The hum of the mining lasers thrummed throughout the hull of Erun's Retriever as they chewed their way through a sizable rock composed of Dark Ochre. He'd taken to mining more often after the last Neocom update had included a significant improvement on gravimetric triangulation. This allowed all capsuleer vessels to quickly find what were now being dubbed, "Ore Sites." The materials available from the asteroids in these Ore Sites had been a major boon to his production of sub-capital vessels and their accompanying modules and ammunition.
A flash in the corner of his eye drew Erun's attention to the ever present local window, two suspects had entered the Intaki system. Quickly ascertaining their security status, he began aligning his ship back to Intaki 5-5. Running a directional scan within 14 Astronomical Units of his position gave him the suspects' ship composition, a Rifter and a Griffin. A small gang, but more than capable of reducing his Retriever to dust. A mote in the distance off his starboard bow grew quickly into a Rifter 14 kilometers out. A thrill of panic ran through him as it started to target him before his warp drive kicked in, whisking him away to the safety of the Intaki Astral Mining Station.
Docking quickly, Erun had his pod transferred to the waiting Tuhvrakh, a Tristan he'd made ready for just such an occasion. Undocking just as quickly, he aligned and warped back to the ore site, cycling and then overheating his guns and electronic warfare modules in preparation for when he landed. And what luck! His opponent had moved closer to his bookmark allowing him to land within less than a kilometer. Tuhvrakh began targeting as soon as it landed, weapons deploying and e-war bringing the Rifter to a standstill. Erun's T2 Hobgoblins began working through the Rifter's shields a moment later. Alarms went off as his own shields were quickly evaporated by a hail of autocannon fire, followed by the ship shaking as the armor began to take hits. As the Rifter tried to break away it's own armor began to fail, the occasional shot getting through to the vulnerable superstructure beneath. Almost a third of Erun's 200mm armor plating had been ablated when the Rifter finally succumbed to the hail of fire from his own blasters and the almost mindless fury of his drones. Heaving a mental sigh of relief Erun halfheartedly attempted to grab the pod of his opponent before it slipped away. He was distracted however by the arrival of the Griffin he'd forgotten in his excitement! Staying at range it promptly shut down his targeting capabilities before it began firing on him. Fortunately Erun had yet to recall his drones, and sensing an attack on their creator had automatically streaked toward the Griffin before they began tearing through it's shields. It could only withstand a few seconds of the brutal assault before it wisely disengaged and followed pod of it's partner.
A sense of elation filled him as he realized he had just won his first real battle against another capsuleer! He posted his congratulations on a good fight into the local chat, a sentiment reciprocated by his opponents before both pilots left the Intaki system. He scooped out what he could salvage from the remains of the Rifter before heading to dock for some repairs. Tuhvrakh has lost almost two thirds of it's armor plating, and one of his drones had been damaged at some point in the battle. As Erun was decanted from his pod and toweling himself off, he realized he was shaking. Whether from fear or the remnants of the adrenalin from the battle, he was shaking like a leaf in the wind. Tossing his pod fluid soaked towel into the recycling system before he flopped into the now thoroughly worn couch. He'd taken to sleeping there instead of the provided bedding, which was obviously intended for some with a much smaller frame than his own. Noticing one of his more combat oriented contacts was awake he asked about the problem. This got him laughed at before they explained the feeling was normal, especially for the first such engagement. After ending the conversation he looked down at his still shaking hands before making a conscious effort to stop them. He felt an odd tightness in his chest before finally bursting into a fit of laughter that eventually exhausted him into an easy sleep...