Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chapter Seven

Don't Afford What You Can't Lose To Flies

ISK Balance: 998,000.00

After obtaining a new Stabber and haphazardly bolting on some rudimentary Tech One gear, I was enjoying the relative calm of the Amarrian core systems when I noticed one of those convoys of NPC industrial ships lingering far from some station or another. Like the pests of the outside world, all players notice this common flavor of white overview cross, but discard the registery of their presence to the peripherial. They're just another thing to remove from the overview filters, like sentry guns or customs officials. Ever present, they're just another overlooked facet of a high security existence.

All of this made me want to shoot them very badly.

I've always had the sense convoys are one of those things that people accept as part of EVE without really realizing what they are or what they do. But I do know that they're one of those things that have special circumstances under which you can perforate their hulls with high-caliber projectiles.

So, with my brand new Stabber, I locked the hauler that was the most distant from the sentry guns, and activated my four standard issue 220mm Vulcans. I activated my warp distruptor as well, just for the hell of it.

Shortly after this decision, a blue flash lit up the surrounding space. It was not the blue flash from the hauler. Rather, I was in my pod, bobbing gently next to the twisted hulk of metal that looked nothing like the intact Stabber it was a moment ago.

The damned thing hadn't even earned a name yet, and it wasn't insured either.

Distraught and infuriated, I rushed past the sentry guns into the station, and undocked a moment later in an Ibis decked out for revenge.

Predictably, this ship was also turned into scrap by the same, much closer, sentry guns.

Fifteen minutes of impatience later, I undocked in a new Ibis and began hammering away at the hauler with my space-particle sucking civilian railgun. I grinned devilishly as my foe's shields began to dissolve and his blaster shots glanced off my own.

Despite the slow-going whittling of the hauler's defenses, I had not been shot to pieces yet, and I studied the ranges and angles of my attack for later use.

About an hour later, my Ibis picked over the largely disappointing remains, but I was content for I had discovered the magic of this particular set of game mechanics.

I contacted Amarria Black, who mentioned earlier in this thread getting me a new Stabber - something I decided I needed very badly at the moment. We struck up a conversation, and after a day-long bout of a strange take on in-game phone tag, I had bought myself a new Stabber and returned all 91,677.27 ISKs that remained of his prior generosity.

This particular Stabber, named Yggdrasil, even had some named modules nestled in next to those of the Tech One flavor, and it reminded me of the earlier days, when I was genuinely happy to have enough ISK to throw in such a minute luxury here or there, spending half a million instead of twenty thousand. I was glad to recapture a little bit of that simple joy.

After continued convoy bashing, one of which yielded me 220 units of Spirits - joy abounds - I angled northward again, for another go at that northernmost point. Determination filled me as I gritted my teeth for the second try through that chaotic region in which I had no friends. But the heartless nature of 0.0 beckons me.

Then, southward, to frolick like an annoying schoolchild in the midst of the massive fleets that dominate the southern front of the great war.

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