I read over the latest list of illegal miners and smugglers that the Black Rebel Rifter Club has signed up to bring to justice. I see these lists of war targets (WT) and usually look for the flashy red ships, but don't often get lucky. So when I had wrapped up some trade deals in the Hek station I saw that a WT was somewhere in the Hek system. OK, maybe I'll go find him.
I undocked my rifter of fury (named "Godzilla") and immediately discovered the WT right outside the station - a guy named Rutkov in a wolf. Remember when I killed a wolf? This story doesn't have that fairy tale ending...
So, what did I do? Basically panicked.
YOW! Wait a minute! I'm not ready! Give me a second, would ya? Do overs! Do overs!
I was taking damage, so I targeted the wolf, started shooting, orbited, scrambled and webbed him. To no avail. I died relatively quickly. Not surprising since Rutkov has more experience than me, was flying a better ship, and also was prepared for combat. (As a side note, he seems like an OK person. He apologized in local after the fight for being over-shipped - though I had no problem with wolf/rifter combat.)
There were several lessons to be learned as I thought about what had happened. In the excitement I forgot to turn on my Damage Control Unit or overheat my modules. As I said, things happened quickly when I left the station. I've made bigger blunders in the past (boy, have I!), but in an ideal world I always turn on the DCU and turn all the dials up to "11". And I could have avoided the sudden panic if I had just warped to one of the two "insta-undocks" that I have outside that station. I would have been out of the clutches of the rascal and could have turned everything up to 11 and fought the wolf (probably to the same fiery result) in a more measured and focused manner. The insta-undocks are there for just this reason, but I didn't use them.
Next time I'll be ready to warp away when leaving a station if there are WTs in local.
So I pointed my pod to Auner and put together another rifter (this one named "Rodan" - I like that name...) to see if I could find any other non-wolf WTs. I set my autopilot to Dodixie and headed off. It didn't take long.
One jump away from Hek, In Uttindar, I saw that another WT was in the system. I started jumping from one asteroid belt to the next in hopes of finding him. Sure enough, there he was! A guy named Provinchka, illegally mining and also destroying law abiding Serpentis citizens (frigate wrecks were all around him).
I had the DCU activated this time and also had all the knobs turned to "11" - so it was a simple matter of orbiting the criminal and administering justice with my 150mm autocannons and rockets. Which I did. With gusto. He had Valkyrie II drones buzzing around, but with my speed they weren't hitting me much. I was barely into armor when the covetor blew up. I scooped up a couple strip miner modules and the valkyries from the wreckage and they'll pretty much pay for the rifter I had lost earlier.
So a win and a loss in my personal "Death to Flying Things Campaign". The current standings: 3 wins, 15 losses, and 1 draw.