Empty belts, and a comm transmission you never want to receive.

The blurry tube of light that is the warp conduit slowly fades away, points of light that are streaks snap back into position. The Leech slips back into sublight speed as smooth as ever. The Merlin is a vessel that I don’t have too much experience in piloting, but it’s slowly becoming a favorite of mine.

Setting myself in orbit around the planet I warped to after jumping into lowsec space, I pull up my directional scanner, and try to track down some unsuspecting capsuleer ratting in the belts. A quick scan of space shows 5 other pilots in the system. A full sweep brings up some contacts, but nothing that I can pin down. I begin to narrow down my search radius, focusing primarily on the local asteroid belts. Serpentis pilots frequent this area, and you can often times track down green pilots in this area, hoping to get in good with CONCORD or some other intergalactic faction. Personally, I don’t care much about the big wigs in space. I’m true to my corporation and it’s allies, and that’s about it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen combat. In fact, I haven’t fired a shot since my last run in with that Atron. I was thirsting for blood. I don’t care who they are, or what they’re flying. I want to bask in the atoms and debris that was once their safe little ship.

After spending time trying to track my next target down with the scanner, my bloodlust got the best of me, and I set in a course for a quick jump to the closest belt. Nothing. A couple of wrecks were floating around among the ‘roids, but they weren’t what I was after. I jumped to the next one. Empty. On to the next. Empty again. I slam my fist down on my nav computer in frustration. People tell me that patience is a virtue, but I’ve never been too virtuous.

I point my ship to the next belt, and jump in. My tactical overview beeps quitely, indicating a ship was in with the rocks. My heart stops beating for a second as I slip into battle mode, and the computer ID’s the transponder. I hear triple beeps from the computer as it resolves the transponders. A small Serpentis gang. Two defenders, and a Exequror. Well, they’re not what I was looking for, but they’ll satiate my hunger for now.

I jam on my microwarp drive, and begin targeting the 3 ships.  I close in to rocket range and begin unleashing my Caldari Navy Thorns on the Exequror.  The shields on the ship quickly drop, and I’ve got it limping in less than 10 seconds. My shields begin to drop due to the defenders finally doing their job. I turn on my energy vampires on the Exequror and my shield booster, and begin siphoning their energy into my capacitors, keeping me alive, and in the superior position. The Exequror finally blows, sending pieces of debris and particles flying. I swoop through the cloud that was once the crew of the ship, and turn to the first of the two defenders.

The frigates are better at close range fighting than the cruiser was, so 2 against 1 was a bit more evenly matched. My shield boosters were keeping up with the damage they were dealing, but my capacitor was not doing as well. To make matters worse, my comm unit began flashing, indicating that I had an incoming transmission. I never get calls, especially when I’m out in the belts. There can only be one person who’d have the blind luck to catch me in the middle of a firefight. I grumbled something under my breath about bad timing, and killed the audible notification. That’s going to have to wait. I refocused on my targets, and closed in to engage my vampires. The shields needed another boots, and my microwarp drive was draining my capacitors every cycle. I struggled to keep the balance between having enough speed to keep my prey in range, and managing my capacitor. The Leech turns like a bloated space slug when I’ve got the big engines on.

By the time I get the first defender popped, my cap is nearly empty. I now have to cycle between allowing it to recharge, and bursting the MWD to get into vampire range. The comm until acts like it’s being prodded with a stick from the other end, the flashing light seemingly pulsing faster, as if it will make me answer quicker. I slap the “Accept Call” button with my palm, and yell out “This is a REALLY bad time right now!” A voice come on from the other end, “Excuse me? How dare you talk to me like that? Do you know what time it is? Where have you been? You told me you were going to be home hours ago! Are you fighting again? You know we can’t afford to refit another ship!” I curse under my breath, then hope that the mic didn’t pick that particular obscenity up. “Hey sweetie! No, I’m just on my way back from having a drink with the boys in Jita. I know, I know, I’m late, but I ran into some old friends on the way back. I’m just finishing my conversation, then I’ll be back, I promise. Gotta go, the guys are calling me. Love you!” I slap off the comm unit, and unleash a few more volleys from my rocket launchers. I can smell the sweet smell of coolant leaking from the maintenance bay in the rear. I grumble a bit more, then start plotting the jump to back to the first gate back to my home system. The defender is still lobbing shells at me, hoping to avenge his fallen comrades. “Well buddy, I’d like to stick around, but you heard the lady. I better get heading out if I still want to have a bunk to sleep in!” With that, I fire one last round from my rocket launchers, and point the nose of my ship outside of the belt so I can get a clear jump. The defender is on my heels, trying to disable my engines. With a one fingered salute to my foe, the stars stretch, and I’m warping back to the gate, my ship leaving a light trail of debris and coolant. Oh well, there’s always next time.

As I pull into my home station, I make a mental note. I should have had all 3 of those Serpentis bastards. I’ve got to see if I can crank out enough resources to trade in the Malkuth rocket launchers for a nice set of T2 launchers instead.


2 Responses to “Empty belts, and a comm transmission you never want to receive.”

  1. Well written and entertaining. A pod pilot with a wife. What a life that must be.

  2. Hehe, zing?

    Nice post, I was little confused until the end. 😛

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