Things are a little quiet during the first days. I only see one or two people logged in the citadel and occasional scouts checking the neighboring systems. Finally one evening I spot a Rattlesnake undock and warp to a data site.
I patiently wait for him to clear the waves. Every time I attack, sleepers turn their weapons on me and while I can usually tank, a c4 site can dish out a lot of pain, which can be hard to manage when you multibox 5 ships in a pvp. Why have it hard when you can have it easy with a little bit of patience? I wait for him to clear the 2nd wave and hope to make my move when there are only one or two sleepers left on grid. I also need to time my moment right. The Rattlesnake is aligned to the station so there is a good chance he will enter warp before I can lock him.
After watching the battleship for awhile, I start to suspect that he is aligned not because he is staying vigilant, but because he can't tank the bloody site. He warps back to the station and comes back. I have no problem with that, except the third time he warps back to the station, he never comes back. I watch the station pilot counter drop to 0 and stay that way for awhile. It's late in the evening and I need to call it a day. Sometimes patience has two sides of the stick and you don't always end up with a kill.
Welcome to EVE
Occasionally I would scout surrounding systems. Sometimes I would be too lazy and sometimes I would poke in and see who is living next door. On one such trips I find core scanner probes on d-scan and an Imicus named after his pilot. Looking up identity, I find the pilot is only a week old. Must be one of those alpha clones. I'm happy with all the new players coming in and even more happy to see them venturing inside the wormholes, but that usually means they will not carry anything of value. I sometimes ignore them, but sometimes I do scan them out. I feel like shooting somebody, so without hiding, I launch combats in plain sight, scan the Imicus and warp to 0. I find the ship in the middle of nowhere. Time to say "hi". It doesn't take long for my small smartbombs to pop him. Expecting to see a 2 million killmail, I get quite a surprise.
A 70 million worth of kill. This guy have hoarded quite a lot of loot during his exploration. And now he lost everything. I get a convo request and get asked for at least half the money as it was "everything" he had. I would imagine it was quite a lot of money for him and since he asked nicely I transfer him the half. Of course I could have sent everything back, because of "awww, a cute newbie", but what good would that do? He needs a small reminder that you can't relax in a wormhole space and need to develop a habit of checking d-scan. I was not particularly stealthy and it did take a long time to pinpoint his position.
Me and Trey were patiently waiting for targets in our new c4 system. Unfortunately, it's always quiet until I go to sleep, but then the very next day, system would be absent of anomalies again. As I have a job and live in a different timezone, I can only hope that one day our schedules to play EVE will collide. To make matters worse, I would wake up to read the following message in the morning:
Trey:Notice anything? Yep, Trey would spot a Paladin doing sites and send a screenshot of it. Unfortunately, he is not equipped to take it solo. It makes me sad and excited at the same time. Sad because I was in a deep sleep at the time and excited as I know locals use more expensive ships than just a Rattlesnake to do sites. However, days were going by and it soon was time for me to leave on my vacation. I jokingly say that it would be nice to score a kill before going away. On the last day, in the evening, I receive a ping:
Rifter Paladin -
Ѯetty Amarr Control Tower -
J130343 - Meme Come True Fortizar 176,473 km
Trey, [16.12.16 20:11]I couldn't believe what I've read. Overly excited I've scrambled to get online as soon as possible. I begged to Bob that Trey did not disconnect with the Paladin on grid. Once on, we started looking for the mystical Marauder. System had 0 anomalies and the Paladin was last seen 4AU from one of the c4 wormholes. At the time, we had a c3 and two c4 connections. Since c4 k162 was within 4AU range, we assume that's the wormhole he went in. We get the fleet ready and I jump in to scout. The system is huge, but flying back and forth, there's no trace of the Marauder. I then proceed scanning. It was a shattered wormhole, full of anomalies. If the Paladin went to farm the sites, why would he not do them in this system? It made little sense. I've resolved multiple connections and proceeded checking them out, finding no activity. We started to theorize if the guy was just moving his ship out. We were so confident that this was the wormhole the Paladin went to, but I couldn't help but feel an itch to check the c4 static. Maybe, just maybe, we are in the wrong system.
paladin in spcae....
Zosius, [16.12.16 20:12]
Fuck, be in 10
I jump in. So far nothing on d-scan. The wormhole is 40AU in size. I warp to the outer edge and behold. A Paladin and sleeper wrecks on scan! We discuss on the action plan. It will take awhile for the battleships to land on grid, so if we are not careful, my Proteus might have hard time tanking if there are a lot of sleepers. At the same time, we can't wait on the wormhole as someone from his corp might spot us. We decide to go for him at the site. We wait while there are 3 sleepers left and warp the fleet to the wormhole. I park the Proteus 7km off. A risky move to get decloaked, but it's an insurance policy. If I see the Paladin pickup velocity, I would immediately decloak and try to tackle him. Otherwise, I will only make my move when the fleet is half way in warp.
Everything goes without a hitch. The Nestors go in warp, I decloak and lock the Marauder.
Once the fleet lands I start my usual procedure. Lock with each ship, launch the drones and activate the neutralizers. By the time I do these steps with the last ship, usually heavy drones are already working hard at destroying the target's defenses. I hear a smartbomb go off, which sounds more like a dire scream for help. Grabbing a straw in hopes it will make the difference, but heavy neutralizers quickly sucks all the hope out. The Paladin breaks so fast that Trey does not even manage to lock it with his Bhaalgorn. I lookup the kill and feel my breathing intensify.
I can't tell how much I was looking forward to this kill. After finding a Rattlesnake after Rattlesnake, after killing rolling battleships, it's so refreshing to hunt down a shiny Marauder once in awhile. What a great Christmas present from Bob. I'm forever grateful.
I would like to use this opportunity and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let your guns stay hot during the cold winter and don't forget to share the ammo presents with your enemies. I will see you next year!