I'm so great even I get tongue-tied talking to myself.
Knocking the dust off one of the ships in my hangar quickly led to cruising familiar space looking for a fight. It also brought back all the voices I hadn't heard in a while. Some of these voices give me really good advice while I'm in a fight. Other times they can get a little carried away with thoughts of loot and get a bit reckless. More often than not, they're a little bit of both.
"Come on...just log in. You know you want to."
Alright, alright, but just for a little while. I only had about an hour of free time, but had been away from EVE for a bit and wanted to see how much trouble I could get into in such a short time. Turned out, I could get into quite a bit of trouble in that time. Undocking in my Malediction, I got one system over by the time I noticed some interesting things on D-scan. Before I could figure out exactly what was going on in a system with a Rupture, Jaguar, and Kestrel all in space in separate areas the Local channel sprang to life. It seemed that two of the pilots were arranging a 1v1. This could be interesting...
"Wait a minute. I thought you honored 1v1 agreements?"
What are you, my conscience? I honor my own agreements, but that doesn't mean I have to agree to anyone else's. I just needed to figure out where they were. Unfortunately, I seem to have gotten a bit rusty at the actual process of scanning targets to a celestial. There's a good chance they were dueling at a Safespot though, since there was no exchange of location in local, and although I scanned them at 5 degrees towards a cluster of objects, before I could determine which one their fight was already over.
I then intended to move on to another system, but every time I was ready to leave, someone else would enter the system and pique my curiosity. The final subject of my curiosity would turn out to be a Manticore appearing on scan for only an instant. Just when I was sure I had lost him, a new Faction Warfare complex appeared in space. Coincidence? Not bloody likely.
Stealth Bombers are pretty common for FW pilots running sites. They grant you free movement through lowsec in relative safety, while still providing the DPS to quickly take down the NPCs that spawn in FW Plexes. They're also the perfect prey for any new Pirates. The Stealth Bomber fit with Siege launchers may put out 250 DPS, but against another Frigate it's unlikely to get 10. Putting my ship into warp, I was pleased to see the Manticore appear on my overview only a few kilometers away.
"Quick!!! Kill it!!!"
I'm on it, chill out. As my lock resolved and my Scrambler ensured he wasn't going anywhere I started settling into a dance that could only end badly for the Manticore pilot. He did manage to land one solid hit as his dual Target Painters lit up my Signature Radius like a Christmas tree just as my speed decreased so that I could settle into a stable orbit. That one volley shaved off about a fourth of my shields, but after that the damage was barely overcoming my shield recharge. This says a lot when you consider I'm armor tanking. Soon the inevitable happened, and I found myself sifting through his wreckage.
"Oh man, that was awesome. This is just like riding a bike."
Good stuff to be sure. It would seem that I wasn't too rusty at the Piracy thing and had turned my short playtime into a profitable venture. After looting the wreckage, parking myself in a safespot, and congratulating myself on various corporate channels my GCC only had...14 minutes remaining. Sigh.
Only I didn't have to wait that long after all. A few minutes later the Manticore pilot was back in the system. Hopping back to within Scan range of the FW site I was now picking up a Slicer and a Blackbird in that general direction. Concerned that I wouldn't be able to take them both, I asked a Corpmate who I had seen earlier in the system where he was now. When he replied he was only one Jump away I quickly relayed the targets, sent him a fleet invite, and put myself into warp to grab the tackle. What I didn't wait for was his reply that he had GCC and would need a few minutes before joining me. Woops.
When I landed on the Acceleration gate, I found only the Blackbird. Perhaps the Slicer pilot was unaffiliated and just near the site scanning for prey himself. Oh well, should make things easier for me. I pointed the Blackbird and quickly tore away it's shields and was carving up his armor when the first jam cycle hit. And then the Dramiel landed.
"It's a trap!"
Thanks Admiral Ackbar, but I was able to piece together that puzzle on my own. I then did something really stupid. I stuck around. I kept telling myself that I only needed the Blackbird to miss one cycle and I'd be able to finish him off. Only the missed cycle wasn't coming. Once I had lost enough of my armor to become uneasy, I started trying to get out. Turning to run, the Dramiel was quick to keep up with me having a top speed of over 5km/sec. I knew I couldn't compete with that, but if I could just get a lock on him I'd be able to land a Web/Scram and pull outside of his Scrambler range. If only I could get a lock...
As you can probably imagine, that lock never came. I was over 80km from the Blackbird by the time I exploded, which was so close to his max targeting range I could taste it, but it was simply not to be. Do I feel a little cheated by being engaged by two pilots much older than I am who brought both a Dramiel and ECM to the fight? Well, sure...but I can't blame them for bringing what they thought it would take to win.
"Well, what the hell did you think was going to happen? You engaged a player with 4x your SP who you had killed not ten minutes earlier. Of course it was a trap! Just look at their killboards. Combined kills more than 10x your own, SP more than 10x your own, flying ships that cost 10x your own. You should have never been in that fight to begin with, not to mention you didn't drop your loot from the Manticore off before engaging and lost it when you lost your ship. I stand by my original assessment, you're still a Noob with delusions of grandeur."