I had flown interceptors into combat twice, and had lost one each time. If this trend was going to continue, I was going to need more ships. I wanted a stockpile so that I might jump into another ship and continue the fight after a defeat. The interceptors on the market were expensive and sparse, however. But it so happened that I had heard one of our allies, the great British Space Corporation, had an original blueprint for crusaders. A few evemails later, and I had a deal for a pack of crusaders, sold cheaply because I was going to be using them to defend our alliance’s home.
But most never reached the Great Wildlands.
I lost one while moving them down to the Heimatar region, closer to the Wildlands. I had passed a few ships showing up red on the overview, meaning our corporation had set them to a bad standing, enemies of our alliance. I was in an interceptor, though, and even if they decided to brave the fire of the sentry guns, they wouldn’t catch me before I had flown onwards.
But then I noticed a ship that was showing up as blue, which meant friendly. It was sitting alongside two of the red ships. Curious, I slowed while approaching the stargate, in order to check it out. There were no shots being exchanged, and none of them were moving. I was opening up the alliance’s chat channel to ask about it, when my ship disappeared in a storm of railgun fire.
It turned out the corporation that player was from had left the Foundation, and joined our enemies. Our standings to them hadn’t been updated.
One crusader that did reach the Wildlands got flown up and down the series of systems that make up the entrance to the region. I was trying to get an idea of how things matched up, checking bookmarks, seeing what led to where. I passed by an armageddon, and he shot at me.
Armageddons are battleships, of the same race as my crusader. They fit a huge rack of heavy lasers, and were considered to be the best damage dealers at the time. Of course, that claim was concerning firefights between battleships. Large turrets were notorious for their trouble in hitting frigates, and he wasn’t getting the hope of a glancing hit as he fired at my speeding ship flying towards the gate.
Observing his guns complete inadequacy against me, my absolute invulnerability as I flew towards the gate, I decided to see what damage I could do to him. He was a considerable distance away, set up for the kind of long range firing only battleships are capable of. I turned off my course and headed straight for him, with an active micro warp drive.
That was how I learned the word ‘transversal’. Large turrets do have trouble hitting interceptors, but only because they have poor tracking. They can’t turn to follow a ship that moves fast around it. But a ship that heads straight towards them, they have absolutely no trouble with. I survived two shots.
A third crusader got killed by the Mafia. That was just embarrassing. I wasn’t even looking when it happened. I used my interceptors for shopping, as they were just so fast and I could skip to far away systems in little time. I took one down to the trade hub of Yulai to pick up some tech 2 modules to improve my performance, and a collection of blueprints for the corp. A few of them were in the same region, but a little way away, so I set a course, turned on the autopilot and went to make a sandwich.
That was when I learned to check the map before flying anywhere. I was possibly a little old to be learning that lesson in such a way. A simple glance at security status, ships destroyed in the last hour, or number of recent pod deaths would have alerted me to the huge camp of pirates that awaited me. That was both the stupidest thing I’d ever done, and the biggest single loss I’d ever had, with the hold as full of expensive items as it was.
Soon enough, with more lessons learned, I had only one ‘ceptor left, and not enough money to buy replacements. I had made no more kills after that first Vigil, and indeed, I don’t think I had even fired a shot. I put my dreams of defending the Wildlands back on the shelf and took my last ship on missions in high security space, where no player could shoot me.