The message to The Tuskers is brief and to the point. Not mentioning my current state of bliss and uncontrollable endorphins. I try my best to act like a cool, cold-blooded killer. Not just some overheated hothead riding rusty Rifters.
Let’s backtrack a little. Two minutes earlier I arrived Jovainnon in my - big surprise - Rifter. It was one of those strange moments when nothing seems to make sense. I had an Apocalypse Navy Issue on my directional scanner. And only two pilots in the local communications channel - except yours truly.
An Apocalypse Navy Issue. In Jovainnon. The single system between Aeschee, home of big scary ships, and Hevrice, home of the notorious and always actively hunting Tuskers. This is not a system you want to bring your most expensive ships without any support. So, I figure, this must be some kind of intricate trap beyond my comprehension. And, usually when I find a single battleship in a low security system, it is on a mission from some dodgy agent. And then I will need to get probes. But, I do what I always do when I find something: I pinpoint it's location with the directional scanner.
It is in a belt. A solo Navy Issue battleship floating all alone in an asteroid belt!
This is where my brain kicks in and starts working. Against me. A Navy Issue Battleship working for CONCORD’s meagre bounties for the local Serpentis? This can’t be true. I smell a rat. I stall. I don’t warp in. Then slowly, my brain starts to work with me. I am next to The Tuskers home. A group of pirates I have locked horns with on many occasions, but also have called in for backup whenever a target of opportunity has appeared. They are bad news, but they can be trusted. I make my communication channel with The Tuskers ready for input, and hurl my Rifter towards the belt. Apocalypse! Now!
There it is. This giant construction, most certainly made by Matari slaves, stationed between the rocks doing CONCORD’s dirty work. I overheat my afterburner and warp scrambler and the blood-rush is like nothing else I’ve felt for a long time.
This is when The Tuskers are informed about the trapped battleship. They respond at once. Within a few seconds, and after a few downed Hobgoblins, I receive an official invite to a Tuskers fleet. I accept and the fleet jumps into system and it all happens so fast that for a moment, that I panic and think I’m in a pod. The damage on my shields has suddenly disappeared from my HUD! And that, for me, usually means my ship has been stripped off my capsule. Well. Not this time. This time, it was actually my first experience of being remotely repaired by a logistics ship. You see... I fly solo.
Then the Tuskers scary looking front-man and public “face”, Suleiman Shouaa, asks me if I want to ransom or kill. They sure live up to their reputation as pirates of honor: They have all the power to do whatever they want with me and the Battleship-pilot, but still they want me to make the decision. I go for the kill. The pod, however, decides to turn down the offered ransom, and in retrospect the demand was a bit too high. But, hey, this guy looked like he had lots of kredits to burn since he was cleaning low sec belts in a Navy Issue. So, the offered ransom was not out of the blue.
|The Tuskers public face. Suleiman Shouaa.|
Then, a very polite Suleiman Shouaa hauls the loot to the nearest station and contracts me all of it. What a bunch of clean and polite pirates!
So, there you have it. If you ever happen to stumble upon The Tuskers: Treat them with the respect they deserve and you shall be rewarded. This applies whether you are one of their unlucky customers, a fellow pirate of honor or a roaming scumbag scavenger like myself.
I wish the fleet good luck and warp to a safe to cool down and analyze my current situation. This month is turning out to be one of my most ISK efficient months ever. It started with a very big explosion when some fellow pirates of the Molden Heath loop had caught a Thanatos and invited everyone to participate in killing it. I was next door in a bomber and managed to jump in and get a few volleys of torpedos into its burning hull. Then Alex “Jaguar God” Medvedov caught a Sleipnir but needed more damage to break its tank. I suicided a Rupture against it’s shields and armour and that made the difference and the loot value replaced my ship. And then I found the already mentioned Apocalypse Navy Issue. Add a few assault frigates and a battleship or two to the kill list, and you will understand I am having good times!
My associates are doing a good job with all kinds of endeavours, and even though I am loosing too many ships at the moment, the ISK situation is better than it has ever been before. So maybe it is time to order a stack of Jaguars?