Thursday, August 22, 2013

Damp Experiments

Erun was nervous, anxious even, to the point where his pod's medical suite had already offered him a mild sedative to soothe his nerves.  The reason for his current state of anxiety happened to surround him in the form of a Maulus-class frigate.  More than the ship itself, it's designed purpose as an electronic-warfare platform was throwing him for a loop, he had literally no experience using e-war modules.  He'd experienced their effects before - range dampening, electronic counter measures, even tracking disruption - for all the good these all did once his drones had a valid target for their aggression.  But he'd been in situations where he'd been unable to give his drones targets and then couldn't bring his own armaments to bear against the offending craft. His continued theory-crafting to improve his PvP had led to thinking about combining his drone expertise with this ability to prevent an opponent from targeting him back.  Taking one more minute to ready himself, he finally undocked from Intaki 5-5 to begin looking for viable targets.

Long range directional scanning quickly resulted in a potential pirate at one of the many faction warfare sites the Empire Navies left scattered across the Viriette constellation.  Erun kept his d-scan running as he approached the site at high warp, identifying the ship in the site as an Imperial Navy Slicer.  He felt some hesitation as he arrived at the acceleration gate into the complex, but quickly gathered himself and broadcast  the activation signal, sending him hurtling towards a possibly violent end. 

As he landed on grid Erun ran a quick background check on the pilot flying the Slicer, a Teens in Jeans with a marginally criminal security status.  They quickly targeted each, with Teens firing the first salvo allowing Erun to engage at will.  The four Hobgoblins he had deployed when he landed immediately streaked towards the Slicer as Erun activated his E-war suite and attempted to get to a longer range.  The Slicer's lasers lanced through his shields while his drones and artillery made quick work of the Slicer's.  His ship began to shake as the minimal armor plating on his Maulus began to ablate under the concentrated hail of laser fire.  The drones had only gone through half of the Slicer's more reinforced armor when his own began to fail, sending structural integrity warnings racing through his mind.  Aligning to the first point on the Escape section of his Overview, he felt the nanofiber enhanced structure collapsing as it ejected his pod into space which quickly reached warp velocity and raced off. 

Erun bounced off his escape point before docking in Intaki 5-5 and attempted to calm his rather frayed nerves, now taking the sedative previously offered by his pod's medical suite.  He offered his congratulations to Teens in Jeans in local and got a "good fight" back.  Erun was curious to know how effective his Dampeners had been and asked Teens, who responded that he'd been reduced to a range of less than 13km.  Teens told him that it had been very close, the drone damage had been "sick" getting him down to 3% of his armor.  Wondering what he could have done better, Erun asked, and was told that if he'd kept past 13 kilometers and kept his speed up he might have won.  Laughing, Teens told Erun he would probably just run the next time he saw a Maulus, and that he'd gotten lucky this time.  Teens soon left the Intaki system, and Erun wrapped up his own business resetting his PI and market orders before turning in for the night...

Several days later...

Mentally sighing in frustration as his pod warped away from yet another lost Maulus, Erun tried to think of what he had done wrong this time.  This would be the fourth Maulus he'd lost this week either due to his own errors, or just landing into a situation he couldn't handle.  His first loss had been his informative battle with Teens in Jeans.  The second he'd been torn to shreds by a nearby Thrasher before he could even get his drones out.  This loss taught him that warping to zero wasn't always a good idea, and that he should immediately start burning away from his target.  He'd unfortunately landed on his target again which resulted in him losing his third Maulus, although this time he'd managed to get away long enough to deploy his drones.  This fourth loss he'd once again been unable to get to a safe range before his opponent's rockets ripped him apart.

Almost unconsciously Erun made his way back to Intaki to fit yet another Maulus, the fitting process itself was relegated to another unconscious part of his mind as he pondered his next course of action.  As his pod was transferred to the newly constructed E-war ship he decided to continue with his current plan of trying until he succeeded.  He'd stopped taking even the minimal crew out with him on his combat roams once he realized he'd be losing so many ships, so he wasn't putting anything at risk he wasn't willing to lose.

Undocking from Intaki 5-5 Erun ran a quick D-scan and found no valid targets so he headed through to Agoze.  The D-scan showed clear but there were numerous valid targets in system, so he headed to Agoze 9-2 which offered him a better "view" of the system.  A nearby faction warfare complex showed activity so he decided to head there, and engaged his warp drive.  As he landed on the acceleration gate he saw a hostile heading into the complex followed closely by a blue named Xander Lehman.

Erun hurriedly broadcast the activation sequence and followed only to be jarred violently as his warp bubble collapsed!  The vector for the attack was determined in an instant and he threw his ship in the opposite reaction as he activated his microwarp drive.  He targeted and damped the hostile vessel, a pilot named Rivika in a Thrasher who turned her attentions to Xander who had begun attacking her.  Erun's drones were launched and sent after Rivika as he closed back into disruptor range.  A quick stock of his bearings showed that the single volley had overloaded his shields, ablated most of his armor, and damaged the struture to the point the ship was barely holding itself together.  As he approached the maximum range of his disruptor and activated it he saw Xander's ship explode under the fire from what he assumed were Rivika's artillery cannons from the alpha damage they were doing.  Bringing his own artillery to bear, Erun began firing on Rivika's Thrasher while keeping his remote dampeners active, rendering her unable to target him.  With the damage Xander had already done to her shields, Erun's drones and artillery fire were able to get through Rivika's defenses and destroy her ship, but he was unable to capture her capsule.

Another hostile ship landed in the complex and Erun pulled in his drones and took his leave, his Maulus was barely holding together as it was.  Once he landed on station he alerted to be ready in case the ship fell apart, he'd already vented the ship's atmosphere to stop several small fires onboard.  Station services dragged the ship to his hangar before they gave him an estimate on the cost to repair it.  He signed off on the estimate without even thinking, waiting the few minutes it took the stations nanonic repair services to put his ship back together.   "Good fight" was tossed in local by all the involved parties, with Rivika lamenting as Erun's damps had left her helpless.

As soon as the repairs were complete he sent his thanks to station services before undocking again and making a beeline for the Intaki gate.  Once on the other side he ran a cursory scan before setting a course for Intaki 5-5 and docking up for the remainder of the night.  He was soon decanted from his pod, toweling off ectoplasm and relaxing on his couch with a warm bowl of ramen in his lap.  As he got up to pull a second bowl out of the commissary unit he called up the schematics for the Maulus, looking to see what he could do to improve it.  Maybe if he swapped out the damage control for another drone damage amplifier... It may have saved him today, but he wasn't supposed to be taking fire in the first place... Or maybe he'd...

No comments:

Post a Comment