“Games people play, You take take it or you leave it, Things that they say, Just don’t make it right.” – “Games People Play”, The Alan Parsons Project
14.09.yc116 QETZ-W < U-JTBT Constellation < Catch
Of course there’s no guarantee that members of the same alliance will act in a similar fashion. Most often they are from different corporations which have their own ways of doing things. This fact was most clear in Querious. A fair amount of the region belonged to The Initiative which is comprised of 25 different corporations. I found travelling the region to be rather quiet until there were only 3 constellations left to explore.
Constellation 8ET-D1 offered my first contact with a member corp of the Initiative. Niven Nalliery of SPANI welcomed me as I entered system 3BK-O7. As I explored the constellation, I had found clusters of capsuleers going about their daily task, and I had wondered why the gates were not actively camped as I had grown accustomed to when exploring a dead end constellation such as theirs. My conversation with Niven seemed to answer that question as we had a friendly talk and it seemed they didn’t mind my flying about. I left the area freely with a smile on my face, knowing I had left a good group of folks behind. Thanks for the break from the monotony and the friendly conversation.
The next constellation, MPJW-6, had a few pockets of folks which left me alone and I wasn’t challenged on the gates until the last few systems, where I played cat and mouse for a couple of locals before I finally managed to make my way into the last constellation of XLL-Z7. The corp of this dead end constellation, Dawn of a new Empire, played a good game. I entered the area quietly enough, then on my second system in, ES-Q0W, I was welcomed in local by Chrisdoc79. We had a friendly conversation and I started to feel a little more comfortable. My thinking at the time was perhaps the Initiative as a whole, contained member corps that followed a similar code. Maybe even a NRDS policy. (Not Red Don’t Shoot). In my research, I wasn’t able to confirm or deny that, but with my precious friendly encounter, the precedence seemed to be set.
So, I carried on with my exploration, but then they made a couple of minor mistakes. Perhaps mistake is the wrong word, but they had to do what they had to do and likewise, so did I, but it was those minor mishaps that quickly raised my red flags and I was back on my cautious, slow, and steady approach to exploration. First up, upon entering system H74-B0, there were two ships on the gate. No bubbles, but drones were deployed, so I quickly aligned and made for a point in system. No more trouble there, so I went on around until I reached the dead end system of NU4-2G. When I finished my exploration of that system, I fully expected a bubbled gate camp in F-NXLQ, but I made for it anyway. Landing on the grid in system, I didn’t find the camp, but I wasn’t completely wrong, as there was a scout ship on the gate that quickly warped off. That was their second mistake.
It was their second mistake, because now I knew for a fact, my exit was being monitored and I was confident a camp was coming up. Here’s where they made for a good game of cat and mouse, because my expectation was the camp would be in ZXJ-71, but if I had truly thought about it, it made more sense where they eventually did have the camp, which was in system N-M1A3. Fortunately for me, and I’m sure, sadly for them, since I was on high alert and expecting something on my way out, I did manage to evade the bubble camp and safely found a spot in the system to hide and chill. One by one, they slowly exited out of the system with no words spoken between us, each side knowing we did our best, but luckily for me, I won the day.
Well played Dawn of a new Empire, well played. If the initial two ships that missed me on the one gate had not been there and if that scout had not been on the dead end system gate, I probably would have been much more relaxed with my guard down and the post I’m writing today may have been far different. You’re earned my respect. Fly smart, fly safe.