An acquaintance, dropped by and gave me some interesting intel: there was a large gang, mainly T1 rifters and some cruisers that had made it's way to Katugumur and were, presently, sitting and ratting. This matched the information from Adamantium Lord an hour or so ago. We had lost track of this group as a mixed pirate gang was out hunting that included me and most of BF.
Anyway, not wanting to miss this opportunity, I grabbed my wolf and went over to Katugumur and was surprised to see that local was busy and yes, indeed we had a brace of rifters, a stabber, a brutix, a thrasher and a wolf. Not too sure if all were together but what the hell. I quickly asked in the Independence channel (a semi-public channel for pirates in and around the Eifer / Gusandall area) if there were any pilots available to tackle what appeared to be a rifter-based swarm.
Three pilots answered the call: 'Adamantium Lord', 'Kane Rizzel' and 'Krypt Kuhn'. I formed a fleet of four.
"All pilots, move to Katugumur gate in Sotrenzur and HOLD. Give status on arrival." I said, as I busily scanned the system. There were many close belts and I had trouble pinning them down. No matter, I would prevail. I could make out five rifter-class frigates, one wolf-class, one rupture-class and stabber class cruiser and a brutix-class battle cruiser and a thrasher-class destroyer. All were more or less clustered around the one belt.
"Kane, Rupture. Ready"
"Adam, Harbringer. Ready"
"Krypt, Stilleto. Ready"
"I have a horrible feeling that we're gonna die but are we all ready?" I said, as I toggled the fleet warp.
"Ready!" Replied Kane.
"Aye." Replied Adam.
"Yaarrr!" Yelled Krypt.
"Primary will be the Brutix, secondary will be Rupture then stabber. I want webs on the stabber if possible. Kane and Krypt point the first targets. Me and Adam will get the next target. Opportunity fire on the rifters, thrasher and wolf as they present themselves. "
"Roger!" Chorused the fleet.
Four ships versus a plethora of t1 frigates and cruisers and one battle cruiser with a destroyer for support. Should be fun though our ships, mighty as they were could not withstand such quantity of firepower if properly concentrated.
"All ships align to VII-4." I said, as my wolf slid into position. I scanned ahead to make sure they hadn't moved. "Ready to warp in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Warp." All four ships zipped into warp and all the pilots were no doubt thinking about what was ahead. Our ships burst into the belt and we were presented by a mass of white squares on overview. For a split second I hesitated. Then my instincts took over and I locked the rupture and stabber. There was no brutix.
"Points on the rupture and stabber!" I shouted to the rest of the fleet. Both ships were too far for me. I hit the microwarpdrive. The enemy rifters buzzed like bees around us. There were at least five rifters in addition to the rupture and stabber. A wolf was there too, prowling.
"Shit. Stabber left."
"So did rupture." Leaving just the frigate craft milling about in the belt. We locked the wolf and one rifter and managed to bring it down as well as the unfortunate rifter. I also locked another three rifters but did not have enough points to spare! The remaining rifters scattered. It was all over in a little under 30 seconds. We picked over the wreckage, sniffing for loot.
One of the more senior rifter pilots of the group spoke to us.
"Haha" Chortled Picard X8, who then added, "have fun picking off 1, maybe 2 rifters."
"Nice try guys." Said Toral Leear, the stabber pilot. This banter obviously got a response from us and it was Adamantium Lord who replied first.
"I consider any rifters a good deal."
"Then you are one pathetic pirate." Fired back Picard X8.
"Apathetic you mean? About oranges. I don't hate them. But I don't love them either." A bit of mind kung-fu from Adam. I was, to be honest, as confused over that reply as anyone. Still, it kept up the chat. Then another Rifter pilot, 'Big Mac2k' joined in.
"Hey lets bring something a bit equal. A stiletto is overkill" The stiletto was flown by Krypt Kuhn and while dangerous as a tackler, it would not really stand up to a crowd of rifters.
"Multi kills. MMmm" Said Adam
"At least someones enjoying himself." Bladerswill added. This was the Brutix pilot who was in local but did not appear to be part of the group.
Adamantium Lord was now on a roll. "I enjoy myself!But the police told me not to do it in public." This brought guffaws and laughs from everyone. There were some minor complaints of us (being pirates) of targeting the rifter horde but to be honest, Kane Rizell put it best and voiced this on the local chat.
"You guys had a good gang, could have caused some damage if you stick together to be honest." He paused and added, "but the cruisers warped out and left your rifter friends to die."
Adamantium Lord, still on a roll couldn't resist and added,"Ok guys, not head to asteroid belt 3. You take---HOLY CRAP! EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!"
Local then drained of craft and it was this time that Grunanca joined the fleet in his rapier. He was coming in from Sotrenzur so I asked him to keep an eye out for this gang. He saw none and that meant that the gang was in Bogelek. We planned our next move and waited for our criminal flags to expire.
Once they expired, I suffered a GUI fault and was left stranded in Katugumur along with Adam. Krypt, Grun and Kane jumped into Katugumur. After a few bashes on the GUI, I was ready and joined the fleet channel. There was a confusing amount of babble as, in my absence, it was unclear who was in charge.
"Warp to me!" That was Grunanca. An angry red light was flashing on the gui and it was the signal for all fleet ships to warp to Grunanca.
"Fuck. Where is everyone?" That was Adam, still in Katugumur local with me but now heading towards Sotrenzur and not Bogelek. He was going the wrong way.
"Krypt. Warp out now! Leave me here." That was Kane yelling at Krypt. What the hell was going on? I wondered. "Am taking them all on! They are mine!" Said Kane. As I activated the Bogelek gate, a thought had dawned on me, what if Kane was challenging the remaining rifters and cruisers to a 1 v 6 match? Maybe, that pirate was crazy enough (and good enough) to pull it off. "Krypt, leave the belt now!" Kane was being insistent.
"Can't being hit now, firing back."
"Warp to me." It was Grunanca, or at least his automated message to the fleet. I hit warp and my computer located Grunanca's position, as I exited, I was in the middle of a belt and the rifters and cruisers were there. My tactical GUI updated and I saw that Kane was badly damaged. There were rifters all over the place. An angry pinging sound filled my head. It was a hostile target lock. I returned the lock, not caring who it was. I was hit by a salvo of shells. It was from Picard X8's rifter. I fired back with my rack of 200mm ACs. Picard X8's rifter blew apart. A stabber class nearby, piloted by Tor Leear, flashed and was then atomised. Another rifter screamed past me - Krypt's stiletto in pursuit. My ship was rocked by another hit; I was webbed. I locked back but this rifter disintegrated as Grunanca's weapons systems took it apart before I could fire back. I was scrambled by someone else. What the hell?
Then it was over.
"Nice......gang tactic huh kane? Said Craig Sakura, one of the dead rifter pilots, "but good fight."
"That was a bit unfair. Haha." Said Agaja, another rifter pilot, "we had a go."
"Bah, and we got ganked."Toral Leear, the stabber pilot.
Picard X8 jumped in, "Any rifters for sale nearby?"
Kane Rizzel, once he had control of his ship spoke up. "Respect for that I actually asked those guys to stay out of it, sorry, pirates huh?" Doh! I thought. So it was a sort of arranged 1 v 6 and like idiots we all blundered in.
I apologised to all the other pilots, for spoiling the 1 v 6 as due to poor communications (we were all on different comms systems) so it was totally confused. Also, I did not warp to Kane as he initially asked but to Grun, who was in the same belt, watching. I arrived (as did Krypt) and we were targeted and fired upon immediately, leaving no option but to fight back. It appeared that Kane had managed to take down two or three of the targets solo before we came in.
Check out his KB here.
Anyway, here's an honourable mention to those pilots; sorry for missing anyone!!!
Kuro Katana, rifter.
Picard X8, rifter.
Big Mac2k, rifter.
OZ DMon, rifter.
Tor Leear, stabber.
Craig Sakura, rifter.
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