Friday, 1 November 2013

Some surprises aren't nice

The steady hum of the tractor beams and buzz of the salvagers was lulling her into a soporific state. Out here, one could easily fall into comfortable meditation. The beautiful nebulas reminded her of life in the caravan with her parents. Mara was remembering the attack, the walls exploding as the boarding parties bypassed the airlocks and just punched straight through the ship's hull. The slaver hounds, drool hanging from their gaping, razor-toothed maws. The growling.

The growling erupted into banshee screams. The world around her melted into a haze of red. Blinking red. The painful feedback from the capsule's neural interfaces was feeding her details of shields under duress. She woke up and let her eyes wander back out into space, the camera drone revealing the nature of the scene around her Noctis.

Blinking red on the overview to indicate criminals, two Catalysts had warped in on top of the salvaging operation and were blasting away with neutron cannons. Simultaneous with the attack, a message from CONCORD bleeped into existence: the usual rhubarb about kill rights, notification that a response squad was en route, and a reminder to insure all ships before heading into space.

Mara opened the corporation social channel, "Hey guys, do you reckon these two catalysts will get my Noctis? Will I shortly be waking up in a cheaper clone?"

"Ha!" retorted Zack, "the way you treat your ships, those Catalysts will die of embarrassment before getting through your shields!"

Shields were down to 50%.

"I dunno, they're making a decent effort of it. Shields down to 50% already."

A few more blasts from the Catalysts. Shields down to 40% … 30% … 20%.

"How long until CONCORD gets there," asked Zack.

"I'm not sure. They promised as rapid a response as possible, given the remoteness of the system, yadda yadda — wow! They're almost into armour! Stellar effort guys, would watch this again!"

Almost too soon, the CONCORD drones arrived and within moments the catalysts had been reduced to rubble. Mara proceeded to loot and salvage the wrecks, pondering the absurdity of the situation. Her thoughts interrupted by a brief message from the erstwhile attackers, "lol nice tank."

"You'd think they would at least scan my ship first to determine whether they had the firepower to take it out, wouldn't you," suggested Mara. The retorts from her corpmates were varied in effusive vulgarity, but unanimous in sentiment.

Worried more about the mental stability of fellow capsuleers than the blast marks on the paintwork of the Noctis, Mara went on with salvaging the remainder of the wrecks on the battlefield.

Today's lesson: before you head off ganking random ships at least scan the target's fitting. If you see a damage control and reinforced bulkheads on an ORE vessel, you're going to need more than just a couple of Catalysts.

PS: If you are running missions, mining or otherwise messing about near Lanngisi: make sure you have docking and undocking bookmarks, and keep an eye on d-scan. There be pirates about. I have watched many a bling-fit mission ship being blown up in Lanngisi over the last week.


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