I slip out of the clone vat – A 55 jump trip in under a second. I wipe myself down, check my implants, reconfigure my automated skill queue and consider my options. I am in Molden Heath high sec, a few jumps out of Teonusude, my old mission running and ninja salvage haunt.
So why the hell am I in highsec? Well… isk of course. A few jumps from here is an agent who purportedly has links to the Angel Cartel – they would make useful contacts considering my current activities and, apparently, they pay very well.
Walking slowly away from the clone vat, my legs still somewhat unsteady, I flip open my neocom and check my local hangar and assets list [regional] – nothing but salvage (I should get round to selling that sometime) and a lonely destroyer, salavage fit (I really should get round to selling all this stuff sometime). I slip quietly out of the station in my pod, knowing that I won’t have a chance to undock in anything other than a nanofit frigate or shuttle before the local navy arrives and blows me to smithereens.
Compared to lowsec, highsec is an absolute hive of activity. Apart from the blobs travelling through placid to nul I estimate it has been approximately 8 months since I’ve seen this many capsuleers in one system. I set my destination to Bosena where I still have a few slashers left over from my days in A77A, initiate warp, and hope for the best…
For some reason, despite my best efforts, I do not have enough “standing” to be offered the job to be carried out for the Angel Cartel. I will just have to find something else to do. I can’t clone jump again for at least 23 hours, so I make my way through highsec (this time braving it in a slasher) to Hek – my old home and still my favourite system in New Eden. Perhaps I have something there to put up on the market, something to reprocess or a few rigs to manufacture.
Hek hasn’t changed a bit – the text on my local channel spits forth at lightning speed, bursting with scams, contracts, vibrant discussions and the inevitable curses and cries of woe from those that have been liberated of their ships by local residents. There is always a war going on here and the energy is frantic. I warp to the local trade hub and attempt to dock. My shields disappear as heavy missiles slam into me – once again I forget that I am in highsec. I barely make it into the station alive… then again, nobody lives for long in Hek.
Now what? I check my hangar and ship bay – I still have plenty of modules, a Covert Ops and a few T1 Frigs, but nothing fit and nothing combat ready. Nothing particularly valuable to sell either. I consider roaming in a cheap frig (perhaps even this slasher), but change my mind quite quickly – I’ve travelled the pipes down to Hofjalgund, Evati and Hagilur and have explored metropolis lowsec so often that I know what to expect around this time – piles of sensor boost ships camping gates, traps and the ever present nano-gang of dramiels, cynabals and microwarpdrive-barrage-220-neut-fit-hurricanes (perhaps a few recons thrown in for good measure) – to be perfectly honest, I’m not in the mood for being gang raped.
I throw down my neocom, frustrated at having been refused some easy isk and being some 50 jumps from home and the remainder of my corp, who appear to out roaming.
I wake up suddenly to my neocom beeping – incoming message from ExistentialRisk Bonholm – apparently he is inviting me to a conversation.
“I MEAN NO HARM Sorry, I WILL protect my house You’re Gonna Have A Bad Day & some-bullshit-about-blueprints”
I’m tired, pissed off and in desperate need of some decent boosters, but what the hell…His bio is entertaining enough for me to allow the connection, despite my presumption that I am being invited to a standard issue “join my corp // let me scam you out of billions // we are just a bunch of friendly idiots who want to chat” channel. Surprisingly (at least for Hek), it appears that Bonholm actually has something to say:
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > hey mate
Xi ‘xar > Hi
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > i just saw you outside of station and was wondering if you happen to be mission running by chance
Xi ‘xar > No, I’m just here on a bit of a retreat, checking out my old station. looking at my old ships. Relaxing (waiting for jumpclone). Why do you ask?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > bc im lookin to test out this hyperion I built and wanted to do a few missions
I pause to think. Surely Bonholm, if he did in fact see me outside station (and presuming he has set up overview properly) would have noticed that I am a wanted criminal who has perpetrated an extensive list of crimes, including an almost serial set of murders against mission runners. My security status is lower than -9. With a moment’s thought anyone should realise that I am most certainly not in the business of running missions.
Paranoia starts to kick in. Has he checked my bio or my corp description? What the hell does Bonholm really want? Surely this is a trap? Should I check local for members of his corp?
I force myself to stop and shake off the paranoia. This is Highsec and Bonholm is probably an idiot (there are certainly plenty around), probably hasn’t checked my security status and probably doesn’t have any clue about what he might get into by opening a private chat with a known criminal.
I check local, Bonholm has sent out a public message stating “I’m bored”. That is really the kicker – Hell, why not. I have access to high ranking agents in metropolis (I spent enough time here to get rather bored) and I could, I suppose, arrange a mission for Bonholm to test out his Hyperion.
However, I have a better idea. I do know of a very good way of testing out Hyperions – its called “Hook, Line and Sinker”. Lets see if Bonholm will nibble…
Xi ‘xar > I could take you out to do a lvl 4 I suppose.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > sweet.
Xi ‘xar > give me a few minutes.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > alright. all i have is time.
Xi ‘xar > whats your hyperion fit?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > gimme a sec and i’ll link
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > let me know the resists of the mission
Xi ‘xar > Sorry – i’m just fitting. It will be vs Angels
I flick through applications on my neocom and open up the market window. I had better be fucking quick with this one. Bonholm has a capsuleer for some 8 months and he should have some degree of paranoia. Whats in my hangar? 150’s, MSE, DCU, Gyro, Nanofiber, Tracking Enhancers, some year old yellow looking synth that I damn near forgot about. Ships? Damn I really need an assault frigate! Rifter? No, there is no way I could pull that off! It isn’t going to work anyway (its-a-trap-its-a-trap-its-a-trap)! Its a fucking Hyperion Xi… a fucking battleship… No problem – high transversal, low signature, close orbit, and something that can at least survive long enough to kill drones… It wont all fit. Perhaps if I drop the DCU? What about a nano? I re-organise, start putting it all together, my brain, fueled by cheap boosters, racing with the possibilities…
Xi ‘xar > I don’t have a ship here to do lvl 4’s, so i’ll just warp you to the site and you can give it a go
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > hmm…
Xi ‘xar > up to you… but i’m not buying a BS.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > bc i dont fully trust this ship yet… =/
Xi ‘xar > just stay aligned. I’ll speed tank a bit, see how it goes
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > alright.
I leap into the rifter, slam my hand over the accelerator and hit the undock button just as the 6000 pieces of ammunition are shoved by a dock hand into my cargo hold. Goddamn station better be clear – I really don’t want to be podded by trigger-finger-hek-residents right now. It isn’t clear. Maybe this was a setup... I hit the insta undock, scream into warp, stop suddenly and instantly align to and warp to the Otou gate. Lowsec. Thank the stars.
The automated window on my onboard neocom flashes. Bonholm has been talking some shit about killing a hurricane in highsec and podding him. I humour him (anything to keep his eyes off of my security status), telling him how hard hurricanes are to kill and congratulating him until I clear the Otou gate and get safe.
Xi ‘xar > right, I’m almost ready. You ready to go?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > yup
Xi ‘xar > Otou Solar System – I’m there. Meet me here and I will warp us to the mission site
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > low sec?
Xi ‘xar > Its a lvl 4
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > yea
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > ive never had a lvl 4 put me in low sec
Xi ‘xar > I’ve only got this one out of Otou…only 3 others in local. we should be fine.
Xi ‘xar > gate is currently clear my side.
Xi ‘xar > if it clears your side, hop through and align to the sun – I have a safe.
Xi ‘xar > Wait wait – E Wan in hyperion back on gate. Getting a bit busy now.
Xi ‘xar > just let me know if that side of the gate is clear.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > nope
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > rupture drake hurricane
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > ah
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > a helios just showed up
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > he jumped through
Xi ‘xar > i’m moving off the gate – they might give up for a minute
Xi ‘xar > gate’s clear this side
Xi ‘xar > Nothing on scan
Xi ‘xar > I’ll let you know if that changes
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > this rupture and drake on the gate are worrying me though. The cane moved off gate but he’s still here
Xi ‘xar > if he’s off gate, we can dodge him. Are you heavily armour fit? I mean, its a hyperion, but have you got plates?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > i have hardeners, a mag field stab damage control energized adaptive nano mem II and a large armor rep. Those are my low slots
Xi ‘xar > well…
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > pvp soft
Xi ‘xar > you say its a rupture and a cane, but the cane is off grid?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > not off grid, but off gate
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > 12 km off gate
Xi ‘xar > oh ok, well no worries then – when you jump, immediately align to the sun. If they catch you, re-approach the gate and jump back through. Your armour rep will make it through the pain – they won’t hang around if they have gcc. The rupture will die if it hangs around too long. Just DONT shoot at them if they catch you.
Xi ‘xar > hyperion is gone this side
Xi ‘xar > GO GO
Xi ‘xar > align to the sun
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > thank ya sir
Xi ‘xar > did you get the warp?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > yea
Xi ‘xar > right… lets see how this goes
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > yo
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > wtf?
He lands long after I do (gotta love that align time). I approach the giant. It all happens at once – Orbit at 500 (AB inactive to reduce spinning off). Scramble. Activate guns [150mm light autocannon II] – phased plasma slamming into the Battleship, chipping away at its shields. D-scan for incoming ships (surely this is a trap). Nothing on scan! (It doesn’t seem to be one (yet)). I close my eyes and wait for smartbombs… Nothing. He launches drones [Warrior I’s]. I kill them. I return to his shields. They melt… very very slowly. I’m not looking forward to that large armour repairer…
Well, the big fish has had his bite – but now that I have him, what the fuck to do with him? I’ve clearly got him and there is nothing he can do (now) to get away. But then every time I have him at about 1/3 armour down he activates his repair system and simply put, there is no fucking way I’m going to kill this Hyperion alone.
Xi ‘xar > looks like i’m going to have to call for backup
Xi ‘xar > alternatively, you could pay me some isk
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > alright
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > what do you want?
Xi ‘xar > lets say… 80 mil. Thats about 1/2 price.
Some time passes. I try to conserve ammo, but I can’t really stop shooting without allowing him the opportunity to recharge his capacitor and continue to rep up his armour. Unfortunately, it looks like its going to be a matter of how long it takes for his backup to arrive:
Xi ‘xar > So? No 80 mil?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > im talkin to people
Xi ‘xar > aah. same here actually…
Channel Name: Private Chat (E Wan)
Xi ‘xar > How would you like to kill a Hyperion?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > my people told me that if you show any sign you’ll actually let me go they’le send it…
E Wan > you tackled it ?
Xi ‘xar > yup
Xi ‘xar > Well, I’ll stop shooting you.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > that doesnt show anything
Xi ‘xar > I have nothing more to offer you
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > they are good for their word
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > they said that if you take of the warp scram they’ll send it
Xi ‘xar > Haha! Yeah right.
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > I’ve been with this corp longer than the info on my name says it. They are good on their word.
E Wan > We will scan him.
Its time to put the pressure on…
Xi ‘xar > take a look on d-scan
Xi ‘xar > you will see combat probes
Xi ‘xar > you are about to die
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > alright
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > i see them
Xi ‘xar > if the 80 mil comes my way now, I will let you go
Xi ‘xar > the probes are right on us
Xi ‘xar > tell me when you are done
Xi ‘xar > 4 probes out… you got about 10 seconds
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > Look
Xi ‘xar > I can’t help you
Xi ‘xar > those are other people in local
Xi ‘xar > if you pay now, I let go, you warp to gate, you get out
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > if they send 20m to let me go and 6om before i leave local…
Xi ‘xar > ooh too late……….
I loot the wreck and get the fuck out before the drake, rupture, hyperion and curse manage to lock me. Sure, E Wan assured me that his fleet wouldn’t kill me, but you can never trust anyone in New Eden can you?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > SO, you know you’re set blue to me right?
Xi ‘xar > uuh
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > you have been set blue to me for a while
Xi ‘xar > I thought I recognised your name
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > well enjoy your wardec. And the next time you see me in a stealth bomber remember to smile when I pod you in highsec XD i did it yesterday
Xi ‘xar > HAHA
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > but I was in a frig which makes it even better
Xi ‘xar > I didn’t see that on your killboard…
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > dont believe me?
Xi ‘xar > got a link?
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > i dont post that ship lol
Xi ‘xar > but please feel free to wardec me
Xi ‘xar > it would make for an excellent story
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > so, enjoy that kill
Xi ‘xar > I really did! Thanks!
ExistentialRisk Bonholm > it’ll be you next
Bring it on Bonholm.