Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Rifter in the Dark

I undocked into the black in a Rifter class frigate, a ship I'm so very comfortable with, far and away one of my favourites and in my opinion the best frigate in the Universe. It is Minmatar through and through and in the hands of a compotent pilot is a devastating platform with which to cause chaos and dispair.

I headed off to my favourite system to hunt, it looked kinda bleak but I warped to a spot in between the main cluster of belts and started the ritual of patiently scanning.
There was a Rupture and Hurricane fighting in the belt directly below me but even I know the Rifter has its limits so I instead concentrated on narrowing down another Rifter who was currently assaulting some Angel Cartel ships in a belt not too far from me, I narrowed it down and headed in, my tackling systems primed and ready.
The warp tunnel closed and I burst into normal space and was greeted by the sight of the sleek Rifter engaging the Angels at close range. My targeting systems went active and resolved, warp disruptor kicked in and it was all systems go, I closed the short distance and engaged the Stasis Web which would stop him from gaining any speed and trying to run.
My 150mm autocannons burst into life, sending round after round of high tech Barrage ammunition into the shield systems of the Rifter, soon they were chewing through his armour and then in a flash his hull gave way.
Immediately my targetting systems locked onto his escape pod and once again the warp disruptor kicked in, the thought of a ransom briefly crossed my mind and then vanished, I'm not in a good mood after losing a Sleipnir and Pod yesterday to carlesness and someone needed to pay, his pod flashed into nothingness as my guns activated, one salvo is all that was needed and the now frozen corpse of my victim was all that was left, I scooped it onto my hold, a fine addition to "The Morgue"

Minutes later, after I had returned to my scan spot I received a call from the Hurricane pilot in system, it was Tor Lan, a Black Flag pilot. He was being attacked by two Rapiers, a Huginn and a Megathron, a fiersome force and something my rifter would not be able to engage but I warped to the spot where this was going down, maybe to provide a distraction but the pilots from Mutually Assured Distraction are very good and my Rifter only provided a small snack. It did take 2 Rapiers and a Falcon to dispatch it. Overkill much?
I really need to remember to offload loot, I not only lost the Rifter but the loot from the Frigate Melee a week or so back. C'est la vie.

I returned home and had the hangar crew assemble another Rifter, I have many hulls and modules in stock as I like this ship and very often bite off more than I can chew :D

On returning to the cold of space I scanned a Catalyst class destroyer in our local Angel Cartel complex and immediately docked and boarded a Wolf class Assault Frigate, the big brother of the Rifter, it shares the same hull but carries more firepower. This particular Wolf is setup specifically for complex hunting, using a Afterburner instead of a Microwarp Drive as they struggle to function with all the interference generated by complexes.
I headed out and hit warp towards the Angel complex, I came out of warp at a ancient jumpgate, a relic of the past but still active and allowing certain ship classes access to a deepspace complex. I activated the gate and was slung deep into the complex, my nav and targeting systems taking a moment to recalibrate but when they did it was only a matter of seconds before my lock resolved and warp disruptor kicked in, trapping the Catalyst. It was a short fight, the Catalyst only realising too late that I was there, he targeted back but was deep in structure and it was too late, again my targeting systems quickly resolved the escape pod and the disruptor did its job, it disappeared in a flash of EMP rounds, the corpse being added to the collection.

It's been a very trying few days, a Raven escaped me in a mission complex and after two days of camping it he never returned but he has been hanging about the area and I will catch him. The loss of the Sleipnir and my pod was a setback and I curse my carelesness and stupidity on that one.
Tonights hunt was unsatisfactory, somethings missing and I need to find out what, I need to get back on form. Maybe it's this new clone, it always takes me a while to get comfortable after being viloently introduced to one, it's been a long time since my last one and I can't remember it feeling like this. The headache is more severe this time, although I suffer from them a lot, a reminder of my many clonings whilst in 0.0 space.

I take a handfull of painkillers and slump into my bunk, the air in the hangar is crisp and cold, I turn out the lights but there is a soft glow from the myriad of ships in the hangar and the hum of the many ships systems serenades me to sleep. Darkness embraces me, these painkillers are quick, numbness relaxes me and I dream of Rifters.

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