Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The View from Amamake

... is full of people who would merrily kill you.

I'm getting ahead of myself. Mynxee's already bloggled about this, but I thought I should make a record of my own. This blog needs something other than random babble for once, anyway ^_^

I was feeling rather bummed out from all that time spent playing highsec hauler, so Mynxee suggested we go for a little roam. I say 'little'; the full route turned out to be something like thirty-five jumps. But what the hey, I needed a little action and a change of pace. I had two hours before I needed to log for the night, so I clonejumped back to Ladistier for a cruiser. After a little conference with Mynxee, we realised we had enough ECM birds between us to choke a substantially larger vessel, so I brought Sugar with her classic gank fitting, and away we went.

The first few systems out were quiet, and we took time to grab safespots and I took a few pictures (I'm like this in RL, too). The few people we did see were either docked or not viable targets (meaning bigger and scarier than we were); I spotted a couple of old war-targets from the early Arzi days. We'd been going for maybe an hour or so when Mynxee noticed we were close to Amamake.
'Hey, that's where some of the guys seem to get a lot of action. Wanna see if we get some kills?'
I have heard things about Amamake. I know people who have pirated there and people who have died there; most of them were the same.

I also feel that the old curiosity killed the cat line is a better reference to Schrodinger's theoretical experiment than to a hapless feline poking its nose somewhere it oughtn't.
'Eh, sure. Why not?'
So we jumped into Amamake and popped the lid off the theoretical box. What was the worst that could happen?

The first thing I noticed was a Local population of forty-five. Yikes. The second thing that registered was that we'd materialised in the midst of a moderately-sized gatecamp of primarily positive-sec pilots. Oh, crap. Mynxee had lag, and my jumpcloak timer was ticking down as I scanned for a safer place to warp to.

Then I noticed how small the place was, and how many stations there were. Bloody hell!

Tick... tick... tick...

If I didn't want to get squished on that gate, I'd have to find a safespot fast; Mynxee had a little more time than I did. I spotted a planet I'd fallen roughly in line with; crossing my fingers, I punched Warp and waited tensely to see if it worked. Either they were slow on the uptake or their locktime blew goats - only a Malediction flashed briefly yellow before I was gone.

Mynxee's voice came over the comms.
'You're being followed.'
Hmm, a taste of my own medicine; it wasn't that long ago I was doing the same thing to others in Kor-Azor. I was already picking my next warp-point, this time with my Places tab open and ready to take bookmarks. Did they have enough stations in here? Jeez! Removing them from my overview helped a bit, but as we bounced from point to point, we landed a little too close to some of those stations for comfort. With an eye on the directional scanner, we kept moving. Two ships worried me particularly: a Deimos and a Thorax which kept showing up on shortrange scans, clearly warping from planet to planet in hopes of trapping one of us.

A Magnetometric Quest probe was dropped in the water. I should really have been more concerned than I was at the time, but I've only used Quests to find deadspace complexes and was preoccupied looking for the more obvious Snoops and Spooks. At one point, Mynxee suggested warping from belt to belt to see what would happen. I was ready to go along if only because it would answer the question of whether the cat would die (btw, Mynxee, I was never the smart, sensible one in school - I was the one who spent all her time reading or drawing because everything else was boring and my classmates were shallow).

We made the mistake of lingering too long, too often in one particular spot while we debated our options, and as I started to warp to the next safespot, a Falcon showed up practically on top of us. I was already gone, Mynxee managed to get out, and we agreed Amamake was too small for that sort of tomfoolery. We headed through an apparently clear gate into Siseide and breathed a sigh of relief.

Eight in Local, mostly carebearing types with a habit of sitting in belts chatting. We ricocheted around the system for a bit, making safes and being friendly with the locals, and at one point I called into my headset,
'Hey! Wensley is in here!'
We gave a hail and hello and chattered some more whilst looking for something tasty on the Local buffet.

As I was making another safe, Mynxee asked,
'What's a Tormentor?'

'Um, Amarr frigate.'

'There's one in a belt here. That Omen is here, too. Fight going on.'

'Need a hand?'

'He's going down.'
A cackle echoed over comms as I warped in to keep the cruiser from running as its shields crumpled. The already-popped frigate pilot continued to recruit in Local, to our amusement. Sugar's shields took a beating from a determined frigate rat who didn't know when to quit, before I caved and put it out of my misery.

I was still watching the scanner warily, and at one point I thought, That Deimos looks familiar. And that Thorax, too. Huh... Maybe they were just passing through? No joy: they stayed around, and in space. I started checking for probes but came up with nothing, and nothing, and nothing again. And they were still there.

Mynxee ganged up Wensley in case he needed help with the Cynabal he was tracking, and we continued searching the system for targets. We really were in there too long.

It was deja-vu. I warped off to my next spot and started to run up the directional again when Mynxee said,
'There's an Arazu here.'
The recon had her scrammed and damped in short order, and for a mad instant I considered warping back; if I could lock and sic the Vespas on him before he could kill my sensors, we stood a reasonable chance of taking the Arazu out. I was realigning when Myxnee said the Deimos had arrived, and that decided the issue for me.I like a good fight, but that was a suicide run; the boys from Amamake had tracked us down, and I was next on the hit-list.

It was tempting to stick around and see how long it would take them to catch me, but by then it was edging on one in the morning and I had initially intended to log half an hour earlier. My Global timer had run down without being noticed, and Mynxee was lining up to pod-streak the long run home. In the end, I followed her out of the system, chased by a bit of rude commentary from the Arazu pilot.
[ 2008.09.24 00:15:46 ] Van Steiza > When a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 a minute.
Most charming, indeed.

There were a few 'eek!' moments on the way back. One gatecamp I jumped into I was certain would munch my Thorax like a Mars bar, but didn't, in the end, seem interested.
[ 2008.09.24 00:30:35 ] Shae Tiann > ooooh shinies!
[ 2008.09.24 00:30:36 ] Mynxee > gogogogogo girl!
[ 2008.09.24 00:31:01 ] Mynxee > oooh the strong silent types.
[ 2008.09.24 00:31:15 ] Kuger > kiss me
[ 2008.09.24 00:31:18 ] Shae Tiann > prrrr
[ 2008.09.24 00:31:24 ] Triksterism > YOU WHORE KUGER
[ 2008.09.24 00:31:50 ] Triksterism > ITS OVER :(
You meet all different sorts out in the spacelanes late at night. I scooped a clutch of Ogres that had been left on their lonesome near a gate, at which point I discovered what a LOLkillmail I'd have been: somehow, I'd slapped a frigate-sized microwarpdrive on Sugar rather than a more appropriate cruiser-sized module o__O

I'd love to know what sick mind created a system like Amamake. Penirgman is bad enough for stations, and that's in highsec and rather on the large side; a place like that in lowsec is already a deathtrap without being fully within a ship's scan radius.

Will I go back? Probably, with perhaps a little more preparation, now that I know what to expect from the system. Will I die there? I think I used up one of my remaining lives in there already, so there's now a one-in-eight chance of somebody getting lucky. Will I have fun? Of course I will; it's not every day I get my dreadlocks ruffled like that ^_^


Spectre said...

Amamake is a wonderful place. You will learn to love it.

That is funny that you ran into Van Steiza... I flew with him a few times when I was hanging out in Egghelende and used to hang out in his pirate channel. He is a pretty intense fella.

CrazyKinux said...

What a ride! Talk about a roller coaster of emotions! Feels as though you both were playing the hunted and the hunter, at the same time!


Carole Pivarnik said...

Van Steiza's comment made me chuckle (I guess I'm fairly immune to shock, offense, or awe when it comes to that stuff). I said on comms that a better class of girl would cost a helluva lot more than the $3.95 a minute...that boy might want to consider upgrading his service providers. *rollseyes*

Thanks for filling in a bunch more details about our adventure, Shae. It's fun reading about it from your perspective. I had a grand time and definitely planning on going up that way again. Sure beats trolling around Ladistier, eyeing the ISK farmers out of semi-desperation.

Anonymous said...

"3.95 per minute" X "amount of time it took to read his comment" = he owes YOU money..and seriously the only thing his pitiful mind can come up with is calling you a hooker :( pathetic indeed.

hell let me know before you pod him and i'll put a bounty on him just to give you money.

Carole Pivarnik said...

LOL, Manasi...such a noble man. Feel free to bypass all that administrative red tape :)

Anonymous said...

Great writeup, made me chuckle. Nice to get the story from another angle

Ivanneth Maethor said...

Spectre: I can see a few more reconnaissance trips there making subsequent visits far more pleasant and profitable, yes >=3

CK: yeah, it got a bit tense from time to time, but that could describe every foray a pirate makes away from their home territory - as soon as they're under someone else's guns it's a question of who catches whom first ^_^

Manasi: bless ^__^ What Mynxee said ^

Ombeve: Thanks :) I have a lot of fun writing this stuff down.

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