Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pilgrimage to Heild

A Familiar Place

Ever since our move to Ishomilken over a year ago, I still found myself yearning for the soothing rusty red glow of Minmatar  space. Heimatar, Metropolis and the outskirts of Amarr space were my hunting grounds. As time went on, events occurred that left us no choice but to leave our then home system of Gultratren for greener pastures in Caldari/Gallente space. The migration proved fruitful and continues to provide R1FTA with targets and good fights. 

But from time to time one misses the red glow of space, so I made the trip through the sparsely populated non faction warfare low sec that serves as a quiet highway of sorts to Metropolis. From there I pushed further to our first home after our migration from Adirain, to the near empty system of Gultratren. 

Molden Heath

Kind of looks like a cat's or fox's head!

The Golden Age of Heild is a legend to many of us who never experienced it. The literature that covers it along with memories divulged from those who lived through its glory continue to arouse our imagination of a land filled with explosions, frigate wrecks, smoking autocannons and good fights.

It was on this reflective note that I realized I've never roamed the area. Sure I paid homage to the sacred home of R1FTA, but I never roamed it in search of targets. Mostly because Ishomilken provides quick action to scratch our itchy trigger fingers. I arrived in Gultratren where my stockpile of ships, guns, smokes, booze and ammo greeted me and prepared to set out on my pilgrim roam to Heild.

From Gultratren I set my destination to Heild. I plotted a route that would keep me in low sec and circle me back around to Gultra. The route bordered both null and high sec systems, so even though I wasn't expecting the amount of activity usual for FW space, I figured my chances of finding a ratter or miner would be pretty good.

I double checked the route to ensure it didn't take me through any surprise high sec systems, did an ammo check, and everything was good to go. I undocked and warped off to my first system. Gultratren was empty save one person, a reminder of why we moved a long time ago. 

With the lack of FW plex's, I would have to no shit search every nook n cranny of each system along the way. Belts, planets, and even anomalies. If a ship was in system, I was going to find it. The next few jumps I did just that. The handful of folks in system were either some kind of industry alts due to the years in corp, or new players between two and several months old. A couple folks took advantage of the desolate space and were running sites. Imicus and Probes would pop up on d-scan as well as an Ishtar or Gila, conducting their business in peace. 

I entered the system of Atlar, a few jumps before Bosena and continued my search. I scanned the belts within scan range and found nothing. There was another cluster of belts far off scan away from the center so I warped to those and did a 360 scan as I neared scan range. Unnamed Bellicose. I landed a distance from the Customs Office and scanned the belts there but no cruiser. There was one more location, a Ruined Minmatar Mining Outpost, so I gave it a scan. Boom. I don't know what's in those outposts, but d-scan don't lie!

I loaded EMP and Mjolnir rockets, overheated everything and warped to it. There were four other people in local and given our distance from center, I wasn't expecting any third parties.

I landed on grid and the outpost came into view. A couple cruiser sized rats and one frig were engaged with the Bellicose who had a couple drones out firing back. I exited warp and immediately burned towards the cruiser who was 25km away. I zoomed in on him to see if he was getting ready to warp but he was burning into empty space at a snails pace of 160 m/s. My Rifter closed distance fast as I landed my web and scram and fired the guns. I settled into my close orbit and shut off the OH on my mods except my rep and guns. The Bellicose was steadily entering deep shields as he yet to lock me up. I glanced at the drones and saw there were two Hobs and a Valkyrie. There was a plus one in local as the Cruiser finally began to lock me up while the guns continued to chew away at his shields. I was target painted and some heavy missiles exploded near my ship but weren't doing any significant damage. With no webs on me plus the combination of my speed and sig radius, the Bellicose might as well been shootin' fireworks. I punched through his shields and his armor began to fall apart as he entered half. Another plus one in local but nothing on short, so I was still in the clear. My Rifter was circling the cruiser like a lone wolf on a wounded beast. His structure crumbled as the drones joined the assault, going to work on my shields. A series of rapid volleys finished off the last bit of hull. There was a silent flame followed by a brilliant and satisfying explosion as the Bellicose went boom. In the midst of the explosion I scrammed the pod and sent his capsule away with a greenish explosion. Saint Wensley be praised! I could've gone for a ransom given our relative privacy, but I was caught up in the blood lust of the moment. I checked the wreck and sifted through the loot. Blueprints! There was nothing above 100k ISK worth of mods, so I left the 'em there, gathered the corpse and the blueprints and warped off to a safe to examine the killmail. 

The pilot had a couple good looking blueprints that didn't drop, an Ogre and Bersker drone BPO which surely would've earned us a nice source of ISK. I docked up to rep and thought for a few seconds on whether to leave the loot here or take it with me, and decided to bring it along. I undocked and continued on my way to Heild. 


As I got close to Bosena, I remembered reading about a pilot by the name of Sugar Kyle, the Pirate Queen of Bosena. There was a market she used to run based out of that system, but judging by the lack of activity it appears they had packed up and moved elsewhere. The next system was sacred ground to R1FTA. 


I jumped through and saw a couple people in local but no ships on scan. I had a fresh corpse in cargo, so I warped to the sun to leave my offering. The sun was a brilliant purple with a white aura. It looked pretty badass to be honest. I hit d-scan again hoping to see a target, but no luck. This is where it all began. The location of the now extinct 2/10 DED site was still saved in R1FTA's bookmarks. It's badass that this system was the center of Molden Heath's reputation and content, and simultaneously sad that its time has long past and leaves a desolate region. I ejected the corpse, savored the moment a bit longer, and continued on my pilgrimage. 


The next few jumps went on without any folks in system or ships to shoot. I arrived in Gultratren, dropped the loot in station and considered bringing in some new Rifters since the ones here were outdated from the last module tiercide. 

I plan to stick around for a few more days, the region of Molden Heath could still provide a fight or two.

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