The wife leaves with the kids, and will be out for 2 hours. It is one of my rare opportunities to play EVE without fear of interruption. Well, aside from possible orders via SMS.
I put down the haulers I have been playing with, pause the skill training, and jump clone back to the Loki. The training is restarted, and I toggle the Character sheet a couple of times so the icon stops flashing. It is nice to see the next clone jump availability sitting under 22 hours.
I slide into the Loki and give it a quick once over to ensure everything is online and supplies are stocked. I then clean up my bookmarks, which are a mess from my previous outing. Finally I undock, and wow, what stunning views.
Ekuenbiron in Verge Vendor
Let the scanning begin.
Ekuenbiron – 2 (Data, Combat)
Raneilles – 2 (Combat, Combat)
Vay – 0
Scheenins – 0
Jufvitte – 0
Amygnon – 1 (combat)
Back through Jufvitte
Ansalle – 1 (data)
Maybe I need to move closer to Jita to find Wormholes? I check and it is currently 17 jumps away.
Gisleres – 2 (Combat, WH to C2)
In my 8th empire system I finally find a wormhole, which I use.
Classified WH – 9 + Entry
I appear near an outer planet. I bookmark my entry point and hit D-Scan. 2 Towers, 2 Forcefields, an Archon, Orca, Thanatos, Archon, Retriever and Megathron. As I warp away re-cloaking I check for recent activity, finding a ship death and some NPC kills about 6 hours earlier. That doesn’t bode well.
My ship falls out of warp near a Customs Office. As I am looking at Dotlan I suddenly notice I have an Epithal on Grid – 64km away from me. He is off in short order and there is nothing I can do about it. At least someone is active.
I hunt down the two POS I saw on scan. The first is on Moon 2, with a piloted Mega, piloted Retriever, floating retriever and floating orca. I find the second POS on Moon 1 with a piloted Iteron V, piloted Epithal (a different one), and floating Achron (x2) and a Thanatos.
So there are at least 5 active pilots in system.
I warp to the Planets around the Sun, but find no further POS. As I am snooping around one or two Epithal keep appearing and disappearing off scan.
I make a halfhearted attempt to chase them, but it’s obviously futile.
I warp back to the POS on Moon 1 to watch. As I am busy writing down some Intel I just catch an Epithal warping out to a Customs Office, but I am not quick enough to see which one it goes to. Why do these things happen when I am not paying full attention?
Then a Shuttle joins the pilots in the POS shield and swaps into another Epithal. I’m ready now to watch this one closely. And I wait. And I wait. And just when I am thinking I might go do something else he starts moving. I watch where he flies off too and am confident I have the right Customs Office. Warp seems to take an inordinate amount of time to enter, and I am already thinking I might be too far behind. I narrow the D-Scan field down to a sliver, and keep refreshing. The Epithal is on Scan, on scan, on scan, on scan, on scan, damn. It disappears before I reach the Customs Office. I suspect I got the wrong one.
He returns to the POS at the same time I do, and swaps back into his Shuttle.
Then a Tengu warps in.
Ok – I am sort of getting some things right, but I just don’t seem to be quick enough. I can’t decide if I am unlucky not to have picked the right Customs Office, or lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had. I know my time in EVE is limited and I can’t sit around all day watching people. Normally when I find an active hole I tend to quietly slink out the way I came. This time however I decided to warp back towards the center of the system and scan some of the 9 sites down to look for another wormhole. That should at least wake people up.
As I land at a previously made safe I can see an Epithal on scan again – oh, and some Sleeper wrecks. Ooohhh, and that piloted Retriever. I noticed there was on Ore Anomaly earlier, so I used D-Scan to verify that the wrecks and Retriever were in it. I presume the Tengu had cleared the Sleepers, so the Retriever might be settling in for a mining session.
I still hadn’t launched probes or uncloaked, so I figured I’d warp into the Ore Site and see.
I arrive to find I have the place to myself.
I’m looking at my watch and calculating when the family will be home, and trying to work out how long I should wait. Oh hello – the Retriever drops back on grid. He must have bookmarked an asteroid and warped out and back in again to move to it. I pull up my mining overview (which I had hidden the previous foray into WH space), bookmark an Asteroid near the Barge, and do the same.
As I warped back in I felt nervous and have a mild case of the shakes – but not as bad as I have done in the past.
I land 23km away, but then had to carefully pilot around several asteroids to avoid being de-cloaked on them.
This could end up being embarrassing.
I get to 9km away, give one last check of D-Scan, hit approach, de-cloak, turn on the MWD, Sensor Booster, Damage Control, and target, target, target, target – locked. Scram on and the guns firing I select Orbit, watch for drones, and check D-Scan again.
The damage application appeared to be a bit slow, and I realise I am orbiting outside of optimal. I probably shouldn’t be orbiting at all. I turn off the MWD and overheat the guns. In what seems an eternity but was probably fairly quick the Barge finally explodes. The pod escapes but only just. I don’t even bother looting – I just target and destroy the wreck and warp away.
I watch D-Scan and see a flurry of ship changes being made – Hurricane Fleet Issue, Dominix, Falcon, and extra Tengu. I wait 5 minutes, warp to the entrance Wormhole, and quietly make my escape.
I move over one system, dock and repair the slight damage from the over heat, and contemplate the situation.
Scolluzer – Docked.
My wife gets home with the kids just as the repairs are finished, and I have to call an end to the session.
Latest Trip Count – 3 sessions, 23 Empire Systems, 9 Wormholes, 1 kill
To the poor Retriever Pilot it might have looked like I knew what I was doing. In reality it was a bit bumbling and instead of an intuitive or honed hunter, it was more like I was just following a checklist off in my head.
It was my first kill in 11 months, and the very first Mining Barge.
No – I didn’t come away feeling like I have been bitten by the PVP bug, or felt anything inspiring about the situation. I know it sounds pitiful to say – but I have been involved in more than 50 kills previously, and I know I don’t get a lot of satisfaction out of it. My main thought was that it was like I had broken some sort of Carebear rule by killing a Mining Barge! Still – mission accomplished in a fashion.