Long time readers of the blog know that the Angel Cartel and I don't get along. Mostly, I blow them up and they die. Mostly. I guess they got tired of the dying part because a couple of days ago they brought in some ringers. That's right, clone soldiers.
I was minding my own business, doing a little ice mining in a 0.2 security system. Nothing special, Wandering Rose just running down the belt staying aligned in her Procurer sucking up ice while Rosewalker provided squad bonuses and overwatch in his Hound. To my surprise in warps a single Angel cruiser. I don't know what rank this clone soldier was, but flying the Angel colors just meant one thing; he'd picked a good day to die.
Once he started the attack, Wandering Rose launched a flight of Hobgoblin IIs and found out one of the reasons for his arrogance. I'd heard that these clone soldiers flew a new type of ship and I witnessed first hand how tough they were as he just shrugged off the damage. Seeing the futility of the effort, and the fact that the Procurer was webbed and not scrammed, Wandering Rose warped to the station and docked.
Rosewalker was in a bit of a bind. He was sitting about 35 km from the clone soldier. Having witnessed the defenses of the new cruiser, the stories about how these clone soldiers ate stealth bombers for breakfast made him want to put a little distance between himself and the Angel. Instead of slowboating, he decided to warp to a nearby asteroid belt and then warp back at range.
Image my surprise when he arrived and found another clone soldier camping the belt. The Angel Cartel were looking for me and laid a trap! The only problem with the plan is that by casting a wide net they had invited defeat in detail. I couldn't turn down the invitation, could I?
I then found out what I suspected. These clone soldiers aren't so tough. Perhaps if they had stuck together the outcome would have changed, but individually fighting them is like shooting fish in a barrel. I decloak at 60 km, turn on the sensor dampener, turn on the target painter, and maintain range while spitting out torpedoes. Easy. I then looted the wreck and found a tag that Aura told me was worth 105 million ISK.
Of course, I still had the original clone soldier to take care of. So I warped back to the ice site and acquired another tag. Felt like taking a 5-year-old's lunch money, really, but hey, he made the choice to fly with the Angel Cartel.
I found out why Aura thought the tag was worth 105 million ISK. Someone had purchased a shipload of tags over the weekend and the prices had not recovered. The true price in Metropolis really fell in the 60-90 million range. So I flew to the nearest DED station and put them up for sale for 75 million ISK each. I felt better about my decision as the market computer told me I was selling over the market average. After the interruption I finished my ice mining session.
Within 12 hours the tags sold. After taxes and fees, I received 148+ million ISK for just a few minutes of work. When I first heard the proposals at Fanfest I figured that asteroid mining was going to die but that ice mining would benefit. After all, tag rats would only appear in belts, not anomalies. The fact that I managed to get one in an ore site was a bit unexpected.