Note: The following account concerns some of my encounters with Count MonteCarlo, a pilot who has since been accused of being a corp scammer. I was not at all pleased to hear of what he and Feline Ferocity allegedly did to their Ministry of Destruction corpmates. While I can't help but recognize his combat prowess, I no longer feel that New Eden needs more pilots like him.
"We have a target at a belt. He is at belt II-1. All pilots stand by; on my order, jump in and proceed immediately to asteroid belt II-1, or warp directly to me. Ready...Jump! Jump! Jump! And warp immediately to belt II-1!" I warped to II-1 ahead of my fleet; by the time our target registered the spike in local, with any luck at all I would be tackling him.
I've written about many fights, but this one is special. It took place in Ouelletta, a lowsec system adjacent to highsec space, a frequent stop for miners and ratters curious about the riches of lowsec--and therefore a frequent stop for pirates who prey on unfortunate young miners and ratters. So nothing special there. I was flying a Crow, scouting for a fleet of Tusker pilots flying an Ishkur, a Taranis, a Rupture, a Stabber, and a Hurricane; well, actually, that's special--it was the biggest Tusker fleet I've yet flown with--but that's not what really made this fight special to me. What really makes this fight a Big Deal is the pilot we were up against.
His name is Count MonteCarlo. The Count and I have a history. I knew him first as a killboard-whore-of-a-corpmate, when I flew with the Ministry of Destruction; rarely were we flying in the same area at the same time, but I was impressed with the sheer number of kills this guy could rack up. Consider official MOD reports for week 30, for example, or week week 31 of this year; I mean seriously--over 50 kills in a single week? (I notice by the way that although my killmails remain, the name Ka Jolo has been expunged from all awards and top pilot reports on the Ministry of Destruction killboard. I haven't seen that before from other corporations from which I've resigned.)
But it has been as a rival that I've come to respect Count MonteCarlo best. I have the unfortunate habit of consistently underestimating him. Consider: my Crow vs. his Claw; my Crow vs. his Rupture--and then again, because I had my orbit set wrong the first time; and finally, my Taranis against his Thrasher. It seems every time I think I can beat him--I'm wrong; I'd lost every single engagement against MonteCarlo. Nor am I the only Tusker to suffer loss at his hands--by my count, this single pilot had 13 Tusker kills coming into tonight's engagement. The Count accomplishes what many pirates try unsuccessfully to do: he gets fights because he's underestimated, and in getting those fights he gets kills.
You can imagine, then, what kind of thoughts filled my head as my Crow warped to his position at asteroid belt II-1 in Ouelletta. Excitement: Could I be on the verge of my first victory against The Count? Fear: Was this a trap? Had I just underestimated him again? Was I leading my fleet to certain doom? Anticipation: This was going to be fun!
I dropped out of warp, and the fight was on. We locked one another, and I hurried to activate my microwarpdrive to hit my chosen orbit at top speed. Before I even launched my first missiles, all of my shields were depleted and most of my armor was worthless. I think I knew right then that it would be up to my corpmates to successfully prosecute this fight, if indeed we were to succeed. In fact, I immediately entered a destination for my escape capsule--and by the time I had my destination selected, I was already in that capsule; I felt glad to escape. As I warped away, Count MonteCarlo held the field.
My senses contracted, and only my hearing registered; I strained to hear radio reports from my mates.
"He's here! He's looting Jolo's wreck!"
"I don't have a point on him!"
"I'm trying to get in range; he's fast!"
"Does anybody have a point on him?" I asked, desperate.
"Burn Mac does."
"I do," some other pilot reported.
"We're getting him down," yet another Tusker assured me.
"I lost my point!"
"I lost target! He got out of range!"
"We got him!"
"Get his pod!"
"He got out!"
Heart pounding, I smiled as a sense of peace swept over me. It may have taken six Tuskers and the loss of my Crow, but we had killed Count MonteCarlo and his dreaded Thrasher! (What, you were expecting some other ship?) Somehow, it felt like a victory.
Within 60 minutes of our engagement, The Count had destroyed two more ships--including another Tusker. Sigh.
Will I underestimate Count MonteCarlo again? Probably. Will I ever get on the good side of a killmail against him again? I sure hope so. But I have to admire his kind of combat pilot. New Eden needs more like him.