The lemon song

I should have quit you, long time ago.
I wouldn’t be here, my children, down on this killing floor.
I should have listened, baby, to my second mind.
Every time I go away and leave you, darling, you send me the blues way down the line.

Being back in Ishomilken has had it’s ups and it’s downs. The war we have jokingly created with A Band Apart was nothing to be thrilled about; the war is still running, but a lot of enemy pilots have had their stomachs hurting and retreated into the safe harbors, whether in null-sec space or in unknown space. Only Stay Frosty is around, and we’ve been having a couple of tosses each and every way – for every frigate we lose, they lose something as well; as fights should be. Being on the winning side for too long can prove to be very boring, and sometimes when you do lose it will hurt you a lot more than it would hurt someone who’s not as used to winning.

Such a person is myself. Having flown Laura for so long must have wind me up and make me rethink my career choice (I laugh at myself for calling piracy a career) as I have found myself spinning ships and just undocking a losing everything I possibly have in the hangars. The Bastards lounge has been empty for a bit, people being away doing their own thing. Hell, I even had to pour the Scotch myself because Serj Reaper was away for a holiday in the tropical regions in the other side of the galaxy. Things have been stale, so I found a way to entertain me – I started watching records of capsuleer combats and a few videos caught my attention, especially two from the same person – a Stabber- and a Slicer-class hulls.

You see, so far in my piracy you wouldn’t see many ships which preferred kiting as a combat style. Sure, Laura could be fit with a ‘long point’ and those 150 mm rails would hurt as long as I could keep my guns on target but that just wasn’t it… it still felt like scram kiting combat style. After seeing the videos, I moved myself to my favorite thinking spot – the Bastards’ bar.

“Same as usual, Spax?” is the question I always get when I enter. I swear to God I need to start drinking something else. I’m more unpredictable in my hull and fitting choices than in the beverages I indulge.
“No ice this time, Jinx, please.” an odd name our bartender had. It sounded very, very familiar but I just couldn’t place it. As he was pouring my favorite brand, Known Associate, now one of the directors of the Bastards, marched in and made his way to the seat next to time. With a wink and a hidden hand gesture I showed Jinx to bring Known an appletini – a martini made with apple juice.

“Drinking? Again, Spax? I have to admit I am disappointed” he tossed a bait which I gladly took and shrugged off with a very short comeback.
“Not as disappointed as I was when you missed Rixx‘s woman’s, Oma, pod the other night.” I could have said a simple “your mom” but I needed something that cuts deeper. Jinx had delivered his appletini which Known gulped down in a single stroke.
“You ought to be more careful with such hard drinks, you might not end well.” I said while smirking so he can know that the joke is on me this time.

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or should I try guessing. You miss Evati, don’t you?” straight down and up to the point, that’s the kind of man he was. Believe it or not, he hit 100 points.
“Look, Spax, I’m your friend so let me tell you this” he paused to signal Jinx to bring me another double-shot as I was finishing mine ever so increasingly in speed. “At the end of the day, we’re pirates. That means we do what the hell we want to, and if you feel like you’re empty on the inside” he paused again to make sure I understood him, which I did only so well. “You should go and do something you haven’t done already. In case you haven’t noticed, the videos you saw were re-runs, which means someone broadcast them for you. Who do you think was it?” with that line, everything made sense. I strongly feel like there’s nothing this man doesn’t know about me.

“I can’t fly neither the Slicer, nor the Stabber. What kind of a sick joke is it you’re having?” I was trying to keep it cool and lay off the fact he knows me so damn well, but I couldn’t. His reply hit the wire.
“Don’t give me that bullshit, I have been looking over your losses and your kills ever since I joined the Bastards.” before finishing what he had to say, he grabbed the glass, more like snatched it from me, and shot down the double Scotch into his throat. You could see his eyes were burning, but that didn’t stop him from leaving a final word before he stood up.

“I bet a certain Pamela would be more than happy to see you, Spax, go have fun!” the door he left through were shut, but his words remained. After paying Jinx off, I went to the Medical bay and ordered a ticket to Evati.

Dazed and confused

Been Dazed and Confused for so long it’s not true.
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.
Lots of people talkin’, few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below.

The sound of unnerving Dazed and confused was punching through the speakers. A cigar still fresh and scorn-less was laid on the ash tray, as a reminder of fun that was had the night before. I knew I shouldn’t have had all those female exotic dancers in here; they don’t put out unless you show them you got the money. Laura opened up a connection with the apartment’s comms:
“Incoming transmition, Mr SpaxiKnown Associate is calling you via the secure line through Laura‘s communication array. Do I take the call?” she spoke, with a voice as gentle as a fresh bed sheet after a shower. “Connection allowed, pass him on, please. Good morning, Laura.” It was time to get up and see what was happening, but hell, I wasn’t wearing anything.

“Morning, Spax, I see you’re as tiny as ever.” he laughed while I turned my bum towards him so he can see what I think of his joke. Some underwear found it’s way up my legs, and I sat down in front of the camera. The atmosphere behind him was familiar, he was calling me from the Bastards’ lounge in Ishomilken IX-4 Chief executive station. This had to be serious.
“Cut to the chase, Known, you’re interrupting some well earned rest. Check the kill reports, I took out more than ten ships last night.” The only way to shrug him off quickly was to bore him with some boasting.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the loss mails as well. Those Taranises sure blow up fast, don’t they?” He was hitting my nerves now, which was made obvious to him when an ashtray took flight towards the camera, smashing it into pieces.
“Get your ass to Ishomilken, there’s soup brewing. Boss wants you here as well” He made sure I realize the gravity of the situation by speaking with a sharp and rough tone. No emotions was something you would expect from a known associate, after all.

After jumping into my latest Gurista outfit, which was to be the official Screaming Hayabusa uniform until I broke in to one of their member’s quarters while he was enjoying a good night’s sleep after shagging a bar bouncer and relieved him off it, I made my way to the medical bay. I have to say it looks good on me, I even got my ear pierced to match the outcast style it was sewn in. A dash of orange with some black, all in leather and with patches which were supposed to match rank is what made the uniform beautiful. I have to give credit to Miura Bull next time we cross blasters. A big red cross above the room and sight of clone vats was to mean that I finally reached the medical bay. After a short flirt with the receptionist, I proceeded inside and entered one vat, which seemed rugged at first, with layers of dust pilled on due to lack of use. A needle pierced the back of my head, and my mind went to sleep only to be awoken shortly after by a familiar blonde face of Mrs Spaxina down in Ishomilken. She popped open the vat, and slapped me as hard as she could, the pain splitting away half of my head due to clone jump shock.
“You deserved that. Remember that I have eyes everywhere!” were her parting words, as she left and gave me a smile on her way out.

Known Associate was standing leaned at the door with his hands crossed.
“Nobody is pleased you were gone, Spax, we missed you. Just because you think that nobody appreciates you doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Next time you go off without a word, I’ll hunt you down myself.” The threat he made wasn’t just empty words – even though he’s not as check as I am in space blaster brawls, he knows his hunt. I would probably never notice burning plasma from his blaster hurling towards my head until it would be too late, and I’d wake up back here.
“Home, sweet home. I’m sorry, my friend, I owe you a shot of scotch. Thank you for calling me.” I was trying to be nice, while his coldness interrupted me once again. It was obvious he was displeased, but I knew he missed me.
“The boss wants to talk to all of us, we’ve been waiting for you. Lazy has gone about it and caused havoc. Not that we don’t like havoc, now do we?” His smirk made me get a glimpse of what was about to happen. Without much delay, I got up and into my old outfit, making my way with Known towards the Bastards’ lounge.

The Bastards had no personal maids, so the lounge was maintained by some very old robots which aren’t even AI. Having an AI run the cleaning could present a lot of security risks so we avoided it at all cost. The two of us entered the lounge only to see everyone with their hands crossed or fists firmly clenched. Something was up, but boss was the only one standing, so I can only assume that they were waiting for us. I nodded in apologetic way, and proceeded with Known to the only two remaining free spots. Serj tossed me a hard drink across the glass table, while Lazy flipped me the bird only to be slapped by Ithica. I really did miss these guys, they’re top lads. Every single one of them. A single sip of a very old brew was interrupted by the boss.

“I’m glad to have called you here on this day. Spax, welcome back. If you were to take off like that again, I will personally come and hunt you down” That line sounded very familiar. Not that he could hunt me down even if he wanted, but the threat was very well perceived. I nodded to apologize, but he continued the talk.
“I am not sure you lot are aware of it, but our own Lord LazyGhost has fallen prey to the station guns. Yes, again, nothing new, I know, right.” A blaze of laughter filled the lounge, while Lazy was throwing shoulder punches and flipping people off.
“However… this time, they’ve gone too far. They claim to be well established pirates, and spread Yarrs over every public communication channel they can, but they are also very well perceived within Concord. Their security status is a disgrace to piracy, and puts them at an unfair advantage standing toward us. Dwaigon, please go ahead” The boss stepped down, sat and a prostitute soon followed to his lap. He picked a cigar up, while the woman was caressing his strong cheeks. Dwaigon stood up, and took over.
“Gentlemen, war has been declared. An official notice was sent to the entire of A Band Apart alliance and their executive corporation. The war itself is alliance wide and will be live in 24 h. Clean your blasters, get your Vexors and Brutixes ready. Nobody is allowed to go off until every single ABA capsuleer has been sent back to their home station in a pod. Is that clear?” he shouted while everyone raised their glasses, tossed the beverages to the throats and smashed the glass on the hard floor.

Everyone got up and started chest bumping, the laughter and manly “Yarrs” filled the halls and I bet the entire station was wondering what the fuck was happening. That’s when Nashh approached me and invited me over to his office. The walk wasn’t long, but I could see that he was going somewhere with this. The room was oddly empty and quiet, as he made his way to the desk and sat himself on the leather chair and ignited a cigar. I was gestured to take a seat opposite to him, which I did.

“The war isn’t the only reason you’ve been pulled here. To be honest, we don’t need you to lead the war -” I interrupted him tossing over a “But you want to win the war, right?” and helping myself to a cigar as well. Nashh leaned forward and flipped open his lighter, putting my cigar ablaze.
“Shut the fuck up, Spax, and listen for a moment.” He needed to set me straight in order for the conversation to continue in the serious tone it was started in.
“Now when I have your full attention, I have an offer for you.” An offer? For me? This day kept getting stranger and stranger. I leaned in and raised an eyebrow, my curiosity was touched.
“As you are aware, the kevlar hasn’t been coming in these past months.” By kevlar, he meant we weren’t getting a lot of new people coming in.
“I know you were giving your all to help the new guys coming in. Being a pirate isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone, and I understand that more than anyone else. The training you have done with Alexis Vexx and Ses the dude has got me thinking. The offer for you, Spax, is as follows – you are to take over the Meatshields and run them.” Me taking over the Meatshields was one of my goals in this alliance. I have never felt more joy than when training people. Naturally, I had to accept. I smiled and stood up, raising Nashh as well, and went to shake his hand.
“I accept, boss. However, let’s not talk details now. I do believe there’s a party in the lounge, and I don’t want to be missing it.” He understood completely what I was going for, and we both left to the havoc that was taking place in the Bastards’ lounge.

That’s the way

I don’t know how I’m gonna tell you,
I can’t play with you no more,
I don’t know how I’m gonna do what mama told me,
My friend, the boy next door.
I can’t believe what people saying,
You’re gonna let your hair hang down,
I’m satisfied to sit here working all day long,
You’re in the darker side of town.

It’s been a while already. Practicing solitude is a gloomy act for you find yourself being in the pod most of the time. Being a nomad, limiting yourself from access to any and all society-based forms of communication has been… excruciating to say the least. Diane has been running hot for almost a week now, and we haven’t made a dock in almost as long. Thinking of all the modules in my cargo hold makes me feel restless, as a thought of being caught terrified me more than once while I was lulling myself to sleep in the monotonous darkness of a capsule. “I miss my bastards, Diane, I miss my wife as well. The memory of her scent is still carved deeply in my memory. The rattling of the lounge, of Lord LazyGhost teasing everybody. I miss all that.” Sharing my feelings to an A.I. could be as revealing as possible, but it still is unresponsive. “What do you mean, Spaxi?” Is all she could ever say. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be able to program A.I. to have feelings. It sounds like a good idea right now, but that could just be the biggest crap fest created by mankind. I’m dropping the idea.

The week “abroad” has been well spent in term of my development as a pirate, I have to assume. My personal opinion on this has been influenced by a certain TFS Tibbs by an enormous measure, seeing as he’s on the of the top hunter-pirates, as I’d like to call him in our brotherhood we dare to call The Bastards. There are two sides to every coin, and without either, the coin is incomplete, redundant and worthless. Such is the way of the piracy as well. You have the hunting part, which is based on your ability to limit your blood-lust and catch a moment to (even without spotting one) analyze and deduce who your target is, what he is possibly fitting his ship with, and how he wants to fight. It’s like playing chess and thinking of your future many steps ahead. Then, the other part is how you fly your ship – everything from manual piloting to managing heat, and this is quite possibly less important that the first. Once all your pieces are in place, you just have to make sure not to make a mistake while executing, and the king will without a doubt fall.

I have so far managed to develop only two ways of preying upon the poor souls who try to endeavor themselves in the art of exploration. It is possible to do it one way, but that will reduce the amount of targets you can acquire, quite possibly starving you. Such a fate many animals have to endure, but they still never go hungry to the point which makes them drop and die. However. mixing it up and matching the hunting style to your mood will work miracles. I shall name these methods ‘The stalk” and “The pounce”.

The pounce method is the simplest of the both, and it didn’t really suit the style I was going for. It is perfect for the nomadic of kinds, but not to me. It boils down to settling down to a single system, with high traffic and vicinity of high security space. The system would be having preferably one Relic-type signature. The way I did it was down right simple – when I would enter the system through I gate, I’d drop the Sisters’ core scanner probes and warp Diane to one of more secure locations and cloak up, while she would be running the scan on all of the unknown signatures. Once she would locate on of the Relic-type sites, I would warp the ship to the signature at 100 km and save the current location, then warp back to the spot I came from, and warp back to the place 100 km away from the signature at additional 100 km, then drop the last bookmark and name it “sigcode Pounce”. This is the process of creating a TAC, which allows me to execute the strategy which is as follows – when people scan down, warp to the signature and start hacking one of the containers, I would warp to that container, activate the propulsion module and ram Diane into them to destabilize their align, scram their warp core and then feast.

The stalk method is the one I found myself applying the most, as it is far more dynamic than the previous one, and it completely suit my style of preying on the weak. The galaxy mankind discovered after going through the dubbed Eve-Gate was vast and seemingly limitless, and so was my desire to explore it, see many of the distant suns and of course, pillage everything along the way. I would often find myself just speeding through different systems, entering adjacent constellations and making pilgrimage in all the different regions while having Diane keep her scanner ready and on lookout for either scanner probes or other known exploration-heavy hull types. Once a such thing has been discovered, I would personally drop my own set of probes and do the same thing the unsuspecting capsuleer – try to scan down sites. If I was to find a Data- or Relic-type sites, I would proceed to make TACs while finishing up the scanning. If the system was to be completely devoid of any signatures of significance, I would simply follow the “fellow explorer” and continue to stalk him in the systems far.

This life style has been interesting to say the least, opening up my mind to patience and ruthlessness. Being an excellent pilot was a given for me, as I have spent many hours training with some of the most devious characters of the New Eden, but being a hunter was something completely new and I was ready to dedicate my heart and my soul to establish that part of my personality as well.

I can’t quit you babe

I can’t quit you babe
Woman I think I’m gonna put you down for a little while
I can’t quit you babe
I… think I’m gonna put you down for a while
I said you messed up my happy home
Made me mistreat my only child

The last couple of days have been a bit mind changing to me. At first, the pimped out Diane seemed like she would be perfect for the job at hand, but even then it wasn’t quite enough. Some modifications were necessary. I noticed this first when I started looking at the ship-wreck analysis that was coming up after each and every explorer that lost his life to the dreaded Hobgoblins II, The fits people used for exploration were very streamlined – high slots would be filled with a Covert ops cloaking device and a Sisters’ core probe scanning arrays; mid slots were stuffed with a propulsion module, in most cases it would be a 1 MN Microwarp drive, then some Relic and Data analyzers and the rest would be Scanning upgrades; low slots usually had Warp core stabilizers, but some were feeling brave and just had their Cargohold expanders or Nanofiber structures.

How does this affect Diane, you might wonder? Well, I haven’t written down the way she was fit yet, but I might as well. The only things that were changed were the mid and low slots. There isn’t any way to go in the high slots, really, it would just be a Covert ops cloaking device and a Sisters’ core probe launcher. However, while I was still thinking about the process, I decided that I’d like Diane to be sneaky, tanky and pointy! For her mid slots, I opted for a Gistii A-type 1 MN Afterburner, a Khaanid Navy warp scrambler and two Fleeting propulsion inhibitors, just to make sure they don’t get away. The low slots were tanked up with a pair of Corpii A-Type small armor repairers, an Energized adaptive membrane and a Damage control. Some in-depth riggings included a Small anti-explosive pump and two tech 2 Small semiconductor memory cells. That made Diane able to tank 300 DPS for a minute, or tank 120 DPS indefinitely.

One of the first explorers I caught made me realize what needs to be changed as soon as possible. Even though he didn’t manage to warp off, he had three Warp core stabilizers which my Khaanid Navy warp scrambler couldn’t shut down completely. The first change made had to be more scrambling strength, and I decided to sacrifice one of the webs for it, thus the version 2 was fitted with a Khaanid Navy warp scrambler and a tech 2 warp scrambler as well, ensuring that any ship with Warp core strength under 5 would be locked down and immobilized. Remaining web was there just as insurance, so that they most definitely can’t get off.

Even though I did manage to stalk, hunt down and terminate a number of exploration frigates, a few have eluded me as well. Most of it was my fault, but then again, you have those which are very, very careful and as soon as you decloak, they would just warp off. This is possible because it takes 3 seconds for Diane to re-calibrate sensors, then another 3 seconds for her to lock a frigate down. Those 6 seconds can many a times be too long, and a couple of very keen explorers have proven that more than once. In order to cut down the time it takes Diane to lock them down, I’ve decided to swap the last web for a tech 2 Sensor booster module, loaded with Scan resolution scrips. That enabled her to lock them down in 1.5s, which is a significant cut from 3s. Sometimes, it can mean the world.

The final modification was after I realized that these explorers are… well, defenseless. There was absolutely no need for the Astero-type hull to tank almost 300 DPS when the ships it’s designed to catch do exactly 0 DPS. However, what I wanted was to lower the time required to stay uncloaked (essentially while destroying their ships), so I did some more tweaking and removed one of the Corpii A-Type small armor repairers (which are totally awesome, by the way!) and the Energized adaptive membrane, replacing both with two tech 2 Drone damage amplifiers, which increased the damage Hobgoblins II did by a whooping 50%.

So here I am now, sitting with a completely modified Diane, ready to find some more prey and show them how rude low-sec can be. It’s my job as a pirate, is it not?

Good times, bad times

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.

Babe I’m gonna leave you

Babe, baby, baby, I’m Gonna Leave You.
I said baby, you know I’m gonna leave you.
I’ll leave you in the summertime,
Leave you when the summer comes a-rollin’
Leave you when the summer comes along.

Thrill of the hunt is one of the feelings I have gone and forgotten in the past days. I often find myself sitting at the Bastards’ lounge, sipping whiskey and listening to some Led Zeppelin instead of going out and being there. For the past year, I’ve spent my time learning every nut and cranny of frigate-size hulls, adapting myself to new environment I found myself in. To be quite honest, I completely stopped remembering my past life. A flash back into the war-torn planets during sleep is all I get. The carnage is burnt deeply inside me, and I can’t let go.

The immortality we were given has it’s down sides. At first, every moment I spent taking Mary and Laura out for a spin was well spent; now, not so much. I haven’t properly introduced you to Rose, my Federation navy Comet’s ship computer, but she’s kept me company past few weeks. At least when my wife, Mrs Spaxina is away on Jita business trips. Man, she’s a catch. Quite recently she picked up on flying transport ships which can cloak up and she’s been a doll helping me move the loot I pillaged during the month.

As I was sipping the last drop from the dirt-etched glass at the lousy Chief executive pub, I realized what’s been missing from my life – thrill. But not any kind of the thrill; the one you get blasting some hard rock music while stalking a prey, hoping that he’s not suspecting anything and when he’s least hoping, you pounce – and make him pay for dropping his guard. All the fights I had were pretty straightforward – the way Rose was setup made her pretty hard to take out in a 1v1 fight, which I always hope to achieve. Then it hit me. Smashing the glass on the floor was the way for me to shout out Eureka! to the entire bar, as I left it to prepare for something that I should’ve done a long time ago.

After contacting Spaxina via coms and having her come to Chief station, I set out to my hangar to revise on all the ships and modules I have with me right now. Without much consideration, after blowing up last Rose, I moved all of the modules I had to a single container and passed the over to Spaxina, who was coming in hot with some new goodies. A passionate kiss which was ended abruptly when she asked me if I have the ISK and the goods was as sweet as it could be. I still get a boner thinking about it. When I replied that I’d like to get my shipment as well, she smirked and revealed what was behind her.

A brand new Astero-type hull, just recently manufactured and a cargo container right next to it. Sweet, I thought to myself and proceeded to open it up. My eyes glared as the modules inside revealed themselves. A Sisters’ core probe launcher, fully loaded with 8 Sisters’ core scanning probes; one Gistii-1MN afterburner, a Khanid Navy warp scrambler and two sweet, sweet Corpii A-Type small armor repairers. The feeling was glorious. Never have I spent that much ISK on a single ship and I felt no regret. Spaxina had to run back to Jita and sell all of the modules I had her take, and I was off on my own to play with my new toys. A couple of hours after, Diane was all fit up and tweaked around. It was time to set out on my goal – a nomadic life-style, with no boundaries. It was time to explore the entirety of New Eden with Diane, but not in a way you think. It was time to stalk and prey on those who expect it the least – the explorers!

Ishomilken choir

Bloody hell, it’s been long since I’ve put pen to the paper and wrote anything in my diary. I guess I’m the old-school type – the development of technology almost put paper out of use, but it’s something that lasts. Not forever, per say, but it’s real, more than anything else that’s digital.

Ever since I got my QUORN tag stripped and promoted to BSTRD, stuff has been happening at a faster pace than usual. Our new CEO, codename Nashh Kadavr, has had some ideas about taking a holiday that we all gladly agreed upon in the ‘corporation’ meeting. It was up to me and my fellow Known Associate to scout the area out, and after we did, the Bastards moved in for a vacation in Ishomilken.

During our regular ‘patrol duty’ we were waiting for our scout (who was Nashh, best scout ever) to report about system next door, Uuna. Ships were orbiting the Uuna gate while a QUORN, codenamed Derothar transmitted over comms that his ship computer had spotted a named ship in space, hull-type Retriever – a mining barge. I was chilling with Mary doing the routine stuff, but once we got that little snippet of information, I employed Mary to do a full detailed D-Scanner search and she did. The named Retriever’s direction was known and he was either at a station or in an asteroid belt near it. Feeling lucky, I took the ship command in,switched to manual piloting and warped to the asteroid belt.

The unsuspecting mining barge appeared right next to my ship as I landed out of warp, during which I pre-overheated the mid slots so I can make sure the tackle lands as soon as possible. Not more than a second later, the Retriever-type hull was pointed and webbed, while I relayed information about it over comms. As soon as possible, Known Associate and Derothar landed right next to me and assisted by providing additional points and webs. Realizing what a perfect opportunity this was, I told them to use EWAR only and no DPS while I was slowly taking away the thickness of his armour. CEO Nashh landed, and a direct link was established with the poor soul.

Sadly, my link to the communications array was malfunctioning, so it was up to someone else to negotiate the terms with the caught capsuleer. We established that he belongs to a rival pirate corporation called ‘Stay Frosty’ and suggested that he should sing a song for us, in order to save his ship to what he almost instantly agreed. Seems like we’re starting a choir section in this area! I thought and giggled, however, what happened next blew us off completely. It turned out this capsuleer was a professional New Eden singer and he was more than happy to let us hear his majestic voice. Boy, was it majestic. The Bastards in fleet were overwhelmed by epicness of his singing abilities and decided to let him in on some ISK. Some pirates we are, giving other people ISK. Be honest, you want to give him ISK as well. Go and do it. Now.

Audio transmition recording:

The Bastards are looking for fresh QUORN

With most people being away for holidays, it has been dull and slow paced around. A while ago I was licensed by our “corporations” CEO and Directors to get myself involved with finding new people. Looks like those High-sec ads just weren’t cutting it. We were yet to have been approached by new people who we haven’t made angry by blowing their ships up. I took it to myself to create an advertisement that will be played over at some major places. We do need more QUORN to take the bullets for us. Hell, my ships that haven’t been destroyed have so many dents in them that you can’t count ’em! Well… that’s not a lot of ships anyway, to be honest. Heh. Well, this is the best I got:

Tired of farming endless missions? Got too much ISK on you that you can’t seem to lose? Do you crave that adrenaline rush you felt when you entered a girl for the first time? Then we are what you need! No, we’re not girls. We’re manly Bastards who concentrate on Low-sec piracy and we want YOU to fly with us.

We are NOT looking for elite PvPers who get mad when they travel their way back in a pod. We ARE looking for people who’ve lost their home, or are trying to find one. We offer you a family of friends. We do not care if you lost your last 10 ships to them nasty gate guns, we will show you how to avoid them; we do not care if you won your last ten solo fights without being put into hull, we will teach you something new. Contact us via top-secret in game communications channel ‘DBastards’ or just connect your pod to our super-mega-secret communications service @ via Team Speak 3. No password required. Concord has no law here. Finally, our IntraGalWeb adress is here.

What we can offer you – a place to call your home, new people to live with, fight, perhaps die if someone with nickname “Known Associate” is commanding your fleet at the time. We will train you. We will show you the ways of the force (pun not intended). We cannot offer you free ships, ISK, implants or ways to hack your ship to make it fly at a thousand percent velocity. We are poor and proud of it (well, some of us are). If you’re lucky, you’ll be making people sing for shits and giggles. If you’re not, well, pod express.

For more information, contact Known Associate or Derothar via personal uplink.

The ad looked solid when I released it. We’ll see how many people bite into it.

Two for the show!

I realize I haven’t written anything here in quite some time. The Bastards have had me run a lot of business while they were taking holidays in remote constellations. Some of them, namely Tibbs, even went as far to spent their time watching the Galactic football championship. Waste of time if you ask me.

Anyway, I have been flying alone while others were absent. You see, I had no time to take a break. My ambition was, and always will be, to become of one the most notorious pirates out there, and I fully intend to reach the goal.

A few ideas came across my mind recently, and I started working with Mary and Laura on some ship fitting modifications. Some stuff clicked and were right, and I had a few fits that needed testing. That’s when I undocked Laura X from the station and set my path towards a make-shift battleground for Minmattar – Amarr conflict. The journey was long and boring, with little ships around to heat my railguns up. However, I did stumble across something very, very interesting. Namely, two Condor type ships were attracted to me, while I was baiting other T1 frigates inside a war PLEX designed for novice ships.

Laura was very kind to inform me of D-Scan results as soon as they were changed – there were two ships on the outside, probably activating the acceleration gate. “Laura, align the ship towards the sun” was ordered to Laura while I was activating the extra-propulsion in the form of an afterburner. Also, I took D-Scanning to myself. I just had to know if they will follow through or not. Before they came, I was 80 km away from the warp in beacon.

Once they landed I switched my drone-camera from my ship, to theirs, and deducted that they were both indeed using light missile weapon systems, and the read out on their speed, namely over 3 km/s was telling me that they plan to “kite” me all day long. The fight wasn’t favorable, so I had Laura warp the ship to the sun at 100 km. I fled, yes, my diary, I fled, but I didn’t give up the fight.

Having them jump in on me while I am away from the warp in beacon meant that I would have to do some fancy maneuvering twice, and that would probably not be enough for me to destroy their ships in time. “Align back towards the Novice outpost, be ready to warp to it at 10 km upon order” I relayed to Laura while formulating a battle plan. Supposed to be easy, I stay at the beacon and grab the first one as they warp in, shoot him up real fast and then try to get the other one with some fancy flying.

Not a lot of time to think left – they indeed followed me, probably by fleet warping themselves at the same time, since my grid computer showed them arrive at the same time. “Laura, now!” I ordered the computer and once it replied “In warp, Spaxi” I knew the fight was on. The ship landed on the outside of the Novice PLEX and we activated the gate, got inside, and orbited the beacon at distance of 500 m. Shit was about to hit the fan.

While Laura was busy orbiting the beacon and checking D-Scanner for me, which showed positive results by the way, both of the Condor type ships were indeed outside of the PLEX, I was manually re-routing more power to the Small ancillary armor repairer and to the web, scram, afterburner as well as railguns. You could say my modules were on fire how hot they got. “Spaxi, we got incoming”, and indeed, the two ships were coming out of warp, landing on grid. If I had any control of my body, I would’ve grinned, but that’s not how a capsule works.

Phil Cooper was the first unfortunate Condor to be instantly targeted by the ship’s computer. I preactivated the web, the scram, while afterburner was already running, and moved my ship towards it. He tried to get away, but the Atron is a fast bugger. Especially when you get instantly webbed and scrammed. He wasn’t going anywhere. It took quite a few volleys from my railguns, which I left to Laura’s pleasure, since computer has a lot more potential tracking and firing the weapons when necessary, not to mention having a lot better aim. Phil’s ship was in flames, while his friend was pounding on me. Both of them broke into my armor a long time ago, and the armor repair module was running at 115% efficiency, red-hot, repairing the armor when needed. Bad thing was – the nanite paste was running out of the module; the good thing – Condor #1 was down.

Laura, stop overheating the railguns, shoot him if you can; stop the armor repair, re-overheat it and hold, cycle one repair when armor drops below 55%; send D-Scan checks every 5 seconds, 360 degrees angle, 1 000 000 km range” – short orders to Laura, while I was about to do some fancy flying. My camera drone was far away from my ship, perhaps 50 km, and I had perfect view of the situation. Training with one of the meanest Bastards in a kiting ship, Tekei, had given me a lot of experience. “Let’s see how good of a pilot you are, Byleth Ch’ih Yu” I thought, and went with the execution. Railguns were grazing his shields, but it would seem he had a shield booster module which was shrugging the damage off. Didn’t matter, once I got him, he would go down for good.

I had to check the damage on the modules before I could do anything. “Damn it!” would have been a cry out of frustration, if I could cry out. The afterburner was 93% damaged. If I were to overheat it once again, it would melt. Only one attempt is all I had. Once I noticed his ship was about to pass mine in the 20 km orbit he established, I turned the engines on and started moving towards the sun. The Condor’s orbit distorted, was no longer circular and became somewhat elliptical. This confused his ship computer, and since he wasn’t flying manually, the computer started approaching me to re-establish the orbit. “Bingo”. I overheated my afterburner for one last try, coupled with my web and scram overheating as well, as I started moving my ship towards his trajectory, not directly at him, but in the direction he was moving.

Shortly after I was withing 13 km from him and my web landed on him. His engine entangled, he still carried some speed as he was trying to get away, but my Laura X was slightly modified – I did some engine tweaks and managed to get it to move at 2.1 km/s when giving additional power to the afterburner. It was enough to move in closer, and land a scram just as I hit 10 km mark. My nanite paste ran out a long time ago; my afterburner was melted; the Condor was moving at 200 m/s, while my Laura X was at solid 480 m/s. Armor was almost gone, structural integrity had been compromised, but I did it. Byleth’s Condor was on fire and gone very soon after and there was a strange smell in the air. It smelled like a good fight.

The ship was in terrible condition: all three railguns at 91% damage; web and scram at 50% damage; no more extra propulsion as afterburner was gone; armor repairer was cycling on without any paste, but it did the job. Laura was ordered to keep close attention to the D-Scanner, while I piloted the ship towards the remaining two wrecks, got the surviving modules and ammo, and disappeared before anyone could ruin my day.

The next day I was able to check out my accomplishment on the IntraGalWeb:

For a first win while outnumbered, not even remotely bad. I felt proud of myself for the first time in a couple of weeks. I still got it!

Goliath, part 1

I’ve been reading a lot lately. When you’re stuck on a space station, you do get a lot of free time. Pirate’s life is all fun and joy, but it gets slow. Seems like the Bastards have managed to scruff up some good literature from humanity’s days on Earth. These things are rare, very, but I got my hands on a story about a man called David, and a giant named Goliath. I’ve been reading the book bit by bit, but eventually I got bored and decided to see if there’s any fun around. It ought to be.

Boy, was ‘Mary’ looking better than ever! Some mechanics felt free enough to teach me how to rig my ship, and I got a hang of it eventually. For the first time ever, I was able to get rid of the nasty hole I have in my ship’s armor. Besides, it is so vulnerable to explosives it’s not even funny. I’m not kidding, once people shoot me with some exp warheads, projectiles or if I get a couple of Warrior type drones on me I’m a goner. So, the time seemed good as any to sort ‘Mary’ out a bit more – I reinforced it’s armor with some anti explosive alloys, and a couple of trimark armor layers. It looked a lot beefier than before, let me tell you, a beauty. I tinkered with my blasters for a bit, and managed to improve them with a burst aerator. Should allow me to shoot stuff faster.

After the ship itself was ready, I went in my pod and connected. Naturally, Mary greeted me and we did a ship inspection, talked about how stuff works. These AI are miraculous, it’s like a real person reaching out to you. We synched in a bit more, and I felt like the ship was becoming a part of me. Definitely not for the first time. It was time to download the AI and fit up a few more ships. I got four more Incursi ready, and uploaded Mary to them all. Time to take flight, I thought.

Connecting with a pod is always a new experience. You get these tubes all out of your body linking up with everything on a pod. However, as soon as you do so, your ship computer integrates with your mind and you become one. Just imagine it, expanding your mind with an infinite processor. It is something.

Once the ship was running, it was time to undock. As I was outside of the station, I got Mary to run a directional scanner and read me out the results. ‘14.3 AU, 360 degrees D-scan, Mary, please’ I thought. Almost instantly I had Mary whisper me the results ‘Thrasher, Spaxi’. I proceeded to narrow down the ship, and found it inside a PLEX designed for Faction warfare. Yes, the Empires are still at it, killing innocents for their own sake. It disgusts me. ‘Mary, warp to Minmattar small outpost at 10 km, please’. Ship went into warp, and I was there rather rapidly. After activating the gate leading inside, I got Mary to overheat all of the fitted modules, because I knew I was engaging a destroyer (a ship designed to destroy frigates) and hoped for the best. After getting out of warp, Mary was given a few commands: ‘Mary, activate afterburnre, approach ‘Thrasher’ and initiate locking sequence’, however that wasn’t what happend. All I heard was ‘Spaxi, we’re locked. Shields at 20%. Armor at 40%’. ‘Mary, activate ancillary small armor repairer’ but that wasn’t enough. Last line was what she always says when we go down – ‘Good fight, Spaxi’. My pod ejected and I got it back to the station. You wouldn’t believe how pissed I got.


Enough of writing in the diary, I’ll finish this story up when I come back. I’ve just been called to get back into high sec, and blast the hell out of a Mackinaw. Can’t miss this!

to be continued