Saint Joan of Arc
I am free.
I had a discussion today with a childhood friend. He said he didn't understand my drive to pirate. I told him, "A good sword needs a little heat to be strong. Think of me as the fire."
It's true. A capsuleer who never loses a ship ain't makin' full use of his abilities. I'm there to provide object lessons in why whatever they were doing was wrong. If I make a bit of isk from the lesson, so be it.
He was unconvinced and I cut the vid-phone's connection. I have freedom, and that' s enough.
So, I left Evati today and headed towards Amamake. I wanted to fly there without using the nav-computer, given that I may need to get somewhere fast in the future. After a few missteps, I was there.
I sat in the middle of the system for a long while really, amazed at the lack of activity in what is traditionally a deadly system. That's when I spotted the Caracal. Now, one little bit of information for those of you who don't pirate every day: If you see a single ship in a very active system, he's either stupid, looking for a fight, or it's a trap. I was betting on trap as I warped in on him. As my ship entered warp I spotted a Harbinger floating around as well, but not ahead of me, so I continued on.
I saw the Caracal as I entered the belt. My ship dropped out of warp inside my scram range, I immediately targeted the Caracal and began to fire away. I kicked on my afterburner and pulled into a tight orbit, and my shields held up remarkably well against his heavy missiles. I was liking my chances as he hit half shields. Then, and only then did he activate his own tackling gear. I was hoping he didn't have a web on him, but sadly he did. As my ship slowed down to less than half my speed, the missiles started to have an easier time with me. I turned off my own web to conserve cap and he began to burn away from me. I was forced to turn my own web back on or allow him to escape. We actually hit structure at around the same time, oddly enough, which I saw as a positive, but my cap was bottoming out, I was turning on my repper as I got cap, and had to reactivate my various modules periodically.
Then the Angel Cartel frigates warped into the belt. It wasn't a serious problem under normal circumstances, but we both knew they'd turn the tide of this battle one way or the other. Only I knew that his chances were better at that point. He could stand one of them hitting him, I was at my breaking point, and even if only one of them targeted me, I was going down. I got a rep cycle in at 80% structure, and watched his structure drop to 60%, then the locks of the Cartel frigates resolved. He got one and I got one. Not the worst scenario for me, but probably enough. My afterburner failed, as did my web. Scram and damage control stayed on. My structure was seriously hurting, I got a repair cycle in periodically, but I was pretty heavily on fire. I turned everything back on and kicked the armor repairer back on at exactly 6% structure. One cycle went through but another volley of missiles smashed my ship into bits around me.
I once again, like I've done almost 50 times since entering low-sec, warped my pod away from the wreck of yet another rifter.
I'd like to take the rest of this to mention a friend of mine. You see, most of us pilots have good luck charms inside our pods. Mynxee has Mr. Pink, Spectre's got his fuzzy slippers, just to name a couple of examples. Enclosed inside a special diamond case attached to the inside of my pod, I've got a little thing I've had for a quite some time.
I've always held a special place for Choco the Coconut Monkey. Luckily my insurance policies include an exact copy of him to be delivered to my hangar with a single piece of tritanium inside. I'm still waiting for the day I'll have to give up my old childhood toy for a copy, but so far it ain't comin'.