-- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)
The life of a Pirate is a tough yet rewarding game, a lot of cat and mouse. Preparation is key, along with a great deal of patience. With these things in mind, a successful Pirate prepares his day, systems are scanned and traps baited.
The prey seeks riches, and they are to be found in relic and data sites around New Eden.
One of the verses more beneficial organisations recently launched a range of ships suited to exploration, the Sisters of EVE produced in great secrecy a frigate, cruiser and now a battleship, who's main purpose is to exploit exploration sites and plunder their riches.
The Astero is a Frigate designed for both exploration and combat
Traits Amarr Frigate skill bonus per level:
4% bonus to armor resistances
Gallente Frigate skill bonus per level:
20% bonus to drone hitpoints
100% reduction in CPU requirement for cloaking devices
37.5% increased strength for scan probes
+10 virus strength for Relic and Data Analyzers
Note: can fit covert ops cloaks and use covert jump portals
This was one of the first vessels the Sisters of EVE made available to capsuleers. It had been under development by the Sanctuary corporation, whose interest in exploration includes not only search & rescue operations but also a constant inquiry into the nature of the EVE Gate. Thanks to the Sisters' efforts and the Sanctuary's particular expertise, the Astero is an agile, tenacious ship that aptly adheres to the mantra of both rescuers and explorers: Stay safe, stay hidden, and use every tool at your disposal.
It is particularly adept at venturing into dangerous territories, not merely in recovering whatever may be of interest but also in being able to safely bring it back. Its engines have alternate power sources that come into play should any of its cargo - for which it has plenty of room - cause serious interference with internal systems. Its carapace is extremely well armored for a ship this agile, and covered in sensors capable of letting its crew track a myriad of different organic signatures. The crew itself is safely protected from any number of transmittable ailments from rescues and other unexpected passengers, thanks to special quarantine bays that are conveniently located near jettisonable openings.
And lastly, an ingenious but cryptic transfer in part of the warp core functionality to an outlying cylindrical structure means the Astero is able to run certain higher-level cloaking functions with very little technical cost, and minimal interference from warp. The Sisters of EVE have refused to comment on this technology, other than to recommend it not be tampered with.
The Astero is the perfect exploration vessel and I was almost expecting to see every relic and data hunter in the universe flying them. Strangely enough that has not been the case, So I took it upon myself to introduce the locals to the grand nature of the Astero, exploit the explorers.
Anatomy of a Hunt
As I mentioned earlier, a hunt requires two key elements, preparation and patience.
In preparation, the systems surrounding my home of Gusandall are regularly scanned, bookmarks are made of all sites.
All my associates have perfect skills for scanning, some with full Virtue and Poteque scanning implants. However with the Astero, my perfect scanning skills and just simple Sisters Core Scanner Probes, I am able to hunt almost independently with further range.
My standard fit is dual propped with a web and laser, but the nature of the hunted necessitates a few minor changes. The introduction of the mobile depot means you can refit on the fly as you wish.
Whether by patrolling your traps, or by using scouts, once a target presents itself it becomes a game of patience.
Scan probes are spotted in Eifer, a likely customer appears on the local comms list. I move in and wait.
As with most things, patience does pay off and my target warps in, ready to hack and analyse his way to fame and fortune.
I engage thrusters under cloak and close the gap... Cloak drops, target resolves and dual scrams kick in, Hobgoblins in space, they race to engage.
The target quite literally melts under a barrage of thermal death rays emanating from the Astero's drone death squad. Not so much an explosion, more like a soap bubble popping, bits of molten metal spraying against my Sisters of Destruction space boat.
The escape pod jettisons but the Astero is a fast locker. Terms are offered...
Terms are declined unceremoniously and negotiations violently end.
All that's left is to scoop the loot, the corpse and remove any evidence
Clean up, leave no footprint, let the trap lie in wait once more.
Once back home, you can now see why dual scrams have become necessary. it seems sales of warp core stabilisers have increased.
This is Piracy, pure and simple, the purest form of my trade, whilst it isn't as lucrative as the days of old, it still makes ISK, take everything, give nothing back.
A little lesson learnt at EVE University