Being scary in my Onyx, and stealing a tower

26th February 2010 – 5.40 pm

A hauler is making its way back to the tower and is asking if an escort is available for the w-space journey. I have my new Onyx HIC, I think I can at least appear threatening for a while, so I agree. It will be a while before the hauler gets in to w-space, though. Another plea comes to rescue a pilot stuck in a hostile class 5 w-space system, where Tengu strategic cruisers are spotted on the directional scanner. I don't quite fancy that, personally. But he has only forgotten to bookmark the wormhole out and needs someone to pop in to the system to give him a point to warp to, so it's not quite as dangerous as rescuing him from the attentions of Tech III ships. He gets a volunteer willing to be the beacon.

I follow a colleague's Zealot heavy assault ship and jump in to the neighbouring system just to see what's happening, preparing for the hauler's entrance. Sitting on the other side of our connecting wormhole and punching d-scan shows signs of occupation, but a colleague mentions something about them not being dangerous. I think I'll buzz them in my Onyx. Using d-scan to find the moon they anchored their tower to, helped by my colleague's knowledge that it was around a planet with a single moon, I warp in. I don't quite know what I'll find. A warp disruption module is visible on the scan but there is no sign of hostile ships, and this is effectively my maiden flight in Ro-Jaws, even if I've already been shot at.

There they are. A Helios covert operations ship, an Iteron hauler, and a Viator transport ship, all close to a Caldari tower that is in the middle of being unanchored. What a target, made more alluring by only the Iteron being piloted. The warp disruption module must be elsewhere in the system. It looks like the hauler is waiting for the tower to un-anchor to scoop it in to its hold, but why there are two Tech II ships floating in space next to it is a mystery. At least they had the good sense to anchor the tower some distance from the moon, as they are quite out of range when I drop from warp. As my colleauge in the Zealot joins me, I hit the micro-warp drive and burn towards the ships, feeling quite aggressive in my pointy and mean-looking ship. I am not able to close the gap quickly enough, the sluggish Iteron able to turn and enter warp before I can lock down his drives. But we are left with some goodies.

The tower still has a few minutes before it unanchors, and we need to find pilots capable of flying the two hulls in front of us. The pilot rescued from the class 5 system next door is able to get the Helios back to the tower, and our hauler coming in from New Eden docks his ship to come and pilot the Viator, the only engineer who can. Meanwhile, Onyx and Zealot sit around looking suitably mean, expecting others to come looking for their possessions. But no one comes, and we are able to snatch the two ships and haul the tower away with no incident. I imagine the Iteron pilot is just happy to have got away cleanly, unaware that it was a carebear who trepidatiously warped in and closed the distance with him. But facing specialised combat ships in an unarmed industrial vessel is never going to end well.

I am a little disappointed in myself. I was surprisingly nervous at facing non-combat vessels, which probably delayed my actions a little. I also didn't interpret the overview quickly enough, failing to realise which ship was piloted and which weren't. But this only shows a lack of experience, and that can be rectified by throwing myself in to similar situations again. As a first attempt, the engagement has been suitably benign to let me recognise without consequence issues that I can correct. I still have a lot to learn and am probably a bit too attached to my ships. At least I know that I can give the impression of being a menacing pirate. And when you want to appear dangerous sometimes it is enough just to pretend.

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