Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Voyeur

Five registered capsuleers in the local communications channel. Not including myself. Only three ships found by a directional scan around the main clusters of celestials. No stations. Two Drake-class battlecruisers hunting the local belt pirates on CONCORD salary. One Jaguar-class assault ship somewhere unknown. And me. In an Enyo. With active tanking, an energy vampire installed and a cargo hold full of the Federation’s finest antimatter charges. It is time to save the local belt inhabitants from the CONCORD-sponsored Drakes. My Enyo – will it handle two Drakes? And is that Jaguar a mate of them? And finally: That last pilot that has not been accounted for. 

I'm gonna poke you in the eye with this, OK?
The known unknown.

As I land among the asteroids, the two Drakes align out, but only one is allowed to turn his warp drive, the other one is swiftly scrambled. My neutron blasters start the elaborate task of overcoming the battlecruisers shields.

Will the other Drake return?

I am settling for a tight orbit and send a warm “thank you” to the Drake pilot for either forgetting the drones in his hanger or just forgetting to launch them.

“Planet X, Asteroid Belt 1. I could need a hand!”

The other Drake pilot leaves system. So they were not buddies then. Or at least not anymore, I guess. Friendship – such a fragile concept among capsuleers. But when will the Jaguar poke it’s nose into this belt? Will someone come to his aid?

The Drake’s shields are struggling under my relentless neutron blasters. We are getting closer to the point of no recharge. Time to fire up some heat. The shields crumbles. It will soon be over.

Smelling a dying ship, the Jaguar finally makes an appearance. Crouching at 50 kilometers off, he is ready to attack. The Drake is in deep structure as the big cat leaps towards my Enyo. It all happens very fast now, and yet it seems like slow motion. I finish off the Drake and make a hard left at maximum overheated afterburner speed straight towards the newly arrived predator. Targeting systems going wild. Warning sounds ringing in my ears, the scrambler has been enabled, the turrets turn and fire, webifier applied, vampire sucking from his capacitor, repair systems ready and preheated. The battle is violent. Big chunks of twisted metal litters the field.

Rapier uncloaks. The known unknown is now very much known.

I overheat my brain and hurl my Enyo into alignment towards the first celestial object I can get a navigational lock on. My guns are still working on the Jaguar that is going down fast. No targeting from the Rapier still. Jaguar explode. And I am screaming “WARP!” even though no-one can hear me through the pod fluids.

The warp tunnel has never been so beautiful. So quiet. So perfect.

Then silence was broken by a message coming through the system wide communications channel. The pilot of the wreck formerly known as a Jaguar address me:

“Kill the rapier and i will be impressed”
I grin and reply:
“I ran”

Then a sparkling sound and the Rapier-pilot joins the conversation.

“I was just there to help incase he wouldn’t get his one versus one fight. I was already watching the fight. I could have ruined the party”

I guess some like to watch.

Epilogue: The official kill report from the incident shows that the Rapier actually helped me with the Jaguar that arrived. I also got the loot later on as the Rapier pilot left the wrecks untouched.

(This log entry has previously been published at The Fighter at the Gates of Hell.)