It’s never easy getting a foothold as a capsuleer in New Eden, especially not with a war on. Oh, sure, I’ve watched the livestreams of the Keepstar battles in NPC-Delve. I cheered when those slow-motion explosions kicked off. I listened to the commentary from my capsule and wished I could do more to contribute.
As a relative newbie to New Eden, having tried and failed a few times before at becoming a capsuleer, I’ve found a place among a learning corp loosely affiliated with the Imperium, learning the ropes and waiting for my turn to be called up to the ranks of the parent corp, to someday be on grid for a glorious battle.
Wanting to Help the War Effort
But what could I do now in the war effort? Sure, the ore I had mined had made its way to Delve and now some sliver of a cap hull had my name etched on the molecules of the compressed ore used to bring it to life, but I still felt so far removed from actually being involved.
Little did I know I would soon have my chance. A respected FC put out the call for “something a little different.” Naturally, I put forward my name. The doctrine was “get close, move fast, and shoot till you explode.” Not my cup of tea as an aspiring logi or ewar specialist, but I put my name in anyway, and put my own hull on the line. I would be the sole logi in the fleet, piloting my Bantam, one I made myself with a fit of my own design.
We set off from our home system with no clear objective until we were well underway. Then came the news we were jumping into a wormhole. I’ve explored a few in my time, but what kind of hunting could we do as a small gang in a wormhole?
As we jumped out of the wormhole’s exit, our mission suddenly became clear: we were in Pandemic Horde space.
Yep, That’s 90!
We moved quickly, gate to gate, looking for targets of opportunity on our way to a heavily trafficked system in PH space. It was eerily quiet, with few people in local and even fewer on d-scan. A cheeky member of our fleet began spamming links to a video of our mascot, until our scout alerted us that in the next system 90 people appeared in local. “Ninteen? Or Ninety?” the FC asked. The scout confirmed: 90. We were going in . . .
This was our moment. I thought: Our newbie guerilla tactics, led by our fearless FC, could be the reason the PAPI coalition stands-down again today. We could spook them. We could make them think more fleets were on the way.
Just past the gate, staying cloaked, scoping out the area, we saw a Gnosis jump into the system we just left. We were ordered to burn back to the gate, but not to aggress. Adrenaline was surging already and, newbies that we were, some members misunderstood and jumped back through the gate, splitting our forces. Our troubadour spammed the link to our mascot, as the tension rose. “Don’t aggress! Don’t aggress! Let me know the moment the Gnosis aggresses,” the FC called as we circled the gate slowly.
“He aggressed!” someone called. Immediately on my watchlist our troubadour’s shields and half his armor were gone. Before I could even lock him to start the reps, his ship was destroyed. The call was made to fire back, and I immediately started locking my next fleet mate showing damage, but he, too, was gone before I could acquire a lock. Damnit! Rookie mistake! If I’d been thinking, I’d have pre-locked! It was too late now. Time to move on. I locked the FC.
By now we were pounding the Gnosis with everything we had. I was spamming reps on my FC, keeping him in the fight, while I tried to lock several others. For a second, I thought I could get reps on another fleet mate, and I set one of my cycles on someone other than the FC – another rookie mistake. Before I could turn the module back on, the FC was just . . . gone. Comms were lit up. We pounded the Gnosis with everything we had: he was at 50% armor . . . 40% . . . and then his backup arrived.
A fleet of not fewer than 10 ships, some of which I’d only heard about, dropped out of warp. My ship’s hull alarm went off and suddenly I was floating in space. There were a few more explosions around me . . . and then I woke up, back in my home station.
Bitten by the EVE Bug
I don’t know what the aftermath was or what anyone on the other side was thinking. I don’t know if our crazy guerilla run on Pandemic Horde made any difference; we didn’t even scrap one enemy ship. But today, in a ship I built with ore I mined that nobody told me how to fit, I did something in this war. And now this game has got its hooks in me and I’m one more (wannabe) Goon that isn’t giving up his pod no matter how many times you blow it up.