Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fearless. No, clueless.

Alerted to the presence of a juicy target by a fellow Tusker, I entered the system's coordinates into my navigation computer but kept manual control of my Thorax as I began negotiating the seven jump gates between us. Just as I was only one system out from my target, I jumped into the middle of a serious fleet camping the gate I had just come through.

I didn't panic. A quick glance informed me the fleet included a Rapier and a Crow; my odds of simply warping on were low. Instead, I set the gate I had just jumped through as my next destination, then waited for a few moments to let my jump timer reset. Taking a deep breath, I issued the command to approach the gate, followed quickly by commands to engage the microwarpdrive and activate damage control systems. To jump as soon as I hit jump range, I engaged my autopilot. My cruiser turned slowly to the gate, then picked up some crucial speed as it returned to the gate. Then my foes had me locked; my shields evaporated, and I activated my meager armor repair system as large chunks were bitten out of my armor. My speed slowed some, then slowed even more, as electronic warfare modules targeted my propulsion systems. But it was too late for my attackers; by the time I reached jump range, I still had half my armor.

Jumping through the gate, it was too soon for celebration. Competent gate campers would have ships waiting to tackle me on the other side. With elation, I realized my gate campers were heavier on numbers than competence; the other side of the gate was clear! I quickly warped away from danger to a safe spot I had previously recorded in space.

Smugly, I turned to my comms console and gave a rundown on my brief encounter to my fellow Tuskers. Then activity on my proximity overview caught the corner of my eye.

What was this? The entire gate camp was at my position! Wait--I had warped back to the gate! Now it was panic time. I realized, too late, that my autopilot was still engaged--and my ultimate destination still took my ship through that gate. To fix my destiny, the autopilot had jumped to a "safe" 17 kilometers from the gate--way too far to just jump right through. In desparation, I spit out orders to warp to someplace else--anyplace else. Not in time. The commands were still in my mouth as I was locked and tackled. Time to think about my escape pod, and denying my foes the bounty still riding on my head.

Some would say that warping 17 km. off a heavily camped gate is fearless. Those who know better call it clueless.

2 comments:

Mynxee said...

Oh, dear. I hate that feeling of being clueless...seems to happen a lot for me. But hey. At least it gave you blog fodder. And that description of how to get back to gate is every bit as instructive as a slow motion video replay. Nice job. And hey man...get a clue!!! *grin*

edrayne said...
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