In a dusky, smoke-filled room we sat around a small round table covered to the brim with playing cards and chips and ashtrays and half-consumed beers. I glanced across at my opponents, trying not to give away any indication of what a monster hand I had been dealt. The smuggler to my right threw in ten million ISK worth of chips and looked to see if I would call. I took another sip of my drink.
"Call" I said calmly as I pushed my money into the center and then dropped my cards to show what I had been concealing all along. "All reds. Go fish!" I stated and folded my arms smugly as the rest of the table slowly look back and forth at me and my now exposed hand, trying to figure out if I was being serious.
The pirate to my left realized that this was no joke and a grin crept across his face. "All reds is not a hand in poker. Hell, you have that instructional card on how to play poker as one of your cards... that thing shouldn't even be in the deck. What the hell is wrong with you?" I slunk back into my chair slightly and frowned as my money was stacked and taken. Stupid game. As I considered simply pulling out my sidearm and removing these three meatbags from the genepool, I heard a call come in through the radio in the back corner about a sighting of the Amarr milita flying dangerously close to our home system.
"Well I've got to get going, meatbags" I said grimly as I got up and slowly touched my hand to my blaster pistol. They all froze as I laughed and strolled out of the room with my beer in my hand and the smell of their fear in my wake. I met moments later with other pilots of our pirate coalition that had responded to the call to cause some havoc among that poor excuse for a milita. They should know not to fly around so close to our home. Now they would pay. Lars Lodar, Alevi, Andrea Skye, Lachesis and myself all boarded our battlecruisers, undocked and warped to the Siseide gate in perfect formation. Minutes later we were sitting in Auga, on the Siseide gate, salvaging the remains of the one milita peon we had managed to tackle as the rest of his useless friends scattered to the winds and left him to die. Poor fella. I picked my teeth with a toothpick as we went through the loot. Lars jumped through the gate to check the other side.
A staticy and cut-off transmission came through moments later. "-coming through *hsss* gate!" Huh? What was he yelling about? "Megathron Navy Issue *hsss* through right now!" I jumped up in my seat and sent out a hasty transmission. "Get back in here Lars!" The gate fired and flashed as our potential victim was arriving. He had to be some sort of newb to be flying such a expensive bulls-eye of a ship through these systems. "Everyone get webs and scramblers on this guy. I want full DPS. Do not let him burn back to the gate." The Megathron Navy Issue uncloaked and for a moment I simply couldn't react. Life slowed down, the sounds around me felt so distant and muted and I could heart my heart thumping slowly in my ears. There is nary a more beautiful and intimidating ship in existance than the Megathron and my chest ached a tiny bit inside as I thought about what we were about to do it.
I took a deep breath and fell back into reality. Within moments we had three Drakes, one Ferox and my Myrmidon applying full damage upon the battleship but he was going down very slowly. This was no newb of a pilot... he had an enormous amount of armor plating. The sense of predetermined victory and celebration crept out of me as he began firing back and quickly tore into Andrea Skye's Ferox. "I'm going down... I'm going to go down! I can't get out!" he yelled as he tried to steer his ship away from the combat zone. He wasn't fast enough as his battlecruiser burst and the debris flew across my viewscreen. The Megathron was now halfway into armor but he had turned his weapons upon my Myrmidon. My beautiful Myrmidon.
I had been flying this ship for weeks now. This ship, this very hull had partaken in the destruction of over one-hundred victims. It is rare for one of my ships to last a dozen encounters so this ship was dear and special to my heart. She had been through thick and thin and I was not about to let her down now after she had always been there for me. I launched all the drones I had left. I pushed all my armor repairing modules to the brink and tried to hold out against the awful onslaught of seven battleship sized blaster cannons. My Myrmidon was rocked again and again by volleys of antimatter until she was bleeding into structure when suddenly it all stopped. He had stopped firing? Why? We realized at this point that the Megathron pilot had been very slowly inching back towards the gate he had come through. No, no, no. This could not happen. If he refrained from fighting back for a full 60 seconds then he would be able to jump back through and escape.
We pushed our ships to their very maximum in damage. We prayed, we begged and we pleaded. As the Megathron Navy Issue reached approximately 50% structure, our targeting computers lost their lock and we watched the magestic ship flash out of existance. The Siseide gate in Auga fired and our target was launched safely into the next system. He had escaped.
We sat in stunned silence.
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