“And now, The Transcredible Exploits of Genji Kawakami. Brought to you by Quafe Ultra”
Two days, four and a half billion ISK to go. I had recently been pinned Luminaire General, but the new rank wasn’t as much of a victory as I had hoped it would be. My skill? Injected. The ISK for the ship and all? Borrowed. My pod? Irreplaceable. And I had two days left on my pilot’s license.
The loan had come from the nicest of men, a slick upcoming goontrepreneur named Ross July. My word was on the line and my pilot’s license was ticking down, very soon I wouldn’t be able to fly my livelihood. The decision to leave the wormhole Chichi(praise mimi) came suddenly. I had heard of a way, very specialized, humbly skilled pilots such as myself would be able to make ISK like the super krabs in Delve.
I said my goodbyes to Hole Violence, then burned my way through wormholes heading for the highly contested region of Black Rise. Having run the Blood Stained Stars, I had a very decent standing with Gallente, which, let’s be honest is a very solid, stable faction. I had no problem joining a war corporation and soon I was running plexes working on my standings with the Defense Union. With a tutorial quick run from a veteran and Galmil alliance head, I was soon ready for my first run.
First, maybe I should tell you about my profession. I run high-level missions in enemy territory, usually with war targets chasing me, and pirates trying to combat probe me. Why this profession you ask? Some men do it for the camaraderie, some for the fun, but some men, some men do it for the ISK. These ticks don’t pay for my present, they pay for my future. I consider myself a professional, I take the missions most capsuleers don’t want, and I do them efficiently. Before you judge and say my life is any less dangerous than the snowflake orbiting the button, I’ll have you know I see more than my fair share of battle. I also dump hauler loads of LP back into the hubs to get us from tier two to three. I always keep about a hundred thousand LP on me just in case we need the bump.
My life, my life is much different than your normal beacon orbiter. When they un-dock, they know they are coming back in a pod, or worse, in a new clone. They get the fun, not the white-knuckled run through enemy territory. I don’t get that luxury, my pod is worth near a billion ISK and my vessel, half a billion. Failure isn’t really an option. Now you’re probably thinking, what an idiot, who flat out admits they are blinged from ship to pod. To do my job, in my ship, they are just a given. Besides, it’s not like they aren’t trying to kill me anyway.
My first run went less than smoothly; war targets chased me out of more sites than I care to admit. I was afraid. I couldn’t afford the ship nor implants in my pod. Needless to say, I lost the first ship. More and more assets left my hangar and for once I thought perhaps I had made a mistake and I wasn’t the pilot for the job. Now I was in the hole around four billion ISK, and all of my dueling frigates, but I had a replacement. I was flying my newly dubbed, Revenge, a Serpentis-skinned Hecate. This vessel lasted me much longer, and for the first time, I had lost the fear. I was going to go all in. I burned back into the mission I had just lost my ship in, blitzed towards the objective and melted it, flying my ship manually from cockpit view instead of the normal trailing hud cameras. In the beginning, before I had the ISK for more injectors, I found I had to overheat more. It was a game, that first run. Overheating, learning to manage the heat, figuring out which modules consumed less, definitely not my rack of hybrids.
It’s not like salvaging as a little bee, nor running hubs in a Vexor Navy Issue back in Delve. Both of those I can just stop doing, this is different. I can’t exactly stop mid-run, from start to finish my first run took around three hours. The first run netted me three hundred thousand and some change LP as I didn’t exactly have the standings to play around and decline some unsavory missions. The LP quickly converted at one thousand to one and I found myself the owner of a stupid expensive little shuttle I named Freedom. Anything that curbs the burnout is beneficial, though blingy as it may be.
I took to blitzing like a duck to water, which is funny, as a child I used to laugh and call anyone who ran any mission a carebear. Carebear I will be, my Leopard burning effortlessly through the gate camps of Black Rise and what surrounds it. My leopard is generally unphased by such pursuits as gate camps, even smart bombing attempts are usually quietly laughed at as I jump from safe to safe, perch to perch. I try not to stir up the war targets, or worse, the pirates that haunt this region. The nail that sticks out gets hammered. I give a few nice camps in local, to those who make good attempts, but nothing short of a fleet, remote sensor boosting a frigate can really catch this Leopard. Which honestly when this first one finally does end up popped I’ll giggle to myself and unpackage one of the small fleets of them I have awaiting sacrifice now. Oddly enough, you don’t see as many smart bombing gate camps in lowsec as you’d expect, but regardless I switch perches every time out of cunning, or paranoia.
As I said before, my life is definitely dangerous, and the enemies are already hunting me. I soon found myself in Jita, docked up in my shuttle. Why Jita you ask? Of all damnable places to be, I had no choice but to be here.
My run before was a total failure. I mean, it was different: I was finding my bearings. I had been in a site with the objective was to clear some industrials amid a massive group of hostiles. Simple enough. I blitzed through, slagged the first two industrials and as I was chewing the third, when my ever circling d-scan caught a Federation Navy Comet incoming. I had been told it was financially more suitable to bail on the mission than to fight whatever was coming, but this time it was different right? This Comet for sure would burn in the aggro if I orbited the mass of the hostile fleet and bunkered down, surely I could tank its damage as well. The fight went as I planned initially; when the aggro switched he hit half armor quickly and looked barely able to take what was hitting him.
This is where shit went sideways. I decided to chase him. One hit, two hits, my tech two hybrids with null would burn him down in sharpshooter mode. He was just too fast. He kited me, redisrupted me, and soon we had left the middle of the hostile mission fleet. I hadn’t been watching d-scan, as I was sort of preoccupied I’ll admit, so I noticed the incoming Curse when he was landing on grid. Funnily enough, the hostile fleet began to just wreck the Curse, so I readjusted target and began burning for the Curse. We traded blows and, for a moment, I thought the rats’ ECM and my cannons would be enough to seal the deal. Unfortunately, the aggro switched again, and it was my turn. I started overheating hard, I was tanking the brunt of it all, to be honest. Soon my modules started to go. That was that. I warped my pod off, and I said I didn’t think he would call for help or something similar. He said to me something I’ll never forget, “There is no fairness in Faction Warfare.”
Naturally, a pod is damn near impossible to catch in lowsec, and I began the usual journey back to Dodoxie to reship. When I arrived it was soon very apparent I would be out of luck finding a damn ‘Upir’ which frankly makes my build truly viable. So I returned to CQ, grabbed my Leopard and made my way through lowsec towards Jita.
Most people never get the warning message in their entire lives in New Eden. The message from the enemy faction gate guards, letting you know and everyone else in the system that you should be promptly terminated on sight. Regardless, Jita is the one place I knew would have exactly what I wanted.
So I braved the storm and docked up in four-four, which let me tell you, is nearly always camped by a war target waiting to fire at whatever idiot is silly enough to dock up there. Today I was that idiot. I waited for a few minutes, letting the war target grow unfocused hopefully. It didn’t exactly work out that way, I undocked with my ‘Upir’ and whatever the hell he was in sitting sixty away managed to yellowbox me before I get aligned with a gate. When I finally did manage to get my senses and controls in order I caught the redbox, but I engaged warp at the same moment. He made the shot, BOOM. Sirens wailed, the shuttle rocked hard, my shields melted and my armor was left in shambles but holding.
The warp came much faster than his weapons could possibly cycle again and soon I was burning through systems once more in my purring, blindingly fast little shuttle, and you said it wasn’t tanky. Shame on you. Little worse for the wear, I returned to Dodoxie and linked all of the modules and hull and rigs needed before making the deal. The whole thing hurt my ego a bit, and while I was making steady ISK, it wasn’t enough. I needed more. I added a few skills to my queue, including Security Connections V. The jump would boost my haul exponentially. Oh well, I’m already having to do more runs anyway, why not. I bought another three injectors. The wallet tick hurt my heart, as the billions burned away. I was even further away from paying Mr. July back, and now I was down to one day. Things were different now though, I was no longer humbly skilled. Most of the skills needed to fly my ship at its peak were now fives. With a select few fours trailing. I wasn’t quite ready to do Armor Repairs to five. Who knows how my cap would have held up with my repper cycling faster. Shits a bit meager in the thick of it. I was a different pilot now, and I flew like a different pilot.
My last Hecate also skinned in a sleek black with chrome accents. Damn you New Eden store, sell me a Ruby Sungrazer skin already! Was much easier to fit, and many of the implants I had in my head were now just a remnant of what I once needed, but I hadn’t lost the pod yet so I just keep flying it. I had roughly four billion ISK to make, and now really one day and some change left to do it in. Fine. I burned out in my Leopard, my first pull of runs going splendidly, thirteen missions to run. I wasn’t about to let a single one go either.
Lurching through the cosmos in my Hecate, the HQ long gone from my sight, I made my way back into enemy territory. The usual Caldari alliances sat on gates, frigates here, a few battleships there, some crazy fuck in an Archon. I passed them all up – I wonder if they knew I wasn’t after them. I wonder if I made an intel channel, or if they even have them. The first run was daunted by near mishaps and assassination attempts. My d-scanner circled like it was on overheat and about to burn out. Each ship that landed on the gate was too slow, I now was fast enough to melt them before the enemy came for me. I was a ghost. The first run netted me six hundred thousand LP, and it took me a little over two hours to complete it. I was now space rich.
I mean, I would be right? Most blitzers take a few hour rest in between as it allows you to pull with free declines, it’s not exactly steady work, more of a burst in the way I do it. I didn’t do that, I’ll admit.
I took all missions in an immediate blitz after, completing the pulls I could. By the time I had finished the second blitz I was quite a bit over a million LP. I hadn’t time to go trade it all in, Villore is my hub of choice for such ventures as they have fair buy orders available for Vexor Navy Issues all the time. I may or may not have killed the market on those stupid Gal Beta Chips. Which reminds me, if any of you nice haulers want to bring some down and put them up on sell orders, the new Roaring Lions will appreciate it. Anyway, I crawfished out of the missions I couldn’t complete, absolutely tanking my standings and finding myself mass demoted from a newly dubbed General to somewhere much further down, but I didn’t care. I had just enough standings for a third pull, and I did. This pull was beautiful, every mission runnable, by now I wasn’t skipping systems with war targets, I was blitzing the missions before they caught me. Towards the end, they truly stopped trying. I would leave, blitz a mission then return, check d-scan from cloak, then burn back into the mission and ninja finish it before the war targets ever returned to the site.
The fourth pull was much like the second. All of the standings I had just gained, I tanked. Once again I mass crawfished after I completed what I could of the missions. I was dangerously close to losing the standings to even be able to pull my missions but I was now at my free declines pulls once more. This went on for two more runs. I was exhausted and I was losing focus constantly. My d-scan stopped spinning for a while. Finally, after the seventh run, I had enough LP to cash out, I dumped a hundred thousand back into the system to keep us nicely above tier three. Then I bought out the beta chips, and most of the Vexors waiting to be sold in Villore.
Seven runs, fifteen hours, was all it took. I paid back Mr. July. Thanks for the new life sir – renewed my license, and I’ll admit bought a bunch of junk I’ll never use nor need. I find myself sitting in my captains quarters. It almost feels like a dream, if it wasn’t for these shiny ships and skills and implants, I would surely think it was. My wallet sits at around a hundred and seventy million, not broke, but definitely not space rich. I look at my Leopard and the itch is real. I said I’d give myself a few days leave, enjoy some drinks here in Villore, yuck it up with some locals, but I don’t know if I can. Each moment I think about all that ISK I just had, and I know I’m only ten runs away from being well off. For all of you little bees in Delve wondering which profession you should choose, I really only have this advice for you. Never. Not. Blitz.