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Hunt: To Be, or Not To Be.

I have never agreed too much with Gallente ship design, always thought it to be too 'pretty'. The soft lines, a smooth bubbly forms... Put that Engineering effort into making a better Auto Cannon I say. But there is just something about the way that Thorax felt, that rush of power flowing in when all systems came online. I haven’t felt this way since my first Hurricane. Even the tight, swept back form of this vessel appealed to me. I continue to fantasize the killing potential in this craft until the proximity alerts go off.
Single Target in-bound. I had dropped out of warp less than fifteen seconds ago and already a target! Rifter class frigate. Thought spans in all directions, as my ship fires all engines, leans into a tight orbit, slips into partial warp with the Micro Warp Drive, and the concentration shifts to locking the target. All modules stand ready as my sensors pinpoint their target. I can feel my mouth water, I have to force I swallow.
Lock. A brief moment everything dims as all modules light off. Warp Scrambler, Statis Webifier, and Four Nosferatu modules. Almost as quickly, energy surges back in to the capacitors, bleeding the target dry.
The Drones, already armed, spill from their hiding place, blazing towards the target. Their first combined volley tears away the Rifter shields. No big accomplishment there, but when the second and third sear and char their way through the Rifter’s armor and into his hull I giggle. I command a ceasefire to the drones.
I hail my target. Two Hundred Thousand ISK. Short and sweet. I'm nervous at this point, I'd rather not become someone else's kill. This is taking too long. I start counting off over comms.
Five.
Four.
Three.
Two.
... A reply. "1 second"
One Decimal Five.
One and One Third.
One Decimal One.
Another message, begging "I'm a new pilot"
Decimal Nine.
Decimal Five.
Zero.
The drones eagerly jump to life. Their first volley ignore what little shield recharge had occurred in the interval. Pieces of the Rifter go spewing in all direction as that one lucky round ruptures the Fusion Core.
The Escape Pod flies past my Thorax, already initiated into Warp. That's fine. There will be others.
I hit Warp again; I spent too long in that belt. Next time I'll know not to wait so long. After a few belts my mind wanders back to the plasma cloud burning freely from my last target. What beauty is to be found in destruction!
Proximity alert! My warp drive had already aligned to the next belt. Scanners already cleared their cache. What was that?
I stop in this belt and fire up the MWD. I want some distance between me and the opponent. Local comms start to chatter. I'm being hunted! The thrill sparks again. A whole new rush, not of the kill, but of the chase.
I let my eagerness gets the best of me. I allow my position to slip over comms, and within seconds a Rupture class cruiser warps in. With over 243km between us, I realize that I am still in control of this fight. Just then, some Angel Militia Pirate's warp in to investigate. My opponent quickly dispatches them. In fact, so quick that my surprise attack doesn't succeed. I couldn't align that fast.
The same dance begins. Lock. All systems initiate. Drones released. I hear the larger Auto Cannons of my opponent penetrating my shielding, tearing into my armor. Enemy Drones sending their Lasers into my hull, separating steel from structure. I increase orbit and try firing some Smart Bombs that I had fitted to shake the drones, open distance to prevent Auto Cannon damage, but it was too late. Modules and main systems alike were shutting down. Damage controls had failed and most of the ship had de-pressurized. Now I watch from my escape Pod as my Fusion Core erupts. I chuckle, as the odd tingle the Pod has in its warp shudders through me, and I make a clean getaway back home.
Once at a safe distance I pull my attacker up on comms. I thank him, now I know what to be cautious for, I have learned. One more lesson, one more step towards my destiny.

I return to station and browse the markets for my next combat ship. I run a few simulations for Capacitor Efficiency, Shield and Armor Durability, and Weapon Damage Outputs.
But before I have a chance to make any purchases, other pilots from my corporation send me a fleet invite. We have a war target trying to make his way towards Rens.
I ponder a moment. Haste requires a ship already fitted, in hangar, and ready to fly. I put out the alert, scramble my Jaguar for immediate departure!
The Hunt Is On!


Cleared for publication by: Ander

Old Dog still learning New Tricks

Pator Tech. wasn't my first choice but then again, who ever gets their first choice in life? The day out from academy I used the last bit of isk I had (stolen) to buy a Reaper and a few fitting options. I set my NeoCom to monitor the "Recruitment" channel, where I would prove myself as the fiercest pirate in the galaxy and procure my fortunes and infamy.
I did meet up with a startup pirate corp, and went so far, far away to a system called "Jan" The galaxy was a lot bigger than I had imagined. Here I found out two things. One: T2 fittings and ships beat T1. And Two: I had no way to pay for or fly such things.
So my course was this- I make a fortune and pay for these things, and train constantly as hard as I could until I was the best! I invested in Learning Skills so I could train harder and faster than I supposed any other pilot could, and researched fitting schemes and money making ventures....
... I woke up. A year and a half later, there were foreign objects in the POD fluid, and I’m still aching from detox. I don't know where I am, no familiar stars are in view. I had been piloting the same ship class I had fantasized about, only it's scatted remains were in orbit with me around an unfamiliar moon. I rebooted my Navigation system and found that I was 44 jumps outside of any CONCORD presence. What I had been doing out here was still baffling me. I checked my comm systems, most of the data there was either encrypted or corrupted. A few sparse messages informed me that I had joined up with an alliance and then had been removed. My assets had been removed from my hangar and I was wanted. Infamy it seemed was not something I enjoyed. I'm not sure how I had escaped the same wrath the debris of my once proud ship had endured. That thought alone got my heart racing. Panic sobered me the rest of the way up and I stressed my ship systems in getting "home". I few close calls but thankfully my brain still knew how to fly this thing better than I ever remembered. I had dozens of "Books" downloaded that I cannot remember fully to this day, but I always seem to come up with the answer.
Lost and confused, I was accepted into a corporation to help with their industry concern. Oddly, I had also been trained in that too, although it bores me to no end.
Another year has passed. I have enjoyed the company of numerous pilots and been hired into a few corporations since. I finally have been accepted back into society and even get jobs from an agent or two from Brutor Tribe. I'm back in my homeland and it feels great...
...Until Yesterday.
The local channel fires up. A Pilot was upset that no one would "take his can" Producing such a challenge was not too smart, someone might take him up on it. I jump into my trusty Rifter. I open his can. Flagged for combat, his friends uncloak and I barely get my pod back into station. He laughs and informs me that if he had lost to a Rifter he would have quit flying.
Anger! Just like in those first long months. I have not felt this way in years. Only today, I have a generous account, the skill to fly ships of any race, and well, and the support of numerous other pilots.
I place a "Buy Order" on the markets for a Thorax. They have a deadly potential, and I have been researching other ships for more capabilities...

I will have my fleet, I will have my revenge.
Cleared for publication by: Ander