Every morning for me is exactly the same. My alarm is set for 06:00 everyday, but my eyes open five minutes before it goes off without fail. It’s funny, but I know the one day I forget to set it, I’ll sleep in.
I have a set of simple stretching exercises I do to ensure my muscles don’t seize later in the day. There is not a lot of room if your legs cramp up in a capsule. Stretching done, I then make my way to the coffee machine. There is something amazing about the smell of freshly ground coffee beans. I’m not talking about the freeze dried crap that they try to pass off as coffee these days, no I’m talking about real coffee beans, roasted fresh and delivered monthly to my location. I know of booster addicts that spend less than I spend on my beans. It’s worth it.
I have decided to keep a journal of my thoughts, experiences and goals. I have always struggled to get my thoughts together which has landed me in trouble in the past, but I find that if I write my ideas down, I internally uncover more and set myself up better moving forward. I plan to look back upon these entries to find a little more about what makes me tick and to find my own light and truth amongst the stars.
Time seems to stand still at times. For the past six months I have been patrolling Empire space, scanning down and eliminating Sansha pirate operations and the ever growing menace of rogue drones. I have been working faithfully with agents from the Emperor Family, Tash-Murkon, and other corporations loyal to the Empire. Sansha activity in the region is consistent, no matter how many outposts and hideaways I clear. What is more alarming to me, is that it feels like I am seeing drone numbers increasing. I don’t fully know if we are gaining or losing ground anymore.
I know in my head that that my hard work is making a positive difference and without pilots keeping these pirates and drones at bay, they will continue to expand their reach. In my heart though, I feel my set of skills could be put to better use. I hear daily transmissions coming in from the front lines in the war zone and the call for pilots to join forces with the Militia to help drive back the Minmatar Republic forces. I am struggling to decide where I should concentrate my efforts and where I can make the biggest positive impact for the Empire.
Thieving, murdering drug dealers the lot of them. Sansha pirates are the some of the most vile and underhanded scum to fly in New Eden. I had scanned down another one of their hideouts this morning and could only imagine their surprise as my Confessor class destroyer landed on grid with them. I immediately set into action setting a course to encircle the group so that none escaped. Locking targets, I enabled my tracking computer and opened fire prioritizing the smaller faster frigates so they were not able to close in. This felt so routine to me now. How many of these caches of pirates have I cleared now? Too many to count.
Glancing down on my directional scanner, I picked up a wave of Sansha reinforcements coming in. That is when I noticed something different this time. Landing just over 250 kilometres away, Gamat Hakoot landed in his Deadspace frigate. This guy had eluded our forces for weeks now, always slipping away before we could get a lock on his location. Gamat just sat there as he just watched the last of his allies explode under my ship’s unrelenting laser fire. I aligned my ship and activated my afterburner closing the distance between us but the coward turned his ship and warped off. I was able to quickly lock his trajectory and determine his route. The chase was on.
Three systems later, I had finally caught up with Gamat. He had given up running and surrounded himself with what I assume were his most trusted and capable pilots. They all died around him. Gamat opened a system wide frequency communication screaming that he was going to kill me and any other Amarrian that got in his way. I loaded a fresh set of crystals in my ships pulse lasers and made sure that Gamat’s screams were his last. Looking through the wreckage of his ship, I was able to secure a Succubus class frigate blue print as well as various drug paraphernalia. Gamat’s reign is over.
Double shot espresso, it was my second of the morning already. That is when I heard the announcement come across alliance communications. There was to be a organized roam to clear any Republic forces with volunteers to join up with an Amarrian Militia corporation at 02:00. Here was my time to stand up and answer the call I thought. I had a few frigates and supplies previously shipped to the war zone staging system to give myself options should the opportunity present itself. I was happy I did, today was the day.
Arriving in Mehatoor, I made my way to the 24th Imperial Crusade Logistic Support station and made myself known to the Fleet Commander. There was an excitement buzzing in the air and I quickly ascertained that I was not the only newer pilot to answer the call to action. The FC gave a quick overview of our directive and we were told to get ready. I chose to fly my Imperial Navy Slicer, it is an iconic ship in the Amarrian fleet which was fast, nimble and fully capable of causing havoc among its enemies. It felt surreal as I looked at the other pilots boarding their ships. I found myself locked in a stare as one Militia members boarded their Retribution class frigate. He was rugged and gruff looking and his ship had blaster marks and burn marks along its hull. I shook my head and was about to board my own ship when I realized it had never seen real war zone conflict, its paint was still shiny and new. I felt like I was maybe in over my head.
The FC gave the command to un-dock. It felt surreal to be un-docking with hardened Militia members and I remember telling myself to harden the hell up, I was no novice to battle, I had killed hundred of pirates for the Empire. I had to admit to myself though, I had very little to no real experience against other capsuleers. 14 pilots in total un-docked from the station and I am happy to say that all 14 returned. This day turned out to be just a regular patrol with no Minmatar Militia or pirates turning out to face our fleet. The rush of excitement with every jump we took, knowing the possibility that something could happen at any moment was exhilarating. I felt that the role I had played today was critical to keeping the Empire safe, more so than clearing a dozen hideaways and pirate outposts. My heart raced and I knew that I would answer the call again.
I have spent the past few days really looking back and trying to decide what to do moving forward. Who knew having a choice was so hard? I have no regrets over the past 7 months clearing Amarrian space of pirates and other scum who threaten the Empire and it citizens. I take pride in that fact and have built strong relationships within many corporations loyal to the Empire as well as the Emperor Family itself.
I have decided to deploy to the front lines with the Amarr Militia and do my part in War Zone against the Minmatar Republic Forces. I have not been able to shake knowing that brave capsuleers fight each and everyday to protect the Empire where I have been in relative safety in High Security space. I know I will see and experience loss like I have never experienced before, but I am also confident that I can make a difference. Time will tell.
I understood that the warzone was going to be hectic. I wasn’t wrong in the slightest throwing myself in the deep end so to speak right off the bat. Only six jumps out of Mehatoor I landed in Auga. My directional scanner picked up a Ushra’Khan alliance pilot flying a Republic Fleet Firetail . I immediately tired to pinpoint his location. He seemed to be bouncing all around the system until I finally landed on grid with him just off of the Republic Fleet Assembly Plant at Moon 2. I landed 100km from his ship which he turned and started to close distance to my location. While he was still at range, I took note of his speed and zoomed in on my monitors to look to see if I could tell what weapon systems he was using. Autocannons.
I knew that I was going to have to try and control the range in this fight, understanding that autocannons did most of their damage in close quarters. I engaged my thrusters heading in a off angle from his trajectory so my ship was up to speed when we became in distance to lock. He increased his speed dramatically, almost doubling what he was flying previously, and closed the distance just enough to be able to activate his scram on my ship and then turn on his web module. My speed dropped immediately with my propulsion module turned off and I knew I was in trouble. I loaded Conflagration crystals into my lasers and overheated trying to out out as much damage as possible to his ship. Moments later, my Slicer fell apart around me quickly and my capsule was injected into space. I was able to warp off in my capsule effectively unharmed, other than my pride.
Heading back to Mehatoor, I kept reviewing the order of events in my head. How did he close the distance so fast? I knew that my Slicer was more than capable of reaching over 5k per second if I overheated my engines and understood that I would have to activate them straight away if we faced each other again. In fact I meant to, I had already set the course back to Auga before landing in Mehatoor. Arriving in Auga again, the same Firetail immediately popped up on scan again. Narrowing my sensors I found his location, he was at the gate leading into a small outpost in system. I picked up another ship on scan as well, an Punisher class frigate piloted by an Amarrian Militia pilot. I landed on the gate a moment after the Firetail activated the gate leading to the dead space pocket. I followed him in.
As I landed in the pocket, the Punisher pilot was warping out with the Firetail close on his tail. I activated my microwarpdrive to max settings and locked his ship. The Minmatar pilot turned his ship to engage me looking to close distance again. He never got close. My Slicer weaved and dodged his attempts while my lasers cut through his haul ejecting his capsule into space. Lessons were learned this day in space. I learned that my ship was capable of blinding speed and accuracy if flown correctly while he learned to think twice about engaging with this pilot.
He didn’t return to Auga that day.