Friday, October 26, 2007

Highsec Piracy

Today I taught a young pod pilot some important lessons about high-security piracy, in the course of my own highsec piracy learning process.

Still flying my trusty Incursus, I cruised into a highsec system near my lowsec "home." Highsec systems are defined as systems where any unprovoked aggression brings a speedy police response in the form of Concord; such systems have a security rating of 0.5-1.0. Pilots with a low security status are also restricted from entering many highsec systems; already the slump in my security status prevents me from entering systems with a 1.0 security rating.

I began warping from asteroid belt to asteroid belt, hunting down NPC pirate ships and destroying them. Now this is the important thing: I did not loot those ships, but left them and their loot drifting slowly through the asteroids. Each time I cleaned out a belt, I logged the wrecks' location in my computer so I could return quickly. I then simply returned to lowsec space for some more (fruitless) hunting.

About half an hour later, I returned to the highsec system and warped to a point from which I could scan each of the belts I'd previously patrolled. I had a possible target! A Tristan was at one of the belts. I quickly warped to the point in that belt where I had left some wrecks. The Tristan was flashing red--meaning he was a legal target! I could attack him without fear of Concord. I quickly activated my combat modules (guns, webber, and scrammer) and locked onto him with my targeting computer. Moments later, his ship exploded. As I turned to destroy an NPC pirate hurrying over to take advantage of the situation, I monitored my victim's pod as it hung around for a few moments, then warped away. Within minutes, I received a message from my victim, threatening to return in 20 minutes to fight me again. Yay!

I looted my victim's wrecked frigate and went on my way, keeping in mind his promise to "bring it" one more time. About half an hour later I was back in the highsec system...and so was a pilot that had "Ka Jolo" written all over his antimatter hybrid gun ammo. On my scanner I could see he was piloting a Catalyst this time--a destroyer, much like a frigate in capabilities but packing a meaner punch. Normally I'd think nothing of attacking a destroyer, as they tend to be fitted for salvage work with tractor beams and salvagers, but somehow I suspected this one was fitted to gank one specific Incursus--the Jousting Junebug.

I warped to his position anyway.

As I warped in, I could see my victim of earlier in the day had just killed an NPC pirate and probably had a second locked; I hit my micro warp drive and began orbiting him. Unlike earlier, however, this time my target was not flashing red; this told me that Concord would not approve of me initiating force against him. So my guns, webber, and scrammer remained offline.

Suddenly, I was taking enemy fire! Now I activated my combat modules, and soon we were locked in combat. It didn't look good for me; I was hurting the destroyer, but he was hurting me more. Unlike many bigger ships, destroyers tend to fit small guns that excel at tracking frigates such as mine. I still hadn't pushed through his shields by the time he was biting into my armor. Then--BANG!--he was dead. I guess Concord didn't approve of him initiating force against me any more than it would have approved of me starting the fight against him.

Somewhere there's a Concord bureaucrat with a a special sheet of paper in his files. I want it. It's the kill mail for that feisty highsec pod pilot's destroyer.

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