I knew must belong to him. I scanned the ship to a nearby planet and several things crossed my mind:

(1) I have always been friendly to OMG. Would it be wrong of my to engage him? Does he expect me to act in a friendly manner?

(2) He may only be in a Vexor, but he has been a pirate for nearly four times as long as me. Even though he is in a subpar ship compared to my Thorax, will his superior skills and perhaps superior fitting allow him to make quick work of me?

I thought these things through and decided that the code of pirates and of my corporation meant that anyone not in my corp or in my gang was a valid target. OMG was a pirate as well and he would understand that this was just business. As far as his experience advantage went, I was in a better ship with a very solid fit and my skills are not that shabby.

Let's do this.

I engaged the warp drive and dropped in on my target and his ship. As I landed, he was about 20 kilometers away and I immediately went to close distance and lock him down. He made an attempt to kite my close range blaster ship but it didn't last long as my web and microwarpdrive did their thing. Soon we were locked up in battle and slowly wittling each others well tanked ships down. He did not have me webbed so it meant he must have a capicitor booster installed in its place. I had to burn him down fast otherwise he and his armor repairer would outlast my ship! I decided to use a new trick I had learned only recently... I overrode the safety measures on my weapons systems and pushed my guns beyond their maximum suggested energy output.

I watched as both of us began taking very serious damage to our armor. OMG was the first to hit structure and I watched as he continued to repair his armor but not fast enough to prevent the very hull of his ship from continuing to take hits. I still had some armor left and I winning the damage race! I had won! I was going to kill a pilot that was one-and-a-half years my senior! I cracked a grin in the cockpit of my ship when I felt two explosions. I glanced out the left side of the viewing glass and noticed I had taken a direct hit to the hull. My ship was now in a little trouble. I glanced out the right side of the glass and saw that one of my blasters had exploded and was offline. My ship was now in serious trouble. I grimaced and realized that I should not have celebrated so early. My opponents Vexor was still deep in structure but he was repairing the damage almost as fast as I could continue to deal it out. My ship had run out of capacitor to run my own armor repairer, one of my guns was offline and the other four turrets were no longer running as optimally as before.

At the very last moment things had turned against me. My ship was lost.

After the battle, we discussed the fight and I was happy to know that I had at least put a little bit of fright into a pilot who is older, more skilled, more experienced and barely has more losses in his entire career than I already do in mine. A very good fight it was and I hope that next time we engaged, I will emerge the victor.


Ecatherina W said...

I love your title, it was what got me here to read the blog :D

Dexter Tripod said...

Awesome story!

Ka Jolo said...

I loved this story! It is so true to the thought processes of a hopeless cutthroat.

Xephys said...

Brilliantly written once again. Cheesily enough, I actually felt the emotions of your fight when reading that. Next time you'll get him, for sure ;)

Havohej said...

Heat ftw. I'm sure you've trained up the Thermo support skills (nanite interfacing and nanite operation) and trained Thermo itself up to 4 at least - even so, you've got to be careful not to let your stuff break down altogether (but you know that, now :P)

Was a good read :)

Spectre said...

havohej: I have trained up to Thermo IV but I have not bothered without any of the nanite paste stuff. Is it actually worth carrying the paste around? I can't imagine deactivating any mods in the middle of a fight in order to repair them unless it was a very specialized situation.

As far as not letting my stuff break down, I had turned off the heat but realized that was about to lose the fight so I reactivated and hoped for the best. Next time I could be a little more careful and only heat the guns with less damage on them (the one that popped was way more damaged than the others for some reason).

Xephys said...

You need to read up on how Thermo works, Spectre. It's based on where you put the weapons. The ones at the sides will be less heated, the ones in the middle will burn up the fastest.

For the nanite, it's useful if you're piloting a ship which you might need to turn the weapons/mods off for a bit, for example because of cap issues. It's also useful if you need to repair them without docking up. It's nice to have a few of them to carry around.

Helicity Boson said...

mad props for the Army of Darkness title. xD

Omae Gaw'D said...

Well...What can I say. I just found out that fight made it to your blog.

It was indeed an excellent joust and the write-up is even better.

You did exactly what you had to, both in chosing to engage me and in what to do during the fight.

I was there for the same thing you were after. And I sure as hell got close to going poof this time ;)

Don't overestimate older players, never underestimate younger players, and never hesitate, if it's not in your gang, it's there to be killed or kill you.
You can both be friendly AND a cold blood killer.

You pass ;)