|Captured this at the moment he exploded!|
However, in typical Rixx fashion, just any old solo kills wouldn't be enough. I wanted them to be significant, important, challenging, difficult, worthy, something other than just another Go Boom. What I didn't take into account was 25 days away from significant game time results in rust, and it also means that New Eden has changed. You might not be aware of it, but New Eden is constantly changing around you. Every day. And when you step out of that change for any significant time, it can take awhile to get back into the flow.
So I jumped into a Firetail and started my journey. I won't bore you with all the near misses, run-aways, warp-outs, scared deer, and other close calls. There are always those. Some days those are all I get. And then sometimes you get handed a perfect opportunity. A blaster Comet inside a plex. I should have known. But I was away for almost a month and Eve moved on a little without me. As I discovered after the fact, this guy is never alone. So what started out as a difficult, but doable, solo opportunity - quickly became impossible. And my Firetail exploded once the Maulus landed.
Next up my trusty Comet. And a 2014 player inside a plex in a Rifter. That was 1,499 solo kills. And then I saw the killmail and realized he was using T1 guns. So I convo'd the pilot and we talked. Turns out he had taken a break and only recently returned to the game. Once again proving that the character age is completely useless for intel.
Alright, so now the magic kill awaited. It was a long journey to find another opportunity. I passed up some easier kills, I wanted something more challenging. How about a Coercer outside a plex Gate? I've killed Coercers solo in a Comet before, so this is totally doable. Unless you randomly pick a warp in distance that just happens to land you right next to the Coercer who also happens to be fitting close range gatlings instead of the longer range guns that Coercers normally fit. I didn't last long.
Alrighty then. I had an old Enyo fitted up, so I undocked it next. And there was a Dragoon in the plex a few feet from my front door. That's an impossible fight.
Ok, let's try a Breacher. A Breacher that finds a Rifter in a plex. Nothing special about this fight, but at this point I'm starting to feel like I'll take anything. Oh look, he had an Imperial Navy Slicer buddy! What a shocker.
The life of a solo Pirate ladies and gentlemen.
Ok, so I fitted up my old reliable. A surprisingly robust Incursus that usually takes people by surprise. (At this point I did consider popping some drugs, but I didn't.) And lo and behold a Comet. It was a good fight and I almost pulled it out, but I screwed up my manual piloting (RUST!!) and got too close to those blasters. Incursus go boom.
And then Eve does what Eve usually does. I saw a Vexor in the Roid Rage and grabbed my Gnosis to go engage it. As usually happens the Vexor ran off and left system. As I sat there considering my next move I spotted the Retriever on d-scan. Not a great 1,500th solo kill, but popping miners is always fun. Plus it has the added potential for being bait. Heck, most of the time it is bait. And then it'd be great to have a Gnosis under me. Sadly it wasn't bait at all, just some poor schmuck with no sense. I did tell him to warp out his pod in local, but he refused to move. So I podded him as well. Low Sec is dangerous after all.
So that was technically number 1,500. But I'd like to take a ruling from the Jury on this one and ask that what happens next be my "official" 1,500th solo kill. Let me tell you about it.
In the next hour I fitted up and flew around in several different ships trying to get a good fight. I even took a Vengeance into a small plex with 5 other pilots sitting in a Novice nearby, but they wouldn't come and play. In that hour I think I flew six different ships to no avail. Finally I turned around and headed home. And in typical Eve fashion, the totally unexpected thing happened.
I spotted an Obelisk on scan. As I landed on Station he was outside... slow boating in from his Autopilot landing! The giant whale was on Autopilot! Gift Horse meet mouth. I quickly docked up and just as quickly grabbed my Nightmare. I could have grabbed just about anything, but I choose the Nightmare for several reasons. First, it can tank gate guns. Second, it has gtfo ability in case this turned out to be bait. And third, it's awesome. (My Nightmare is named "Nevermore" by the way.)
All of which happened so quickly that I had to wait for that two second timer to change ships. Once I undocked he was still boating to the Station!! So I engaged him, bumped him, and started tearing thru him. I did get one nice bump off, but he managed to dock with half armor. I warped off to clear the station guns and then warped back to the undock to wait. I fully expected him to log-off. That's usually what they do. But he didn't. In fact, he undocked and started to align to the High-Sec gate. I decided to engage him on the out gate, just in case he decided to Autopilot out as well. So I also aligned out. Now, I just want to be clear. I had already engaged this person once. He repped his damage, undocked, and saw me sitting there. Mr. -10 blinky red flashing in local Pirate CEO sitting in a Nightmare. And instead of warping to zero and jumping into HS, he autopiloted AGAIN.
Of course, I landed before he did and I immediately aligned back to the station. I overheated my faction prop and waited. He landed 12k from the Gate as expected. And my first bump was pure magic, we were at 16k when I started chewing into him. I asked for help in Corp chat, but no one was close enough to assist. Darkon eventually showed up in his Slicer, but I told him to hold off because the target was neutral. I didn't want him losing his ship to the gate guns.
Even for my Nightmare it takes time to burn thru 250,000 dps. At any moment I fully expected help to arrive from HS, or a Cyno to pop up. But those things never happened. Eventually he exploded and sadly the cargo was pretty much empty. Although I did get two Faction mods for my trouble. His little pod kept slow boating to the Gate, so I popped that too. By the time the Obelisk exploded we were 36k from the Gate, that's how effective my bumps were.
A one billion isk solo kill mail is a rare thing. And I'm going to count that one as my 1,500th solo kill. Even though it is technically 1,501. Who cares? I don't, you don't. In the end, it is the story that matters. And I hope you enjoyed that one.
Now for the next 1,500.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I was looking back thru the Obelisk pilot's killboard today and noticed he lost another Obelisk back in April of 2018 in the same system. Take a moment and see how many Shadow Cartel pilots it took to do what I did solo.