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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quantum Entanglement Plays On

The mission seemed simple enough. Drop of the band Quantum Entanglement with their manager. What could be more simple than that? Other than hormone driven groupies, there was nothing to worry about. That is at least what the agent told me. I didn't think she was completely on the up and up when she recommended I use a well tanked combat ship.

I picked up the band in Prinz Eugen and took them to the prearranged drop off. The choice of words the manager used when he took them on board seemed to confirm my suspicions. These groupies would be packing.
The next thing I know the manager's went through the nearby acceleration gate and a small pirate fleet lands. There was also a heavy missile battery that appeared out of nowhere - a neat trick. It immediately started to work its way into my buffer so I took it out first.
In short order the missile battery was a bunch of free floating spare parts. That left only the three battleships and three frigates. The frigates didn't web me so I ignored them. They weren't doing any appreciable damage and I could always launch my flight of Warrior drones on them. The drones would make quick work of the frigates.
So I slugged it out with the Admirals. Soon it was one on one and I was blowing his armor off in large chunks. He wasn't long for this universe. One he was out of the way, I turned my attention to the frigates. They were just hovering out there shooting ineffectually at me like the idiots I thought they were. The three of them couldn't ass their transverse velocity together to be safe. I sent them on to the next life with two shots apiece. I decided to hold the Warriors in reserve in case I ran into some smarter frigate pilots who knew what a webifier was used for. I also had started to suspect that the manager taking off at the exact moment the pirates warped in was less a coincidence than a plan. When I went through the gate after the manager, I found out I was right.
The fact that they knew when I was coming through verified the manager was not on the up and up. I was certain he had no good intentions for the band. I'd have to free the band in order to complete my mission and collect payment. All that stood between me and that goal was the small fleet of pirates and about 50 kilometers to the acceleration gate. Taking no chances, I sent my Warriors after the frigates and engaged the nearest heavy.
Each pirate battleship took about two thirds of a full rack of missiles to pop. I wasn't certain if reinforcements would arrive but I had thousands of missiles in the magazines and time enough to use them all if necessary. I'd yet to hear the low shields alarm yet during the battle. I could tank these guys all day long.
And while my shields shook off the damage they were spitting, my salvos ripped them to shreds one by one. Even at near point blank range they couldn't handle Prinz Eugen. He's a death dealing machine is all I can say.
Prinz Eugen: the #1 distributor of pirate battleship parts in New Eden
Then the reinforcements landed: more Megathrons and a half dozen cruisers.
For the first time since the fight for Quantum Entanglement began, I heard the low shields alarm. The cruisers were tipping the balance out of my favor. With their higher rate of fire, they were slowly chewing through my buffer. Fortunately I had more DPS to throw at them. I'd recalled my Warrior drones when the last frigate popped. Now I unleashed them on the cruisers. They were too fast for the cruisers to hit and steadily chewed through their armor about as fast as I chewed through the battleships'. To help the drones out, after I took out the nearest Megathron, I iced two of the cruisers in quick succession before turning back to the big boys. Their fleet was no longer doing more DPS than my shields could absorb. I'd tipped the battle back my way. Soon after, I made it to the acceleration gate and continued my pursuit of the band's dead beat manager.
Upon deceleration, the only ship in scan was the manager. His pleas for leniency fell on deaf ears. Still, I checked out his ship. Surprises are unwelcome manifestations of sloppiness.
 I'd never seen an Independent Veteran Dominix before. But it was only one battleship. It was a decent enough fight. For a member of the music industry, he handled the battleship almost adequately though the outcome was never in question. My last salvo pretty much summed up the entire fight.
The band was very grateful. Evidently the manager had gotten some really bad drugs. They'd been laced with industrial solvent and he certainly wasn't in his right mind. The band even said they'd name their next album after me. Yeah, I bet they say that to all their rescuers.

Fly careful.

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Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.