The Bloodied Oracle

I originally logged onto Eve tonight to run some missions, continue to help the corp’s wallet grow, and increase my security status a bit more. None of those things got done. Instead I logged in to find myself in a station somewhere in my local lo-sec chain. Looks like I never made it back to my HQ after the last roam for whatever reason. That’s about all the convincing I need to do a little hunting instead of being productive!

I undock and start to prowl. It doesn’t take me long to find something interesting. A few jumps from my starting location I locate a system with three other pilots in it. Any system with more than two pilots in it gives me pause, but the d-scan quickly gets my bloodlust up. I see a Covetor and Purifier. I could easily take both these ships, but the unknown third pilot is making me uneasy. I spend some time warping around the system to see if I can track down the rogue pilot, and finally find him in the local station.

Drat. That’s not going to tell me anything useful. This could easily be an ambush. The ship is mining, I even watch as it spits out a can. A fleet of Hobgoblin II drones orbit it closely. When I first reached the belt I saw the Purifier on my overview, but he cloaked just as I got there. So I know there are at least two ships in the belt with a potential for a third unknown class ship. This smells way too much like a trap, and I’m not in any rush to throw my Pilgrim into the fray. I’m not too worried about the ships I’ve seen, but this unknown pilot is too large of a wildcard in my opinion. So I opt for a different strategy.

The locking range on mining barges is short. Very short. I know because I’m always annoyed with how close pirate frigates have to get to me before I can lock on to them and engage with my drones when mining myself. I make a few bookmarks of the mining operation and fly back to HQ to pickup my sniper fit Oracle. The ship is yet to be bloodied in battle and I’m anxious to see how it would perform against a living opponent. I’m a little anxious to fly it through Ami, with the amount of gate camps I’ve seen in the area in the past, but the chain seems pretty quiet this time of the morning (Eve time) and I decide to risk it.

Back in the hunting grounds nothing has changed. The miner is there, his can is there, and the other two pilots in local are not on my directional scanner. Surprise is on my side. I immediately warp to within 70km of my bookmark, which I made on the miner’s can. With my signal amplifiers fitted to the ship, I lock the miner in the blink of an eye and let my beam lasers go to work.

The feeling of vaporizing someone’s shields and melting into 80% of their armor in one shot is really, really, fun. I wasn’t sure just how much damage the Oracle would do against ships properly fitted. I’ve only ever tested it on NPC rat ships. With the three heat sinks the beam lasers reloaded and fired again within two seconds. The miner never had a chance to react. His ship burst into a brilliant blue supernova. The drones suddenly became lifeless and the pilot’s pod warped away to a station. I thought about trying to loot the wreck, but honestly it wasn’t worth risking a 200+ million isk ship for some mining modules. The Purifier was still lurking around and local began spiking quickly.

Interestingly enough, the ship was not fit as a bait ship like I had expected. Turns out he was actually just mining in lo-sec. Not aligned to anything. Nor paying much attention to his d-scanner. I was surprised, the pilots involved were a good three years old or so. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t use the Pilgrim now only because I could have possibly gotten the Purifier “guard” ship in the process. But having the Oracle bloodied feels really good.

I cruise around the system waiting out my global criminal timer and then head to a neighboring hi-sec system to let the area cool off a bit. All in all a good roam and a fun kill. Finally something worth a few dozen million rather than just a few dozen isk! So much for my recently acquired security status.

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