On Februrary 3rd 2018, I started mining in my training Corvette to raise enough money for my first Venture. I didn’t want hand outs from tutorials by repeating actions that I’d already done - I wanted to earn my own way. After about three hours of mining Condensed Scordite and selling it to a guy on the market who was buying for 7% over the estimated price, I had enough ISK to buy my first real ship, after another run in the Venture (lovingly named Brakes not Included) with the civ miner taken from the Corvette I had enough ISK to buy some Miner I modules, and start making decent mining runs that wouldn’t take hours.
The next day I started mining for real - making three million ISK in a matter of hours, and applied to join a budding mining corp, HIVE Industries Inc. An honourable group of people willing to give sound advice and offer drone coverage to me when I was still learning the skills to use such things myself. I spent the entire day socialising and mining in fleets with my little Venture, safe from the rats as long as I had a fellow corp member nearby. I more than tripled my intake that day, mining valuable ores such as Luminous Kermite - the value of which I could only have dreamed about back when I was mining in my corvette - and stockpiling it all for when our CEO set up a buyback system in the corp. It was a good day.
This morning I set out with strengthened optimism - I could finally fly my own drones and protect myself and my vessel from the scumbag rats. I got to work immediately, my two shining new Hobgoblin drones following me like loyal hounds. I felt invincible. I imagined myself in five years time, a proud Omega clone earning billions a week through industry and mining, flying an Orca and devouring entire belts, with my proud little Venture Brakes not Included sitting safely in a station, as a constant reminder of my humble beginnings. The first run went well - a hold full of gleaming Luminous Kermite, of hopes and dreams and ambition!
I dropped off my ore, adding it to my substantial stockpile like a dragon adds newfound treasure to his nest, before heading straight back out into the belt for more. There had been no rats during the first trip, so I knew they would turn up eventually. I remember checking my half full ore hold with a feeling of contentment as their hateful red marks appeared on my overview. They warped in fast, arrogantly locking onto Brakes not Included like they were the kings of the damned universe! I reacted quickly, locking onto them and telling my loyal drones to engage my target. The first few shots took my shield down to half, but I knew it would take a while for my drones to intercept them, letting myself be blinded by greed I turned my attention back to the matter at hand, to my bottomless desire for ore and riches.
But something was wrong! When my shield was ripped away completely and the rat’s hateful lasers started gouging into the thin layer of armour that protected my ship from oblivion, I noticed my drones were flying around the nearest asteroid of Luminous Kermite that I was mining - I had locked onto the rats, but I was still focusing on the last asteroid I had started mining! They were attacking the asteroid, not the rats! By the time this horrible mistake was made clear to me my armour was gone and my hull was starting to blister under the immense heat of the merciless energy weapons. That was when I panicked. That was when greed made me lose Brakes not Included, the ship I had worked so very hard for at the beginning. I recalled the drones, refusing to simply abandon them and warp out - they were mine, I’d trained all those hours and paid for them! I could have warped out back to my station for repairs and recollected them, but I wanted them back now!
It only took a few seconds for them to return to the hold, but this small petulance was enough. Glowing red hot from multiple hull breaches Brakes not Included started labouring forward as her warp drive warmed up, then with another pass from the rats, just as she was about to run to safety, she exploded like a new sun - her last loving act to throw my capsule to safety as she ripped herself apart.
I mined in a Corvette for that ship because I didn’t want hand outs from tutorials or random donations from strangers on Rookie Help. And now she was gone and despite having enough ore stockpiled to buy a hundred like her, they would never be her.
I will remember you forever, Brakes not Included xx