Last night was a typical night of piracy, I linked in late in the evening and the voice comms was full of laughter. Just earlier in the evening, some of Bastards had ransomed a pod pilot but instead of killing him, he was offered an option to sing his way out of his predicament.
The wise pilot, Le Pal, chose the latter and was asked to sing one of two fine songs: 'YMCA' by the Village People or 'It's raining men' by Aretha Franklin.
Clearing his throat, Le Pal, complete with a wonderful Gallic accent, let rip with YMCA (right-click and save as if the playback is too short)..Damn good effort and there was much laughter. Le Pal proved to be a good sport and also purchased a weekly pass off us to ensure that we wouldn't be interrupting any more of his missions. He even enquired about joining us but I doubt he would find the pirate life suitable for him.
So we continued to scan the system for mission runners and with our three probers in the system; our chances were good at getting something. However, TechZero complained that he 'sucked' big time as he failed to get anything more useful than junk on his returns. At least he was scanning, I was sitting in a safe spot; twiddling my thumbs.
Finally, Cooch had a hit (of course) and the rest of the fleet warped to him. We arrived at an ancient, but still functioning acceleration gate and proceeded to activate the device. Cooch had already scrambled the target drake and waited patiently for our appearance. We duly arrived and stripped the drake down into it's component parts. The pilot refused all attempts at communications and thus, a ransom was not available.
We destroyed Hero Vata's drake but failed to get his pod.
Whipping back to our respective safe spots; we continued to wait out our criminal timers.
"How's the scanning chaps?" I asked nonchalantly.
"Hey, there's a pair of ravens around. Just appeared around planet IV. " Said Hera. RoninData spoke up, "Confirmation?"
After a quick check on my own scanners, there was indeed a pair of ravens - the pilots had not even renamed their IFF transponders and therefore allowed us to correctly identify them and obtain vital information on them.
Both pilots were still in the same starter corporations despite their four years as capsuleers. Minutes ticked by and then we had a hit. There was no recognised FCs in this fleet; since all the pilots present were seasoned pirates and knew what was to be done. However, I wanted to confirm that we had proper locks on the targets.
"Fleet, this is Flash. Thomas Talbert is now designated as Alpha and Andrew Reeves is designated as Beta. Can I have RoninData, Hera and Cooch put points on Alpha while Rodney, TechZero and I will put points on the Beta Raven. Primary will be Talbert/Alpha."
The fleet pilots all pipped their confirmations and we barrelled into the mission area. The space was thick with Angel cruisers and Angel wrecks as the two raven class battleships made short work of them.
"ECM drones on beta please." I said, directing what little ECM we had onto the secondary target. It was unlikely that it could attack our cruisers effectively but I wasn't going to take the chance.
We added our own rain of fire onto the Alpha's raven. It was optimised to tank the specific damage from the Angels but not from us. The mighty shields on the raven started to break down. As it dropped down to zero shields, Hera fired up her ship scanner, a specialised device designed for pirating: it gives a breakdown of the fitted modules on the target ship and thus, it would guide on our what to ransom. Both ships were fitted with expensive T2 equipment, none of the rarer more exotic faction or office mods but still useful nonetheless.
"Time for a ransom I think." Said RoninData after considering the results. He opened up a line of communication with the older of the two raven-pilots. We assumed that he was in charge. The avatar of the pilot appeared in our very own ransom channel. Only Ronin did the talking, as we continued to maintain an oversight on the ravens, increasing our damage to ensure that his shields would remain low. Low enough for us to destroy his ship.
"Hello!" Said RoninData cheerfully.
He was greeted by a stony silence.
"150million for both ravens." A generous offer. Over the voice comms, a pirate questioned the figure.
"Yes indeed. We would get less if we popped the ravens."
"200million isk, I say." Ventured the pirate.
"Who's doing the ransoms? Me or you?" This was greeted with silence and satisfied; RoninData continued the ransom.
"40million!" Countered the Raven pilot. This was met with guffaws.
"No, 150million for both ravens."
"40million!" Repeated the pilot. I glanced at my overview and realised that beta was moving away.
"This is Flash. Beta is moving away, can we confirm points?" I asked, nudging my rupture to close the distance so that I could throw a web on the raven and slow it right down.
"Rodney here: point on beta."
"Hera here. point on beta." However, I just realised that I had the chat logs and rather than retell the narrative why not read the the conversation...
RoninData > Hi there! RoninData > 150mil for both ravens please. Thomas Talbert > 150? Hera Darkthorn > Yes for both. RoninData > You're rigged so it's a good price. Thomas Talbert > shop. shop.
Shop? Ah, he meant 'stop'. RoninData > what? Thomas Talbert > OK. RoninData > Send to ronindata. You have 1 minute. RodneyStar > Take your drones off and de-agress. Thomas Talbert > Please wait a bit
The enemy drones continued to buzz around us. RodneyStar > Take your drones off now Hera Darkthorn > Stop firing now, or you will die. We will wait a bit for you to get the isk flashfresh > Stop firing and scoop up your drones. The drones were recalled
RodneyStar > Thank you. RoninData > Thank you. Thomas Talbert > 100m OK. RoninData > No. Thomas Talbert > My ISK such. Hera Darkthorn > We scanned your ships. We know you are rigged. Thomas Talbert > I can only put out now 100m.
There's a flurry of chat on our ventrilo server. We needed isk and some wanted to hold on the 150million ransom. Meanwhile, the ravens were slowly dropping into armour. RoninData > You sure no more? RoninData > Even 120? Thomas Talbert > Attacks to me! I do not have that many. I only then 100M RoninData > OK. 100mil. To ronindata and we will stop Thomas Talbert > For you ISK! The determination cannot attack to me! RoninData > Yes, we will not attack you if you pay 100mil isk Thomas Talbert > For which position? RoninData > Send 100million isk to RoninData Thomas Talbert > Now ceases attacking!! RoninData > OK RoninData > Done. Now you pay Thomas Talbert > 40M
Groans on the ventrilo server. RoninData > NO! 50mil EACH SHIP= 100mil Thomas Talbert > Waits a bit, I take once more.
Another pause and we continued to keep the raven's shields at 10% RoninData > You pay RoninData. NOW Andrew Reeves > You can guarantee to me. Does not fire to me! RoninData > yes RoninData > When you pay RoninData > 100M to RoninData Thomas Talbert > Already paid you 40 M
RoninData > You are a funny man Thomas Talbert > 40M RoninData > we will kill both of you now
We then switched our fire onto Andrew Reeve's raven (beta) and took it down to about 10% when we were told to stop. 40M was received by RoninData. Andrew Reeves > End of mission Andrew Reeves > ??? RoninData > hold on. I needed 60M extra. I only have 40M. You hurry up Thomas Talbert > You do not keep one's word. RodneyStar > You did not pay the full amount! RoninData > YOU ONLY PAY ME 40M RoninData > Check your wallet Thomas Talbert > I pay you 80 M Thomas Talbert > ? ? ?? ? ?? ? ? ???? ???? Two times pays your 40M RoninData > OK the deal is 100mil Thomas Talbert > Two times pays your 40M
There was a lot of laughter and we prepared to dispatch both ravens and return the money to the stalling raven pilots. It was then when RnProphet interrupted our ventrilo server and quickly told us that he had been the recipient of a mysterious benefactor and his wallet had grown by an extra 40M isk. The penny dropped. In his panic, Thomas Talbert had sent the first part of the ransom to the wrong pilot. A pilot not even in our corporation let alone in our fleet. Fair play to Prophet for jumping in. RoninData > Ah...you paid RnProphet other 40M RoninData > So yes, we need 20M extra Thomas Talbert > Now also misses 20 M RoninData > Yes Thomas Talbert > Waiting a bit. RoninData > No, you pay now. Thomas Talbert > Yes, 20M RoninData > 20M to RoninData Thomas Talbert > OK
The remaining isk appeared in Ronin's wallet. RoninData > Thank you Thomas Talbert > Lets off me!! Thomas Talbert > Lets off me!! RoninData > Er, I am off you. I am off you. RoninData > Fly safe. Thomas Talbert > Thanks.
EVE System > Thomas Talbert was kicked from the channel by RoninData. , Effective until 2009.03.22 02:41:53. EVE System > Andrew Reeves was kicked from the channel by RoninData. , Effective until 2009.03.22 02:41:58.
RnProphet > You wanna go on a date first sailor? RoninData > LOL
We continued the evening with attempts to scan down a cerberus and another raven.
"There's a Caldari Navy-issue Raven coming through....."Informed Techzero. "He's slowboating it would appear. Pilot is Dracon44." Not quite believing our luck we scrambled our ships and switched from cruisers to something a bit meatier. I opted for a broadsword as did Techzero since we had to tackle on the gate and ensure that we could hold point long enough to knock down the more advanced shielding systems of the CNR. A raven was tough but the specialised CNR with it's top-range shield systems and elite crews was something else. The CNR chaser fleet was:
This fleet was put together in record time and we raced for the CNR's last known position. We caught up with it at Gultratren and locked it just as it flew towards the Ingunn gate. No one managed to scramble it but the pilot should have had a firm idea that we were after him and we were worried that our game was up.
We all arrived in a burst of light around the busy Gusandall gate in Ingunn - haulers of all shapes and sizes queued impatiently as they jostled for the next available slot. We needed to be sure we can catch this prize.
"Ok - HICs I need you to hold off on the points. Techzero - jump into the next system and wait for the CNR if he jumps through. Flash, you stay here and jump with the CNR if he bolts." TZ sent his acknowledgement and jumped into Gusandall. I waited as the remaining four ships opened fire on Dracon44. The automated warning flashed up and the four pirates opened up. I locked Dracon44 just to keep track of the damage. I was unsure whether he had fired back but he was taking an awful pounding and his shields shrank very quickly. Soon he was into armour and RoninData initiated a conversation with Dracon44, a ransom for a CNR would be good isk and much better than the destruction of his modules unless he was flying with rare faction gear.
The CNR went pop a lot more quickly than we all expected; the conversation didn't even get a chance to start before the pod was ejected. It was scrambled and even Techzero and I got our points on the pod. RoninData once more tried a ransom but nothing and since the automated gate guns were still firing on us; we didn't bother to hang around and blew the pod wide open. Some equipment survived the fiery death of the CNR and we scooped it.
Later on, one of our other pilots received a note from Dracon44 who said that we had blue standings and that it was bang out of order that we attacked him. Checking and rechecking; we are 100% sure that his corporation does not have blue standings nor those the individual have any standings with us. It turned out that when he was with M34N corp; ages ago - we indeed, had corporation to corporation blue standings; however since he had left M34N a long time ago and corporation standings don't follow pilots when they leave, all we can say is sorry but check and re-check your standings.
Here's the dropped items from the CNR kill:
Drone Link Augmentor I 'Arbalest' Cruise Launcher I 'Arbalest' Cruise Launcher I 'Arbalest' Cruise Launcher I Wrath Cruise Missile, Qty: 61 Shield Boost Amplifier II Capacitor Flux Coil II Capacitor Flux Coil II Capacitor Flux Coil II Ballistic Control System II