"Warning: Shield Capacity to 38 percent," chimed the emotionless voice of what sounded like a probably pretty hot babe. Unfortunately, you can only hear the same warning messages from the same hot babe so many times before you can't stand it. Another wave of Sleeper missiles slammed into my shields, blinding me for a second as the energy splashed off of them.
"Warning: Shield Capacity at 36 percent."
"I KNOW! SHUT UP SHUT UP ALREADY! GOD! SO STRESS..."
"Warning: Shield Capacity to 38 percent," repeated the hot, but extremely annoying babe.
"I can't deal ..."
"Warning: Shield Capacity BSSZZZT!!!" announced the computerized voice.
A smoking hole now occupied the space where the AI's alarm sounds, in the case of low shields, low armor, and hull damage, were stored. It was a very small disk. Was. Now it was a satisfyingly shattered piece of machinery.
"Bitch," I spat. "I'm going to have to change your programming so that you actually have some personality. Maybe I'll make you sound Caldari too while I'm at it. Or Klingon. Whatever. And some new warning messages."
The day had not been going well for me. I had been solo'ing the same Sleeper base for almost two hours now. Granted, it was the hardest class two Radar site known, an Unsecured Transponder Farm, but still, two hours. And since I had to operate autocannons because my artillery skills blew, and because I didn't have Advanced Weapons Upgrades V, and because there probably wasn't power enough anyways to fit even the tech two 650's, I wasted ALOT of bullets. So far, I'd used 6000 bullets, split evenly between Fusion, Phased Plasma, and EMP. The upside was that my ship, Repulse, even in my home class two Wolf-Rayet (which happened to be worst possible system to run my ship setup) had a peak shield recharge of two hundred forty-eight per second.
Of course, that doesn't stop eight cruiser sized sleepers and four frigate sized sleepers from making that look pitiful. I'd already had to warp in and out several times, a few with armor damage, which of course needed repairing. I felt I could maintain my peak recharge rate though at this point, with only four cruisers left. I just wasn't sure I'd have enough bullets to make it through comfortably. It was more of a hope and pray situation that someone didn't come in to gank me, because I would go down faster than a Matari whore's thong when said whore was drugged out of her mind at a Gallente orgy.
I'd seen it happen and knew exactly how fast that was. Some neural processes are slower than that.
30 minutes later, my shields finally had the chance to recharge. To full, mind you, none of that peak recharge stuff. All the Sleepers had finally been destroyed and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The transit back to base was short, but relaxing, and not filled with red bars oscillating between almost dead and kinda dead. My guns weren't constantly sending tiny shock waves through the ship either, a welcome relief. I think if it had gone much longer my back would have been jazzercized to mulch.
Upon arriving at the base, I stored my Hurricane in the Ship Maintenance Array, and boarded the Salvage destroyer I'd fit so long along. Nothing special about it. It was a Thrasher. Two rigged bits of Salvage tackle, three salvagers, three tractor beams, an MWD, a codebreaker, and an analyzer, and some CPU upgrades to accompany my core probe launcher. A decent general purpose looting ship, minus of course all the firepower that has to proceed looting of any sort.
I made my way back to the wreckage.
After thirty minutes, and salvaging something like twenty-five wrecked Sleepers, my biggest loot in terms of salvage were the two Melted Nanoribbons that had come off of the one battleship to appear during that whole ordeal. "Two friggin' nanoribbons...ugh! That barely covers the bullets I had to use to kill all this crap!"
A few new dents made their way into the walls of the Thrasher's interior, none of any consequence.
Sullenly, I warped back to base, and upon arrival, stashed the salvage and loot, boarded my trusty Hound, "Kernel Panic!", and went to camp the Hi-sec entrance to the system. I was hoping some idiot would come prowling around for a good time, and I'd pull it out his ass the hard way. I muttered angrily under my breath. Setting the ship to auto-orbit the anomaly at 28 km, I stalked out of the command module to my library of books and picked up the Harry Dresden novel I had been reading the night before.