“What are you up to, don’t see you in system . . . ” Merinnes voice called out.
“Have to make a short trip to the market. All my stuff sold and I need to replenish the shelves.” Mike replied as his Viator took another gate.
“Eww. 0.01 isk games?”
“For some folks. Not me. That is why my shelves are empty. I was raised to not be too greedy. I Know I could do better if I sat on sell prices like a hen on an egg but I prefer to do other things. As long as I get my sales in place by the beginning of a weekend I am usually all sold out by the end. The nice thing is that I DON’T have to sit on it watching for tiny swings in the price so I am free to do other things. Just come back and deliver the latest batch to market and then off I go.” The Viator pivoted and warped to the next gate in his path.
“So when it comes to marketing . . . ”
“I will go for speed over profit, within reason. I should update my books to make sure I am still making a profit.”
“Research is always a part of proper business. Knowing what your costs are so you can evaluate what profit (if any) you are making. So I have a small spreadsheet.”
“I repeat, ewww.”
“Yeah yeah, it took a bit of time to set up as I do it all by hand. Don’t have the knack of API calls to update. Wish I did, would save me a ton of time.”
“Exactly what I meant by ewww. Any decent spreadsheet should be cross referenced pages. And learn to keep your data self correcting . . . updating indeed.” She sniffed. “Ew”
Mike laughed. “Okay, so you know more than me, join the very very large crowd. What are you up to aside from belittling my meager efforts.”
“Recovering. Someone tried to gank my ship while I was doing a small job for the Sisters.”
Mike smiled and leaned back. “Tell me the story. I take it said ship was the one we were chatting about the other day?”
“The Machariel, yes. I was doing a mission that involved eliminating a drone hive threat. Code name Evolution. The Sister sent me to Sosh and when I arrive in system, there are 7 others. I call this …quiet.”
“In hisec near a hub, yup.” Mike agreed, struggling not to add ‘too quiet’.
“So I happily activate my hardeners, load the 800s, and warp off. I don’t know, honestly what got me feeling… paranoid and really, paranoid isn’t the correct term” She hesitated. “I got very uneasy once I arrived on mission and I normally don’t get uneasy so, not only am I feeling uneasy, but I am uneasy about being uneasy if that makes sense.”
“Very much so.” Mike knew about the inner voices that sometimes warned you, against all appearances of normalcy.
“It so happens that I’d not worked a mission like this before, so I woke a friend up and had him follow in the Eos.” She continued.
“Backup is nice.” Mike agreed.
“I have an SoP for him, he stays in system, usually at the mission beacon, and fleet assists. If it goes south for us he enters and launches all his Logi drones. His ship is a flying gas can and can fill RR, boosting, and cap replenishment decently as well.”
“Good friend to have handy” Mike nodded.
“His main function though, is Medium to long range D-scan support. so.. he opens his scanner up to 14AU, 360 deg, searching probes and boats. . . . clean and clear, comes the report. With the all clear I proceed and set out to clear the drone infestation. Now the Mach is made for efficiency, even the drones.”
“I remember. You favour the Fed ones if I recall.”
“I favor FedNavy drones over IIs simply because they are tougher. Now I know from YEARS past that drones are scanned easily, and any time you use specialized drones, its a big fat target so.. I only deploy the wings when necessary.” She sighed.
Mike nodded. “Very sensible”
“This mission requires a bit of drone work. Lots of small, wily targets with annoying scramblers. we can’t have any of that so the hobs were working on OT. I am still uneasy though and there’s a large amount of incoming ‘DPS’ from the mission itself. I mash the Dscan a couple times, nothing. I see a name, though, that I cant recall.”
Mike asked. “Had local climbed?”
She nodded. “No. But it didn’t sit right with me. I asked support for a full sweep, and he returned 8 count Sisters combat. I have a rule. . . ”
“What rule is that?” Mike asked.
“Any fielded combat drones are recalled when ANY combat probes are spotted. MTUs are scooped, too. I mashed Dscan again, and mine returned 1 Sisters within 5AU. So now I have no time to scoop the MTU. I know how this part works and I gave myself 30-40 seconds before visitors.” She takes a deep breath.
“I sent the Eos to the Sheroo gate. He hops through, though I don’t pay attention too much to what the reports is on the other side because I’m busy collecting Ogres and leaving. I lineup on Sheroo and warp out, leaving the MTU happily tractoring it’s doom. It occurs to me as I am travelling in warp that I have NO idea what’s on the other side.” She shakes her head. “I issue stop commands to cancel the auto jump, and land on the gate to a Minnie Probe. well, gig is up. Its my fault for not d-scanning the gate before warping to it. But the Eos is reporting he isn’t dead, so… I press through.”
She looked off to the side. “This is where it gets muddy.”
Mike nodded sympathetically. “Fog of battle?”
“Due to my uneasiness I didn’t pay too much attention to what was reported on the other side of this gate so I cannot speak as to the location or disposition of those who were waiting for me but I do know there were six. In some way, I was resigned to knowing that whatever happens, happens so I went through the gate.” Her voice held almost a fatalistic tone to it.
Mike glanced at his own notes of her fittings and nodded. “Did you have time to get active systems up?”
“Sort of.” She said vaguely and Mike attributed it to the same fog of war and amnesia of adrenaline. “When the Mach decloaked, the very first thing I saw was an evemail notification for 6 kill rights. The red capsuleer timer flashed up top, my shield was gone, and I was mid armor. I brought up the two invul hardeners and started the booster. I pointed the boat towards the first blinky I could see. Started lock up, and noticed there were quite a few blue lines crossing my vision.” Now she smiled.
“Incoming or Concord?” Mike asked.
“Neither, my targeting failed as the gate-gun handled the issue for me, at this point I see im surrounded by Concord, and there are no hostiles left.” She grinned. “Wrecks, yes. Hostiles, no. I’m sitting with 25% shield, 25% armor, no structure damage,”
“What were they flying?” Mike asked
“Tornados. 1400mm protos, gyros in the low, tracking computer w/track script as well as a pair of invulns, large shield extend. It was cookie cutter -68 million isk setup.” She shrugged. “I point the boat towards the SoE office in Sheroo and dock up. Once docked, I sat. Maybe an hour. I meticulously poured over all that just happened. I looked up all their names, set my standings. researched their past kills. setups, corps, everything. all of it was valuable.”
“Knowledge always is.” Mike agreed
“Three of them are ‘gank’ regulars, tornado flyers, several missioner BS kills in and around Apanake and Lanngisi. I believe they intended to catch me in mission, I don’t think they wanted to try it at the gate.”
Mike frowned. “I wonder if they miscalculated due to planning to hit you in 0.5 then rushing in a 0.6.”
“Yes I think I accelerated it so, they were ON the gate waiting to jump. Their weapons didn’t hit me at optimal.” She shook her head at her luck. “It took me 3-4 days to get going on missions again”
“In the end, I only lost the MTU – to decay.”
Mike laughed. “Poor little thing tidying up surrounded by all those drones. I wonder if they adopted it?”
Caution. For all that the null folks complain about the safety and relaxed carebear attitude you still need to exercise it.
Have you ever had that little voice inside warn you that something wasn’t right?
Look at this incident from both sides. What did the gankers do wrong? Where was Merinne lucky and where were her skill the deciding factor?
As it stands the gankers lost 6*68 mill = 408 million isk Now I don’t know much about ganking as a hobby. Would that loss hurt?
fly it like you won it