Saturday, October 28, 2006

Almost ruptured

Alinana was waiting for me when I awoke, and this time she had her Rupture, all set up to take me on. Tech 2 weapons and, I think, drones. We fought, with the odds being in her favour this time; just the way she liked it.

I lost, but I think we were both surprised by the result.

She had easily fought off 3 cruisers earlier, and was on a high from that. When she fought me, cruiser against cruiser, I think we were both expecting it to be much easier than it was.

We agreed to the duelling conditions again: first to get the other to 25% armour. Alinana won, but I got her to about 40% armour. It was close.

Again, we bowed, and parted ways.

Why duel, I hear you ask? A lot of pilots disagree with duels. They lead to dishonourable tactics, where the friend of one of the participants warps in and ambushes the other participant. I know these things happen, but you just have to be careful and make good judgements about who you duel with. If you go in expecting to be ambushed, you might end up happy not to be.

It goes back to the golden rule - never fight if you're not prepared to die.

So, aware of the risks, I like to duel, especially against those pirates honourable enough to engage in duels and keep their word. Ultimately, it's about the challlenge of fighting against another warrior. You don't need to die in order to know you've lost. In the process of combat, you learn more about what you're doing, especially if you're fighting those whose goal is to destroy those like you.

Some people advocate duels only with other corp or alliance members, but the problem I see there is that they don't have the mindset of wanting to kill you. They don't have the experience that pirates have, and they don't have the same setups as pirates do. If you can learn how to better fight the pirates in controlled duels with those honourable enough to trust you and be trusted by you, then it gives you a much greater learning curve to engage in combat with those who have no honour at all.

What I've learnt this past few days is that I am slowly becoming a more capable pirate hunter, and it's thanks to Alinana that I've learnt that.

Which is why I've linked her blog on the right there. I hope you enjoy her writing as well. Maybe you can learn something from it. :-)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Some success at last!

The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated. IF there were any rumours, that is. I know it's been a little while since I last wrote, but I've been busy.

Rebuilding a corp that's been scarred by war has been an interesting journey, so to speak. I learnt who the traitor was, and to say I was shocked is putting it mildly. To find that one of your most trusted members has betrayed you to the enemy....

Well, I can only now understand the depth of Ceasar's impassioned and gasping, "Et tu, Brutus?" And then he collapsed, dead. Luckily for me, it wasn't quite as dramatic.

Needless to say, the traitors of the corp are no longer with us, and their names shall forever shine in red wherever they be met. Along with the blood that befouls their hands.

But I must move on, before I get too caught up in the feelings of anguish over lost friends and betrayals.

Alinana was her name, and piratin' was her game. I know, it's an overused cliche, but if I avoid the cliches, what is there left to write about?

We met in a dark system, so dark that I almost didn't see her. But a pirate and a pirate hunter in the same system... we did the only things we could - we came together in battle.

Using my scanner I found her in a Blackbird, orbiting one of the planets. Warping in on her, we engaged in battle. It was my first time against a Blackbird, and I had heard of their ECM capabilities. I thought to myself, how bad can it be?

It was bad.

For about 2 minutes I simply was unable to get a lock on the Blackbird. I got a momentary lock at one point, for about 2 seconds before the lock was broken again. In that time, I was able to see that she was down to about 60% armour.

That was when I smiled. It was a big smile too. My own armour was about 95%, but it was being held at that point by my armour repairer. In the past, my ships have been vapourised around me before I can say 'holy cow!', so it was a really nice feeling to sit back and know that my armour was holding while hers was being disintegrated. My drones were the only things hitting her, and they were doing exactly what they were supposed to do.

However, she warped away before her ship could be destroyed. This was fine by me, as I didn't have a warp scrambler fitted. My setup was not designed to hold a pirate, but just to see if I could actually defeat them. I could, and I was happy.

However, Alinana, being the pirate that she was, was NOT happy. As you'd expect, under the circumstances. So she got herself another ship and came back for another fight. This time it was a Stabber.

After a short period of time for her to set it up and for me to replace a drone that her Blackbird had destroyed, we engaged again, dancing around each other like small darts in the vastness of space. This time I was able to get a lock on her ship, and it was on!

And just as quickly, it was over. Again she warped away, my armour at 90% and her hull at around 70%.

We bowed to each other within the comm link, with each of us thankful we had survived. It was a good fight.

Tomorrow I'll fit a warp scrambler and try again. Now that I've achieved some success at combat and damage dealing, I'll now see about replacing the cap recharger with the warp scrambler and testing how that works for me.

I'd like to thank Marshal Kaenon Steel, my SpecOps CO, for suggesting the skills that I should be training. It seems to be working, thankfully. I feel that my long period of time encountering only failure is at an end.

More soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No more public announcements

I've just learnt that public discussions on the Eve forums is frowned upon within the alliance, so I won't engage in any more of them. Fair enough too, I imagine. I'll just continue writing in here, and from now on, I'll delete any negative or derogative comments from pirates or others.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The death of Praetor Sarum

I heard a rumour, which I don't know is true or not, but... it seems Praetor Sarum, the CEO of Knights Justicar, has died in battle against 'the darkened ones'. ('Darkened ones' is a term used by NMTZ. I like it, so I'll use it too.)

It's unfortunate that such a noble warrior has fallen in battle. I hang my head with sorrow, and say a prayer for his soul. Wherever he is right now, I'm sure he's still doing battle with those that need to be shown the error of their ways.

He will be missed.

Pirates and honour

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday, who is also the CEO of another pirate hunting corp. He's a very honourable fellow, and believes that honour is the most important element of a corp's actions. He believes that without honour, it's simply a pointless exercise. We had an interesting debate.

He believes that the anti-pirate that chooses to fight with honour is far better than the anti-pirate who chooses to fight without honour. His opinion is that it's better to die with honour than to survive without.

That just doesn't make any sense to me.

It doesn't make sense to me that some people believe that choosing to fight while knowing you're going to die is better than choosing alternative tactics in order to survive and win. He disagreed with the tactics I used, going back to the concept that it's better to fight than to hide.

What is the point of fighting though, if you know you're going to die? What is the point?

If someone wants to kill you, isn't it better to try and make sure they fail? Isn't the preservation of your own life and those you care about better than 'dying with honour'?

So-called honourable people feel differently, of course. And yet, space is littered with the bodies of honourable people, all dead, while those who ignore honour continue to live. And by still living, they can still fight.

In my mind, surviving in order to continue fighting is far better than dying, and surviving in order to choose the battles you can win is certainly far better than fighting a losing battle simply because there's a battle to fight.

Pirates are the kinds of people without honour, but they absolutely love going up against people with honour, because honourable people will rarely avoid a fight, and that works to the advantage of the pirate.

If you have an honourable pilot in a cruiser who is confronted by 3 pirates in battleships, it will 'violate' his honour to back down from the fight. And so he'll die.

Pirates encourage this, as they want more honourable pilots to challenge them! Why? Because they want to win.

This is completely natural, of course. But when a pirate finds someone who chooses to avoid honour and avoid combat, it upsets them. It upsets them a great deal, especially if their target avoids combat and still causes the pirate to lose.

They feel ripped off!

What I really find amusing about Darkside Inc is that they have been engaging in piracy for a long time; attacking weaker targets and weak corporations, ransoming or destroying these innocents. They have caused a lot of death and destruction in their time, and they have become used to succeeding. So when they lose, it hurts them. And it hurts them even more because they were unable to fight and destroy an 'honourable' opponent. Instead they fought an opponent who preferred to win than preferring to die.

It's been interesting for me to see the comments of so many people, on the forums and as replies to this blog. I have a lot of support, of course, because a lot of people are against the pirates. But then there's the other kinds of comments.

Apparently I 'gloat' over the methods I used against the pirates.

Well, why shouldn't I?

Darkside initiated war against my corp. Like the classic bully, they tried to attack a small and weak opponent, which they have been doing for quite some time now. However, this time they failed. And now all they can do is cry about it and 'smacktalk' on the forums and spread abuse and anger.

They're so angry right now, and I think that's great. They're a pirate corp, and anti-pirate corps are at war with pirates, whether it's official or unofficial. They lost, and they can't deal with that.

Well, you funny pirate fellas, if you don't like it - get the frack out of the pirating business. You're going to lose, and the harder you try to win, the more you'll lose. Change your ways and you'll find that you'll lose less.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Art of War

I've been an avid follower of Sun Tsu's Art Of War. I re-wrote it as a guide for my corp and its activities during war, and use it as the foundation of my strategy.

Some people seem to feel that the 'art of war' is to go toe to toe with your enemy, engage in battle and may the better pilot win. Nope, that's not the case. In fact, the main proponents of such a foolish strategy are usually those who think they have the biggest dicks... I mean, the biggest ships.

Instead of comparing dick sizes... I mean ship sizes, I instead try to follow Black Scorpion's Art of War. Contact me if you want a copy.

I'll go through some of it here. Maybe it'll inspire other corps to engage more in strategy than in tactics, especially if the tactics can be stomped on by the enemy.

It was obvious to me that Darkside had the military and tactical advantage. Therefore, I needed to outwit them instead of outfight them.
In the wise leader’s plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.
The enemy's strengths were the size and technology level of their ships, and the skills and experience of their pilots. They had been fighting much longer and much harder than most of the members of Black Scorpion Ltd. Therefore, we had to turn their strengths into weaknesses.
A clever leader will avoid an enemy when it is strongest.
Since their strength was their combat ability, we had to avoid combat. Since they relied on tactical superiority to achieve their goals, we had to deny them tactical opportunities.

Their strength became ineffective.

Another strategic move is based on this: If your opponent angers easily, seek to irritate him. When you anger him, he makes mistakes. Well, we certainly angered Darkside.
The highest form of leadership is to prevent the enemy’s plans. The next best is to prevent the gathering of the enemy’s fleets. The next in order is to attack the enemy’s fleet in space, and the worst policy of all is to besiege stations.

The skilful leader subdues the enemy’s fleet without fighting. He captures their stations without laying siege to them. He overthrows their leadership without lengthy operations in the field.

With his fleets intact, he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a single pilot, his victory will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.
When you are unable to succeed engagements of tactics, you must instead engage with stratagem. Once you know the Art of War, you can use that knowledge to aid you in the fight.

Where the enemy was strong, we avoided them. Where they were irritable, we angered them. Where they were weak, we hunted them.

This is the art of war, and ignoring it results in defeat.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The war is over!

The war is over, and Darkside Inc lost.

The war is over, but there were casualties. My allies deserted me, succumbing to Darkside's strategy to divide, all thanks to a traitor within my corp who was passing information on to the enemy.

But still, I was confident that my own strategy would succeed; the strategy of guerilla warfare, of choosing the battles to fight, of knowing when to run and when to stand and fight.

And then there were the losses of some of the members, cowards who decided that being part of an anti-pirate corp that actually fought pirates was not the kind of anti-pirate corp they wanted to be in. If not this, then I'm not exactly sure what they thought they were being part of. I wish them luck in their endeavours though, as they run and hide from the pirates. I'm sure they will find there is no safe place to hide.

Black Scorpion Ltd is now part of the Namtz'aar k'in (NMTZ) alliance of anti-pirate corporations within the Molden Heath region. As a result of my last post asking if any corporations wanted to join in the fight and support us, I was approached by NMTZ's leader who offered membership.
After brief negotiations I signed up. We became part of the NMTZ alliance.

A few hours later, Darkside retracted their declaration of war. But thankfully, the alliance answered my call for Darkside's bullying to stop. To repay them for not just attacking Black Scorpion Ltd, but also for their bullying tactics over time, the Alliance organised a fleet and attacked one of Darkside's POS's. It was destroyed. You can watch the video of it here.

Darkside's losses have greatly exceeded anything they could have expected. In the process of writing this entry, I've learnt that they lost TWO of their POS's.

I have also received a 'death threat' from one of their members.
I'm gonna strangle you.
I think he was a little upset to log on and discover their losses.

I replied to him with the following message. I was hoping to send it on to their CEO as well, but it looks like he's blocked me and all my corp members. Oh, this is so hilarious.
Do you think your 'death threat' would be justification enough for a wardec against your corp?

I do. However, I'll let it go for now.

Please note that your corp declared war against mine. I offered your CEO reasonable terms of surrender in reply, and he declined to accept them. What resulted was the fault of yourselves. You actively 'bully' smaller corps, holding them to ransom, and happily engage in acts of piracy.

I told your CEO we would never surrender. He would be the one who regrets the wardec he made against us. Only now is it realised by all of you that your bullying will not be tolerated.

Black Scorpion Ltd was never going to bow down before you, and never will. We will stand against you and other pirate organisations like you. As I said in my blog (link in my bio), the bullying stops now, and it stops with me.

Kind regards

Black Claw

2006.10.15 03:23
Im gonna strangle you....
This was has seriously cost them a lot more than the original 500m I demanded from them when they wardec'd me. When I reduced it to 250m, they should have accepted.

This is their fault, and this is what happens to pirate corps that try to bully the smaller guys. They will eventually get their noses bloodied, and in this case, they've gotten the crap beaten out of them!

I've been laughing and dancing all day. I think I'll rest now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

We're at war!

That's right, my corp has had war declared against it by a band of pirates calling themselves Darkside Inc. This happened about 5 days ago, and as soon as it happened, I was forced to cancel my travel plans and return back to corp HQ. War plans needed to be arranged.

What an interesting time it's been! I've never been in a war before, and it's actually quite amusing. You have these pirates scurrying around taking it all so very seriously, getting upset when you taunt them by running around the system in a shuttle, then calling you all manner of names for not fighting their group of elite cruisers and battleships in your T1 cruiser.

I mean, really... what kind of idiot chooses to engage in a battle they can't win?

I've always thought that the reason there are scammers is because there are always idiots who fall for the scam, and thus encourage even more scamming. I think it's the same reason why pirates decide to declare war against small or new corporations, because those corps either pay them the money the pirates demand, or they rush out on their noble steeds to do battle only to find they get crushed by the armoured tanks that roll over them. You can't fight tanks with horses...

And so, over time, we have pirates who have learnt that the more they declare war on naive corporations, the more easy victims they'll get.

Unfortunately for Darkside Inc, Black Scorpion Ltd is not a naive corporation led by a naive CEO. When I received their war declaration, I sent them a message offering terms for their surrender. It's a shame they declined.

I know that as a new CEO of a new corp filled with many new pilots, our chances of success in battle against the pirates is limited. Therefore, if the strategy of the pirates is to do battle in order to win, then in the words of Sun Tzu:
What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.
The enemy's strategy is to engage in battle against an inferior force. Therefore, in order to attack their strategy we must ensure that we avoid battle.
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If [corp and members] are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Against a superior force, it would be foolish of us to engage them. This is the naivety that they hope for. Instead, we evade them. Showing themselves to be temperamental and arrogant, we irritate them. It's hilarious. Being new-ish and with no implants, it's of little concern to me that I might get attacked in my shuttle and podkilled. I jumpt in another shuttle and continue taunting them by evading them and leading them on merry chases around the system.

I don't mind telling them this, if they are reading, as I am quite happy to make them understand their war is pointless. It will not be us who surrenders due to losses, it will be them who surrenders due to their inability to succeed.

The final quote from Sun Tzu I'll use is this:
To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The goals of Darkside Inc is to have us pay them 500m ISK, or our destruction (eg. disbanding the corp). Declaring war on a corp is successful if the goals of such a war is achieved. If the aggressor fails in achieving their goals, then the defender is the victor.

Black Scorpion Ltd is, admittedly, a weak anti-pirate corporation, but we are a growing corporation, and with growth will come strength. There have been a few members who have left us in fear, but this has been expected. This war will make us stronger as it eliminates the weakest links. Victory goes to the pirates only if we succumb to their demands, and that simply is never going to happen.

Pirates like Darkside Inc. need to be taught a lesson. Their strategy of declaring war against weak corporations and showing themselves to be the cowardly 'bullies' that they obviously are, has to stop. It has to stop now. It stops with me.

If any other corporations out there would like to join me in helping make it stop, please contact me. Together, we will show the pirates that they can not succeed against a determined force that will never surrender.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The life of an adventurer

Anyone who said travelling the galaxy and seeking out adventure was easy obviously haven't done it. It's not. In fact, it's downright dangerous, dark and cold. Very cold. And quiet too. So quiet, no one can hear you scream.

Especially when your cruiser gets destroyed by battleships and battlecruisers, all working together to ensure you can't go anywhere.

My Vexor is no more. And neither is the Celestis that I thought I'd try out. It lasted about as long as the Vexor, which was only as long as I didn't use it to fight.

So now I'm in a Thorax, which I'd already bought and equipped before I thought I'd try the Celestis. So far the Thorax has been more useful than the others, although the pirate I fought was yet another of these honourable ones who, in a 1 on 1 Thorax vs Thorax duel, is happy to stop at 25% armour. Lucky me, as I wasn't able to do much against his own armour. Unlucky me, he was T2 equipped.

One day when I grow up I want T2 items too.

But I digress. I was talking about the life of an adventurer...

I was invited to join CCCP, an anti-pirate corp, and ride with them for a while. I went to their area of space and talked with their CEO. I'm very impressed with how they do things, and I think I can learn a lot from them. Unfortunately, the timing of my being there wasn't conducive to me being with them on an operation, so I waited around for a little but nothing happened.

Then I was invited to ride with one of my corp's allies, the Knights Justicar, led by Praetor Sarum. I travelled 18 jumps to join his operation, and just as we started, my system died on me again.

I'm getting tired of this old pod and how it's so temperamental. It seems to be getting worse lately. This time the outage was for a couple of hours, which just happened to be the length of the Knights' operation. By the time I restored power, it was all over.

It's so cold in space when you're sitting there all alone, with no power...

The life of an adventurer is getting to be a little frustrating. Ships getting destroyed, and so far nothing to show for it. I'm trying to work out my options, as I need to raise some money soon. I need to start getting some successes.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sudden death, and the man with 13 toes

Locutus ofBorg was his name. (No, he's not the one with 13 toes. At least, not that I know of. That comes later.) I knew of him, back when he was JeanLuc Picard. A good man, I'd heard. I had been saddened to learn that he had become assimilated by the Borg, and was now calling himself Locutus. Wherever he went, so went death. The two travelled together, you see. Locutus led his Borg and death followed him around.

Today it was my turn to meet them.

I was wandering the asteroid belts, looking for a pirate to fight. I was keeping in mind my new rule of only fighting those I thought I might win against, and avoiding the rest.

Suddenly my overview was flashing red as Locutus ofBorg warped into the belt. I immediately checked to see what kind of ship he was flying. And then something bad happened. Something really bad.

First there was the distinct lack of response from the ship, and all I could see was the flashing red alert, but nothing else was happening.

"Dammit!" I yelled in my mind, flailing my arm in the gel and managing to hit the wall of the pod. "What's wrong with you, you piece of junk!"

I guess I shouldn't have done that, 'cause everything went dark. The neural interface with the ship had shut itself down, probably in protest at my abuse. I was effectively blind.

With a number of interestingly phrased expletives that I better not repeat here, I reactivated the neural links. While the pod was powering itself up again, and I was logging back into the ship, I could only wonder what had been happening outside.

Finally the links came to life and I could see via the camera drone again. The failsafes had warped the ship away from the area when the internal power went down, and I was happy to discover that it was undamaged. The ship was warping back to the belt, and I could see that Locutus had been joined by a friend. I guessed that the friend had been assimilated too, as he wasn't quite flashing red, but was almost there....

As soon as I was able to, I tried warping away, knowing that staying here probably wouldn't be a good idea. Unfortunately, Locutus's friend, Linkin Frost, was in an Arbitrator cruiser and had me scrambled and webbed before my ship's warp drives could properly engage.

Resistance was futile, and so I relaxed - if you could call it that - while awaiting the inevitable.

The Apocalypse, piloted by Locutus, began its energy beam assault. I watched as my shields disappeared. My armour began vapourising, and I half-heartedly switched on the armour repair unit, knowing full well it would be useless against the battleship. I was right.

I didn't even bother firing my weapons or releasing my drones, as it was obvious that anything I could try to do would be useless, and my ship would be destroyed before it could do anything effective.

Quickly reinforcing the pod's shock absorbers for the coming explosion, I sat there watching the display of brilliant energy beams impacting against my ship. It was actually a beautiful sight, and when you take the time to enjoy it, the end doesn't hurt as much. Unfortunately, time went by all too fast.

I was surprised when the echoing explosion faded away. The silence was eerie after so much sudden violence. Then I remembered where I was, and engaged the warp drive to head to the nearest station. As the pod quickly aligned and began the warp startup procedure, I breathed a sigh of relief when it reached 90%. I was going to get away!

But then my pod was locked and scrambled as well, and inside it, I cringed. This was going to hurt.

It did.

I woke up in my new clone, which was in the next system over. Annoyed at losing my ship, I found that another Vexor was at least 6 jumps away, so I bought myself a shuttle. Before heading to pick up a new Vexor, I went back to the system I'd been podded in, just to say hello. I think they were surprised to see me back there so quickly, and I engaged in small talk with them for a few minutes.

I also tried talking to JeanLuc Picard, who I knew was inside Locutus somewhere. I wanted to reach him, to give him hope. I think most people thought I was weird, talking to someone who wasn't in local with us. Locutus laughed. Have you ever heard a Borg laugh? An eery sound...

Sitting near a station while chatting, I was engrossed in paying Warlord Neurotoxin 1,000 ISK to look at the 13 toes of a man that he knew. So engrossed, in fact, that I didn't notice Eldwinn had undocked with his Apocalypse battleship and locked onto me. But I certainly noticed the sounds of incoming fire!

It looked like he wanted to take a swipe at me too, so I 'ran the gauntlet' of his attack in my attempt to dock. Happily, my shuttle survived the battleship's attack longer than my cruiser did, and I docked with a sigh of relief.

As Eldwinn complained about how I was inside the range of his weapons (much to my relief!), I discovered that the Warlord's information about the 13-toed man was simply relating to what an agent occasionally told him. At least I knew where to find this agent, although I felt the price of seeing the 13 toes might end up being a bit more than just 1,000 ISK.

By this time I was tired, so I shut down the systems in the shuttle and went to sleep.

To be continued....

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Black Monolith - Dead End

It was only 2 jumps from New Eden to Dead End, where I had been recommended by DrDevice to go visit the Black Monolith.

What an amazing sight! Naturally I took some photos. This is of me moving towards it.

If you want to visit it yourself, it's in the Dead End system in the Genesis region. Use your scanner to go to Planet V - Moon 5. You can't miss it.

Here's another one of me orbiting it.

There was someone else in Dead End too, by the name of White Meat. He said he was an adventurer as well, just like me. He didn't know about the Monolith though, so I invited him to come and have a look.

What a magical view it is, to observe this object slowly spinning in space. Who put it there? What is it supposed to do? There are some who believe it might be Jovian jump gates. I guess one day the truth will be known, but it won't be me that discovers it.

At least I've seen another of the wonders of the galaxy.

More to come....

Sightseeing locations

I'd like to invite you all to place your suggestions for places I can visit around the galaxy. Anywhere, it doesn't matter. You suggest something interesting to see, and I'll go there to see it. I'll take photos of it, and dedicate the photo to all those that suggested I see it.

I look forward to seeing your suggestions!

The gate of New Eden (pt 2)

And so I woke up again, with the brightness of the distant gate visible through the windows of my Vexor. Lucky for me the sunscreens were active, or I'm sure I would have been toast.

Speaking of toast, while I was eating some for breakfast, I managed to get this photo taken. A memento of my visit to New Eden, and probably the closest I'll ever be to The Gate.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The gate of New Eden

The gate of New Eden

I couldn't sleep. I had dreams of giant gates eluding me, teasing me, forever out of reach. I woke up in a sweat and knew I had to go find it. I don't know why it calls to me like this, but it does.

So I engaged the ship's drive and finished the journey to New Eden. I just had to. It wasn't long before I arrived, and found two pilots in the system, neither of them pirates.

I quickly discovered that there were only two objects that could be warped to - the New Eden star and the New Eden planet. Neither of them led me to any large gate.

I tried asking one of the locals, and they helped me by ganging with me and taking me towards a star. The other local was making jokes that it would take about 5 years, travelling 24x7 days a year. I ignored him, thinking it obviously couldn't be that far.

Unfortunately, my ship entered its hourly downtime, and I was unable to complete the journey with my guide. So I sit here in the almost-dark, writing this.

I've managed to do a bit of research on the interweb, looking for reference as to how to get to New Eden's large gate. I've discovered that no one has seen the gate, and no one has even gotten close to it. Some have said they've seen the worm hole though...

Me, I've seen the New Eden star:

It's a beautiful sight, don't you think? It took my breath away... glorious.

I'm going back to sleep again. Maybe I'll sleep a bit better this time, knowing that the gate is, as my dreams suggested, forever elusive. My dreams turned out to be a premonition, it seems.

To be continued....

First encounter!

First encounter!

With 12 jumps to go before reaching New Eden, I was beginning to get excited about getting close to where the colonisation of the galaxy began. Almost straight away I encountered May Long, a friendly lady who responded amiably to my greeting in the Nebian system, and invited me to help her do a 4/10 complex. I thought about it for a moment, and decided to accompany her. This was an adventure after all!

As I ganged up with her and travelled to where the complex was, we met a pirate in Neranim. May Long wasn't that interested in engaging in pirates, but for me, Destromath was an interesting possibility. He was only a few months old and already around -5.0. Unfortunately, he was also a drunken coward, inviting a fight but not willing to come out of the station. Here's the conversation log:
Destr0math > hey i heard that you guys love penis
Destr0math > just what i heard
Destr0math > lamers
Destr0math > yeah, thats right
Destr0math > you suck
Destr0math > seriously suck

Black Claw > you must be angry today?

Destr0math > just drinking and abusive

May Long > who pissed in your cornflakes?

Destr0math > yeah
Destr0math > its pretty awesome
Coincidentally, it turned out that May Long and I were born only hours apart, something which made Destromath believe we were alts. We weren't, however.
Destr0math > are you guys alts?
Destr0math > you're from the same day

Black Claw > I am who I am

May Long > not the last time i checked

Black Claw > I'm travelling the galaxy, hunting pirates

Destr0math > i'm a pirate
Destr0math > hunt me, c**tmuncher

May Long > holy crap, we are the same age

Destr0math > yeah, within 2 hrs ofeach other
Destr0math > soundes like f**king alts to me

Black Claw > kindred spirits

May Long > HA, what are the chances of that
May Long > :P

Black Claw smiles

Destr0math collapses miserably in apool of his own vomit
There was more drunken bluster from him, while I was roaming the system trying to find him. I couldn't though, so May asked:
May Long > . . .are you docked

Destr0math > yes :(
Destr0math > i don't trust myself to be undocked

May Long > . . .black, lets move on

Destr0math > becasuse i'll get blowne up

Black Claw > come out and let us hunt you

Destr0math > i'm sorry :(
He then encouraged us to go somewhere else to find pirates, and we moved on, with me annoyed at his cowardice.
Black Claw > if you can't get the courage to put your guns where your mouth is, you shouldn't be opening your mouth

Destr0math > i'm not
Destr0math > i'm typing
Destr0math > no mouth required
Destr0math > if i open my mouth i might vomit
Destr0math > drinking-= bad

Black Claw > goodbye Destro. I hope to meet you again

Destr0math > when i'm sober
Destr0math > i'll take you booth on.
Destr0math > yahhh
Destr0math > rarrrrrrrrrr.
Destr0math > i'm ere most daus.

Black Claw > I'll be mentioning you on my blog... the address is in my bio. Look out for yourself
Black Claw smiles

Destr0math > :D yarrr.
Destr0math vomits
And so we left the system as he vomited all over his control panel. Ah, the wonders of pirating. Such attractive people...

May and I continued on for a few systems, her leading me to the complex, and me very happy to find that we were travelling through the same systems that I'd be going through if I was still heading to New Eden. I was getting even closer!

And then we entered Petiou, the system that the complex was in, but it was also inhabited by two pirates. One of them threatened to take us out with his mining barge, while his friend remained silent.

I suspected the vocal one with the mining barge was the bait, while his friend would wait until we attacked. May learnt their ships were Tech 2 equipped, so we decided it wouldn't be worth staying here to attack the complex, as the risk of the pirates attacking us was too great.

We agreed to cancel our plans to attack the complex and part ways. May went back to where we'd come from, and I moved on towards New Eden. May joined the bctravels channel, in order to be part of my ongoing journey. It was truly a pleasure to meet her.

As I travel and learn new things and work out the better way of doing things, I have decided to make it a rule to only attack pirates that are less than a year old, so that they are the equivalent of me. While my goal is to travel around and attack pirates, I know there's no point fighting when you know you can't win. I'm more interested in fighting when I know I MIGHT win. Makes more sense that way.

With only 7 jumps to New Eden, I took a 3-jump detour to replace my Afterburner with a Micro Warp Drive. With no instas to get through the systems, it made more sense to me to have something that would get me to the gates as quickly as possible.

Picking up the MWD took me 10 jumps from my destination, and I was glad to get back under way. It was at this time that Vance Avalon and May Long, both of whom were sitting in the bctravels channel, helped me understand the value of working with transversal velocity. Using my newfound knowledge, I found two Blood battlecruisers in one of the systems, and decided to take them on. It was my first ever solo attack in a cruiser against two battlecruisers simultaneously.

I was very pleased that with constant management of the MWD, armour rep, drones and weapons, I was able to sustain my armour at no less than 80%, and the fiery explosions of the battlecruisers, one after the other, was a glorious sight indeed.

Grabbing the loot, I made my way to the nearest system to recover costs. As soon as that was done, I continue, once again, on towards New Eden.

By the time I reached Gateway, I was getting rather tired. The previous two systems had no stations to dock at, and neither were there any stations in Gateway, so I created a safe spot in the middle of the system. Before shutting down and going to sleep, I was pleased that I had not spotted anyone in the 3 systems leading up to Gateway. I was alone, and the closer I was getting to New Eden, the more alone I felt. Strangely, there was just no one around!

As the fog of sleep comes, I sign off for today...

To be continued...

Discovering the Amarr

Well, Amamake turned out to be completely uneventful! I spent half an hour crusing around the asteroid belts and planets, using myself as bait for all the pirates that were there in local, but none of them came out to play.

Bored, I continued on.

I reached Sarum Prime without incident, in the Domain region of Amarr space, and decided to stay overnight at the Imperial Academy School. Before I continued on the next day, I took a photo:

This must be where my very good friend Praetor Sarum comes from, of the Sarum family. I never knew there was an entire system and planets named after them!

It was quite humbling to be in the same location that Praetor Sarum grew up in. He's a grumpy (older) man now, and I wonder what this used to be like back in his youth.

And so I continued on, entering the Amarrian home system. Unfortunately, with the amount of Amarrians flying around, the systems were lagged to hell! I decided to quickly move on and head on to the lowsec systems, inching my way closer and closer to New Eden.

I ended up in Nebian, a 0.4 system, and quickly discovered that I was the only pilot in the system. After destroying a couple of rat cruisers without a problem*, I docked and transferred my clone to this location. Considering that there's no one else here, I felt safe to make it a temporary base to do a bit of ratting and hunt the odd pirate that might enter the system.

I've decided that the possibility exists I might end up with a low security status due to the fact I might have to initiate combat with pirates between -2.0 to -4.9.... any pirates I attack of -5.0 and less obviously don't give me a security hit.

The reason I think I'll end up with a low security status is because if I'm serious about attacking pirates, and that means -2.0 and lower... anyone of -1.9 and higher, I can give the benefit of the doubt to.

Anyway, time passed...

And I realised that the system is dead. Hardly anyone else came by! So after cleaning up the asteroid belts, I docked for the day and went to bed, where I'm writing this from... I'm only 12 jumps from New Eden now. I think I'll continue there tomorrow.

One of the two pilots who entered the system in the time I was there was TheTraveller. He encouraged me on my journey, as he was a traveller himself. He told me of the sights I would see in New Eden, including the massive gate that's there. I intend taking photos of it when I get there, to record for all of posterity.

So far, two days and 21 jumps into my adventure, I'm yet to encounter any pirates. I'm wondering if I smell bad or something, so that even the pirates are staying away from me....

To be continued...

*When I say I destroyed the rat cruisers without a problem, I say that because it's BEEN a problem in the past. For the first time ever, my Vexor now seems to be a confirmed armour tank. I think that was proven when I managed to survive Kaenon Steel's onslaught yesterday. This makes me happy, as it gives me a good feeling to know I'm an ok armour tank, especiallly as I venture out into the wilderness like this.