Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gods of Thunder

I looked about at the now very familiar vista of the Bosena system surrounding my ship. There had been a lot of activity in here earlier, so I Had been forced to stay low, but I was hoping to catch a straggler or two now that things had calmed down a little. I called a sensor report up to my main view screen, and checked my surroundings. According to my scanner, somewhere nearby there was three ships. First, a Hurricane class Battlecruiser, probably too much for my Rifter. Second, a Raven class Caldari Battleship, favoured by the dogs of the empire for killing non-pod pilots, probably deep in space running a mission. Finally, a Taranis class Interceptor. The Taranis is one of the few frigate-sized ships I’m not 100% comfortable engaging in my Rifter. Not only is it faster than my Rifter when fitted with afterburners, but it can also fit an appreciable amount of armour plating, and the Blasters it normally mounted were quite capable of pulverizing my Rifter into shreds of vapour at close range. Still, I knew that despite my poor record against them up to this point, which I believe was 0-4, I had a chance. If he fit a microwarp drive, I could easily use my afterburners to keep him at arms length where the rapid loss of shot cohesion would render his Blasters useless.

I began scanning all the known Celestials near the safe spot I was sitting at, and found him at the Stargate leading to Teonusude. I sighed, guessing that as usual, by the time I arrived, he would already be long gone, but engaged my warp drives anyway. Sometimes you get lucky. To my surprise, when my craft shot from the warp, he was in fact still inside the window of my mid-range sensors. I looked around and found him, sitting 40 km away, looting a wreck or some sort. After a second, he finished with it, and began to burn at high speed towards another. A burst of laughter slipped from me, his speed was much too great to be based on an afterburner. I might actually have a chance. I book marked the wreck he was aiming at, and dropped my ship into warp towards the nearby planet, while setting my navigation computer to automate an orbit at four and a half klicks, which should be more than enough to muffle the fury of his guns, while allowing mine to still apply enough damage to him to give me a chance at victory. The moment I arrived, I slammed the warp button again, directing me to the marked wreck.

As the space bubble collapsed from around my ship, allowing my sensors a look at my environment, it became clear that I had timed this perfectly. He was just arriving at the wreck, and I ordered my tactical officer to engage a targeting lock on my foe. I could not shoot him first, since that would Instigate the Empire defence sentries to make short work of my ship, but I knew that interceptor pilots are often cocky to the point of foolishness, and seeing a juicy T1 frigate piloted by an outlaw under his guns, he wouldn’t hesitate. I was right, and he locked me back and almost instantly opened up with all of his systems. I returned the favour, and the fight was on.

I knew that my greater speed due to my AB would let me prevail in the end, but he managed to fly into point-blank range in the opening moments of the engagement, and his stasis web was interfering with my engines, making my retreat to safer ranges a slow and terrifying experience. My guns were spraying fire into his shields, but in only two volleys, his powerful blasters filled with antimatter ammunition turned my unprotected defence field projectors into so much overheated slag smeared across the tungsten plates of my armour. His guns began to eat into my plates, and I knew that I probably could not stand up to this in the time it would take me to gain range. He had also released a pair of second generation Hobgoblin light scout drones, and while they were nothing as terrifying as the Minmatar Warrior class drone to a frigate pilot, they were adding their own appreciable fire to the torrent already splashing across my ship. My repair nanites were mitigating the damage to a certain extent, but they just couldn’t quite seem to keep up. This was the time to pull out my ace in the hole, and try something I’d never done before. I sent orders to my engineering crew to increase the power input to the repair systems, to about 125 percent. I knew I couldn’t keep this up for long, as the massive heat being built up in my systems would eventually shut down my modules, but I knew I if I could just weather the fire for a few more moments, I would be safe. Just as my armour integrity crept towards 0 and the fire started eating slowly into my well-protected hull, the Interceptor’s damage abruptly dropped out. Once I had settled into a comfortable orbit, already having stripped my foe of his shields, I ordered to also overload my guns, and the nuclear fire of my cannons bit deeply into his armour, vaporising large chunks with every volley. Molten steel began to bubble up through channels in his plates, carried by his own repair systems, but the screaming fury of my abused and overloaded autocannons was ripping his vessel apart far faster than it’s ability to heal, and at that point, the fight was quickly over, with the relatively light bulwarks of his nimble ship evaporating into a cloud of expanding gasses. I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to engage further Taranises, seeing as how incredibly tough they are for their size, but it’s nice to finally be able to put a tick in the win column.

1 comment:

  1. Hey m8, great writing - love to hear the adventures of other PVPers, especially ones as skilled as you! Keep it up