22 Dec 2007

Fleet Canes for the win!

Busy, busy here but this day, my heart is still thumping from an encounter that will go down as one of the most intense experiences so far.

As ever, there were pirates of various persuasions in the independence channel as well as Black Flag pilots. A predominantly Black Flag fleet was setup with all the BF pilots in the specially modified BF Fleet Hurricane, a product of much research and development led by Viper Sam.

The fleet included: Jubes, Viper Sam, Muelac and myself in the fleet canes, Inglorfin (wolf) Sal (deimos) and Spiderus (hyperion). Inglorfin was ahead and scouted for us and we knew that there was sizeable fleet from the Russian Coalition between Gultratren and Arnstur. Inglorfin provided up to date intel on what ships were coming in and out. Spiderus was bait and jumped in on Inglorfin's word. The Russian Coalition had the following ships: two dominix class battleships, a stiletto, a drake, a thorax, a rupture and a harbringer-class battlecruiser. An equal fleet to ours but we felt that a decisive strike at the two dominix class ships should shatter them. Also, we were sure that this fleet knew of our presence and intention. No matter, it will not save them.

Spiderus jumped into Arnstur and found no-one in the gate but Inglorfin had now vectored him towards the Brin star gate. Spiderus turned his ship round and moved off into space. Inglorfin stayed about 100km from the gate, ready to update the vital intelligence that would win this contest. A few minutes later, the communication channel squawked.
"Stiletto and Dominix now at the gate. Stiletto now jumping into Gultratren." So, the Russian Coalition were sending in a scout. We were off the gate now and aligned and ready to pounce. "Dominix has jumped in as well." Spiderus chimed in.
"Coming back to the gate and jumping through. Maybe the domi will follow me once I am through?"
"Affirmative. Go ahead. Fleet align." That was Viper getting the four hurricanes ready. The ship's engine rumbled as the battle-cruisers slid into position. Spiderus jumped through and locked the waiting dominix and then engaged.
"Jump to me," said Spiderus as the trap was being sprung."I am under sentry gun fire. Engaging Dominix."
Meanwhile, Inglorfin was checking on the other side.
"You have incoming. The Dom was bait. I see their fleet inbound on your position. " There was a dramatic pause. "Gate fire! Gate fire! They're coming through!" We clicked once on the comm channels to confirm and we were in mid-warp.
"Hurry, am surrounded!"
"Hold on Spiderus. We're on our way." I said, putting my ship to red alert. All four hurricanes burst out around Spiderus in bright flashes. Our overviews filled with enemy ships. We had to engage them and incur sentry gun fire but that didn't bother us. We wanted our fill of blood and our pound of flesh.
"Primaries Sam! Primaries!" I yelled as I locked all the ships; we needed to target one ship to maximise our firepower however and our fleet commander had not yet allocated targets.
"The Harbringer!" Came the reply. Fuck, which one was that?
"Names, Sam! We need names!" I opened fire on the nearest target, a drake-class battlecruiser piloted by 'Malenkiy'. I was hoping I wasn't too harsh on our FC.
"Primary is Kelev. Primary is Kelev!" Good, I had Kelev's Harbringer already locked and knowing the names of targets was easier for everyone. I switched all my 425mm ACs on and hammered at the harbringer. So did the rest of the fleet. The Russian Coalition had two dominix class battleships and they spat out angry T2 drones. They screamed towards us. All their other ships locked us and fired. I had no idea who was primaried on our side. I glanced at my watch list.
"Help Spiderus!"
"Roger." That was Muelac, languid as usual but deadly efficient. We started to repair Spiderus' shields as we volleyed Kelev's Harbringer into scrap.
"Next target?" I said, well aware that we were a touch too slow on the target calling.
"Domi is primary. White Don. White Don!" Got it. I had White Don on lock and sent another volley of Hail towards him. Meanwhile, Spiderius's hyperion was being rocked back and forth but it's shield damage was almost repaired. Lucky for Spiderus as he was in structure already when the repairs began. White Don's Domi had neutralisers and was sucking the cap dry on Viper Sam. Just as he started taking in damage. I switched my repairer from Spiderus to Viper. Then the rupture and drake started to target me. My shields shimmered as it absorbed the energy of the rounds. Not too worried, I concentrated on the domi, now on fire, spewing atmosphere and fuel and unable to repair quick enough as four hurricanes tore it to pieces. Our hail rounds punched gaping holes in it's hull and it exploded to the cheers of the crews on our ships.
"Primary: Dobriy Ya. Secondary: Malenkiy." Target calling was coming quicker and the second dominix died under our guns. It's structure twisting under the intense heat of internal explosions. Jubes was under fire as was I from the sentry guns and the enemy drake but the rest of the fleet, nimble as ever had provided support to us. The drake's shield systems were overwhelmed by the HAIL and EMP rounds and then the rupture and thorax followed, burst open in a ball of light and sound. We killed them almost like an afterthought. In all this, we had lost Sal's Deimos. Stupidly, no-one had him on their respective watch lists and we were unable to see his damage until it was too late. He took gate gun fire, some T2 drone damage and possibly, the drake missiles.

The area around the gate was strewn with sparkling wreckage and flash-frozen bodies. Aimless drones drifted around, opportunity locking anything as it's AI mind tried to follow it's last commands of it's dying overseer.

The final tally was impressive: two dominix, harbringer, thorax, rupture and drake died to us for the loss of one deimos.

It was a good kill and our featured hurricane setup, a centre-piece of all Black Flag fleets performed superbly well. We looted and salvaged what we could and lept to our safe spots. Still drunk on adrenaline we wanted more and more targets. However, the Gods of New Eden decided we had had enough.

Oh well.

A day later, I decided that my thirst still needed quenching. I tackled and killed a thrasher and a phoon and a caracal (two) of them.