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Not quite as action-packed as last night – although I gave it a go. Tonight’s plan was earning Supernovas. Doesn’t sound too exciting, I know. However, when I got to Amananth space, I ran into a swarm in The Gyre. It was a fairly low-level swarm – 1 naut, a manta, 2 kraks, 2 phocs, a snail, and a squid. I was fairly low on ammo to start with – about half. I managed to kill everything but a krak (at 4 armor) and the squid before running out of ammo. Grr. I jumped into Amananth (the swarm followed me), docked, and relaunched. The swarm had reinforced, of course. This time, it had 3 nauts, 2 kraken, a manta, a snail and two squid. I knocked out the manta first, as it was the fastest, but the first pass armored me – 3 nauts can be pretty brutal. Not a good sign, but I kept my cool. I stayed ahead of the pack, as the fastest remaining was exactly the same speed as my Dragon. After my shields recharged, I took out the c15, and went long for another recharge. Next pass, I took out one of the kraks, and the snail. Recharge. Next pass, took out a naut and one of the squid. With their firepower reduced, I just flipped at 5k and took out the naut in a single pass. Flipped at 5k again from the remaining kraken, armored him. Next pass, I destroyed the kraken, and put that squid out of my misery.
After docking to r/r/r, and receiving my Gold Supernova, I headed back to QC, then to Hyperial, and lastly to Sol Core, where I got the Adamantine, and received my First Praetorian rank. 268 Conflux kills for the evening, which puts me at #42 on the Flux Kills rankings.
There’s eventful, then there’s eventful. I came on duty to find that Main Gate had been completely infested – and Hyperial thereby completely cut off from the rest of TRI space. My new squadmate, Rail69, was stuck in Hyperial space, so I immediately took off from QC and headed to Oct Core for a Raptor. Very first thing I noticed was how heavy the flux spawn was. I had a Whistle equipped, granted – but I had no less than 5 flux spawn in any sector between QC and OC. Even more interestingly, I had 9 spawn in 2 sectors, and 12 in another. All at once. We aren’t talking whistle respawns. That’s… curious. When multiple curious things happen in a short period of time, that’s worth noting.
In any case, I swapped ships at Core, loaded up with nukes, and headed toward the infests. hifly had dropped the infest to MG from GVB just minutes before I arrived, so I went to work on the gate to Inner Cloud. Sinver and ORBITER both contributed toward the beginning of our runs on the infests, but it was late in both pilot’s duty cycles. hifly dropped the infestation of Reaches, and I dropped the infestation of IC. We decided to work together on the infestation of Lesser Locks. We worked together for some time, but we mutually decided that we were close to breakthrough. I waited for hifly’s nukes to impact, and they destroyed the infestation. We joked that it was a good thing that I saved those nukes… and jumped into Lesser Locks.
Suddenly, Sent song! We exchanged a warning, and started searching for the Sentient – but Conflux started appearing steadily. Jellyfish, Squid, Snails…. I destroyed several Jellyfish, because I hadn’t yet spotted the typical Kraken they’re so fond of. hifly and I both sped through a now-sizable group of drones, trying to spot the Sentient, killing as we went. I had killed half a dozen when, suddenly, a Manta was on my tail. I turned to deal with that threat, and eliminated it. Furiously cycling through targets for something Out of the ordinary, I spotted another Manta after hifly. I burned after it, and together, we destroyed it, as well, turning our attention to more of the drones. Suddenly, I saw and heard the distinctive weapons fire of a Kraken-class, and my shields cascaded downwards. I launched my HellRazors, and punched a flashfire, trying to give myself additional room. hifly joined the fight, and the Sentient engaged them. Completing my circle, I launched a Sabre, in hopes that the distraction would cause him to evade, and allow my shields more time to recharge. There were probably two dozen drones (perhaps more) in sector at this point, so the general level of fire was fairly heavy, not even counting the Sentient.
I re-engaged the Sent, and both hifly and I attempted to beat him off – but when I reached 6 armor after a particularly unfortunate exchange, I saw that hifly had disengaged, also damaged – I popped another FF toward the NC gate. The Sentient came around, but only gave a desultory chase. Seeing there were no available POS in sector to r/r/r at, I followed hifly toward SC. Behind us, the LL>MG gate suddenly showed as infested once again.
We continued on toward Core, docked (with a bit of difficulty in my case, because I had exhausted my fuel in that last sprint toward the gate), and reloaded with nukes and missiles. We raced back toward LL as fast as we could, hifly in the lead, and launched our first salvos at the gate in succession. hifly had access to a POS in sector, while I did not. hifly docked, while I returned to NC to rearm. hifly launched yet again, as I returned to LL, and made my own run thereafter. hifly rearmed, and I made the long trek back to NC. I entered NC, and was headed to dock, when I saw the message that hifly had destroyed the infestation. I commed “returning”, not bothering to dock – I had a suspicion – and just as I jumped back into LL, we heard Sent song once more.
This time, the Sentient was content to simply attack hifly immediately, instead of spawning hordes of drones first – as we were widely separated. I turned my ECM on, and used two flashfires to get to the scene as soon as possible – hopefully unnoticed. As far as I could tell, I succeeded. I launched two screws as soon as I was in range, and the Kraken evaded, allowing hifly some breathing room. I had a missile warning in return, and did some evading of my own. Both hifly and myself then vectored in on the Sentient, and I believe we both launched missiles at the Kraken. Some wild evasions followed, but the Sentient’s shields went down steadily throughout. Finally, hifly had to break off momentarily, as he had armor damage, and very low shields – so the sentient and I circled. Oddly, it proceeded to make an exceptionally shallow circle, and seemed to hang in space right in front of me for several seconds – the perfect ammo target – which I used to hammer away at the Kraken, destroying it. Very odd, though I won’t complain about the kill.
Perhaps it ran out of a Conflux’s equivalent of AB fuel – or… it let me kill it. I don’t know. It was just strange. I don’t feel bad about hightailing it in the first fight. We were both in bombers, and sentients can be tough opponents even in fighters with lasers equipped. Considering that we were both in ammo bombers – and that I, at least, had nukes in my hold – I don’t think we did too badly. Still and all… it struck me as too easy. Which, given the effort it put in to spawn a horde of drones, completely infest a sector, and re-infest the access to Main Gate against the two combatants it knew about… strikes me as odd.
Why Main Gate? Why block off Hyperial? What’s suddenly important there? I don’t know. Might want to find out, though. That was a major effort put in by the Conflux tonight. Glad I had hifly for a wingman. Ended up with 77 kills (including one Sentient), and an infestation. Patrolled back through the area on my way back to QC – still high spawn – 5+ in most sectors – without a Whistle. I repeat – odd. Time to sleep.
Patrolled from Hyp to Wake, and Wake to QC. Killed 65 flux.
Supposedly, the Pilot Log server was hacked. I’m sure that if I were a hacker, I’d find something more important to hack than either the Databank or Pilot Logs. Good thing I’m not a hacker. Of course, I’m the only one really using the system these days, so… hope you had fun, Mr/Mrs. Hacker? Good thing TRI-SEC deleted all the evidence anything happened, too – except for a 385×191 pixel image of a skull with unreadable letters next to it – or we might get all worried. They sure left it up at Databank.
You know what I’ve discovered? Governmental agencies are pretty useless, when it comes down to it – and the messes they generate aren’t generally worth noticing, are they? I have better things to do. Like kill Flux.
Well, that was certainly eventful! Started unusually early for me of late. Took a patrol or two around Hyperial space, and had one rather intense encounter with a group of Mantas and friends, thanks to my Whistle, and a rare set of circumstances. Ran a few more patrols, chatted some with padar, a nice-sounding Solrain – as well as Sinver and hifly, of course. Drevent stopped in for a bit, as well. Ran still more patrols, and ran into Rail69 at Hyperial station. We compared notes, and ran tandem patrols for a time while we talked fluxhunting. Seemed we work well together. Good thing, because after mentioning the new squad I’d formed, he expressed an interest in joining – which he promptly did – but not long before he had to go off duty to deal with some personal business. Looking forward to some company on f2, at long last.
Shortly thereafter, Adi563 came on duty, and expressed an interest in swarmbusting. As I was just talking about that not a half hour previous, I quickly agreed, and headed toward Amananth space, where he was assessing swarm makeup, and starting his decoy run in a Ranger. When I arrived, he had a Great Prawn, Krill, 2 Nautaloids, a Kraken, several Mantas, and a Snail in tow, while I spawned two Squid on entry. I decided that I would pull the GP first, as it was by far the fastest. To be honest, Great Prawns are still largely unfamiliar to me. The last time I dealt with them much, they were still tentatively identified as “Sharks.” I did remember to give myself a good angle, however, so I pulled it without incident. What I didn’t remember was that they took off like a rocket when hit, so I made two passes afterwards without nearly enough damage to make them turn properly. Had to spam some missiles to give myself breathing room again, but after that, I got the rhythm, and took him down in two more passes. Yanked a Nautaloid, and quickly reduced him to cooling plasma. Next up was the Krill. That one, I did remember was exceptionally quick, and very small. I pulled that one from dead ahead, and managed to one-pass him, so problem solved. On the way by, pulled a c7, and destroyed him in turn. Next, I pulled the remaining naut, and circled him down quickly. Next, I ran down the trailing Snail and put him out of his misery. On Adi’s next pass, I pulled another Manta, and destroyed it. Unfortunately, I missed the next two passes completely. Bad angle, poor approach, something. We discussed it, and he came around for another run. In the meantime, I killed my two pesky Squid. Adi pulled his last two followers head-on to me again, and I managed to tag the Kraken. Two more passes, and he was down as well. Another quick loop brought the Manta into range – and the swarm was destroyed. That was a lot of fun, and felt very good to be useful. Well done to him, and my thanks.
My current Combat mission was quite done by this point, so I headed back to Hyperial. Killed methodically on my way back, and welcomed Quialo back to active duty. Docked at Hyperial, and found I had received Praetorius in the process, as well as qualified for the Silver Supernova. 302 Conflux kills on the day – now #46 on the Flux Kills rankings, passing Ambrosius and Shadowhart at last. A satisfying day, altogether. The rankings get a lot more discrete from this point on – big jumps between most of the ranks. I should note, however, that I can now equip Nova Mk. I plasma cannons. Things are about to get much more… energetic. Serializers are fun, of course – but there’s nothing quite like Novas to annihilate Flux with.
Killed 275 flux, got my Amethyst Nova – moved on to Hyperial. Pretty much it.
Started in a ‘Nix, splattered about 60 flux. Took a wander on up to Oct space, swapped out for a Dragon. Killed another 30 or so on the way down to Amananth. That’s pretty much it.