About a year and a half ago, I entered the universe of Eve. Destiny did not take long to materialize for within a couple weeks I had pretty much devoted my career to PvP and lowsec piracy. I based myself out of the Sinq Laison/Heimeter region and flew around in a poorly fit Incursus and Vexor, learning the ways of combat and getting myself killed. A lot. One of the systems I was told to fear was that of Egghelende. The gates were often camped, the belts were rarely safe and missioning in the system was basically suicide. I did not pay a lot of attention to the names of the corps that roamed and owned specific systems but I know now looking back that several of the ships I lost to the bigger, badder pirates in Egghelende were destroyed by the pirate corporation of Eternal Perseverance (furthermore referred to as "EP"). I saw them in big ships I couldn't yet imagine of affording (or flying) and acting with a swagger of confidence that I had yet to develop. It was a harsh and cruel place for a newb to learn but I made it through regardless.
Not long after this early stage of my career, I joined The Python Cartel and we moved out of the area for quite a long time. My memories of Egghelende, its residents and my encounters there began to fade. I grew in both experience, confidence and capability greatly over my time away and today I like to think that I am now far better off then I was back then. A few months ago we decided that we wanted to move back into our old region, only a few jumps from Egg. Myself and my corporation began roaming our new region and wound up in Egghelende quite often. We became friendly with several of the locals, including some of the members of EP. We flew with them many times over a period of weeks and for the most part we considered each other allies and did not hunt each other down or try to initiate combat like we normally would against other neutrals. As far as I was concerned, we were treating each other as blues, or allies, so why not make it official? I got in contact with EP's CEO and boss, a most interesting fellow named Ken Plante (furthermore refered to as "Kenny") and asked if he would like to discuss adjusting our corporations standings to each other.
The response I got was something I was not really expecting. Ken did not want to blue us because he did not want to share his kills in Egghelende and because he did not want to teach us for free. Teach us for free? Teach us? It isn't like we were born yesterday. I was coming to Ken with an offer to help make things less confusing and enhance the fun for both parties and instead I was insulted by this arrogant ass.
Over the next few weeks and months, things only degraded further. Ken refused to fly with any of our corp for the most part and even ordered his corp members to never fly with us as long as he was around. We would be ganged and enjoying ourselves when they would suddenly bail and leave fleet as soon as they saw their CEO log in. Why anyone would ever want to be part of such a group where their boss dictated who they could fly with, what ships they should use and how they should fit?. Ken even gave his pilots a considerable amount of flak over losing ships and one of his pilots defected and joined us as a direct result. Our feelings towards Ken became less and less friendly and more and more angry and annoyed. This guy was a dick.
One thing that Ken seemed to be most proud of was his stellar effeciency. Rarely losing ships, killing many every day. It probably was not too hard to do seeing how Egghelende is a significant lowsec mission hub and EP spends a lot of time taking on these almost completely defenseless PvE targets. Even in situations where Kenny was against opponents fighting back, he often used very low risk ships (nano/ranged recons and sniper battleships) backed by a tons of support that most other pilots don't have (an alt that can probe, an alt in gang in a command ship running gang links, billions worth of implants). He would be a very tough nut to crack but I wanted badly to kill him. Our chance came during a roam to Egghelende when Kenny basically waited for our cruiser gang in a belt, challenging us to engage his solo Dominix with our forces. I was reluctant, thinking that a solo Dominix in the right hands was more than enough to beat off a gang of T1 cruisers. Regardless we did engage. After quite a long battle and a couple losses, Kenny's Domi was destroyed and we celebrated a hard fought victory as he made some whiny excuses in local about how it was six-vs-one.
Kenny has been known for flying the Curse recon ship quite a bit over his career. According to his killboard, he has taken part in well over 1100 kills with the ship. On a slightly related note, I had been training for the Curse for a while and recently purchased my own which I had been flying around. One day I flew my Curse down to Egg, looking for some targets when Kenny must have seen me on scan:
[00:34:21] Ken Plante > imitation the sincerest form of flattery
[00:34:40] Spectre3353 > you act like i was able to train for this in a week
[00:34:49] Spectre3353 > took a while
[00:35:21] Ken Plante > yup ok
[00:36:00] Spectre3353 > if i was trying to imitate you, id be arrogant and robotic and nobody would like me
[00:36:09] Ken Plante > true
[00:36:18] Ken Plante > but atleast u could killsomething by yourself
[00:36:24] Ken Plante > lolumad?
[00:36:45] Spectre3353 > probing out newbs in battlecruisers with your t3 ship with ganglinks running is solo?
[00:36:48] Spectre3353 > keep telling yourself that
[00:36:54] Ken Plante > and making ur entire corp run for months
[00:37:03] Ken Plante > you suck i hate to be the bringer of that
[00:37:11] Ken Plante > but keep tellingurself ur hard
[00:37:21] Spectre3353 > i dont know how to break this to you
[00:37:23] Ken Plante > because i so care about having internet spacefriends
[00:37:26] Spectre3353 > some of us play eve for fun
[00:37:30] Ken Plante > as do i
[00:37:34] Spectre3353 > not because we are trying to prove how awesome we are
[00:37:35] Ken Plante > but i enjoy being good
[00:37:46] Ken Plante > lol
[00:37:54] Spectre3353 > i hope you feel special in your moms basement
[00:37:56] Spectre3353 > living alone
[00:38:00] Ken Plante > haha
[00:38:03] Spectre3353 > because your killboard stats are awesome from popping mission runners
[00:38:05] Spectre3353 > cya buddy
[00:38:07] Ken Plante > lol u r reaching arnt u spec
[00:38:12] Ken Plante > lolumad
[00:38:16] EVE System > Channel changed to Siseide Local Channel
Moments later he opened a private conversation to make sure he got in the last word:
[00:42:07] Ken Plante > hey whats up
[00:42:09] Spectre3353 > sup ken
[00:42:12] Ken Plante > i was fuckin with you
[00:42:20] Spectre3353 > no worries
[00:42:22] Spectre3353 > i dont take this game too seriously
[00:42:23] Ken Plante > but i guess u really are a fuckin joke
[00:42:26] Ken Plante > lol
Another thing that seemed to fit perfectly with Ken's arrogance was his affluence. He has alts, rigged battleships, faction cruisers, a dreadnought, high-grade implants and what I could only assume was his pride and joy, a faction fit Proteus tech III advanced strategic cruiser. We saw him start bringing it out quite often to kill mission runners so it was obvious he was not afraid to use it in situations he felt were safe.
I don't remember exactly when the plan was suggested or who was the first to suggest it, but we began thinking and discussing about how we could bait his Proteus into certain death and then possibly even pod him. We would need a mission running alt to get probed out and then have the proper modules to tackle and tank him until a hidden gank fleet could arrive to finish the job. What if he brought friends? What if he simply nano'd away? What if we couldn't get him to arrive at the mission in the right ship in the first place? There were many things to consider and some luck would be absolutely required, but we had to at least give it a shot. The final plan was to put Skye's mission alt into a Raven fit with a big armor tank, lots of EWAR and a number of neuts. If he warped into the mission, our bait could lock him down, neut away his cap and then tank him until help arrived.
To avoid letting our plan somehow slip to any members of EP or Kenny himself, an operation was scheduled and described as "Super Sekrit!". No one knew why we were assembling a fleet of battleships, just that they should show up ready to go. The super secret part must have enticed many members of the Python Cartel for when the day of the operation came, a significant chunk of our pilots showed up and embarked out with the largest battleship fleet we have ever amassed. The bait was set and our fleet waited. Several false alarms were called as other members of EP probed down our Raven until finally, Ken's Damnation alt undocked and his Proteus was spotted in space. I was not there for the encounter but I almost pooped my pants when I saw the kill on our boards that night. Kenny's Proteus had been mauled and destroyed by our fleet. The pod got away but his ship was destroyed and it was fit chockful of expensive faction mods. Our plan had worked? No way! Our plan had worked!
With our confidence high and the urge to keep our unofficial war against arrogant-pirates-who-take-Eve-too-seriously going, we decided immediately to move our entire corporation into Egghelende. Into the very same station as Kenny and his corp. It won't be easy. We may have a slight advantage in numbers but they will make up for it with their superior skillpoints, resources and tactics. Only time will tell if our attack upon Egghelende will be succesful but I do know that in the first few days we have destroyed a very large amount of targets in their system, taking food directly from their mouths.
...and so starts a new era. The Python Cartel living in the very system I used to view with such awe and fear. The Python Cartel fighting against a pirate institution of much greater power and renown. The Python Cartel in Egghelende.
- Our thread on the C&P forums about Ken's Proteus assassination.
- Helicity Boson's blog post on the Proteus kill.
- Xiphos describes the operation.
- Some random crap from Kyle Langdon.
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