This is a story I wrote in the throes of adrenalin and anxiety following a narrow capture at a gate-camp in EVE Online.
Coming into k-space I was greeted with comm signals of various positions. I was in w-space for less than 24 hours and it had taken it’s toll. The quiet darkness, the solitude. A cargo of precious salvage I intended to market in my hold I spun up the warp drive and plotted a course to Amarr. I had choices. 31 jumps, 9 through dangerous null- and low-sec space. Or 29.
The lesser of two evils and a gamblers choice. I plotted for Amarr on the shortest run and punched it. Two jumps saw me exit Solitude and begin a 9 jump run through Null Sec. Dread turned to curiosity as jump after jump saw nothing on the local channels. Nobody. It was as though I was once again in the ‘hole. I had begun to wonder at the truth I’d heard, that Null-Sec was safer than Low. This bubble of curiosity popped as I reached the last jump. A location I feared would have a gate camp and would spell an expensive end to my route, 20+ jumps from somewhere I could call home.
As my ship aligned, it’s drive charged and spun to action, I spotted a warp dispersion bubble, mobile and placed along the route from one gate to another. A derelict of a previous battle? A trap waiting to snare travelers? My ship readied, it raced past the bubble, unaffected and unhindered.
A brief hiccup of curiousity radically changed to fear as I came out of warp 50km from the gate, mired in another such bubble and facing two ships and a handful of drones. Seeing my day ruined, I began an attempt to escape. Reversed course to crawl out of the bubble, I warped to the first planet I lay eyes upon, not the first in the list. Looming full in view I raced away as my would-be aggressors finalized their targeting locks.
Escape! Several seconds of safety I opened my mind to the escape approach and made another rush at the game. Thinking i could find a crack I tried again. No luck. Away and back again. Curiously, they planted 1 bubble entering the system from Null Sec but three from High. No crack but I started to see an opportunity. Where there was two ships and drones before now there was none. Wait!.. sensors picked up a ship appearing.. not from warp. It was decloaked.
I raced away to a nearby planet’s farthest belt. My thought, if i can cut an angle wide enough I can shoot past the narrow window between two bubbles. Using unconventional estimation and no math I pushed out to 50k from the belt and tried again. I hit the local grid at 50k, on the edge of the bubble. Giving in to my understanding I punched the afterburner and raced for the exit.
A Purifier decloaked and locked on, his missiles hammering me as I closed the distance to the gate. I closed closer and his missiles continued to hit me. I cleared 15k and I started to see the end. Shields down, armor at 5%, structure holding.. I expected the next hit to be the last..
Nothing. 10k, I started hammering the navigation control. System response reminded me we weren’t close enough. I didn’t care. Fear had gripped me. The ship, the bomber who threatened to end me, remained. But no death came. I cleared the critical distance and jumped out-system. I was free. Nagamor 1, Pirates 0.
This is the beginning of a new chapter. I’m no longer afraid to be captured and run to ground by people better prepared than I. The tables have turned and I’m starting to face into the darkness with a gleam.