Friday, January 04, 2008

Killing pirates and hauling stuff

Killing pirates and hauling stuff

Hauling stuff in low-sec space is proving to be a profitable if, at times, dangerous business. Certainly, I have been locked and targeted by pirates and outlaws at the exit point of the station. The station guns, futiley firing at the outlaws and having virtually no effect. With a few warp core stabilisiers and nano-fibres; I have always managed to get away.

There is a breed of pilot that infest many a system however. Called 'farmers' or 'scum' or whatever in between by pod pilots all over New Eden.

I have no issue with people wanting to make isk and get on in New Eden; it's the reason why I am in this business too. However, they appear to spawn and block up exits and entrances all over the popular hauler routes AND they attract outlaws and pirates. It does appear that there are many groups or factions of farmers and they compete. Sometimes this competition breaks out into hostilities. Resulting in some of these farmers becoming outlaws themselves.

So one morning, I was undocking in my iteron, full of spare drone parts bound for Rokofur when I realised that I was being locked by someone. The exit point was chockful of other haulers, bumping and grinding into each other. The air was thick with expletives as other pilots yelled at the farmers to clear the exit points. As I slowed down, my iteron shook as it took a heavy missile. Then it rocked to the side as a slew of missiles hit me. What the hell? I thought to myself. Then I saw him, it was a pilot called 'Expanded111' and he was in a drake and was hitting me with missiles. I already toggled my shield booster on and was heading back to the docking bay. I successfully docked while the ineffectual station guns opened fire. The drake with it's massive shield systems easily soaked up the damage.

Checking the concord information, I discovered that Expanded111 was one of these farmers and may have mistaken me for a rival? No matter, I was not going to sit there and get blasted, not right outside my home station and not by a farmer. Switching to my thorax, I undocked. The drake was there, blasting some other hauler and also engaging a crow-class interceptor. A bad mistake on his part I think.

I locked him and let loose the drones. My disruptor came on and I set the thorax cruiser on an orbit of 1500mm; my heavy neutrons opened up spitting out anti-matter and void charges. They ate into the drake's shields easily and I was chewing into him. Expanded111 had then locked me and fired another salvo of heavy missiles at me, he failed to knock out an iteron, what chance did he have with a thorax set up for fighting?

My drones buzzed round him as did the crow. With all caldari ships, one has to overwhelm the shield systems and once through, they are soft in the middle. Their armour is poor and their hulls even more so. My blasters continued to pummel the drake's shields and I could see they were dropping too quickly for the pilot to recover. It was dying.

Once the shield system sparked and flared off, my anti-matter rounds melted off chunks of his armour and then a few seconds later, was into his hull. With it spewing out life-support gases and listing to one side, the drake, fearsome as it was, disappeared in a bright flash. The pilot's pod popped out and I quickly snagged it. The crow pilot and I killed the pod, smashing it open and flash-freezing the organic contents.

Later, I was doing my rounds when a caracal locked me and fired on me when I was passing through a belt, looking for salvage. What was going on? I thought to myself, I wanted to just get on with my work; this new year was going to get busy for the corporation and being shot at was a distraction. The caracal was an outlaw so not even bothering to open up a conversation with him, I grabbed my only available ship: a deimos HAC.

That should do.

I undocked and the outlaw caracal was still on scan though not in the same belt. Adjusting the scanner I narrowed the outlaw down to the third belt alongside another caracal. I checked my ammunition and ensured that I had a scrambler fitted to tackle and lock down the outlaw.

Hitting the engines, I zipped into the belt and landed in a shower of plasma and light. There was the caracal, it locked me immediately as I was only 15km from him. My scrambler came on ensuring that he was not able to warp out unless he had stabs on. His missiles arched over towards me, splashing over my shields. I waited until I was in my optimal.

Then I fired.

The destructive poweres of a deimos up-close is awesome. One salvo and the caracal was in hull, the tide of void ammunition completely overwhelming the shield systems of the missile boat. The next half salvo tore the caracal in half.

The pilot's pod popped out and I locked it. It did not warp away, probably because the pilot was still shocked of his ship's quick demise. I killed him without a thought since I wasn't a pirate, I had no intention of ransoming him.

The day ended with me testing out a Helios and there was another outlaw running around, this time in a Maelstrom. He was sitting at range and popping haulers and other ships as they exited the stations or the gates.

He obviously had long range howitzers installed and I tracked him in my helios, following him around. I always landed too far but I will get close. Close enough to kill him next time.


Mike said...


You like close-in work I see. ;)

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