Friday, April 24, 2009

Against the Odds

As the last tendrils of the warp stream slipped away from the hull of my Vexor, sensors registered a fleet of 5 frigates. Further examination revealed that it was composed of an Incursus, Punisher, Merlin, and two Inquisitors.

Moments later, they all entered the stargate into Dantumi. I immediately gave chase, they proceeded onto Mara, where we played a game of cat and mouse in the asteroid belts. Then they went to Passari. As my frustration at not being able to get a point on one of them mounted, I goaded some of them in private channels. That failed too.

We were playing cat in mouse in Passari, with a great multitude of reds in local. Time and again, I warped into a belt to only see them warp away at 100k.

But then I noticed a pattern in their movements and warped in right on top of them.

Alarms blared as the enemy fleet materialized all around me, too close for comfort with my speed tank... but a pirate never runs!

I immediately began resolving locks, and let my drones go out to play. But the enemy were already warping away. I counted the seconds for the locks to resolve, slowly ticking by as one target at a time warped away.

Lock resolved. Point acquired.

I sent my drones to the now solo Merlin frigate. In short order, it died in a fiery explosion.

But then his buddies began to arrive in force, they were all too close to me, there was no way for my cruiser to outrun the nimble frigates. I began to resolve locks once again and threw out my drones at the first targets.

My untanked armor was already beginning to crumple, I could feel the shuddering of my ship beneath my feet. The Hobgoblin II's reached an Inquisitor, whose shields were obliterated.. but his armor took a bit longer before finally giving out and imploding.

Now, some of the native rats were shooting at me too, my hull was taking direct damage. Ironcially, my hull was also the best tanked part of the Vexor, thanks to a DCU II.

The Hobgoblin II's reached the enemy Incursus which, under their unwelcome attentions, quickly yielded to open space.

My hull was almost critical now, there remained only the enemy punisher. The Hobgoblin II's finally reached it, but it seemed to be a particularly hard nut to crack. The drones fired salvo after salvo at the little ship, while mine was already disintigrating beneath me.

Suddenly, the Punisher imploded in a fiery explosion. This last enemy pod was able to escape, the others left while I was too busy killing their allies. At any rate, my structural integrity was only 48%, there was little point in staying around risking another fight.

As I initiated docking procedures, I announced a new name for the now battle scarred Vexor, which was still venting atmosphere into space. Previously, it had been named 'II' for it's prior two kills in battle. Now, it would henceforth be known as 'VI' for it's kills.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Turning the Tables

Captain's Log- Lanissum
--------------Session started: 5632.04.20 22:01:14-----------
It had been a slow day that day. Frustrated after gaining no kills, fights, or even losses, I proceeded to dock my ship. Of course, I did one last scan for a new pilot in a big ship.

As I proceeded back to his quarters, he kept on thinking about newer pilots and big ships. When a ship is picked up on a scanner, it returns it's transponder identification signal. By default, this signal consists of the pilot's name and ship type.

Suddenly, I realized the seemingly obvious idea that the name of the pilot on the transponder signal didn't have to be the pilot flying the ship.

As I made my way back to the dock, I opened my com and instructed my crew chief to pick a suitable name from the local chatter for my Myrmidon Battlecruiser. Moments later, I was sitting in an obvious belt 'ratting'.

Within a minute of landing at the belt, a Thorax warped in; followed by a Hound stealth bomber. They were both experienced pilots, the Hound was out of my engagement range. But I decided to engage the Thorax anyways.

As soon as a lock was resolved, my blasters spun up, drones went out, and the enemy ship's warp core was disrupted.

But they engaged me even before my locks were resolved. I could feel my ship shudder as the first salvo of warheads hit the Myrmidon. The shields were going down faster than I'd hoped, I engaged my armor tank, in preparation for the incoming damage.

The Thorax and my Myrmidon seemed about tied for damage, our respective ships taking the same amount of damage. But then the Thorax began to gain vast quantities of distance on me. He was MWDing away from me. Belatedly, I realized that I'd pointed him with the warp disruptor and not the scrambler that I also carried. Now, he was out of range of most of my damage, save for my drones. But still able to keep me in place while the SB fired salvo after salvo upon me.

The torpedoes took to take large chunks of my armor. I engaged overheating upon my tank, in an attempt to prolong the seemly inevitable demise of the Myrmidon.

As quickly as the Thorax gained range, it came back, apparently to get in on the kill. That was the last mistake for him. I immediately spun up and overheated my blasters, knowing that it was kill or be killed.

His armor took a critical hit, the Thorax began to loose large chunks of it's hull. I began to align for an attempt to warp out. Another salvo of torpedoes, and both of our hulls were well below 50%.

But my blasters managed to score a hit upon the now MWDless Thorax, resulting in a fiery explosion.

Another salvo of torpedoes quickly knocked me out of my triumph. I wasn't out of the woods yet, my Myrmidon had been knocked out of alignment by the battle. I began the warp out procedure. It was a race between the next salvo and the warp procedure.

Torpedoes incoming...
15% thrust.... 25% thrust...50% thrust...
I could literally see the visual radiation from the torpedoes' propulsion systems.
Warping to Mercantile Bureau Station.

The crew cheered, they had survived the battle.
I relaxed and shuddered as I took another look at the ship readout:
16% hull integrity had remained after the battle, the armor was already on it's way to full strength again. Almost every lower module was offlined by the damage sustained during the fight, but overheating had definitely won the day today. I therefore ordered every man in the splended engineering department of my ship a few free rounds at their favorite station-side establishment.