6 May 2009

Slow night but ransoms are good for the soul

Last night was a fun episode - we came close to grabbing a number of mission runners, our probes and tacklers arriving literally seconds after the mission runner. Quite frustrating but the motley crew of pirates didn't give up. In a broad circle centered around Evati, the fleet had eyes and ears in several systems. Shae was chased by a thrasher while I had little luck with a rupture.

Happy and Jmarr had tackled a caracal in Las and grabbed the pod and then spent a good ten minutes figuring out what to do. I strongly suspect that they're answering the call of a forum thread to hold a pod 'from dusk to dawn'. An interesting concept. However, a nervous twitch by Jmarr and he blew the pod to pieces. Not a good move and the ventrilo server was filled with groans and howls of anguish. Ok, a bit over the top but it was funny.

There was a prize however: Hera had spotted a missioning rokh class battle ship and three probes did their best to track him down. Twice, we missed him, by seconds in one case as our tackler caught the warp trail signature of a departing ship. Pirates, are persistent if not dangerous. Now after observing the pilot, who disappeared from local a number times we decided to wait for the rokh with a couple of HICs and tackle the ship as he came back in.

Once again, the rokh pilot disappeared from local. The order was given and five pilots zipped off to the five different gates / systems. One by one, each pirate reported that the target was not visible. The last destination was a high sec system and a Hellcat, due to her, still acceptable security rating was approaching the system and requesting permission to jump. When she arrived, we smiled as she informed up that the target was indeed, in system and had docked up. Still apparently oblivious to our attempts at tackling him down.

We formed up around the Anher gate in Evati and waited.

Five minutes later, our scout in Anher announced that the rokh pilot had undocked and was heading back towards low security space and hopefully into our warm embrace. There was Viginti in his devoter (or lol-devoter), myself in a broadsword, Hera in his domi and a few other ships. There was a gate flash announcing the arrival of a new ship. Local updated with a new list of pilots, our mark was there. We tensed and waited. The Rokh pilot held cloak until the last minute before decloaking. To our horror, he was 35km from the nearest tackler. Fearing a failed tackle, I urged my broadsword forward, as did Vig and Hera. The rokh aligned slowly but it was enough and it's warp engines engaged.

Fighting back disappointment and recriminations - we visually followed the escape vector of the rokh. It was headed to the top asteroid belt or top planet. The fleet split into two and screamed after the escaping rokh.

Jmarr landed first at the belt and got a point, followed by me and then everyone else.

With the broadsword and devoter using their warp disruption generators - no amount of warp core stabilisers can prevent a ship from being ensnared. It was trapped and we easily stripped the shields down to armour. Being pirates, we decided to ransom the rokh pilot for 150m isk - he had only 147million isk and we took it gladly. For the eight pilots involved, it was a nice 18million isk payout. Not bad for risk free work.

Interestingly the rokh pilot had no idea how we found him. He thought he had escaped the camp and didn't assume that we could track him. I want to meet more pilots like this individual.