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Chronicles of a New Eden - The Joy of the Hunt

Steven Messner Posted:
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Over the course of a week, this other pilot, Drake, and I shared the wormhole and intel. Our mutual goal was the destruction of the juicy targets this corporation had undoubtedly hidden within the safety of their starbase shields. The moment they stepped beyond them we'd be waiting.

As the days rolled by, Drake and I, each cloaked in our own ships and monitoring different sections of the wormhole, would talk. Our conversations were stilted and awkward, and I always got the feeling that Drake didn't quite trust me. After all, a stranger messages you out of the blue and invites you to join them in a dangerous system to stalk mutual prey. How can he be sure I'm not just setting a trap? How can he be sure I'm not working with the enemy? He can't, he just needs to trust my assurances that that is simply not the case. I don't think he does.

Because I don't play EVE as actively as most, that actually gives me an advantage when setting up as a hostile in a wormhole. The biggest defense a corporation has against hostiles is to bore them into leaving. Once you reveal yourself, it's not uncommon for corporations to close down operations for a few days (or at least tighten up security significantly), leaving you with nothing to do until their guard eventually lowers again. For me, this was perfect. I never got bored because I wasn't logging in every single day hoping to actually play the game. I was perfectly happy to leave it idle while I did other things, always watching, always waiting.

And then our moment came.

I logged in one day to an immediate message from Drake. The corporation had over extended and was harvesting gas using expensive ships and no protection detail. This was our chance to inflict some pain and start our mission to deal death by a thousand cuts.

With Drake in his Astero providing backup, I warped to the gas cloud and began silently approaching my prey. When I was close enough, I uncloaked my ship, targeted him, and fired my first volley. Half of his shields evaporated—less than I was expecting. My target was quick, and without hesitation he fired his microwarpdrive and shot off into the distance. I chased him as far as I could, but eventually warped out when reinforcements arrived on the field. Twenty minutes later, he was back to harvesting. There was a trap set for us, no doubt, but if we could kill him before it sprung, that was a victory.

I approached my target a second time and once again uncloaked. Immediately an assault frigate landed on grid—not Drake—and targeted me in turn. As our prey scampered off, I turned my torpedos to the frigate and called for Drake to join me. He was my trump card.

No response. Where was he?

My shields evaporated—stealth bombers are about as tough as a wet paper napkin. Once again I told Drake to warp to the grid and help me out. Once again I didn't receive a response. I couldn't do anything, my warpdrive was scrambled and my torpedos were useless against the much more agile frigate. I was dead in the water.

I managed to escape with my life but not my ship, but while the loss was hardly devastating, I was angry that Drake had abandoned me at the last minute. Two weeks I had been waiting for my chance to strike, and then at the last second he gets cold feet.

The story only has a happy ending because I'm stubborn, but my tenuous alliance with a random pilot was never meant to be. An hour later Drake sent me an in-game mail to apologize and confess he was too worried I was going to betray him. He was leaving the hole for good. I might have been projecting, but I could sense a feeling of shame in his words.

I logged in the next day and found two members of the corporation mining, and this time there was no trap. My revenge was delicious, thank you for asking.

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Steven Messner

Steven is a Canadian freelance writer and EVE Online evangelist, spreading the good news of internet spaceships far and wide. In his spare time, he enjoys writing overly ambitious science fiction and retweeting pictures of goats. Speaking of retweeting, you should probably drop everything and go follow him on Twitter @StevenMessner