Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The journey to COSMOS

In this galaxy I've come across some wonderful people who are very supportive, kind and generous. Thanks to their amazing generosity, I've been able to engage in anti-pirate activities for some time now, without needing to do anything else to bring the money in. However, that time is past, and I'm now forced to return to doing what everyone else does.

To start with, I've returned to my roots, so to speak, and sought out an agent who can give me a COSMOS mission. I've heard a lot about how much money you can earn from them, so I've taken the plunge and started the ball rolling.

Yes, that's right. I'm taking a break from hunting down pirates and dodging war enemies. I can't afford to sustain the lifestyle any more, and there's only so much generosity that one can take advantage of. It's time to get my hands dirty again, with the blood of various targets that are assigned to me by the agents.

It's been a long time since I ran missions, so I'm looking forward to it. I've got a Thorax set up for long-range combat with long-range drones. I think I'm set for taking out the targets without much risk to myself. Unfortunately, due to my lack of mission-running in the past, I have to start with a level 1 COSMOS agent and work my way up.

But I'm hoping the cash will start rolling in. I think I'll continue doing it until I have at least 200 million, and then I can afford to buy an Interceptor and go back to hunting those damned pirates again.

Speaking of hunting, I've come up with an idea for my corp, just to put a bit of fun into it during these times of war (thanks to the Alliance). The enemy that's at war with the Alliance is using superior guerilla tactics, which my corp members are finding difficult to deal with. So I think I'll help take their mind off the war - and help take them away from the battlefield - by organising a "Hunt The CEO!" event.

Yep, they can hunt me down and destroy my ship. If they can, that is. Their own ship might be destroyed in return, but hey, them's the risks! The rewards, obviously, should be quite substantial too, so I'll be offering a substantial monetary reward for the destruction of my ship, as well as a free cruiser.

I've left the battlefield and travelled far in order to search out a COSMOS agent, so it's not going to be easy for them to find me. It's going to be even more difficult for them to pin me down and destroy the ship I'm flying. But it'll give them something to do that they just might enjoy.

The war that the Alliance has against TNT (Trinity Nova) has been quite interesting. The enemy, as I mentioned, use guerilla tactics with stealth bombers and ships that fly over 5 km per second. Quite amazing to see them zipping about like that. However, the enemy has avoided small fleet engagements, preferring to attack 1 or 2 ships instead, and disappearing as soon as 3 or more ships turn up. Sensible tactics, but obviously annoying.

I was able to defend myself in 1 vs 1 or me vs 2 on a few occasions, reaching stalemate situations. That was fun, until they ganged up on me with 4 or 5 against my Celestis. That wasn't so fun, being ambushed. But hey, I don't blame them, as this is war.

I finished preparing my Thorax for the COSMOS journey yesterday, and this morning I set out to find the agent I was looking for. Along the way I ran into a couple of TNT members, Ffaide and Arkaiser (I think I have that name right) who tried ambushing me at a gate again. My bookmark wasn't perfect and dropped me 7km from the gate, so it was a little hairy as I was rushing the distance to the gate while they were swooping in on me. Just as they finished establishing a lock on me, I jumped through.

Then, on the other side it was a rush for me to get to a planet before they could lock me as they jumped through. I dropped a bookmark along the way which I warped back to as soon as I reached the planet. Then I warped to another planet and dropped another bookmark along the way, which I also warped back to when I reached the planet.

I then spent about 15 minutes warping back and forth between my two 'safe spots' until they gave up searching for me, and left the system. Happy, I continued on to the COSMOS agent, finally reaching him before shutting down for the day.

Tomorrow, I'll accept my first mission and see where it leads me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Caught with my pants down

So I was sitting on the toilet seat, minding my own business, when suddenly everything around me started shaking. Have you ever tried to 'do your business' when your ship comes under attack? Maybe you have, I dunno, but it was a first for me.

Here I am, parked in a safe spot - obviously not any more - while dealing with nature, and some nasty pirate comes knocking in the worst way possible. Yes, I was caught with my pants down...

The pod refused to close when I managed to stagger back to it, and it was a few seconds before I realised it was because of the toilet paper trailing from the back of my pants. Not a good look.

I noticed that the armour on my beloved Celestis was around 30%, and I could see I was enveloped by the energy field from the pirate's Vexor that meant I wasn't going anywhere. There were drones buzzing around, chewing away at my ship, and as I got a lock on the pirate I activated my sensor dampeners. It was too late to matter with his drones though, so while I released my own drones to engage the enemy, I tried using the rocket launchers against the drones.

Unfortunately, being caught with your pants down, as I was, usually means you're screwed. And I was indeed screwed. By the time I took out one of his drones, my Celestis disappeared around me in the explosion that I have now become used to.

With my ears ringing, I quickly activated the warp drive on the pod and went to another safe spot, before making my way to the gate to return to HQ and get another ship.

I activated the Thorax and went back to find this pirate. I wasn't sure how successful I would be, but I at least wanted to engage him with my pants tightly fastened, and no toilet paper draped from the pod. At least that was burnt off when the Celestis exploded...

He was still there in Illamur when I returned, and after some coaxing, agreed to another fight. He thought I was going to ambush him with another alliance member, but finally decided to trust me.

This time it was his Vexor vs my Thorax.

I got his armour to about 60% before my pod was again ejected from the Thorax exploding around me.

Dejected, I warped away.

I've run out of money, and have no cruisers left. I have a Tristan frigate sitting around gathering dust, which I'm now going to have to fly around for a while. Until I gather some more money again, I'm going to have to become a mission whore.

Oh, the pain....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


You may know him. When he was in Darkside Inc, he was one of their more active members causing us grief, which we did our best to avoid or annoy. We mostly succeeded. It seems that when the war was over and Darkside lost so much, Nerdalus left them and joined another corp.

I encountered him last week, and we fought. His Cyclone against my Celestis. It was almost close for a while, with my sensor dampeners blocking his attempts to get a lock on me, and my drones chewing into his shields and then his armour. But eventually, he won.

His EW drones twice managed to get me to drop my lock, and the second time it happened, he was able to get in close with his 3 x Medium NOS, and my cap disappeared faster than I could say, "What the....." His 425mm Medium Carbines did the rest.

I managed to get my pod away though, and from a safe spot I bowed to him for a good fight. He seemed like a decent combatant, and we agreed to meet again, with him in a cruiser the next time.

I was surprised that a pirate would offer more even odds in a future engagement, but based on his response to a couple of other recent engagements between him and some of my corp members, I feel that there's more to Nerdalus than the smacktalking facade he was guilty of in the past.


I learnt some good lessons from the combat, however. For a start, when engaged by drones that don't seem to be doing any damage to me, start worrying. I didn't actually realise their significance until it was too late. Next time I encounter such an event, I'll try to take out the enemy drones with my weapons, while leaving my own drones to take out the enemy ship. That was my mistake in the battle with Nerdalus.

We live and learn.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The return of the Celestis

I briefly mentioned flying the Celestis in a post some time ago, The life of an adventurer. My time with that ship didn't last very long, since it was jumped by 2 battleships and a T2 cruiser and destroyed. It was never proven in a battle it could possibly win.

Until now.

A few days ago, after finishing a whole bunch of skills, I equipped the Celestis and went out hunting pirates. That is, after all, what I was born to do. The Celestis, I was led to believe, is a cruiser that is underestimated by many pilots, but its ability to cope with PVP is impressive.

One of the funny things about Molden Heath these days is that pirates are often few and far between. There used to be a time when you could find pirates in Atlar and Illamur at any time of the day, on any day of the week. But now there's hardly any!

I attribute this to the NMTZ alliance, which is heavily active in Molden Heath. With over 500 highly organised and powerful pirate hunters, Molden Heath is becoming quite... silent.

And so, as I (and my corp) hunt for pirates, all we're finding are miners and travellers. This is actually fantastic, as far as I'm concerned, because it means that the goals I created for my corp, to make Eve safer, are actually coming to pass. Admittedly it's because of the alliance, but I'm proud to be part of that and contributing to the pirates finding other systems to nest in.

Oddelulf, however, seems to be where many of them nest. Which is strange, as it's only 1 jump from Atlar... Anyway, I digress.

I found a couple of pirates, both of them in Rifters. I wasn't yet sure of my capabilities against two frigates at the same time, and so I didn't engage in combat. I did, however, help one of them - Minmatar Devil - find a corpse of one of his previous clones...

They didn't attack me, and so I departed. I'm not attacking anyone first, as I don't want my security status negatively affected. However, I came upon Minmatar Devil again in another belt, this time without his friend. We faced off against each other, neither of us attacking first, but both of us target locked. A wandering Raven entered the belt, and Devil departed, just in case. However, the Raven pilot was only looking for rats, so he departed as well.

I suggested to Devil that he might like to return and we can end this once and for all. Which he did.

He engaged, and I dampened his sensors which broke his lock. I webbed and warp scrambled him so he couldn't get away. Because he was in a frigate, I decided to 'take it easy' on him... eg. I didn't deploy the drones. As it was, my rockets quickly vaporised his ship, and his pod was left sitting there in space, looking quite forlorn.

We had a brief chat, and I found out that he was a 'weekend pirate', choosing to have fun with his secondary clone while his main clone, going by a name I can't remember right now, is actually a 'good guy'. He seemed like a decent fellow overall, so I encouraged him to turn away from the 'dark side' and hunt pirates instead of being a pirate.

I'm not sure if I got through to him, but we bowed to each other via the commlink, and parted ways.

I wasn't sure if the Rifter was a good enough test for my capabilities, so I wandered around some more. I even tried 'baiting' some pirates, offering verbal temptations for them to accept. Unfortunately, none of them were prepared to do so. There was another alliance member in the system, and they were afraid I was calling them out in order for the two of us to ambush them. Untrue, of course, but they didn't believe me.

And then Draghkar offered to duel me, which I happily accepted. They didn't have a negative sec rating, but it seemed they followed the pirating path anyway.

They showed up in a Stabber, and immediately engaged. Being able to get the first shots in, they got my shields to about 80% before my sensor dampeners engaged. This time my drones were also deployed.

Unable to get a lock on me, and being chewed up severely by my drones, they withdrew out of the range of my dampeners and my drones. They never got in range enough for me to engage the web and warp scrambler, so all we could do was play cat and mouse with each other.

Draghkar kept on trying to make a rush to get me in range of their weapons, but the range of my dampeners and drones caused them some severe problems. It was obvious if they came all the way in to get into range, they would probably be destroyed before they could engage their weapons.

It was a stalemate. Neither of us could successfully engage the other. I bowed to them, thanking them for helping me test my ship, and they left.

So overall, I'm very happy now! The training I've been doing, heading towards getting myself an Interceptor and appropriate extras, has really paid off.

I'm looking forward to further 'tests' of this Celestis. So far, I like it!

An update

I know that a lot of you are coming back every day or every few days to see what's new in my reality, and I really appreciate your interest. Not a lot has been happening, but I have been culling the inactive members from the corp.

About 3 or so weeks ago I sent an email to the corp asking everyone to reply to it, and if they don't reply to it then I'll be kicking them out of the corp. About 44% of the corp members failed to reply. Coincidentally, they're all members that none of the active ones have seen for a long time...

So I've removed all roles and titles from them a couple days ago, and tonight I'll be culling them from the member list.

It's a sad thing to get rid of inactive members, because they were all once very active, with some of them showing a lot of promise. But pilots disappear all the time. It's the way of things.

Thank you for your interest in my 'adventures'... I haven't been adventuring much lately, as the corp administration continues. I've also been training up some skills to fly my Celestis. That, however, is a story for the next post...