In the Stargate Trailblazer Event, four new gate-connections were going to be introduced to New Eden. One of them was the long existing reddit-Meme: The lowsec gate to Stain.
With the start of the event it was announced that the top ten pilots and the top five corporations which would contribute the most would be ‘immortalized’ in the descriptions of the monuments which would be placed beside each gate.
This was a once in an eve-livetime opportunity that I decided to take. After the first couple days nobody had yet taken the opportunity to complete a single site in Stain. I figured this was my chance.
With the knowledge I gathered in the lowsec sites and with a well fitted Endurance, I plotted a route of over 30 jumps from Jita into the pocket of Stain which set the stage for the event. The shortest way led through Delve. At the time still a very active warzone: PAPI and the Imperium were fighting for a couple months already and none of them had slowed down their efforts yet.
The first night in Stain was a very successful one: I met Erdinhok who initially tried to take me out with a Blaster-Venture. We ended up befriending each other for the event and ran some ‘minor’ sites together with a third pilot. Including my alt, we had four pilots in the site and the locals who seemed to hold a grude on every stranger out of pure principle could not enter our sites. No matter how hard they tried. But after we eventually ran out of ‘minor’ sites in the system, we had to make it throug a bubble-camped gate which was the only way out. Surprisingly, we all made it: Two Endruances, a Prospect and an Astero. It may be a statement on how good covert ops frigates are at avoding unwanted PvP, or how competent the locals were with their five man gate-camp, or a mix of both.
In the following nights I lost my Astero of my second character to an Omen Navy Issue. Given, it was a very optimistic attempt to defend a level 3 site. The loss was solely my fault as I had forgotten about the spare highslot on the other ship. This pilot used it for a Medium Energy Neutralizer which proved deadly to my Frigate as I was trying to get close and under his medium guns. Still, a good fight.
After that, the locals proceeded to disturb my efforts to finish ‘minor’ sites with faction frigates. These sites took 2x 10.000 units of ore from the site and only Frigates and Destroyers could enter them.
Once one of their frigates was in the site, I could not hope to finish it successfully. I moved systems or cloaked up for a bit until they left local or moved systems myself with great care. Usually it took them only a couple minutes until they would find me again to chase me off. Sometimes I was able to run a whole bunch of sites with their pilots in system – but outside of their dscan range. My best weapon was persistance.
A Navy Frigate is not an impossible foe and I wanted to fight back. The plan I came up with was simple: Cloak up a Destroyer in the site and burst them down. First I thought about a Thrasher. And it probably would have worked with it’s utility highslot. But I had to travel from Jita down the 30+ jumps and I decided to use a Sunesis instead. It is a fast aligning ship, can scan for eventual wormholes back to highsec, has drones, and a spare highslot for the cloak. This hull could fit dual-prop as well, which was important because I planned to fight a Maulus Navy Issue which would certainly scram me from 18km or more. The Sunesis’ only problem was it’s speed in general, otherwise it provided great utility which should prove it’s worth.
The Killer Arrived
More than thrity jumps later, I proceeded to find an empty system and setup my trap: My Endurance had to go in first, so the NPCs would not lock up my Destroyer and prevent it from cloaking up beside the beacon. Soon enough, my local friend, the Maulus Navy Issue showed up and I hammered dscan. He’s on 1AU. I align my Endurance out. I don’t want to lose it – yet. As soon as the Maulus shows up on my overview I switch to the Sunesis and uncloak. The cloaking-delay was painfully long and a pilot on top of his game would probably have just kited my SoCT vessel. But I was very lucky and the Maulus came back into web and scram-range…
It was done. The trap had done it’s job and made my very happy with the result.
Despite their better knowledge, the locals proceeded to warp in more ships on me in other sites: RIP Succubus. After that they upgraded to Destroyers. By playing extra careful, I managed to defeat another Thrasher and successfully scram-kited a Catalyst. While proceeding to mine and complete sites. Eventually I became too cocky and attempted to fight a Worm. I knew it would be a very hard fight, but I still wanted to try it. I lost that duel. 💀
The Sprint becomes a Marathon
Then CCP announced that the contest would be prolonged for a few more days. At this time everyone competing for the top spots was already exhausted. But I continued. This suddenly had become amarathon instead of a sprint and once more continuitiy was the key.
The losses to PvP weren’t big by any means but what was big was the logistics tied to them. Faction Frigates and Destroyers aren’t exactly nullsec meta, so I did not expect the locals to have a lot more combat ships.
After the loss of the Suneis, I continued to mine the remaining days solo. I was happy with my performance and just wanted to make sure I would end up on the list of the top ten.
On the last day I met Erdinhok again and we attemptet some more sites together. We still got chased off from time to time but still manage to finish some more. The locals had started chase us off with Asteros. And since we were two, we attempted to fight back with our drones. But six unbonused drones just weren’t enough to break a well tanked Astero, and a single mistake got me caught. After a full week of cat & mouse, greed was my demise and my vessel named ‘Minor Miner’ met it’s end.
Thank you Erdinhok. The capsuleer was going offline soon and would not be able to continue mining, so he showed his kindness and traded me his ship to continue defying the oppression of the Stain people.
Havging the Endurance *wink wink* paid off in the end and we both made it in the top ten for the Stain-Gate to lowsec. All in all, a crazy little ride. But I’m glad I put the effort into this as it’s a story I’ll remember fondly off.
Thank you for reading. o7