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First Blood

There’s something inevitably gratifying about drawing your first blood. The sensation of excitement, the thrill of risk, the surge of adrenaline that pumps through your veins when you begin to doubt if launching your first volley was the right course of action. Then you commit your drones, and you realize that it’s too late to turn back. It’s now or never, and if you fail, you die. All that you had hoped to gain could quickly vanish, and all the time and expense that you’d invested to reach this point in time, this place in space, this foe opposing you, may end up being for naught.

This was not to be that day. Today I drew my first blood, and the victory was sweet, if only shallow and humble at best.

While out mining in the belts, about ready to wrap up the morning runs, suddenly my radar picked up and identified a player-hostile. Oh, shit, I thought, not good, not when we’re within a single jump of losec… who the fuck is this guy? Some quick research showed it was a player Rifter, owned by one ronbrandsteder of the Pator Tech School. Never heard of him, I thought.

But that didn’t matter. I’m an unarmed Retriever, and even with my combat drones out and ready to do their part, the last thing I wanted to do was get into it with a Rifter hotshot with an itchy trigger finger. Even if CONCORD was going to eventually haul its ass out here to help, I wasn’t going to take the risk. Hell no, I thought, this bitch is going down.

I recalled my drones and hoofed it back to the station, where one shiny new Minmatar Hurricane was sitting in my hangar, courtesy of one Wessidious Smoke (thanks, Wes!), itching to get some ratter ass. Switch made, undock, warp back to the belt… anxiety began to set it. Was I making the right move? It is only a Rifter after all, and I am two classes bigger than him… but what if he knows something I don’t? What if he has some weapons that will tear through me before I knew what hit me?

When I emerged from warp, tensions high, ready to launch into action, I was greeted with… nothing! He’d gone. Fuck! What now? I thought for a moment. No way this clown is getting out of my system alive if I can help it. I want blood. It’s time to send this little bitch a message that nobody rats in my belts, not in my hometown. My intent was to warp through every single belt in the system – and then all the stations and gates if I had to – to find this little prick. I set course for the very next belt and initiated warp. Engaged…

Moments later, my Hurricane emerged from warp, and lo and behold… there he is! Drones deployed! Approach rat, target Rifter. The targeting computer tried and tried and tried to lock, but not yet. The Hurricane turned and I engaged the afterburners. Come on, dammit, move your ass! Lock this bitch now! No sign of activity from the Rifter, he seemed idle. Was he AFK, was he freaked out and didn’t know what to do at the sight of a ship twice his class superior bearing down on him with obviously foul intentions? I had no clue. Lock! Lock! Lock! The targeting computer finally found its victim and gave me the happiest of pings that any anxious combat pilot could hope the hear. Drones engage! They rushed off to meet their victim and began to eat through his shields.

Missiles away! Engage the 720s! The first of the Bloodclaws raced through space and made contact, tearing away the rest of the Rifter’s shields and introduced themselves to his armor. As I admired their handiwork, the 720s boomed, and after a delay they made contact. Boom, motherfucker! You are going down! The Rifter still wasn’t moving. I caught him with his pants down… just to be safe I engaged the Web. You are not getting away from me. I knew that in less than 10 more seconds he would be toast. As I got closer, I engaged the close fire support weaponry. I can only imagine that in real life he’s sitting on the can reading, making plans to take out some local miners, thinking he’s safe here in the hisec belts… I laughed. The drones continued to tear into their target, the missiles roared, and the 720s kept up their relentless pounding.

And within seconds more, the Rifter ruptured and exploded into a great fireball – I erupted with joy. Goooooooodbyyyyyyeeeee mother-fucker! I think I cheered as well – the neighbors surely heard that. It was first blood, sweet victory, oh so sweet. Now, I thought, I understand why the salty tears of agony taste so deliciously sweet.

There was no capsule to be found. Perhaps I’d missed it in all the excitement, but another capsule nearby made me wonder if the Rifter had a friend, or perhaps the pilot was dual-boxing and was trying to switch ships in some not-so-sneaky fashion. Whatever the reason, he was dead.

I pulled alongside the twisted wreckage, tore into his hull, and stripped it of all its uncharred goodies. Not much in value, really, but my real payment was one of satisfaction and self-contentment. I’d joined the club of PvP combat pilots, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. It’s a perfect beginning to a new day, I thought with a broad grin on my face.

And just to rub it in, I came back with a different ship and salvaged the remains. Take that bitch. Now stay out of my town.

Ah, the smug self-satisfaction. I’m sure it’ll last until somebody comes along and wipes up the floor with my terrified ass, in a ship twice the class superior to mine. Such is life. Such is EVE.

Cipi, I’m coming for you.

Combat log follows…

2009.08.27 16:52:00

Victim: ronbrandsteder
Corp: Pator Tech School
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Rifter
Security: 0.6
Damage Taken: 1344

Involved parties:

Name: Maximilian Black (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Techno-Wizard Industrial Technologies
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: Terror Assault Missile
Damage Done: 776

Name: Angel Nomad / Archangels
Damage Done: 568

Destroyed items:

Tripped Power Circuit, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Civilian Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold I
150mm Light Prototype I Automatic Cannon
Titanium Sabot S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Small Armor Repairer I
Civilian Shield Booster I
Salvager I
Burned Logic Circuit, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Carbonized Lead S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Armor Plates (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Explosion Dampening Field I (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold I
150mm Light AutoCannon I
Small Armor Repairer I (Cargo)
Smashed Trigger Unit (Cargo)
Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters
Titanium Sabot S, Qty: 47
Fried Interface Circuit, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Fusion S, Qty: 48
Salvager I
Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters (Cargo)

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