So, I lost the Void Dancer II a bit ago. And, the III a bit after that (more on that another time, maybe). The IV is all set up, but I’ve been taking a short break from Abyss running with all the stuff that’s been going on. But, meantime, I kind of want to bump this topic and also there’s another ship I use a lot.
● Full name of the flagship: SFRIM Etcher II
● Nickname: “my ship” in Hive fleets; otherwise “my Hive Confessor”
● Class: ARC Hive op doctrine-fit DPS Confessor
● Age: about a year, I think?
● Homedock: SFRIM facilities near Amarr
● Builder: unknown (purchased from market)
● Status (in service, destroyed…): happily once again in service!
● Souls on board (crew, janitors…): usually about 20
● Purpose (combat, diplomacy…): Hahahahaha!
Working with a task force to penetrate Hives, protect ARC ships as they explore their secrets, and hunt Drifters on their own turf.
● Reasons for flagship designation
Out of all the stuff I do in this world, Hive operations (as frustratingly opaque as they can be) seem like some of the most meaningful. A Hive op isn’t about wealth (there’s a little, but, by our standards, not much) or danger (there’s a fair bit) or glory; it’s about trying to puzzle out one of the greater and more potentially deadly mysteries of our time.
In a way, the Etcher series is the opposite of the Void Dancer; an ARC Confessor is strictly a team player, built with limited resources with limited expectation of reward. It has only modest teeth, and in a very real way it’s the least-important ship in an ARC fleet. It’s not something I’d consider expending a lot of resources on, but, at the same time it’s a role I’ve played more or less regularly over the last … I guess it’s about three years, now? It’s a role I’ve been very proud to play.
● Favorite moments:
“Fleet, take gate.”
I’m, well, either an enthusiastic scout or maybe a little bit of a glory hog? Maybe those aren’t opposed ideas … anyway, I take a little pride in getting set up to be the first into, and out of, warp within a Hive, and provide intel on what I see. It’s not a position without risk; usually whoever’s first in is also a Drifter’s first target, so I often wind up being the center of attention for a few seconds before the Drifters notice they have bigger problems.
Also … I love, and worry about, the fact that we have worked out how to engage the Drifters without taking losses, ourselves. It used to be my old Caracals were getting obliterated with all hands so regularly that I took to calling that the “Acceptable Loss” series (and I got up over the “Acceptable Loss X” before the new doctrine emerged). So, Drifter doomsday fire without a loss on our side … that’s a pretty good feeling.
The worry comes from wondering how long it’ll be before the Drifters switch tactics, and we’re back to dreadful losses in every single fleet again. For now, though, there’s work to be done. And I’m proud to be able to help do it.