Test-piloting the Crane

6th August 2009 – 5.46 pm

In our rich little w-space system another radar site crops up on the scanner, waiting to be plundered. Again, a host of Sleeper ships are alert enough turn up to attack, showing that we really ought to have thought of a better name to give them. Even facing three Sleeper battleships our stronger fleet is in no danger, never having to warp out to replenish shields or capacitors, which we also could have done as the Sleeper frigates don't bother to scramble our warp drives. A new tactic of our battleships shooting their battleships and battlecruisers fitting assault launchers to destroy the frigates works effectively.

At the end of the fight we have wrecks to salvage and data banks to hack. I warp back to the tower and borrow a Buzzard, probably with permission, this time actually helping with the hacking instead of being nosy. My rudimentary skills let me crack each data bank open and I nab the contents, zipping around in the superb camouflage-coloured Buzzard, before returning to deposit all the loot in the hangar back at the tower. But the loot doesn't become profit by sitting in a hangar, it needs to be taken back to known-space to be sold. As I need to head out to maintain some industrial jobs I volunteer to make a stop at the corporation headquarters.

Ore may be bulky, but salvaged, hacked and analysed loot fits quite snuggly in to a normal industrial ship. It fits even better in to a sleek transport ship, one that can speed across the vast vacuum of space at eye-watering speeds, if only I had one. I may have trained my industrial ship skills adequately but the cost of buying the transport ship skill book as well as the ship itself, costing over ninety million ISK in total, deterred me somewhat when I was still working towards my first hundred million. But the profits from the wormhole operations have been good, and having someone toss me the keys to borrow their Crane for a day is an excellent motivation. I pop out of w-space and find an NPC selling the transport ship skill book and set the skill to train overnight, ready for the next day's travel.

Honest-to-goodness, that night I have a bad dream that I pilot the borrowed Crane in to the warp bubble of a gang of pod-thirsty pirates, waiting to snare unwary amateurs. Needless to report, I don't sleep well. It all turns out to be okay though, and it really was quite irrational to be worried about making a short trip in a blockade runner that I normally make with a Drake. And once out of the wormhole and back in to high-sec space I am free to blast my way from gate-to-gate at amazing speed! The Crane is a quite fabulous ship indeed. I even find myself targeted a couple of times when flying on auto-pilot between gates, maybe by curious capsuleers, maybe by opportunists, but flicking on the microwarp drive hurtles me towards the stargate to avoid any unwanted attention, as well as showing off quite blatantly.

It is not just the speed and agility of the Crane, the colours and details are most alluring too. The dark body with sheer red highlights makes the ship the ninja of New Eden, slipping between gates almost unnoticed, revealing only traces of its being in the system. I get carried away simply flying the ship around, even on auto-pilot, that I take an extra trip from the corporation base to my mission base to check on market prices for my sale orders, before heading back to the corporation base to install a new BPO copying job. I then head back to w-space, picking up a few guns and several hundred drones for use against the Sleepers on the way. I pop the fabulous Crane back in to the maintenance arrary, but I know that soon enough I'll be buying one for myself.

  1. 3 Responses to “Test-piloting the Crane”

  2. Wow, you make the Crane look and sound even better than I remember it. I think it's a good fit for you! I am thinking however that it needs a good set of fuzzy pink dice to hang from the rear sensor display cluster in the pod-pit.

    By Kename Fin on Aug 6, 2009

  3. Bonus surrealism points if you name your crane Tigress.

    By Melmoth on Aug 7, 2009

  4. Coming from piloting only Tech I ships, predominantly the Badger for hauling, the Tech II Crane is bound to fill me with excitement. Whizzing around faster than a shuttle is not going to get boring soon either. I have found a pod-pit accessory, now I just need the ship, a minor detail.

    As for a name, I can always be tempted by a Tigress, although perhaps 'Niles' would be a good choice. How does that make you feel?

    By pjharvey on Aug 7, 2009

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