Blood On My Hands

It just happened; I got my first legit killmail.

Ok, so there were already others: I had whored my way on to a couple of Joffy and Beirut Papa’s, and had solo-killed an explorer in a Heron while running security in Ishomilken. I had also popped an MTU in a failed attempt to start a fight, which I subsequently discovered yields a killmail.

This is different. This is first blood. I was flying my new Worm back to Ishomilken after venturing into highsec to grab a scan resolution script for my sensor dampener.

As I’m crossing back into lowsec, Tia puts out a call for backup on comms. “Breacher and Punisher in small complex, Nikkishina.”

It’s less than half an hour before server shutdown, almost 5am local. I’m half asleep and maneuver into station, figuring the home guard will do what it does best.

Tia calls out again. “They’re still here. Breacher/Punisher, Nikki small.”

Joffy enters his reply. He’s 23 jumps out. And no one else is in system.

Fuck it.

I undock and warp to the Nikkishina gate, alerting Tia that I’m in warp. Just as I’m hitting the gate she sends me a fleet request, which I accept, but it fails. Frustrated, I send her one back. Nothing. “Fine. I’m warping blind.”

I warp in on the gate at 20k and land about 10k from the two frigates, who are sitting outside the complex. This is less than ideal. Unbeknownst to me, my corpmate is also on grid (not visible due to derped* overview settings), engaged with the Punisher.

He is out of lock range to me, so I target the Breacher and close into rocket range. I have him scrammed and webbed before he can lock me, and by the time the first wave of autocannon fire connects with my shields, my drones are already on him.

I orbit him at close range and open up with my rockets. He is taking damage fast and my shield is holding pretty well. Then I miscalculate my orbit and pull out of web range, allowing him to slingshot out of lock range while the Punisher locks on to me. He’s way faster than me and doing EM damage, burning my shields away. Then he hits armor.

I had forgotten that with this fit I went against my norm and fit a 400mm reinforced rolled tungsten plate. The armor laughs at his lasers, and I set my sights back on the Breacher. I overheat my afterburner and catch up with him, hitting him with the scrambler and re-engaging with the drones. I settle into a comfortable orbit and pound at him with rockets from close range. I’m dealing significant damage, but have to take him down fast or I will lose my shiny new toy on its first deployment. His autocannons hammer away at my armor, but it just isn’t enough. His ship explodes, and I turn my attention from the helpless pod to his wingman in the Punisher. I burn towards him but can’t obtain a lock. He fires volley after volley of lasers into the exposed structure of my frigate while my drones peck away at his armor, and finally I give up and disengage. Unaware that my wingmate is still in combat with him I take advantage of the moment his scram on me drops and warp to station.

Shaking with adrenaline, I pull up my killmails to post my victory into corp chat.

Then I look down at the chat window.

“Where the hell are you going? Warp back! WARP BACK NOW!”

It is at this moment that I realize the error I had made in having the wrong overview tab active. Unaware that Tia was still in combat with the Punisher, I had warped out, costing her a Condor (for which I gave her a replacement) and depriving us of an almost guaranteed kill. I explained what I had done and apologized profusely. Once safely out of the engagement she was quite gracious and said it was fun.

Which it was. That harrowing three minutes was the greatest rush I’ve had in years. And that’s why we do it.

Tia scooped my drones, which I told her she could keep – along with anything useful from the wreck. I got what I came for.

o7

Edit: I realized in retrospect that, in my excitement, I failed to extend my opponent a “gf” in local. This is a breach of protocol. While not necessarily offensive, I find it best to proactively be a good sport, in victory as well as in loss.

[*derped] : Derp (v.) – To completely foul up in a particularly idiotic fashion.

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