Due to some eventful lowsec PvP last friday my sec status was trashed to the point where I couldn't join alliance gangs moving through the 0.7 Orvolle system into syndicate. Since my ratting hardware is still sitting on a shelf accumulating dust in said 0.7 system, I decided to jump clone to Egbinger and visit the B-VIP pipe in Great Wildlands. As usual, I didn't get much ratting done.
After placing my faithful alt scout into SL-YBS to watch for the inevitable blob from Foundati0n, I set to work moving from system to system grinding away at the local Angel Cartel battleship population with my Broadsword HIC. Not long into this mindless process did I bump into a Hoarder shuttling its wares towards L1S-G1 pocket. It didn't make it to the pos, nor did the PvE fit Tempest which warped onto the gate deter me from picking apart the bones of the wreck. After chasing the Tempest back to its POS, I went back to ratting.
Foundati0n presence in the area had increased, and I was regularly running into Covops scouts spying on me in systems. In an attempt to keep on top of all the activity, I began moving my scout up and down the pipe to make sure I wasn't soon to be cut off from my bolt hole home. The scout sighted two new neutrals ratting in Assault Ships in 6WT-BE. After narrowing down their position with the scout, I hurry Sard over to the gate and immediately warp to their position upon jumping through. An Ishkur soon finds lack of transversal is deadly, while his gangmate in a Wolf manages to flee before I can place my focused warp disruption field on him. A note to pilots in lowsec and nullsec: players in noob corps are just as deadly as having a warp disruption point being placed on you. Be wary of any pilot in your local, as that pod on scan may well be relaying your position to some very nasty individuals who are rabid for the fittings off your ship. Like me.
Moments after destroying the AS, Foundati0n numbers climb in system, and a Ferox which smacks of bait warps into the belt. I MWD away, and move back up the pipe towards Egbinger, as if there is one fact of life in EVE, it's that Foundati0n doesn't pick fair fights. Between Sard and the alt, another Arazu and Falcon are spotted, and light local smack is directed my way for fleeing. For whatever reason, they don't follow me into B-VIP, and I resume my ratting, watching the gang dissipate with the alt scout. Time passes, and my sec status is actually starting to rise appreciably.
Three quarters of an hour later, my alt scout reports local rising in B-VIP: a Hoarder is traveling down the pipe, with a FDN (Foundati0n) Rupture scouting! I know the Arazu pilot is still nearby, and doubtless other FDN are on standby, but haulers are too much for my meek sense of restraint. I move to 6WT-BE and await my quarry 16 AU off the incoming gate, the hope being the scout will report the gate clear and the hauler will soon jump in. I spot the Rupture pilot entering local, and count down 15 long seconds, then initiate warp to the gate.
Nothing on the gate but the Rupture. Deciding that the Hoarder may be slower than I thought, I jump through into 9SNK-0, and scan for the indie ship. Nothing. I warp to the B-VIP gate, and pick him up on scan, however not on gate. A quick search reveals the pilot at a belt of all destinations. I warp to the belt, and begin chasing him back towards 6WT-BE, where the Rupture is waiting for me. Hoarder, Rupture and my Broadsword all jump through, and I catch a fleeting glimpse of the Arazu pilot entering 9SNK-0 local. I reapproach the gate, point hot with a grin on my face: for the first in a long time, it looks like I'll soon get a memorable fight out of FDN, no blobs involved.
The Hoarder is a dozen seconds in decloaking, scrambling to warp to safety, a task which he fails. Destroying the Hoarder gives the Rupture time to place a Warp Scrambler on me, denying me the ability to MWD away and deagress. I know it's all or nothing at this point, and overheat the guns to grind through what I expected a hefty plate tank. Surprisingly, his shield takes a little longer than expected, and his armor evaporates under the merciless touch of Barrage M. The Rupture endures long enough to allow the Arazu to place tackle on me before erupting into a brilliant flash. I later find the Rupture was missing 3 modules in the lowslots, so it goes.
My immediate concern with the Arazu is the incredible 20km range warp scramblers the ship is capable of employing: under the caress of this ewar, I'll be stuck far away from the gate and forced to either move under normal power towards the gate or the Arazu, while he plinks at my shields at his leisure. Fortunately for me, he didn't consider this in his fitting, and I MWD away some to assess the situation, then charge the Recon with an overheated MWD, as I still don't know whether the pilot neglected a scrambler. The Arazu doesn't last long after the web is placed on him.
After the Arazu pops, the field is clear. I quickly start looting the wrecks, knowing FDN won't allow this to go down without some overwhelming response. They don't disappoint, as local climbs by another two: Hyena and Vaga soon show up on scan. I hurry back to the gate, flicking my attention between Sard in 6WT-BE and my scout in B-VIP, who is eying my route home. The Hyena arrives first, and foolishly decides to be the one to tackle me in 6WT-BE. I jump through to 9SNK-0 as the Vagabond lands. With B-VIP clear, I decide to push my luck further and see if this Vagabond pilot deserves the ship.
I start my MWD away from the gate, aligned to the B-VIP gate. The Vagabond soon decloaks, and barrels towards me to grab the tackle. I grin, killing my MWD and reverse directions, reigniting the speedboost to reply to his lunge towards me. The Vagabond pilot soon finds himself in web range with a ship that can tank a small fleet with enough damage to smash his shield buffer aside in a minute. I overheat the guns, and flick over to the alt scout in B-VIP to see if my route home is clear.
No such luck: B-VIP is filling up with the FDN response blob and I already have the Hyena that will be jumping in at any moment to complete the fatal tackle. It takes less than a second to call off the Vagabond kill, and I begin burning away.. only to find I left the guns in the oven too long and all but one are killed by overheating by the time I notice my mistake. I think to myself: great, now not only is there a 10+ man gang hot on my tail to tear me a new one, but I have one weapon to ward them off. Time to offski!
With the route home cut off, I desperately bounce around 9SNK-0, into 0PI4-E and gun my heat addled ship for UNJ-GX. Arriving in system, I discover a clueless neutral in a Hound investigating an agent in space, a mere 15km off the gate I just came through. Even with one 425mm Autocannon left online, a frigate hull of that specialty wasn't meant for close range encounters. Feeling slightly chagrined for restarting my aggression timer, and with FDN bumps in local, I jump into L1S-G1. I quickly begin making mid-warp safe spots in the system, and start the 15 minute wait until I can safely log off.
Eight of those minutes are spent jamming the scan button, only to discover in their haste, FDN forgot to bring a scan probe capable ship with them to hunt me down. The remaining seven minutes involve a Hyena pilot busting my safe every so often, only to find me aligned for another which their Covops hadn't broken yet. Fifteen minutes elapse, I log off at my last safe, and lend a prayer to any deities listening to save my loot laden hull from extinction. Evidently someone was listening, as minutes later my scout sneaks into local to find a chase weary FDN gang moving off without their quarry's loot in their holds. I engage one of their interceptors with the scout's Reaper to give them a killmail for their efforts.
Geez, was this post wordy. I'll try to tone down my next adventure, perhaps by linking a map and a list of abbreviations I won't have to explain so much while storytelling. Hope it wasn't too disappointing!