What I need... is a strong drink and a peer group.
-- Douglas Adams
So my life of Piracy got off to a bit of a rough start. Not one to be deterred, I started looking for some fellow Pirates who might be willing to take me in and turn me into the ebil piwate I knew I could be. By now I had read Skira's Guide to Piracy, and seen Wensley's post on the Pirate Academies of Eve Online. Who else was there to choose but The Blood Money Cartel.
Having put in an application for Blood Money Bootcamp, I endured three days of questions on their forums, and then an interview via EVE Voice, before finding myself accepted to their assessment branch where all young Pirates pass through on their way into the Cartel proper. Having not yet gotten a kill by myself, I was growing a little worried that maybe I really was too inexperienced for this life of crime, right about the time I was invited to join a small gang one system over.
This may be a good a time as any to get us all on the same page with my use of the term small. Blood Money prides itself on teaching new Pirates good solo and small gang techniques, and has a particular rule about how large fleets are allowed to be. We're not fans of blobbing, which is something everyone says, but no one agrees on how big you have to be before you're a blob. When I say small gang I mean three. When I say medium sized, I'll mean up to six. If I ever say large, I'm meaning more than that. So clearly we may not agree on what those terms mean, but that's how I'll use them. I remember calling a 10 man BC gang trying to hunt me in my Punisher a blob once and they got offended...but that's a story for another time.
So having been invited to join a duo in a Rifter and Arbitrator, I shuffled my little Punisher into the next system. Not too long after arriving, we saw a gentleman in local get GCC...and then a few moments later leave local. Now wait a minute, just where did he think he was going? Scanning about from safespots located his Wolf, but with no pilot in local. It appeared that he had chosen to instead wait out his GCC by logging off. Probes to the rescue! It probably doesn't take much imagination to realize we quickly padded our killboards with both an Assault Frigate and Capsule kill. It didn't feel too rewarding that my first kill was of a pilot who didn't shoot back, but the loot did soften the sting a bit. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for more prey to present itself...
It soon came in the form of a Vexor on scan. A Vexor quickly being surrounded by NPC wrecks at that. Before long, I in my Punisher and my Corpmate in his Rifter were flinging ourselves along an acceleration gate into his mission deadspace. Unfortunately, we were arriving 60km from our new friend (we'll call him Mikey). Not feeling a fight was in his best interest, Mikey warped away and quickly disappeared from our scans. Lucky for us, he left 5 Tech II medium drones as a parting gift. Taking a moment to collect them, we then hopped around looking for our new playmate on scan. Not finding him, I decided to dock, and sure enough there he was at the top station.
We bookmarked his mission and left the system, figuring we'd give him a few minutes to get comfortable again. If any carebears are reading this, know that now would have been a good time to have gone to lunch and come back in a couple of hours...this is not what Mikey did. After scanning the neighboring system for a minute and coming up short on potential prey, we jumped back into system with Mikey and immediately warped to his mission. Sure enough, Mikey's Vexor was just activating the acceleration gate and warping away as I arrived. Quickly following suite, I landed right on top of him. Applying my scram and quickly settling into a low orbit, I waited for backup to arrive as we danced a bit. Mikey's Vexor, not being fit for PvP, really wasn't able to apply much damage, and shortly after our Arbitrator with Tracking Disruptors arrived, no damage at all. Once he was in structure, we invited him to our ransom channel and offered to let him go for 10 million isk...