Silence the Informant

9th October 2008 – 8.08 am

'You want me to blow up someone's ship in a huge fireball that ensures no survivors, and pay me handsomely for doing so? Sir, do you have a newsletter, because I am intrigued by your ideas and want to subscribe to it.'

Agents don't buy people's silence through bribery, they instead pay other people to make sure that person won't be able to talk. Some of them pay really well, and I am offered a cool million ISK to take care of an information leak. It's not normally the best idea to plug leaks with heavy missiles, my plumbing never quite being the same since I overreacted a little because of a persistent drip, but in this case they are the best tool for the job.

Hitting vacuum and warping to deadspace I am beset by mercenaries on all sides, trying to protect their boss. I'm not sweating in my Drake, though, almost feeling an aura of invulnerability surround me after defeating The Blockade with few problems the second time around. You could even say I am being overconfident, somewhat cocky, particularly when my shields plummet down past 50% strength and continue to drop.

I am used to mitigating missile damage and have shield hardeners equipped and optimised for that but the mercenaries have quickly closed in range and are firing dozens of cannon rounds in my direction. My ship's computer cannot determine the type of damage the rounds are, whether explosive, thermal, EM, &c., which makes it difficult to work out how best to improve my damage reduction when facing cannons. Some research will need to be done, but perhaps not right now, as my shields are still taking a beating and are dangerously low.

A strategic overview of the battle hints to me that I won't be able to destroy all the mercenaries before they destroy my Drake, so a tactical withdrawal is necessary. However, it's worth my hanging around to take out as many of them as possible, even at the expense of taking some hits to my ship's armour. I keep my launchers firing heavy missiles until my shields are fully depleted and my armour is disintegrating around me.

Now don't get me wrong, it would normally be better to retreat with no permanent damage, but I have been flying with 97% armour strength for quite a while. So long, in fact, that I forget the fight in which I sustained that damage to the armour. I simply haven't been bothered to get it repaired. I could pay for the repairs in a station, but as I have an armour repairing module it seems like a waste of money. The module, on the other hand, requires me to fit it, swapping out a different system, head out in to space to activate the module, wait for it to repair the armour, dock with the station again and swap the modules back to my operational configuration. It is enough of a hassle not to bother with when my shields rarely fall below 40% strength.

With 3% of my armour damaged it's perhaps not worth repairing, but with 3% of my armour intact it now seems like a jolly good idea to get the whole lot repaired. The amount of damage is far too much to pay to be fixed, and is enough of a threat should my shields fail again that it is worth swapping the armour repair module in. I get the module fitted, pop out of dock for a couple of minutes and eat a sandwich whilst the armour is automatically repaired. It is not long before I am back in deadspace sending the mercenaries to an explosive doom and silencing the informant. At least until his clone is revived, I suppose.

It was a little disconcerting to have my shields fail, particularly so soon after believing them to be proven thoroughly capable in the toughest scenario I am likely face for now, but at least it got my armour back to full strength. And I got my man in the end. Another successful mission!

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