Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All is Quiet...

Its been pretty quiet lately. LSD forces are still continuing their logistics work in building a sizable capital fleet, with decent support ship available for our next contract…but that is definitely taking time. Dyn’ Astron is heading up the efforts and displaying a fierce sense of cunning. I once thought such cunning was only shown in battle, but I admit I know little about the industrial side of how the Eve Cluster works.

Our mining in pirate infested low security sectors has not gone unnoticed…but we keep a strong military presence when possible during off times. Either we are gaining a reputation as competent anti-pirate operators or everyone we encounter has their HUDs set to “AFK” mode. Of course it was never our intention of being anti-pirate operators, we definitely recognize the need to ‘cull the herd’ of weaker pod pilots. We just need available targets without pissing off future customers. A few offers of employment even came from pirate corporations…but none of which were to our benefit. I suspect most pirates are as broke as I am.

However, last night’s patrol was interesting in the fact that we did not bag a single pirate, but saw first hand a spreading epidemic among pod pilots in the Cluster. While chasing down some members of Veto we had hopelessly outnumbered near Sinq Laison, it was evident that our baits and traps would not work. Pulling up the map, a lone sector in Essence seemed to have a huge amount of pod kills for the area…10 in the last hour. Our new target region was quickly uploaded to the fleet and we set out to find out what was amiss. About 3 sectors out, it was clear to me what was going on. A fleet member piped in with the obvious observation…

“What are all these Bestower class industrials doing out here in 0.2 space? They are all State War Academy ships…” He voiced.

“Sansha’s disease” I replied. “Looks like they got some agents inside State War, and the groupthink made a bad decision for their efforts…”

At least 30 Bestowers were on their way to the slaughter 3 systems away…all oblivious to the upcoming gate camp. Pirates use the slang “Macro Pilots”…Sansha infected pod pilots that have no will of their own…simply slaves to whatever master is pulling their strings in return for rumored immortality (past that of cloning). Although no such technology exists, the lure of it is so great that vast numbers of pod pilots are swept up into becoming slaves….never leaving their pods, interact with crews, or have any sort of life worth having in the Cluster. They make logical decisions, but have lost all wisdom to go beyond the simplest of operations.

Pirates love when their decisions go through low security space, and I was sure they were getting fat and happy enjoying the free cargo.

When we arrived at the system, we only saw fleeting signatures of pirate vessels as they quickly vacated the area. I suspect they were in the process of withdrawing anyhow as we were spotted a 2 systems away. Sure enough, the carnage was evident at one of the gates…well over 20 Bestower wrecks, all picked clean by the pirates…with a steady stream of new haulers arriving on autopilot 15km from the gate.

Sometimes hitting a pirate jackpot like this is hard to pass up….but we have our standards, and seeing as we view ourselves as professional mercenaries, we can’t dabble into piracy on a whim. I am sure some of my guys were chomping at the bit, but they proved to be soldiers that day and not brigands. For that I am proud.

We returned empty handed that operation, but it was good training never the less. Hopefully we can get off this training cycle and sink our teeth into an Empire contract if we can find one.

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