Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Gate

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to
(a) mate with,
(b) eat,
(c) run away from,and
(d) rocks.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites)

The nano age of space combat was for some a golden age, an age where you could shoot at will and run away like a little girl once things went pear shaped. It was an age where I flew a Crusader at 63km/s, nothing could touch me and that speed was exhilarating, a drug like no other.

It was also an age of innovation, where new tactics evolved to deal with the speed and ease with which others could run away. You either were part of the problem or you tried to deal with the problem. I could go very fast, faster than anyone else, but what I really enjoyed was embarrassing fast pilots in their fast interceptors in my lowly tech 1 Rifter, which wasn't so fast but it certainly made some folk think twice about breaking the speed limit.

The nano age never really went away, it changed as technology changed and it evolved, but the tactic remained the same.

Now I've seen a few so called nano Ruptures in my time, not my thing to be quite honest but it's sort of like a poor man's Vagabond.

Now, one such Rupture was running the gates between Eifer and Gusandall and because of his speed, was being more than a little annoying to some of the locals. After they gave up trying to catch him, I waited a few minutes, for him to catch his breath, cause that amount of running isn't healthy.

There's only one ship for someone who is determined to run away when the going gets tough, only one logical choice... Flubber.

As my Stabber Fleet Issue undocks, I take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this harsh universe, the small yellow star at the center of the Gusandall solar system illuminating the sharp lines of this miracle of Minmatar engineering.

I punch the warp button to the Eifer stargate and soon, with trails of hyperspace pouring off Flubbers engines, the Rupture appears on my overview, hugging the gate like a new born baby hugs its mum for security.

I make a few runs, trying to get a good bump off, but the Rupture is steadfast in its resolve not to be budged. I lock him up, again, no reaction, until he jumps through to Eifer, I follow and so begins the gate race. He nanos it back to the gate, I punch my MWD and make it back just as he jumps, I follow.

Now it gets interesting for the Rupture pilot.

Keira is in her Claymore, a ship she hasn't flown for a long while, with her command skills, my tackle is huge, like frikkin humongous, the Rupture breaks cloak about 20clicks off me, I start to close, with webs overheated, I lock him up and they go green, slowing him down, but the best is a 20km warp scrambler, which stops him warping away but also shuts down his MWD.

Not so fast now that I'm quite literally crawling up his tailpipe, a good 12km from the gate and his salvation.

With guns spiiting hot death in his general direction I launch some Warrior IIs, to help take some of the sentry gun heat, he reciprocates by launching some EC-300s...




The thing about ships that nano it up, they're rather brittle once you break their shields, the EC-300s, the bane of Kane, did not save him, no sir, they did not.

His shields melted and with not so much as a gesundheit, he exploded, kind enough to be slow on the escape pod and getting tackled by moi.

I offer 100million ISK for the safe extraction of his pod, he counters with 200million, I say 100million sharpish, he says 200million, I pop his pod as I'm under sentry fire and he was obviously stalling.

I scoop the loot and the corpse and head back to the station, Flubber's armour at the brink of melting from the heat from the stargate sentry guns.

It ain't nothing but a noob thang

The fight of the day, nay, the fight of the year came about as I was tinkering with Gaspode, my Reaper class rookie ship.

A rather young Rifter pilot was trying to run the Minmatar Contracted Bio-Farm 1/10 complex in Gusandall. I took it upon myself to extract the usual toll of such visitors to my system and I would do so in Gaspode.

I undock and warp directly to the complex, hammering the primitive onboard scanner as I do so, making sure, the Rifter is where he's supposed to be for when the toll man cometh.

I activate the ancient acceleration gate and Gaspode is launched into the first room of the plex, the Rifter calmly going about his illicit business about 30 clicks away from where Gaspode exits warp.

I start to close... Slowly.

"It would probably help if you got out and pushed" I hear Keira half say, half giggle over the corp comms system.

At about 12km I lock him up and apply my warp scrambler magic, courtesy of Keira's command skills and liberal application of the overheating button.

I set a close orbit, no fancy flying needed, as I'd probably have to concentrate on praying, if I believed in a higher power that is.

The Rifter is easily faster than me and even a semi competent fit would mean that even if I started believing in some higher power, now was probably not the best time to not show up and help.

I launch a Hobgoblin drone, tech 2. My two guns launch hot fusion bullets into space in the general direction of the Rifter. He shoots back, repping his armour handily, I start to shout as Gaspode enters armour, the Rifter hits structure but reps chunks of armour before too much damage is done, guns overheating to the point of melting, I yell at the little drone to shoot for all his worth.


With Gaspode at 45% structure, the last slivers of the Rifters structure vanish, an explosion the likes of which have never been seen rocks the Gusandall sky, like a supernova, but smaller, a not-so-supernova.

I tackle the pod for good measure, send him on his merry, scoop the loot and warp to a safe spot for a well earned breather.

The mighty Reaper victorious in fierce battle. Props to the Rifter pilot, he stayed and fought, even though he could have just hit his afterburner and warped away once out of range.


Hallan Turrek said...

Wait, you offered to ransom him for a hundred but he demanded to pay two hundred? Did he attend the Homer Simpson school of haggling?

John Holt said...

surely he meant 20