In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man,
Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.
No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam.
“Diane, warp to Uuna gate at close range, please”
While I was undocking from the station it felt odd. The shroud of loneliness engulfed me when I realized that I won’t be with my boys for a while. “It’s for the best” was my only way to comfort the splitting pain in the heart. “Warp drive active, Spaxi, you might want to cloak up” She’s quite a lady, Diane. The idea behind this AI was to make sure she’s as accustomed to what we’re going to do. We spent two weeks a while ago in Bosbogger training for this day. She knew exactly what to say, do and look out for and that made her a valuable asset.
After jumping into Uuna, while still cloaked up from the gate use, I spent a bit of time adjusting the controls while Diane was handling the probe scanner. “Three unknown signatures, Spaxi, I’ll begin probing them down for you” She took control of the scanning systems, while I launched probes and initiated warp towards one of my safe spots cloaking up in the meantime. Discretion was the key to this operation – the minute people knew what I’m up to, they’d be suspicious. “Spaxi, I have probed down two data sites and one relic site. They seem to be of Gurista origin”
It was time for me to take control of everything. Manual style. Old school. First things first – setting up TACs. For me, TACs are spots which are more than 150 km away from the derelict cans inside the sites. Making a TAC meant warping to the site at 100 km, warping back to the place you came from, then warping back to the 100 km mark at additional 100 km, which should always place me at least 150 km away from any can. That being said, I caught prey even without making a TAC.
The first data site I warped to was a very small one; all of the cans were very close to the signal origin, so warping to it at 0 km would mean that you’d land next to them. Warping to 10 km seemed like a good idea, especially since I noticed previously on D-scan a Magnate-type and an Astero-type hull with additional 8 core scanner probe Is and 8 sisters’ core scanner probes in space.
In retrospect, warping to 10 km to the first data site was a wonderful idea. Luckily enough, after exiting the warp I was located 5 km away from the Magnate-type hull who was already trying to hack the can next to him. “Diane, be ready to lock him up as soon as you can, please” The prey was completely unaware of what was about to happen to him, and as I hit approach the pieces were already in place. As soon as the distance between the two of us was under 2500 m, my ship decloaked automatically and I turned the propulsion module, the brand new, shiny Gistii A-Type 1 MN afterburner, and slammed my ship into his, which sent him spiraling around, unable to punch the warp because he couldn’t align. Diane followed through with a lock up, and he was scrammed with 5 points, ensuring he couldn’t get away even if he wanted. Hobgoblin IIs took flight from the drone bay, and shredded his ship first, and then the wreck of the ship. We didn’t want any evidence left. The loot he dropped wasn’t all that much, but it was a good start of the day. “Diane, cloak up, and warp us off to the safe spot” It was necessary to clear the grid as soon as possible, so I could continue making TACs.
It would seem that it was completely worth the effort of making these TACs, because very soon after the previous catch, the Astero-type hull was located by Diane who was constantly D-scanning towards the TACs we made which meant that as soon as a ship would decloak inside one of the spots, we would locate him and the chase would be on. This one was inside a relic site, one of the profitable sites in Low-security space.
When I warped to the relic site TAC, the Astero was buzzing around, probably using Cargo scanner module to determine what was inside the cans. At one time, he approached a can and on my overview I could see that he has begun hacking the node. Diane already knew what to do, and I didn’t need to tell her again. It didn’t take long for me to align the ship towards the can and warp us to 10 km. Why 10 km, you might ask – that’s because I noticed he was orbiting, not sitting still, so I wanted to intercept his orbit while approaching him. Needless to say, that didn’t work out well. Approach – decloak and try to bump, “Fuck!” I exclaimed, as while Diane was waiting for the ship’s targeting systems to re-calibrate after decloaking, the target cloaked up and I thought he was long gone. In an effort to fool him, I aligned the ship to a gate and stayed visible so that he can see me warping off. However, all is well when it ends well – this got me inside 2500 km from him and he decloaked. Diane reacted immediately, I fucking love her, I swear to God, and locked him up while putting the sweet, sweet 5 points of warp disruption on his warp core. I laid down a stasis web on his propulsion, but he launched Warrior II-type drones to try and shake me off, but to no avail. Remember those 2 Centii A-Type small armor repairers? Yup. Hobgoblin IIs made short work of him, as he didn’t tank the Astero and another wreck was in front of my eyes, full of delicious, delicious modules and salvage to pillage. “Damn it, the Sisters’ core probe launcher got destroyed” was a cry of frustration when I realized that a 50M ISK module got lost in the space dust. “We’ll get it next time, Spaxi” Diane comforted me, as we destroyed the wreck and went on to a safe spot to count or spoils of combat.
Just as I thought that we’re done with this system, I noticed a familiar name in system – Boji PissAll. “I know this guy… that’s Oma Lorche’s scanning accomplice!” An evil grin, one I never had I think followed through those thoughts, and Diane made me as happy as a child when given candy, when she reported a Helios-type hull on D-scan at the same relic spot the Astero lost his composure. The hunt that followed was as easy as destroying a Stay Frosty combat frigate. The routine followed – warp to TAC; wait for him to start hacking the can; warp to can; decloak, lock up, scram, web and launch drones (or as I like to say – unzip and let rip!). This relic site had yielded another wreck and I felt like I haven’t in a long time. It wasn’t the adrenaline rush of fighting outnumbered or outgunned, it wasn’t the feeling of superiority over another capsuleer. It was like… building a desk. You do some planning, you get your tools ready and get to work. After it’s built, you take a look at it and you feel… proud. I felt proud. Being a pirate took a whole new meaning, and for once in a while, I was fulfilled.