Friday, December 12, 2008

Kill #8: The Distant Merlin

In Old Man Star, I found a Merlin-class frigate on scan. I was quickly able to track it down to a planetary orbit, but when I arrived it was 250 klicks off, sitting motionless. Was it powered down? Did the pilot think that sitting so far off from the standard orbit would keep him safe? Or was it a trap?

I aligned the Rust III towards another planet in his direction and warped out, returning moments later by warping in 100km off the mark - this put me at about 150 klicks from the Merlin. I set my navigation for flat-out approach and burned hard towards the target. I realize at about 80km that I've accidentally had my crews fit a Warp Disruptor II module instead of a Warp Scrambler - normally not what I'd want on a Rifter, but at least this time it would let me lock down the target as soon as he was within targeting range.

At 24km, my targeting systems acquired a lock, and the disruptor kicked on. The first of the Merlin's missiles was already in flight, and impacted against my shields a split second later. I was still 20 klicks out from effective range, and only gaining slowly as the other ship fled. I was taking a barrage of missiles and railgun fire. My shields melted and my armor took enough damage that I kicked on my repairer.. but then finally I was within 10km and caught the Merlin in my stasis web. From there, it was all over. I was too close and fast for his missiles or his railguns, and the battle was almost one-sided.

I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy piloting Rifters.

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