127 Hours: An Epic Tale of Ninja vs Machariel
First of all, this is a tale of perseverance and teamwork; if 127 Hours and The Goonies all had a baby together, and that baby was set in space, that would be this tale. Oddly enough (or maybe not), this is also a tale of differential calculus, frighteningly high blood-alcohol levels, and a man named Baby Nipples, but that all comes later. Buckle in kids, this is a long one (read: long winded, self gratifying). So grab a drink and unplug the phone.
Part I: Our Story
To avoid what could become an absurdly long blog post about one kill, we’ll begin with a tl;dr: Progiyo Neo, piloting a Machariel, shoots at my salvage frigate while in the Angel Bonus room. I point the Mach, take out his Berserkers, and patiently wait for Orca back-up to arrive.
Part II: The Stalemate
After pushing my Orca through 5 gates, I finally get in range for a swap. Here comes my first mistake. Because I’m cocky, and because I have a faction BS in my clutches, instead of swapping out for a Sleipnir, I decide to go for the Cynabal as my weapon of choice. The pseudo-logic I use is that the smaller the ship you use to pop a MR, the more it stings. So, I successfully swap to the Cynabal and get point on the Mach again. I announce on mumble that “now the pain starts” (or something equally moronic) and start laying into the the guy, and here’s where I realize there might be a problem. I’m sitting on top of him, knocking RF EMP ammo into his shields at point blank range and I realize its doing absolutely nothing to hurt him. I’m using four 425mm AC II’s, and with the Cynabal’s bonuses, thats pretty much 6 guns. This is also with perfect lvl 5 gunnery support skills, as well as high-end turret implants. I’m hitting this guy for upwards of 500-600 dmg per hit, and seriously not even scratching him. What the shit is going on here?
My next step is to overheat, and this gets me into it, but only getting him to about 1/2 shields before I’m in danger of burning my guns out entirely. So, I decide to refit using the Orca, and see if I can put a medium neut and a cap booster onto my Cynabal to help break his tank.
Being that I’ve been dual-boxing and on voice coms, my in-game sounds have been off, so try to imagine my minor heart attack when I tab back to the Orca alt to see that the rats have taken severe offense to his being there and have him down to 1/4th armor. I bail on the last idea and wisely decide to get my Orca out of there instead.
So, we are now officially at a stalemate. The Machariel is aligned to station and moving, but isn’t going anywhere, and I’m sure as hell not going to be able to kill him. Added to my dilemma is that I can’t get an Orca in here without it getting popped by the towers. Damn you Angel bonus room. At least, I reason, I can get a ransom out of this guy.
Aiden Mourn > so
Aiden Mourn > this is a problem
Aiden Mourn > I cant kill you
Aiden Mourn > and you can’t get away
Progiyo neo > How much do you want?
Aiden Mourn > 600mil
Aiden Mourn > thats less than your hull
Progiyo neo > 500
Aiden Mourn > make it 600
Aiden Mourn > you pay first,and then you go
Progiyo neo > hrm
Progiyo neo > i will gi you 300 first and let me go i will pay rest
Aiden Mourn > nope
Aiden Mourn > the price is 600
Aiden Mourn > I’ve already established i cant kill you
Aiden Mourn > i can watch a movie here
Aiden Mourn > wait until you log off, and THEN burn you down
Progiyo neo > ok
Progiyo neo > sending 600m
Aiden Mourn > indeed
Progiyo neo > scramble?
Aiden Mourn > i think its stuck
Progiyo neo > If you are not lying let me go.
Aiden Mourn > I’m afraid we wont be friends after i do
Aiden Mourn > =(
Ahhh the inevitable betrayal. Actually, I’m very much considering letting him go once I see my wallet flash seeing as at this point we’re both just wasting time we could be doing something else with. But, there’s just something about his ungodly overpowered shield tank that says “shiny” to me, and having recently dry-heaved my way through 127 Hours, I have to ask myself, “WWJFD?”. Now what would James Franco do? I wasn’t about to saw my arm off or start drinking my own urine, but I was going to hold out.
Part III: The Second Problem
The stalemate is starting to attract a fair amount of attention now around the corp. I have a possibly faction-fit Machariel pointed in the Angel bonus room and I can’t break him, we are now 600km away from the warp-in getting further, and Orcas start getting a very low life-expectancy upon entering. This, as they say, is a pickle.
Cam Clarke is the first on the scene, and attempts to get his speed-rigged Orca alt, and his Onieros out to me. I’m not taking any damage but hopefully this guy shoots Cam for going red, giving us some more DPS. The Angel room has other plans however, and Cam barely gets out with his Logistics ship at half armor and his Orca in deep structure. Oops…
At this point, I’m deciding that this is a gigantic waste of time, and we’re more likely to lose something expensive than to kill this guy, so I start seeing if I can get one more ransom and let the Mach go. Progiyo Neo, however, does not want to play ball, and goes afk.
I am now honestly at a loss. 10 ninjas on mumble, boozing heavily, and trying to think/drink their way outside this box, and its not working. The Machariel and I are now 800km from the warp-in.
Part IV: Enter The Bladewise
As a small anecdote for the uninitiated, Bladewise is the most foul-mouthed, hard drinking, chain-smoking southern boy you have hopefully never met. He is obnoxious and loud and his oft-heard cry of “I don’t give a fuck” has become a fixture in ninja lexicon. However, I should also mention though that despite all of these what would normally be called shortcomings in any real-world setting, we actually love him for it. He’s a character, and plays the part to a T. He is also an absolute monster at hunting and killing mission runners.
So, enter the Bladewise. While intoxication on voice coms is nothing new to us, Blade is well on his way into the land of alcohol poisoning when he logs on (apparently, he’s been kicked out of his dorm and is crashing at a friends house sitting shitfaced on a 12pack of Budweiser, while playing Eve with one eye shut on his laptop.), and immediately leaps into action. Of course, what this operation was missing was some good old fashioned liquid encouragement and bad choices.
At this point, someone started to record mumble. For added effect, and for a little multi-media treat here at Finders & Keepers, I highy recommend opening this link in another window and listening while you read the rest of this post.
Zavulon points out on coms that a fast frig should be able to accrue aggro from all the towers and kite them, giving an Orca a chance to get past them to me and the Machariel. We’re all marginally sure that Blade is about to lose both his Orca and his Jaguar as he jumps into the room, but miraculously, he actually starts to pull it off. Cam’s Orca enters the room again as well and they both start the long burn towards me. The Mach and I are now a ridiculous 1100 km from the warp in.
We do the math and realize that it will be the better part of an hour before either Orca catches up to us, which is retarded. At this point though, four very important things happen to change the strategy 1.) I realize I’m out of beer and will now be forced to switch to bourbon, 2.) Cam restocks on cigarettes, 3.) Blade finally turns his TV down, and probably most importantly 4.) the Macharial pilot TURNS AROUND, and starts heading back towards his mission (and subsequently, our Orcas). Now it’s on.
Again, my plan is to use one of the Orcas’ fitting window to refit my Cynabal with a neut, a cap booster, and possible some fitting mods, with the idea that I don’t want to lose point for another swap unless I have to. Drunk Bladewise though, proves to be shockingly convincing in his argument that a swap is a better idea. Seeing as he’s flying towards our Machariel in virtually the biggest bump ship in the game, the Mach isn’t aligned, there’s a standard dual-neut gank-Cane in his Orca, AND that I’ve been at this for something like 2 1/2 hrs, I decide to go with it. With impact immanent, I make the swap, land in the Hurricane, and resolve point lock on the Mach. NOW its game time.
Progiyo ignores my attempts at another extortion, and 30 seconds later as his god-tank crumbles, I start to burn through his armor and hull as his ship explodes in a VERY shiny and satisfying fireball.
2 1/2 hrs and 1400 kilometers later, congratulations were sent around, new drinks were poured, and a very special new title was bestowed:
Although the Gist X-type booster didn’t drop, the CN Invuln, the Pith X-type, and the 600mil ransom put this at close to 2bil profit, with a total loss of about 4billion isk for our Machariel friend. Profits will definitely be shared with those brave ninjas who helped and made this at all possible. And as an added awesome note to the night, 20 minutes after this kill, Dramatic Name and Zavulon managed to find, bump, and steal an unpiloted Orca next to a very silly Hulk pilot.
I’d like to think James Franco would be pleased.