Saturday Hell-raising

Usually, Friday nights are ‘Marc Scaurus’ nights. Under the guise of providing content for TMC’s Twitch stream, I typically block out a few hours on Friday nights to log into Scaurus and go raise some hell. By the time last Friday rolled around, though, I was exhausted, as were my Friday night comrades Alikchi and Nystrik. Thus, we called off the usual Friday stream and decided to go on Saturday instead.

Before the stream on Saturday, though, I rolled over to good ole Vitrauze – just a hop, skip, and a jump from my old homes of Hevrice and Lisbaetanne – to link up with Dian Lung and the Hellcats (which sounds a lot like a kickass punk band). Saturday was the first Hellcats Reloaded Public Coed Roam, something I had marked on my calendar over a month ago, and I was determined to kick the night off with some good company and hopefully a fair few kills.

We set off from Vitrauze about 15 strong – a few Hellcats, some randoms, but primarily composed of D.CMD fellas, who are apparently old friends of the Hellcats. The plan of attack was to roam over to Tama, gathering many glorious kills along the way no doubt, then heading back to Vitrauze to rearm, repair, and do it all over again. I figured that, worst case scenario, we’d all get popped in Tama and I’d be able to hop over to nearby Ishomilken for a replacement ship, if necessary.

We did not make it that far, though. In Old Man Star our scout spied the usual gatecamping gang, who seemed light on numbers. Waiting until they aggressed on the highsec gate, we jumped in and landed on top of a Huginn. However, it soon became apparent that these campers were not idiots – the Huginn was easily able to withstand the brunt of both gate guns and our assortment of destroyers and frigates thanks to the valiant efforts of his pocket healer, an Exequror. Before targets could be switched to the Exequror – some 40km off of the main body of our fleet – it became apparent that things weren’t going to go our way. A Stabber Fleet Issue and a couple other ships joined the campers in feasting upon our hulls with abandon.

I headed back to Ishomilken, retrieved a Thrasher, then set off back to Vitrauze, where the fleet was regrouping. Before long, we had set off for Evati – a favored haunt of the Hellcats but one of the few areas of lowsec space in which I have no bookmarks, no experience, and no geographical context. As we moved along, I kept having to ask for the new destination systems to be linked – sorry Dian, I’m a newb!

Once in the area near Evati, it seemed that it was as dead as any other on a Saturday night. Most of the gang docked up for a quick break, but a handful of us remained out in space. It felt good to drop into old habits – drop a few bookmarks, dscanning constantly, swift and efficient in sussing out the local situation. And Evati wasn’t totally devoid of traffic, as various things floated around on d-scan: a Tornado; a Comet; a passing hauler. Next door, our scout was busy trying to pin down a potential mining op (which, I believe, turned out to be just a bunch of stuff tucked into a POS) but soon I found a Gnosis in a faction warfare plex.

My Thrasher slipped into warp and popped into the plex – actually a Large Compound – about 3km from said Gnosis. There was a comically long moment in which I reviewed my options and, for that moment, our two ships simply floated next to each other, bobbing gently in the Newtonian version of the universe that CCP has constructed. The moment passed, though, when the Gnosis targeted me.

I grabbed a point then calmly said into comms ‘I’ve got a point on a Gnosis, warp to Marc Scaurus, warp to Marc.’ The Gnosis was chewing me up pretty quickly and, had I been alone, I would probably have been better served by focusing on its drones, but I was still able to take it down to about half shields before the rest of the gang showed up (and I died, of course). By that point I was looking at getting out of dodge anyways – I needed to link up with Alikchi for some streaming on TMC’s Twitch channel – but Valentina (ironically, a corpmate of the Gnosis that had just died) offered to toss me a Kestrel so I could stay with the roam awhile longer. I did so, and was rewarded with a few more kills after the Gnosis pilot returned to Evati in a Myrmidon. Though I didn’t end up on the Myrm killmail, I did end up on Dragoon and Kestrel kills.

The gals at Hellcats are sharp as knives and know their business – I was really pleased to have the opportunity to fly with them and some of their friends and will definitely be on the lookout for any other public roams that occur! Special thanks to Dian Lung for extending the invite in the first place, and Val for reshipping me after I had instigated her corpmate’s demise!

After round 2 in Evati, I was running late for my rendezvous with Alikchi and the rest of the TMC staff. Luckily, they weren’t far away and it only took me about 10 minutes to get over to Foves, where Alikchi had apparently stockpiled a ton of gank Catalysts: it was time to go hunting in highsec. With Alikchi ably providing both scouting and FCing, we were able to bring a couple of miners to their knees before EVE was abandoned for the evening (following some connection issues suffered by our Australian buddies).

Unfortunately, due to real life considerations, I won’t be able to do a Friday Night (or, as was the case this time, Saturday Night) stream of any sort – new carpets means everything has to move around and I’m likely going to be confined to the use of just my Chromebook this weekend. However, Friday Night streams will resume the week after (that’s February 20th), when the TMC staff will be heading into Thera (because we could barely survive longer than half an hour in lowsec, and want to reduce that number significantly in future apparently). See you then!