Saturday, 30 August 2008

Survival of the small fish

After a good night's rest, I grabbed breakfast (ok, a nutribar isn't much of a breakfast, but it does the trick) and jumped on my Osprey. I checked my comms channel with my corp, and true to form... no one had woken up.

*Hrmf*

"Typical."

"Lazyasses..."

Instictively, I checked if ammo was loaded and then hit the launch sequence.

"Ah... how nice these auto-undocking sequences are" I mumbled to myself.

True to form, my ship exited the dock gate, I picked a belt in the system that had brought me quite some profit the day before and a series of commands went down the neural link at the speed of thought...

>> Target location acquired
>> Ship alignment...
>> Ship alignment complete
>> Warp Initiation...
>> Warp Initiated

The viewpoint I had of the outside world narrowed, as the ship went to warp and the camera drones hustled inside the warp bubble surrounding the ship.

Arriving at my destination, my ship started frantically acquiring targets, in the form of... asteroids. A had a second sweep with my scanner to confirm no other ships were present.

Good. I like a good, quiet morning.

Mentally flicking through the sensor overviews, I marked half a dozen rich plagio roids and discarded the rest. After a moment of consideration, I moved closer to a pair of them and brought the Acid Grasshopper to a halt.

The tier 2 miners flared up and started cutting out big chunks of pure ore. I set a canister near me and drifted into the slow-paced monotony of the glorious cycle of the lasers.

[...]

About an hour later, and with the can almost full, I decided it was time to haul. I disengaged the lasers and...

My eyebrow was instinctively raised at the sight of a small frigate that had just been picked up by my sensors. I was slowly coming closer. I marked the ship and started downloading information on the ship and the pilot...

Hmmm... Tier 2 frigate. Laser weapons fitted most probably. Pilot... experienced.

I idled. And then it hit me.

He started flashing all red on my overview. The canister that was right next to my ship had just imploded, a clear sign it'd just been left empty and with the pressure seal open.

I immediately locked him with my weapons (well, my one malkuth class assault missile launcher), and readied the two light attack drones to launch.

The synapses in my sleepy brain got it right. A "can flipper". That's what he wants! He's flagged as free-to-fire from Concord for me and my corp. But I'm alone this early in the morning. And badly outgunned.

A few select swearwords were hissed down the comms channel, with no intended recipient on the other end.

I check my corp channel. I flick through all my known comms channels of friendly corps. No one near, no one that can help out.

I orbited around the can he'd left, containing my ore. He initiated a comms channel.

>> "Hello"

>"Goodmorning"

>> "I got your ore here. You want it back?"

>"You stole my ore more like it."

>> "It's worth about 1,5 - 2 million"

....

>> "I'm a fair guy, you can pay me half of that, I'll sell it to you for 750k isk"

"Sell?!" I thought to myself. "No friggin' way!"

>"No thank you." I hissed my reply.

>> "If you don't pay me, I'll be forced to blow it all up. Do you really want that?"

> "Go ahead."

>> "It's a waste of ore... and your time... As I said I'm a fair guy..."

> "Go ahead an blow it."

>> "Unless you want to fight me and take it"

Oh great... to add insult to injury, he thinks I'm a total idiot. Me in my mediocre miner, armed just for the occasional wondering lowly rat-pirate, against a T2 frigate, probably armed to the teeth and specced just for the job. Yeah. Fair play from a "fair guy".

> "Nope. Go ahead and blow it. Cause there's no way I'm paying you and there's no way I'm fighting you in this"

>> "Ok."

I see his lasers fire up and the canister blowing up in a small blast, all contents scattering in an irrevocably irretrievable form.

But I'm already warping. I bite my teeth and this is already past me. I got joked upon. I got "velvet" pirated. But I reacted in the correct way. Warping to HQ station, I replenish my ammo, undock and head to the next system.

Next system being a dead-end system, I hope that guy doesn't show up again.

I pick a belt, warp in, set up business and start filling another can.

45 minutes later, guess who shows up? Yup, it's the damn pirate again.

He initiates comms. I cancel. He initiates again...

>> "Hahaha same deal as before?"

I load as much ore to my cargo bay as it will fit.

> "Go ahead and blow this one up too :)"

I close the channel.

He initiates comms channel a couple of times more, I cancel them, with the thought that I make him pay for them, without him getting anything in return.

I turn around, target the can with my weapons, and fire a couple of missiles at it. The pirate's ship comes closer and firing at the can in turn, blows it to bits. Again.

That's nearly 4 million ISK he's cost me so far... and that's quite a bit by my tiny debt-laden wallet *sigh*

I flag him and his corporation as red, with -10 standing towards me. The standings flag propagates to the rest of my corp's ships. Reason "Can flipping. Piracy".

I spent some considerable time for the rest of the afternoon mining a single cargo bay and warping back to station each time.

I'm determined not to be put off my business by whomever, whatever, whenever.

I am a small fish, and I need to survive.

And survive I will.

[NEXT: How a lowly miner gets *gulp* concorded!]

8 comments:

` Tiger313 said...

Time for a bigger ship, mate. Retriever will do nicely untill you can get yaself a Hulk =o)

Solemn Phoenix said...

The whole incident happened in my Osprey :)

I'g getting flight clearance for the Retriever (and a much needed for hauling Iteron IV) in less than a week now ;)

And THEN it's 34 days intensive training in the ORE facilities nearby to get clearance to fly the Hulk!

Largo said...

With the Retriever coming, this may be moot... but...

Train Anchoring I and invest in a few Giant Secure Containers. Then you can mine and fill the anchored, password protected GSC's. No can flipping with these...

Solemn Phoenix said...

Point taken, but I don't believe in secure containers. It turns mining logistics up a notch, and in order for them to be effective, you need a TON of them, spammed all over the place.

` Tiger313 said...

GSC's are good when you use a small ship. For Minign barges/Exhumers you'd need a secure can the size of a general freight can, seeing as I can put out a full jetcan in under 10 minutes in my Hulk with fleet bonuses. But there's no secure can that size. Ahwell =oT

` Tiger313 said...

I cnat tpye! O.o

Manasi said...

1.) Nice job on not losing your ship mate not always easy to do.

2.) Rather than go retriever why not battle cruiser Aside form the Caldari Drake which wont mine at all the ferox does an ok job.

What I am driving at is this, retriever explode very fast and you cannot solo mine with it. A Hulk is a little better but not much. I own a Rokh and while I do not mine much anymore I can almost keep up with a hulk in my Battleship. 8 Miner II's plus 4 mining laser upgrade II's makes one hell of a mean miner, oh ya I can tank belts rats till the cows come home in .5 0.0 or any other security status system. plus i can load 5 miner drones, and 5 warrior 2's fairly self sufficient, if you want even more protection try ecm drones they work well are fairly cheap and can save ya.

~Manasi

Solemn Phoenix said...

It's not a bad idea really, but the Rokh (and the similar -though gallentean- Dominix) are not pure miners. The Hulk will outmine anything in the long run.

I do mine in .5-.6 really, and the rats can chew the retriever to bits (that is one seriously fragile ship), but I'll tough it out and use good drone skills for defence. And when mining in group, there's a nice swarm of drones on protection duty ;)

The Rokh/Dominix are ideal for mining in 0.0 really, and definitely the way to go for any battle-hardened character that wants to feel confidence in their ship, but they will never reach mining Valhalla ;)

Thank you for the input though, it's a "branch" of mining solutions that we shouldn't forget :)