Got my DBX Friday, passed drill on Saturday, took my first call Sunday, fired limpet first Monday... I'm an on-the-board rat! They really DO let anyone in, you know...)
Quick outline of my first rescue, because I'm pleased as punch about it.
2 other cases being handled at the time, one Code Red (emergency O2 running out) and one Code Red TFP (Emergency O2 running out inside star's exclusion zone - EZ). The fellow I caught wasn't in any particular trouble, just out of fuel, so I was hastily dispatched on my first rescue while the higher priority cases rolled along.
I started chatting with my client as I jonked (jumped and honked) from system to system, occasionally updating The Hat (irc dispatch guy) on my whereabouts and ETA. Wing request received, beacon on, 2 jumps out, a quick scoop, still chatting. Client hadn't been in game for 6 months, logged back in tonight, figured he'd get used to the controls and earn some fast cash by doing a quick exploration circuit out of Quince. Didn't realise he didn't have a scoop fitted until he ran completely dry of fuel.
And this presented a peculiar problem.
My first rescue client was stranded inside the EZ of a star. Not deep inside, but deep enough that I couldn't navlock-drop to get to him; the closest I could get using nav-drop was some 5.5ls away.
The two CR's were still taking up everyone's attention in irc, so I figured I'd have to disengage navlock, fly about a bit in SC (scooping) and then try to drop out of SC as close to the client as I could. This is known as a "Tactical Face Plant" - you're flying free-hand into a star, trying to aim your drop from SC to land you as close to your client as possible.
My first attempt landed me 3.0ls from the client. My second got me to within 90km - a workable distance. I edged closer, fired my limpets, scored a first fuel and then... another problem.
The client didn't have enough fuel to get to a safe refuelling station - he'd pushed his little Viper Mk3 to its absolute limit. And I didn't have enough limpets to fill him up to get to one, either. I fired off everything i had (12), synthed 4 more and fired those off, too, and then together we plotted a course that would get him halfway while I jumped ahead to restock before doubling back to finish the job.
I've seen youtubes of incredible TFP's and consider it to be (without question) the most skilled maneouvre in the game. As it happened, my "damsel" in my drill, Vanya, is the pilot who currently holds the record for landing closest to client from a TFP - just 2.6km. I joined the rats, in part, because I like making people's days just a little better if i can, and because it's a fun enterprise to be part of. But I also joined because I wanted to boast about having carried out a TFP.
Well, technically speaking, I have! While not heroic or within the 10km target landing zone, I did manually drop from SC to a client stranded within a star's EZ to perform a successful rescue. And then I synthed and escorted on my first job, too: I'm on the boards.
I am a Fuel Rat: I will willingly fly into a star to rescue you. Because I have fuel; you don't... any questions?
Sock out o7
"Drink fast, die young"