Our alliance had its first birthday - celebrated by a feature film of the award-winning Director Oreamnos. His appreciation of kinetic combat scenes is legendary – he taught Michael Mann his craft, after all – and he composed and performed the accompanying score that is already lauded as one of the greatest musical masterpieces of all times. The movie will be out shortly in selected theaters but an exclusive preview can be obtained here.
But I was going to a tell a tale of rescued kittens, wasn’t I? Well, I happened to be caught outside of our C4 in my scanning Proteus after a few days R&R in our C2 hole. My corp mates fire probes and start scanning a route while I drift in known space, not quite sure what to do until they find one. Might as well throw my probes in the air and see what happens. The new scanning system makes that task trivial, I find a nice wormhole in the first try and since known space scares me, I jump in and look around. Nothing much, me thinks, a tower and a bubble (good), its a C2, mine is this is not the static hole (very good) and Wormhol.es gives shows me the ownership, a large corp but seemingly full of carebears. Lovely place, this.
A little bit of warping around finds me two more towers and a Mackinaw on D-scan. Oh and a battleship of some sort, forgot what kind. The Mackinaw is easily found, he hangs out in one of their two Gravimetric Sites. Nice. Normally, I’d bookmark an asteroid close to him, then find a suitable celestial to bounce from for a close attack. Its not that easy this time. The massive ship has wedged itself between a bunch of intimidatingly large rocks which are rather dangerous to warp to – gauge the range too short, I bounce off like a squash ball off a fat woman’s thigh, too long and I likely run into some other rock that decloaks me before I am in point range. So, I play it safe, slowboat gingerly through the rockfield, the mining ship obliviously sitting about 40km away, when the massive thing turns around, aligns away from me an warps off – clearly to his POS. Arrgh! Should have fired up the microwarp drive and be done with this! Damn it, me and my pussyfooting.
I extract myself, head to the POS perch and watch him do …. nothing. Instead of cursing my incompetence, I just make me a sammich (TM) and get a beer. I am used to this slow stalking. Someone will have to move eventually and bet that my target is greedy enough to drive his Mackinaw back into the rocks. Unless of course, he is somewhat experienced and notices that he has an additional signature – the hole I opened.
With beer in hand and munching wurst, I return to my PC and glance at an empty POS. My Mackinaw! He is gone! D-scan. Phew. He is still there. In the asteroid field, where he belongs. I just quickly check the other POS – yes the battleship is still there and manned – and I warp in behind my prey for a nice, short approach. With rocks left and right, I plot a vector directly into his rear end, decloak at 20km, target, scram, guns guns guns and d-scan in case something jumps me. It doesn’t. The Mackinaw is toast and I happily catch the POD – entangled in the same rocks I was afraid of.
Well, that was the Mackinaw. I loot what I can fit into my Proteus and scoop the corpse for my (very small) collection. But now its time to cloak and watch what the opposing team does.
Well, the Battleship is gone, I don’t know where to and I am wondering if he got scared or went through their static into the C4 to run sites. But I need to call it a night, I decide to log out in this hole, I like these people and maybe there is more activity in the morning
And yes there is. Logging in finds me a Retriever on D-scan, who – predictably – floats in the belt suckling on Bistot. My contact list shows me that quite a few of the opposing team are online and do I spot a piloted Drake at their POS as well. Ok, this could get interesting. I have tested my new Proteus fit against my own – overtanked – Drake on SiSi and am pretty confident that I can an average Drake down – unless he has so much DPS that he takes me down first. Its a gamble, but for this to work, the poor Retriever needs to be bait and since he even has Hobgoblins out, he qualifies as a genuine PvP ship. Wait. Hobgoblins. Really. In a Wormhole C2 Grav site. Uh-oh, newb-alert.
Anyway, Retriever blows up and the Drake disappears from D-scan. The pod escapes me and I loiter, waiting for someone to jump me but nothing comes. They seem to be fairly scared and I don’t blame them – getting bushwacked like that is unsettling.
So, I decide to bail from this hole, I kind of have a guilty pang about this all. I mean, 2 miners blown up in a row? What kind of PvP is that. I scan down the new exit and drop into high security space but before I re-join my C4 crew, I convo my last victim and tell him that the coast is clear. Its a courtesy call that I tend to make when I spot someone very green – just so that they can change their underpants in peace. If the conversation is cordial (and virtually all are), I explain what happened and give tips how to avoid it.
The guy tells me his tale and while he is talking, I grow angry. Not at him, but at his corp. He was recruited pretty much out of the tutorials into a large high sec corp that was wardecced at the time. Basically cannon fodder. His corp told him, yeah, don’t worry about the wardec, bring your retriever to our wormhole, nobody will find you there, perfectly safe. And so, with a whistle on his lips our new guy packs his One Prized Ship and starts pecking away at rocks without ANY knowledge of scanning, scouting, D-scan or Wormhole mechanics. He now reports to me that he is lost without a ship inside this hole, has no bookmarks and has no idea what to do next. What corp does that? Our own recruits may not get spoonfed but we have an active support system, helpful forums, lots and lots of alliance help and but we also have standards – recruits need to be able to fly a T1 scanning frigate and know how to scan. This corp, nothing. I am really tempted to turn my ship around, bring my crew in and really, really screw with these clowns, then scoop up their recruits and give them a proper home.
But no, I adopt the role of The Helpful Neighbor called by The Old Lady to rescue Her Kitten out of The Tree. In this analogy, I threw the kitten up the tree and sawed the branches off while carrying a shotgun, but you know what I mean. So, now I am in rescue mode but since this is EVE and not pleasant Midwest suburbia, I park my Proteus in a station and pick up a Velator – if they set me a trap, they can have a newbship kill. I warp back to the hole into the C2, invite my friend into fleet and to warp to me – expecting a full complement of bubbles and mean PvP ships, with my charge sitting among them with devilish laughter.
But nothing of that kind. My friend warps to me and out with great speed and efficiency and then explains that he has no idea how to set bookmarks. He doesnt have one on the other side either, jumps back into the hole to correct this oversight and wonders why he can’t jump back out to High sec again. All of a sudden, I feel sooo old….
Yes, child, you are now polarized.
Polarized, Granddad, what is that?
Child, it means that you must GTF away from the %#&@ WH where you are a &#^# sitting duck. Now &#^$ing move before I get my &$&#@ cane and beat you senseless
Yes, Granddad I will do that.
Anyway, the guy seems very cool and I send him on his way with stern warning not to ever mine in Wormhole Space alone and without a full intel detail protecting him, then I invite him into our recruitment channel and bid him farewell. He has some time yet to train but I like his spunk and resolve and if he sticks with it, I am sure that he’d make a great Wormhole pilot. Over the last few days, he has been hanging out in our recruitment channel stumping our team with questions on missions that we have not done in 3 years and its been great to chat to him. A few more weeks soaking skills and I’ll really hope to be able to recruit him.
Thus goes the tale of the rescued kitten…