Never go back

29th April 2011 – 5.31 pm

Damn. I'm meant to be getting food to calm my grumbling tummy, but jumping back from the idle class 2 w-space system in to our neighbouring C3, and only one jump from home, I see two Dominix battleships on my directional scanner. The local tower is far on the other side of the system and, even if it weren't, this is the first time I've seen either ship here. It looks like I've stumbled across activity and I don't want to let it pass me by. Besides, I still have some time before malnutrition strikes.

It doesn't take long before the Dominices disappear from d-scan, even before I've had a chance to check nearby anomalies for them, and that's before I realise I didn't scan the system myself and only have connecting wormholes bookmarked. My best option for now is to warp to the tower to see if I can catch up with them, which I do. The pilots aren't stopping for dinner themselves either, as one of them swaps in to an Imicus frigate and starts crawling out of the tower's shields. That's a little foolish, but at least he's heading directly away from the centre of the system, where visitors are likely to have warped from. Never the less, I still see if I can 'bounce' off a different moon to get close.

I drop out of warp back at the tower closer to the Imicus, but neither close or quickly enough, as he is now burning back in to the shields after launching scanning probes. If he's simply going to spend an hour scanning I'm off to eat, but in a deft act of misdirection the pilot returns his pod to the Dominix without stowing the Imicus, and both battleships warp off. I took the thirty seconds to perform a passive scan of the local volume of space around the tower, revealing a sole anomaly, and the Dominices are now to be found there. I may well have a target when they come out to salvage the wrecks, but I need to refit first.

I'm returning from unsuccessfully ambushing a Hulk exhumer, swapping bombs for probes on my Manticore stealth bomber to save time jumping across five w-space systems, and now I want the bombs back. I could feasibly attack a salvaging ship without them but a bomb puts my point across rather more effectively. I jump home, shuffle the launchers around, and get back to the C3, bouncing off my bookmark at the tower to approach the anomaly from below in a bid to avoid decloaking on ships, wrecks, or structures. Imagine my disappointment when I see the Dominices are salvaging the Sleeper wrecks as they go, protecting their profit with combat ships. I don't know who else would be so unsporting.

Even if there won't be a salvager turning up, I still have targets. The Dominices are being shot by the Sleepers, which must be testing their tanks a little, depending on their configuration, and both ships are nestled almost on top of each other. I could throw a bomb that will hit the pair of them, lock both, and follow with torpedoes against the most damaged one. I'll need to align out, to avoid the pilots or Sleepers reducing me to a wreck myself, but I can cause a bit of consternation and, with a bit of luck, get a lucky kill.

I line up my shot, trying to stay at a decent range to avoid getting caught up in any unexpected situation, and decloak and launch. I lock both ships, select the one currently being attacked by Sleepers, and wait for my bomb to detonate before cycling my torpedo launchers. I align out to a planet, expecting either capsuleer or Sleeper to start shooting my tiny boat at any second, but none does. So unexpected is this turn of events that I stumble over how to continue. I want to keep aligned but I am just out of range of my warp disruptor, which would force one of the Dominices to stay in the anomaly. My decision is made for me ten seconds later when both ships warp out, my Manticore still shooting and a mere two kilometres away from pointing my target.

I cloak and wonder if maybe I should have been more bold. I knocked the Dominix down to half armour before the pair fled and I seemed to be doing decent damage. I at least expected the ships to target me and send their drones to attack, which would have chewed the Manticore up pretty quickly. As it is, they didn't even recall their drones, which are now being systematically targeted and destroyed by the Sleepers. Oh well, I gave it a go and did quite well. It's all experience and next time maybe I'll get the kill. And maybe that next time will come sooner rather than later, as both Dominices warp back in to the anomaly, seemingly to carry on shooting Sleepers.

The battleships clearly have remote-repair capability now, which will bolster their defences and makes a second assault by my stealth bomber futile. But maybe they won't expect a different, more powerful ship either. I warp home to swap ships, knowing that what I am doing can only end badly. I know that when pilots return to a site after being attacked that they are inevitably prepared, and most likely skilled, and that I should just leave them alone. But I want to try anyway. I stow the Manticore and board my Legion, warping back out to our static connection to return to the C3.

In the C3 I warp directly to one of the wrecks in the anomaly, where the Dominices were last clustered together. The two battleships are still there. I lock the two targets, burn towards them to get in to a tight orbit, and disrupt one of their warp engines. When in range I cycle my neutraliser modules, choosing the other ship from the one I'm shooting. My plan, such that it is, is to hold one ship in the anomaly whilst making the other powerless to help his colleague. The problem is that it's not working.

Actually, I have two problems. The first is that my plan isn't working, the Dominices no doubt exchanging capacitor juice as well as repairs, which I simply cannot drain quickly enough. The second is that the Sleepers have taken a dislike to my Legion, and are grinding through my armour without the Dominices needing to take a shot. Crap, make that three problems. One of the battleships has fitted a warp disruptor. I know this because Tyler knows this, and he's telling me I can't warp out because external factors are preventing it. My overview confirms the point on my ship, and I realise I'm dead.

My low armour has already triggered an alarm. I had to get close to activate my neutralisers, close enough that even burning away from the ships gives me too much distance to cover for the time my ship has left. I hold on until the last second, hoping that the Sleepers will come to their senses and shoot my target, or that maybe my neuts will finally drain the Dominix dry, but in that last second before it explodes I eject from the Legion. With little fanfare I warp my pod away from the half-billion ISK wreck. I bounce off a couple of planets to ensure my session change timer expires before warping to the wormhole, and I get my pod safely home. I think I should go and get my food now. Maybe one day I'll start recognising when the voices inside my head make sense, and then listen to them.

  1. 10 Responses to “Never go back”

  2. This may be pulling the curtain back a bit more than you like, but I noticed that in general you tend not to link your killmails, but it took exceedingly little googlefu to come up with this:

    What struck me as odd (I think odd is the word I'm looking for here) is the timestamp on the killmail compared to the date of this blog. I have a hard time believing you took your legion out against a pair of dominixes in a wormhole on two different occasions and died twice and the second one just hasn't posted yet.

    So...I guess the question is, do you allow for a significant (over a month) delay all of your blog posts for generalized opsec reasons between when you write them/the event happens and when you post them? Or do you just like taking some time to write before you post? Or is it something else entirely? Most of the blogs I read are written about the events that happened that day or at most the day before. What led you to decide to post about things that happened a month ago?

    By Frosstbyte on Apr 29, 2011

  3. Rumbled! Don't tell anyone.

    I prefer publishing content on a schedule, to give a steady stream of posts instead of big bursts. Combine this with a tendency to write too much and it results in a bit of a buffer between events and their appearance here. As it turns out I like it this way, giving me time to write, edit, and publish at my leisure, rather than feeling pressure to update content every day.

    Still, a good yarn's a good yarn, and I don't think my little adventures are time-sensitive. There is the occasional hiccup, but I've learnt to deal with them.

    By pjharvey on Apr 29, 2011

  4. I personally enjoy the stories regardless of if they are 1 minute or 1 month old. Game mechanics haven't changed so much since the event that I ask 'how did she do that?'. Plus by posting on a schedule I get to enjoy reading on a regular schedule.
    I have actually been waiting for the story to go with the loss (found it myself a while ago too) and enjoyed anticipating how it happened.
    Keep it up.

    By Fyreax on Apr 29, 2011

  5. "I know this because Tyler knows this" <3 <3 <3

    By Tomas Beck on Apr 30, 2011

  6. Heh, I hope you didn't take that as criticism so much as just surprised observation. You do a great job of blending the (usually bland) AAR and the (usually overboard) full RP descriptions into a very engaging story and this is one of the blogs I'll always check on my reader app if I see an update. It does lend for extra polish, so if it works for you, keep it up. Thanks for clearing things up for me!

    By Frosstbyte on Apr 30, 2011

  7. This may have been a good time for the "bunch of stuff" writing technique.

    "In the C3 I warp directly to one of the wrecks in the anomaly", a bunch of stuff happened, "and I get my pod safely home."

    You can't be faulted for wanting a bit of action, as WH hunting can be very slow, but you may want to wait until your targets are down to their last sleeper or two next time before engaging outnumbered and undertonned.

    A microwarp drive may help as well, allowing you to burn out of point range against battleships a bit more quickly, though I admit I know little or nothing about fitting a Legion.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Apr 30, 2011

  8. The problem about flying solo is not being able to know when your targets are down to their last Sleeper without going cloaked, and a cloak fit will compromise tank and damage. I just should have realised that when pilots return to the scene they do so prepared. I've seen it time and again, yet still don't learn.

    Hopefully I won't need to use the 'bunch of stuff' writing technique the next time.

    By pjharvey on May 1, 2011

  9. I didn't look at the lossmail, and had assumed your Legion was a cloaky fit when I posted my comment.

    By Gwydion Voleur on May 1, 2011

  10. A good assumption to make, based on my actions, but nope! I jumped straight in, head first. Not too smart, really.

    By pjharvey on May 1, 2011

  11. We are not supposed to jump in head first? Is that what is wrong? Are we guilty of "Doing it Wrong™" AGAIN!

    Also, here is hoping that you [or I for that matter] never have to resort to 'bunch of stuff' writing. Either it is important enough to write about or important enough to leave out.

    And finally, thank you for not linking kill-mails. There are way to many out there that say Victim: Glorious Leader Fin on them for my comfort.

    By Kename Fin on May 2, 2011

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