Return to Molden Heath: Part 2

The Return to Molden Heath has been going rather well. It’s not the most crowded of areas and so keeping my Corporation as one of the top pirate authorities in the area has been a challenge while flying solo. It’s nothing I can’t handle but it means I have to fly fast to get what few targets there are. At least over the summer and before my internship starts up I’ll have plenty of time to hunt (OK, scratch that, we are remodeling the kitchen and hitting… snags).

Anyways, here is a screenshot of where we stood in the monthly rankings halfway through my first month back to the area.

As a solo pilot I’m almost matching the biggest alliance in the area, Celt Alliance. Fortunately, we are different time zones.

It turns out there are mostly two types of people you can fight in the universe, those that take it in stride and find it fun when you do more than just blow them up with no verbal exchange and then there are those that never deserve the option for ransom because the alternative is just too hilarious too pass up.

Santo Juda, Self proclaimed friend of ex-MS-13 members and subtle threat maker. Also, I scanned his basic exploration ship in my Jaguar and this is the treatment I get? All lies!

You know the types:
– Those that claim you live in your moms basement.
– Those that tell you to grow up and stop being so pathetic. After all, they say, it’s just a game (which they are raging about… you see the irony here?)
– Those that say they are members of MS-13 IRL so you better watch out…. yeah.

You get the idea. These scum desserve no mercy and certainly no quarter.

Well, this pilot, Alexander K Shapiro certainly now falls into the latter category of “Kill on sight and teach a lesson” and we get the opportunity to do just that.

I’ve recently been trying out varying load-outs for the Claw but the capacitor resserves leave much to be desired. It sure is fast but so much energy is diverted to thrusters that repairing damage during the fight seems like a pipe dream. As load-outs go, I’ve currently settled on this one.

Great fight BTW, I should have overloaded my propulsion systems before the fighter dropped out of warp instead of after and the stasis modules on that Daredevil were top of the line from the Caldari Navy. I know this because they gave me the ship afterwards because “Wormholes.” Thanks friend! o7.

Anyways, I see Mr. Shapiro and his Ferox on my shipboard scanners as soon as I take the jump gate into the system. I dial in their range and match their distance with a beacon put out by the Angel Cartel all within the one minute of temporary cloaking that the jump-gate affords you upon materializing in system. Once I’m sure of there position I sling the Claw into warp. *Woah, these boats are fast. Once I drop out however, there is nothing there :/ It seems just me being in system for a few moments was enough. They must have buggered out as soon as they saw my ship enter the systems local database. I had a pretty good guess as to where they went though and it was somewhere I couldn’t afford to hang around in — high security space.

There is a set of three high security systems in Molden Heath that act as a sanctuary from both the crowded space lanes of the main high sec routes and the bordering low sec. It looks like that’s where are friend is basing out of.

I push on to check a few more systems and decide to double back after three empty ones. It doesn’t take long in the Claw.

I jump back into the Mimiror system and don’t even hesitate or check the scanners. Mr, Shapiro is in the local registrar so I know he in system and likely the same Angel Cartel den with less than noble intentions. I warp straight there and drop out of warp 10 kilometres away from them.

I assume a standard orbit, engage warp disruption modules and set the ship to max speed, try and catch me Alex!

There ship however, is just too slow and the drones they send out aren’t the fast ones either so I don’t even train my cannons on them as I’m able to keep out of their range. You see, drone’s aren’t the smartest machines when it comes to intercepting targets, best you can do is slap a navigation computer on your ship to link a bit more maneuverability to them. As far as Mr. Shapiro’s own guns, they were low grade artillery cannons. Low tracking but high damage, I evade them easily — time to start pecking away at those shields.

Since this Claw fit was still relatively new, I wanted to test the damage a bit first before I offered a ransom. Also wanted to let them sweat as I push closer and closer to their shield’s integrity limit. But then, I get a little jab in local:

It’s local chat, have some respect please.

Oh dear, well that wasn’t very nice of you Mr. Hat. I’m only doing this to feed and protect my family from the ever growing menace that is High Sec dwellers. I can’t be having you pilots getting powerful in your ‘protected zones’ and thus amassing an army to one day push into low sec territories and making my life more difficult than I’ve grown accustomed too.

Regardless, I was sweating a little bit about the backup they mentioned was on the way. If it was something that could shut down my propulsion I would have to bail on this Ferox with my tail between my legs but, it seems they didn’t quite think their backup through.

They brought not one, but two Praxis to come help. Neither of them with battleship class capacitor neutralization modules or warrior IIs, the only drones that stood a remote chance of catching me. Not your best moments guys.

I only snapped a photo of one Praxis sadly but check my dialogue. There were two, haha!

As you can see here, they clumped up and stayed near each other for protection. This is an example of what to do if you are in a gang that has logistics ships but not what to do when attempting to catch a single fast vessel.

All that was left to do now was keep an eye on the Praxis to make sure they were not trying to cut me off and get close enough to disable my propulsion. Of course, normally with battleships that is the least of your worries as their capacitor neutralizers can reach out to 30 km. I think it is safe to say, the high sec dwellers had none of the above and even if they did, I’d just coast out of range on my remaining speed… right? I dunno, it works against frigate pilots in Faction Warfare space.

All in all, this Ferox took 16 minutes to go from target locked to escape pod. Sixteen freaking minutes, with two Praxis buddies, all those drones I ignored and three full clips of ammo (like 180 rounds or something) to get through the shield’s maximum regeneration rate. But we got there and we were rewarded with yet another, Santo Juda.

Yup, Claw can ‘gank’ Ferox

I understand their frustration though. They had to sit there helpless for quite some time and even more so when their friends arrived. I’m just trying to imagine what you say on the other end of this fight? Make the drones go faster? Perhaps I’ll never know.

Regardless, just in case I felt the urge to come after them again, Alexander left me with this warning:

“Enjoy the nothing you gained, besides some new attention. Consider this a warning for you and your measly corp.”

Please bring the content to me, I beg you. Roaming can be so tedious, let’s switch.

Well, an excellent fight followed by excellent entertainment. I’ve ran into these guys a few times now in Molden Heath and after taking a speedy jaunt through the those high sec islands there, I think they live there. That and the one just up the pipe to Heimatar.

Perhaps a few ‘gank-fit’ Catalysts are in order but I’ll need an alternative pilot and I don’t want to pay that kind of cash. Perhaps just for a month every so often would be OK though.

Molden Heath has started to grow quite again though and so it may be time to visit my vacation home in Fribrodi. Besides, some Pirate Passes are expiring and people need to remember to pay their dues on time.

I look forward to next time.
Fly fast,

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