Unfortune Smiles

Coming off a series of highlights this last couple weeks, it seemed like nothing could go wrong. In retrospect, I can honestly say that nothing did go wrong; however, it is my uncomfortable duty to report that what did happen was the horribly right outcome of a series of unfortunate events. They all compounded to make for a mess of any happy feelings, confident postures and providential oversight.

So in the last couple weeks we had managed to hunt some things down, clear out the Sleeper menace at home and abroad and get started on the Big Industrial Project. We have had a lot of fun and were enjoying a lot more activity than usual. I believe strongly that the overall participation level of the wormhole population has declined. This could be a direct result of lower wormhole populations, new content to explore, ennui with existing activities in wormholes and even sheer frustration with POS towers and the seemingly level of attention given to wormhole space by those to make changes without due consideration for the opinions of those who have chosen to make it their home.

By this point, the intuitive reader is thinking, “The hammer is going to fall soon.” and would not be far wrong. Blatant foreshadowing is still foreshadowing and indeed things began to go horribly right.

The first stroke was mild and involved the somewhat startling revelation that the Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite triumvirate was no longer the be-all, end-all of industrial ore mining. It seems that times have changed since last I mined. Now even simple ores found in high security have high values and give the null-security ores a run for their isk. I will be the very first person in line to admit I have nearly abandoned my pre-wormhole, industrial roots in favor of fame, glory and acceptance that come from hunting down other pilots and relieving them of their threatening ships. No ship is too defenseless nor feeble for consideration and destruction. Besides – that same Venture pilot now, could be a Tengu pilot who will later try to end my clone.

Following closely on the afterburners of our need to train for Tech II mining crystals for ores other than Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite came the severe repercussions of what I will call the cascading retrieval fallacy. This purely hypothetical fallacy is best summed with the quote:

EVE Pilot > Well, at least it cannot get any worse.

Which is ultimately where almost all of our adventures end up taking a severe turn for the much, much worse. In this particular case, one of us landed too close to a tower, became entangled and ended up losing a ship. Due to some inter-dimensional cranial distortions, an attempt was made to recover the equipment and cargo that remained in the wreck of the aforementioned wreck. This recovery effort managed to swing a bit too close to the wicked hands of fate and join the previous wreck. A further futile effort was finally the fruitless failure we deserved, leaving us a few ships lighter.

Having beached our ships on the rocky shores of Isla de la Estupidez, we stepped back and evaluated some of our operations. Tired of losing ships, I planned to play it safe for a bit and only throw cheap ships away from now on. A couple of days later, Penny and I discovered a second wormhole at home and each of us went separate ways to chase any rabbits that we might find along the way. As I scanned, I discovered an incoming class 4 wormhole and a null static wormhole in this newly connected class 3. Not wanting to chase the null and dull class pilots, I toodled back up the constellation to see if Goldilocks or the Three Bears were active in the class 4. As we were manipulating some quantum singularities in and around our system, I managed to get caught up in a large group of people hunting stupid pilots like myself.

They could not pass up the opportunity to relieve me of my ship, though there was a bit of a tussle. Had I exercised a bit more patience, the result would have likely been much different. As it was, I did managed to warp away in my pod and laugh as their fleet leader messaged me:

Another Pilot > Sorry about that, we had almost given up.

This struck a resonate note with me, as I would have jumped in and shot the next pilot just as they had, and could not understand or buy any of the remorse they were trying to sell me.

As if to add insult to my ineptitude, I was flying solo around our home system a couple of days later and find a class 6 incoming wormhole out on the edge of the system. As I warp around home, I catch a glimpse first of a Venture in a Ladar (it looks like this really fills a needed ship-type class) and many other ships running some of our anomalies. Carefully weighing my options, I decide to make a play for the Venture as going up against several tech 3 cruisers with logistics support would be foolish. I get into range, set up bookmarks and launch my attack. My warp-fu was off slightly as I land at 0m to the fullerite gas cloud, but a full 40km from the Venture, I poor on the afterburner…

I lock him up, overheat the hamsters powering the feeble afterburner and let fly on the autocannons on the off-chance a stray shot will connect. Just as I get into range he flits off into warp and directional scan shows the others are moving away too. Bookmarking the best approximation of my recollection of the Venture’s position, I move away, cloak and watch the wormhole.

I guess it is not to be and head off to scout the static connection we have to a class 3 wormhole. Finding no anomalies to run, no connecting wormholes and only the static dull, null wormhole, I head back to see what might be going on at home. Jumping back home I catch sight of a Venture on the directional scan. I warp around the system a bit and do not see the other ships running any sites. I check the same ladar and find that the Venture is the same one from before, back in the same site.

This is too good to pass up! I quickly move to the tactical bookmark I set up earlier, align toward the guestimated bookmark of the Venture’s previous position and engage. It is about here that I remember, I did not refit and change the afterburner for a microwarp drive. This will have to be a priority as soon as I liquidate this little gas thief. I drop cloak before I land and immediately lock up and scramble the frigate and start pouring on the Republic Fleet Phased Plasma. This should be short.

Kename Fin > What could go wrong?

It is after shooting him a moment that I notice his shields pop back up. Repeatedly. And what is this, he is scrambling me? Sure this could not be a tra…

The cost for a new clone when you have 100 million skill points is enough to make John Rourke yell. I managed to flush out a Myrmidon, Tengu, Harbinger, Sleipnir, Cyclone, Vengeance, Hawk, Blackbird and Drake. The Cloaky Loki managed to at least explode in a pretty fashion.These are the types of things that happen when I try to fly around New Eden with a Penny.

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