Rachell and the Rattlesnake

It was in that early part of my career when I was more or less just learning the ropes. I was still pretty green and mostly stuck to running small combat missions, hauling cargo, and mining in and around the Chaven and Deepari systems. There were occasional trips to Amarr and other local systems but for the most part I stuck to my own little area of space with no real plans to travel further than I needed to. ( Honestly, looking back at the time Amarr had always seemed so far away and Jita was just out there. You heard about it but at that time it really wasn’t a real place for me yet… )

I remember the day well enough in that I was flying a Magnate fitted for hauling cargo and running assorted goods back and forth between Chaven VIII to whatever system they needed that cargo to be taken. It was upon returning from some such mission delivering cargo that I first set eyes on her.

She was a Gallente Rattlesnake parked about 100 km’s off station and she was by far the largest vessel I had ever laid eyes upon up until that point. ( Honestly at the time the biggest vessels I had seen coming and going from the station were limited to cruisers like the Maller, Omen, or the rare Arbitrator. A Rattlesnake was just not a ship you saw in region very often… ) This was also around the start of the Triglavian conflict so while out of place she was not something that weighed too heavy in my thoughts at the time I first saw her. That was until about 6 or 7 cargo runs later when it became painfully apparent to me that something was amiss.

I had just returned to the station after completing another series of missions and once again noticed that same Rattlesnake was still in orbit and by all accounts had not moved an inch as far as I could tell from her original spot which honestly struck me as odd. It was at this point that I dared to approach the ship to have a closer look at which point it became clear to me that she was sitting empty and likely had been for the last several hours.

( The funny thing was that with all the traffic coming and going from the station. No one seemed to have notice that the largest ship in the entire system was just sitting there abandoned, not even a stone’s throw from the station for everyone to see and yet she somehow had remained undisturbed and unmolested for the last 2 almost 3 hours… )

Thus the question, what do I do with this discovery? I mean I was as green as they come and not a clue in my head regarding what I should do with the knowledge that I had just acquired.

Right out the gate it was clear to me that salvage was not an option and attempting to blow something as big as a Rattlesnake up with a Magnate armed with a pair of beam turrets was a nearly impossible task that would take forever even if she was sitting empty. ( Also it was pretty obvious that someone was bound to notice when that massive vessel didn’t fire back … )

The next issue was that I couldn’t hope to pilot a vessel as big as she was given that at most my skill set only allowed for destroyers on the best of days.

In the end as much as it hurt my pride I made the call to ask for help.

At first my corps mates didn’t believe me and many of them shared a good laugh at my poor attempt at humor but after some time I finally (Somehow… ) managed to talked one of the XO’s into believing me. The problem we now faced was that he was 57 systems away from my location and it would be an hour or more before he could get to where I was.

It was the longest hour and a half I had ever experienced in my life.

I sat on my prize for the entire time just waiting for someone to catch a hint and fly over and take her away from me. A hundred and seven minutes of me counting the seconds, moment to moment, waiting for help to come and secretly fearing that it never would.

The corporate XO did finally arrive in a shuttle towards the bottom of the hour and took charge of things for me. Not believing that I had been this lucky and then laughing at me when he attempted to board the ship and couldn’t because I had a weapon’s locked on the thing the entire time which had triggered the abandoned vessel’s passive security systems to prevent access. (Oddly enough ensuring that no one would have access to the vessel until I released the weapons lock or was killed … ) In the end the XO took control and guided her into the station without incident, the dozen or so ships flying to and from the station entirely clueless as to what had just happened.

At that point we negotiated a “Finders Fee” and I was awarded 350 million ISK and all the cargo in the Rattlesnakes hold which contained an MTU ( My first as it happened … ) Clearly I sucked at negotiations because my XO told me later that he would have paid a lot more for the vessel but honestly I was just happy to get something out of it.

The last I saw of her was as she departed the station before warping off in the direction of Ashab on her way to Jita where the main bulk of the Corporation was headquartered. I gather she lasted a couple of weeks before she was destroyed in a battle with Triglavian Insurgent forces near Sobaseki. ( A sad end to a beautiful vessel in my opinion… )