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This is What Happens When I Try to Mine

“Knob.” I heard as soon as the comm-link opened.
“heh. Yeah, sorry to be trouble. I'll leave the system and let you have your ore back for 10,000 ISK.”
GTO Baily, my victim, only laughed, whether it was because of the outrageously low ransom or that he thought I was telling an obvious lie I don’t know.
At this point it was already over, so I abandoned tact. “I think you're funny too! Lets be friends!”
“Go away griefer. Let me get on with it.”
“It’s only 10,000 ISK... that’s like, nothing.”
“Why should I pay for my own ore?”
“Because it’s the only way to get it back unless you want to fight me.”
He laughs again. “Maybe I don’t want it back.”
I sighed as the debris of my jet-can scattered, small particles of ore and alloy rebounding from our shields.
“Well fly safe.”
“Bye trouble.”

Cleared for publication by: Ander

Having become increasingly frustrated with can flipping I found myself mining, hoping that someone would can flip me. Or us rather, as I was mining with Kamez, one of my previous victims who, despite being just as unprofitable and unaggressive as the rest, was polite. A several month old pilot, I’d found him in a belt mining in a paltry Bantam. He’d claimed to be broke, having quite the capsuleer venture and given away all his assets. Despite the common ploy, I was inclined to believe him, given his age in contrast to his vessel. So, being a worthless and sentimental pirate, I offered to loan him ten million ISK for the retriever he claimed to be able to pilot so that he could get back on his feet. That’s how I found myself on a two-man mining op. With five mining lasers and five mining drones, my thorax could nearly match the ore yield of Kamez’s mining barge. As it turned out though, I didn’t end up doing much mining at all.

“Oh god I've got to do it...”
“Do what?” Asked Kamez.
I ran a quick cargo scan on the container. “140529 veld in their can. I'm flipping it.” After all, under the circumstances it might actually be worth while to keep the ore, rather than blowing it up like I always do.
I warped from the belt to refit my rax. Kamez laughed as I forgot my mining drones. I fitted a cheap tech one standard setup, undocked, and warped to the bookmarked jetcan. To my surprise and delight the hulk pilot’s drones began to attack me as soon as the ore was transferred. I returned fire with glee, reveling in my luck. It wasn’t long before the huge exhumer was battered to the point of uselessness and I’d established a channel for ransom negotiation.
“Only five mil and I'll leave you alone for the rest of the day.” I said, checking the grid for the miner’s corpmates. Surely a ransom as financially insignificant as a single strip miner would be paid for a ship that’s worth twenty times that.
“Hang on i gotta get some cash.”
“I'm not waiting for your friends to show.”
Sure enough a Capsuleer of the miner’s corporation named Daniel Gresch showed up in a drake 40 km away a few seconds later, apparently slowboating toward us.
“5 mil now or loose your ship!” he lost his ship.
If I hadn’t been a bit panicked I might have been clear headed enough to jettison the cap boosters in my hold before turning my victim’s ship into a scrap heap. I reprimanded myself while vainly ‘encouraging’ my crew to remove the huge energy vats with more haste. The only salvageable loot was quickly extracted by the hulk pilots waiting corpy however, and I warped off, resigned to my failure.

Safely inside the station I was hailed in the local comms channel by the drake pilot. He raised the usual ruckus about how I’m griefing and exploiting Concord law, how I need friends to take him on and so forth.

I knew I didn’t stand a chance against him if his ship was properly outfitted, but, based on what I’d seen when he tried to come to his friends rescue, he didn’t. Still, I preferred not to risk losing a fight to this guy, cocky as he was, so I showed up in the belt again after the aggression flag had expired and scanned his ship. It was immediately obvious to me that, even in a smaller ship, with full t1 gear, against an older pilot, I would win. It looked like his Drake had been outfitted with completely random modules. I finally accepted his offer of a duel.

The only thing worth mentioning about that fight was that it took almost as long to pulverize the drake’s armor as it did the shields. It wasn’t my most impressive kill, given my opponents unique ideas about fitting, but it made up for my disappointment about the hulk. Needles to say, Kamez didn’t get much help farming rocks that day.


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