Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kill #1: A game of cat and ... cat.

I’ve been roaming around the Placid region lately, far from my home in Domain. On this particular night, I passed through the Mercomesier system several times, only to find two other pilots in local, both idle in a station. On my third pass through the system, as I was leaving, someone else showed up in Local. I quickly warped back towards the core of the system and began hopping through the planets, trying to scan out the new arrival. I imagined that I’d catch a glimpse of him just before he jumped out to another system; all my possible targets had ended up that way for the last few days.

This time was different. I caught a Rifter-class frigate on my scanner and thought I might be in for a fight. I had just insured my ship, and was itching for some action despite my lack of experience, so I threw my own Rifter into warp towards the planet where he was located.

Dropping out of warp I found.. nothing. He was gone. I picked him up on my scanner again and narrowed him down to a different planet. I warped in, again coming up empty handed. I realized he was doing the same thing I was doing – scanning me out and trying to get to me. After another minute of cat-and-mouse, (or maybe cat-and-cat?) I dropped in on him around planet five, and immediately started to orbit and warp-scramble him. He was ready, though, and was already firing back as my guns spun up. My shields and armor melted pretty quickly – faster than his did. I was doomed for sure, and as my structure was shredded down to the last bits, I began hammering the command to warp out so that my capsule would at least get away. As my warp engines kicked on, I saw that I left him behind in his own capsule – had we both been destroyed? I looked around, and to my amazement, I was still inside my Rifter. It was flaming out of every compartment, but it was still in one piece. I had made my first kill on the road to piracy.

Heading back to the scene of the crime, I found his wreck and rummaged through the remains. He had been using Faction-level ammo and rockets, and a tech-2 overdrive injector. No real other tank to speak of. The expensive ammo (and a weapon stabilizer) explained his improved damage output, but my own armor repairer must have made the difference in the last seconds of the fight.

All in all, an excellent fight, and I look forward to more like that one.

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