Metropolis

“Ah I don’t believe you’d like it,
You wouldn’t like it here.
There ain’t no entertainment
and the judgements are severe.

– L. Cohen

Metropolis – the epicentre of the universe – a vast nebulae whose fingers stretch out from Hek, the rotting core itself, to Auner and Arifsdald, Ofslold to Sirekur, Isbrabrata to Brin.

Metropolis lowsec isn’t the kind of place in which you will find new mission runners, unsure of why their agent insists on sending them to lowsec. Metropolis isn’t filled with enthusiastic new pilots itching for a fight. Metropolis is the black heart of it all – the dark, filthy hole in which the scum of New Eden coagulates.

Our impromptu campaign has stretched throughout metro lowsec and was kicked off by Vlewandowski. A few fair fights followed, but we were not without opportunities stacked in our favour.

M-E-A, to a large extent, maintained its policy of killing large ships with small ships, hitting our enemies wallet, dealing devastation to moral and crushing the hearts and souls of our enemies.

On occasion, larger scale fleets were called for and indeed, our Metropolis campaign included dealing crushing blows with old friends who undertook impromptu roams and attacks with us.

With 208 kills (9 billion isk destroyed) and 217 losses (6.8 billion lost), overall, the Metropolis campaign has been successful.

For the last three months, we have lain, waiting, in the depths of the shadows, between the fingers of star dust and gas, taking opportunities when they presented themselves, assassinating those that deserved it and occasionally stepping out in full force to lay waste to those that choose to stand in our way.

Tomorrow, we bid farewell to Metropolis.

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Essence

Thoughts race through my mind as the capsule begins to fold around me. Utter darkness, a cold grey lack of sensation, a mindless, black, emptiness – I am enveloped. My capsule is raised up and lowered into the control centre of my Wolf. My ship is thrust into space in a single, fluid motion. The vastness surrounds me and my mind clears as neurons and synapses automatically begin piloting the vessel.

I banish all thought and begin my search. Hadozeko is empty – nothing but planets, dry asteroid belts and empty space. A list of potential systems flashes behind my closed eyes. I set course for Eifer. My ship aligns and accelerates and time and space blur as I burn towards the next gate, and the next, and the next. Planets slip by unnoticed, filled with the mortal lives and souls of persons unknown.  I spread my fingers and begin my mantra. I do not breathe. I bear no scars. I feel no sorrow. I hold no love. I am not human. I am nothing.

A blip on my scanner and instinct takes over: IX Cluster. My ship aligns. jaguar@30degrees. Scan narrows. Ammunition loading. I short warp to gain perspective. 5degrees@belt IX – I. The hunt is over. My mind tenses for the sudden assault…

But I do not always kiss and tell. Not here. Not now. Not to you…

I move on. System after system flashes by.

This is low security space – these empty, silent systems set against a hollow, blackened sky. This is home…

My old friend Volstruis meets me in Gusandall in a Daredevil. His voice, haggard, lined and laced with cheap booze, crackles over the cheap communications channel which we have set up. We come to a quick decision and start out journey down the pipe towards Wiskeber.

My attention crystallises as we jump into Bogelek. Vol reports a Rifter on scan towards a Concord sanctioned DED beacon. I do a wide scan, warping to the star to partially cover the system – a Dramiel is out there. I quickly run the local inhabitants against my intel systems against and notice a number of Gallactic Collision pilots in system: 5 in all. There is no way of knowing how many of them are active.

I swing my ship around towards the beacon and warp us towards the acceleration gate, dropping short by 100km. The Rifter pilot, is sitting about 50km from us. He immediately tries to close and we let him, burning slowly towards the sun as three Dramiels and a Hookbill land. All Gallactic Collision pilots. One of the Dramiels turns towards us and races forward – we let him inch closer and closer, pulling him further from the remainder of his gang. As he hits point range, the other Dramiel not far behind, I warp us to a short safe, targeting systems and warp scramblers ringing behind us.

We immediately double back and warp directly to the DED gate, activating it as soon as we land. The Rifter, Dramiels and Hookbill are already approaching… Our ships burst out of sight, pulling out of warp amongst a small army of Angel fighter pilots. They choose, wisely, not to interfere.

I quickly lower my scan range and wait… a Wolf in its cave… And then there it is – a Dramiel, closing in behind us. The warp bubble bursts around us. He lands right on top of us and the Daredevil’s webifier and warp scrambler immediately strike home. I let loose my autocannons, fire and plasma bursting forth into space. As I approach the Dramiel pieces of its hull splinter off across the void and into the solar winds. As it explodes I am reminded of tearing the legs off of a spider.

This is lowsec, this place of beauty and brutality. This place of poetic justice.

Too late to save his friend, the Rifter lands and my pre-heated autocannons rip through its shields in a single shot. The two remaining Dramiels and the Hookbill land. My Wolf’s warning systems flash wildly and scream as I am locked in place.

Vol is gone. Perhaps he was never there. It doesn’t matter now.

This is lowsec, this place of vengeance. This slough of muddy water and blood.

I feel the tug on my soul as the Hookbill webs me. It is close now. The Rifter explodes and I turn to the Hookbill, cycling my guns…

All I see is white light. I lose my thoughts within themselves, forgetting what it is that I cannot remember – that feeling of vast, sudden expansion tearing through me, burning and screaming as it seeks “more“. All I feel is nothing. And then it comes – the explosive burst of atoms, ripping through evermore, this nothingness, this everything. It is simplicity, thoughtless, random, mindless. It is all and nothing. It is the collective. It is the essence.

I wake up vomiting in Hadozeko, covered in slime, tearing at the artificial life supports.

This is lowsec – a blood stained, forgotten battleground. Rainbow-oil-slicked and filled with broken glass and shards of broken teeth. This void, this abyss, is New Eden’s dirty back alley.

This where I leave the shards of my shattered soul.

Year One

Members of M-E-A will be expected, at all times, to be prepared and willing to engage in PVP combat without concern for their own safety.

Mise En Abyme Prospectus – Circa YC112

I registered the name Mise en Abyme on 08 November YC112 and opened offices in Molden Heath. Volstruis joined M-E-A soon thereafter and began punting recruitment.

Recruitment, it must be said, was not easy. Our killboard statistics were crap, the only ships we could fly with any degree of actual skill were frigates and although we might have thought otherwise, we had very little PvP experience. It was ridiculous to think that we could recruit anyone with any real pvp skills. This was, rather annoyingly, frequently pointed out to us by potential recruits.

So we changed tack and started recruiting rookies, most of them fresh out of Pator Tech School with absolutely no knowledge of pvp combat. We told them that with the right attitude new pilots could kill people, even if they had badly fit ships, a lack of skills or experience, were outclassed in terms of ship type and had no idea what the hell they are doing.

Then we threw them into the middle of lowsec with no training, absolutely no support structure and firm instructions to go forth and kill people.

So what happens when you throw a bunch of “rookies” into the sharktank? Apparantely, the water boils with blood.

But the statistics are not what is important. What is important is that around 30 rookies got out there, found out what makes New Eden exciting and kicked some ass. What is more important is that they did so without concern for their safety, without worrying about isk efficiency and without the interference of corporate politics. Now, a year later, these so called “rookies” collectively form M-E-A, a solid group of excellent combatants who unify a philosophy of combat.

This is a shout out and thank you to those “rookies” who ventured into lowsec and spilt blood. Without you and without your disdain for the bullshit punted on the forums, in guides and the help channel, M-E-A would not exist. Each of you has contributed to the collective “up yours” to every bittervet who said told us that our frigates were only good for tackle. Keep up the good work.

– Xi ‘xar

Hook, Line and Sinker

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…

Hook:

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…

Line:

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

Sinker:

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…

25418705
  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?

Postscript

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.

Campaign: Placid Region

Following the destruction of Turgesson, Ravarin and surrounds became slightly too quite, slightly too staid and slightly too boring to deal with. Resultantly, M-E-A has relocated to the ineptly named Placid region – with wide troughs of multi-route lowsec, including an apparent (but expensive) lowsec tradehub (Intaki), close proximity to a variety of pirate corporations and factional warfare hubs, a number of close by nulsec entrances and what appears to be a proliferation of ancient capsuleers, Placid seemed to be a step up from the solitude we had found in Ravarin.

Although the move to Placid was never thought of as a campaign, but rather simply a move, here are (some of) the results of M-E-A’s first month and a half in placid:

(Note: of course, our time in Placid has not been without loss.)

Beginning with a bang, Xi ‘xar took the lead by raining hellfire upon a myrmidon in the famed Intaki System. Unfortunately, Intaki Security and Intelligence did not take kindly to these actions. This has not stopped us from frequenting the system and taking advantage of its status as a trade hub.

After a number of rifter kills, a bit of whoremailing by Volstruis and Pico, the crushing of new capsuleers and Aeron and Xi achieving e-fame, a beautiful trend of killing stealth bombers in factional warfare sites began.

However, stealth bombers are not the most difficult of targets and M-E-A began seeking more difficult engagements:

Noteable is Aeron and Vol’s attack on a thrasher, which lead to Atria Corp, presumably seeking vengeance, losing a Drake, Hookbill and Rifter in quick succession. Later that evening, Xi ‘xar, always keen to fly recklessly, challenged a Moira fleet consisting of a Firetail, Rifter, Worm and Stilleto. Although the Worm managed to escape Xi with a mere sliver of structure remaining both the Firetail and rifter were destroyed whilst the Stilletto pilot abandoned the fight despite having landed a solid and unbreakable tackle on Xi. The following comments were noted in local:

[ 2011.09.03 17:35:13 ] Xi ‘xar > gf
[ 2011.09.03 17:38:07 ] Aloric LaDraggon > jesus
[ 2011.09.03 17:38:51 ] Aloric LaDraggon > that Jag is riduculous
[ 2011.09.03 17:39:00 ] Xoria Krint > You fought Jesus?
[ 2011.09.03 17:39:12 ] Draek Bolaskari > more like jesus on steroids

But a few fights and a bit of an ego boost do not satisfy M-E-A pilots. We wanted more. In M-E-A, we do not want easy 2v1 engagements. We do not want ganks or simple good fights. We want absolute destruction and obliteration, – an opportunity to shame our opponents, especially those who believe they can beat us, simply because they have bigger or more expensive ships.

Hello Placid. Welcome to the Abyss.

Vengeance

The blue-white scream of light flashes past my eyes, momentarily blinding me. The familiar view of Ravarin from the Stegette gate swims into view as I align my wolf towards HQ. Fleets have been somewhat quiet and I have, to a certain extent, reverted to solo roams – an old habit that dies hard despite the costs involved. It was time to drop off some loot. With the gate clear of hostiles, I initiate warp to a tactical safe a few thousand km above HQ.

Mid warp I flick open the local channel and see a familiar face – Turgesson. My directional scanner reveals a Celestis towards HQ. My mind races as I think back to previous engagements with Turgesson. I hit the dock button. With no-one else but dream67 in local, the Celestis can only be Turgesson’s – His sensor boost Celestis and Hurricanes and his attempts to stationcamp M-E-A members are not unheard of.

Sure enough, Turgesson is sitting on the undocking point in a Celestis. I quickly manouver my wolf around him and into the docking bay – I don’t have a moment to hesitate – if there is one thing that Turgesson is good at doing (there may be other things) it is fitting ships in such a way that they are deadly to frigates – sensor boosters, medium energy neutralisers, drones, webs and a heavy tank.

I quickly open my ship’s cargo bay and drop off the loot in my designated station containers. The Celestis heads into the docking bay – clearly, Turgesson is watching me. He has obviously not forgotten the last occasion on which we (almost) clashed. He has not forgotten my questions in local regarding whether or not he had been waiting for backup. It was shortly after those enquiries had been made that the cargo container stating “M-E-A is recruiting… we offer ship loss, logging out and bad fitting help… Join Today <silnt> (Small secure container)” had been anchored by Turgesson outside HQ.

I hit the undock button and my wolf is mechanically shoved back into space. Turgesson’s Celestis is right behind me. I have no intention of fighting him outside station where station guns will tear my assault frigate to pieces unless I allow him the first blow. I run my finger down the list of safes and chose an insta-undock, hitting the button as I see the Celestis steering towards me.

I land a few thousand km from station, align towards the DED site and hit my directional scanner. Turgesson has already left the station and without any shadow of a doubt, he is on his way to the DED site hoping to catch me as I land. I charge my warp core and launch my ship towards the DED, allowing just enough capacitor to drain to land me 100km off of the acceleration gate. The Celestis appears on close range D-scan. He is here. I check local again as my ship pulls out of warp. Turgesson is alone…

[ YC113.08.13 14:53:28 ] (notify) For initiating combat your security status has been adjusted by -0.1159.

Fuck the consequences.

[ YC113.08.13 14:54:16 ] (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 26 damage  (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 33 damage combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) misses you (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 26 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 24 damage

I expected this. With no web, I need to lower angular velocity in order to hit the drones – I re-establish my orbit, ensuring that Turgesson will remain within range of my Warp Disruptor II, and pulse my microwarpdrive. The extra burst of velocity pulls against my body wreaking havoc with my nerves. Pulling away at over 2.6 kilometers per second  from the group of Hobs, I rip my way through two of them before they are recalled to break my target lock. I resettle into my 18km orbit, switch my crosshairs back to Turgesson, and fire a few volleys. My 200mm autocannons rain hot fire as I burn though Turgesson’s shields.

I reload, and await the next wave of drones. They come quickly – another flight of Hobs. I focus my fire on the drones and a small explosion lights up the Ravarin sky as the drone swarm towards me. Three hobs down. I struggle to remember how many drones a Celestis can launch. Out of the corner of my eye, something blue flashes past my ship, but I don’t have a chance to look – my HUD flashes and a violent warning scream rocks through my wolf – my shields have all but disappeared. I need to get rid of these fucking drones before Turgesson can recall them… I speed out of range of the drones, ripping through another and another. The drones are recalled. This is going to be a long fight.

Something blue flashes past my wolf as I pulse my microwarpdrive, leaving me with a sickened feeling. [ YC113.08.13 14:55:26 ] (combat) Group of 200mm AutoCannon II strikes Hobgoblin II <SILNT>(Hobgoblin II) for 267 damage (combat)Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 24 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 24 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 25 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 19 damage (combat) Group of 200mm AutoCannon II strikes Hobgoblin II (Hobgoblin II) for 130 damage  (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 30 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 29 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 16 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 19 damage (combat) Group of 200mm AutoCannon II strikes Hornet EC-300 (Hornet EC-300) for 160 damage (combat) Turgesson (Hobgoblin II) hits you for 25 damage.

EC-300. EC-300. EC-300? I knew something had been nagging my thoughts, but now it is staring me in the face, flashing on my log. Hornet EC-300’s. ECM. He is trying to escape. I quickly cease fire and relock the ECM drones. One down. Recalled. More Hobs. Explosions litter the sky. I am running out of ammunition. More ECM drones. Turgesson is growing desperate now. But why doesn’t he approach? What the hell is taking him so long? I tear through another of his ECM drones. How many fucking drones does this Celestis have? I don’t have time to look. My armour is bleeding out and with no tank, I won’t have very long left. Hobs explode around me, pieces of Morphite-enriched warhead tearing though them.

My 200’s automatically swing back towards Turgesson’s Celestis. I hit the fire button…

[ YC113.08.13 14:58:32 ] (combat) Turgesson (200mm AutoCannon II) misses you

I pause and suddenly, everything becomes clear… He doesn’t have a microwarpdrive. He doesn’t have an afterburner. He doesn’t have drones. His 1600mmplatedualwebnopropulsionmodslowassallegedfrigatekillingcelestis doesn’t stand a fucking chance. It never did.

I swing into a 15km orbit and reload.

[ YC113.08.13 14:58:14 ] (combat)Group of 200mm AutoCannon II strikes Turgesson (Celestis) for 121 damage

I hit dscan. Nothing.

[ 2011.08.13 15:00:27 ] (combat) Turgesson (200mm AutoCannon II) misses you

I check local. Nothing.

[ 2011.08.13 15:02:18 ] (combat) Turgesson (200mm AutoCannon II) misses you

We are all alone now… just me, Turgesson and those cargo containers he put outside my station.

We are all alone in the Abyss now little Turgey…

We are all alone…

Vengeance is mine.

Roam: Constellation – Huvilma

With a lack of targets presenting in Ravarin and surrounding systems, an impromptu roam to through the Huvilma Constellation was undertaken by M-E-A members on 31/06/YC113. The fleet, initially consisted of only Xi ‘xar’s Jaguar and Vlewandowski’s Hookbill, but was joined on the way by two incursus frigates, piloted by Aeron and NeuroneZero and a dramiel, piloted by Jack.

The fleet initially made its way to Luml and paused there briefly for some exploration work. Neuro, acting as impromptu forward scout immediately proceeded to Olfeim and reported a Hulk mining in a belt. The remainder of the fleet rushed to Olfeim, scanned down the hulk and launched their attack. Once its Vespa II drones were dealt with, the Hulk’s shields melted under sustained fire. The pilots’ capsule was captured, but refused to offer a ransom.

Forced to wait out the global criminal countdown, the fleet remained in Olfeim. A drake pilot was however soon spotted on scan – further investigation revealed a number of mission wrecks close to the drake’s location. Unable to retrieve a local probe ship, the fleet waited, frustrated, for the global criminal countdown to expire.

Shortly after expiration, the drake’s location was expertly pinpointed by Aeron. Aeron warped in followed shortly by Jack. Unfortunately, the drake warped off immediately upon Aeron’s (cloaked) arrival, having finished the mission as Aeron initiated warp. With the fleet frustrated, a short break was called for.

In a stroke of good luck and whilst the majority of the fleet was relaxing in a local station, the drake pilot returned.  His salvage fit breacher was no match for Jack’s dramiel.  The drake pilot still obviously undeterred, or possibly seeking revenge, returned shortly thereafter in his drake. Xi ‘xar, spotting him in local, immediately warped to Jack, whose dramiel was still at the mission site. Xi landed directly on the drake and established point as Aeron and Neuro warped in. Although the battlecruiser’s impressive passive shield tank held for quiet some time, it eventually crumbled after some rude comments were made by its pilot in local, forcing the frigate fleet to overheat their weapons. Unfortunately, considering the rather rude attitude of the drake pilot, his pod escaped unharmed.

To be fair however, it was his second pod, and Jack had already collected his frozen corpse.