1 Jan 2008

Welcome to the New Year

My first loss of 2008 was an interesting one.

Jubes, Inglorifin, Muelac and I were in a fleet and roaming. We had spotted a Cataclysm Enterprises (CE) gang in Eifer. The CE gang was a crow, sleipnir, sleipnir and curse. There was also a non-CE ishtar with them but we were unsure of it's allegiance. They were probably out for our blood as they had lost a faction fitted sleipnir to us.

Details are here.

I was docked and I had just passed the boss to Muhaar and a minute later, that sweet kill. So, checking the kill mail one can see why CE were after some scalps. Faction mods must have cost a fortune. The pilot was also podded for his troubles.

We decided to avoid this gang as a huginn, a wolf and two canes may offer resistance but under gate fire too? With Jubes and Inglorfin ahead in Gultraten, we had spotted some useful targets. Muelac and I hung back in Ingunn. With all our attention on gultratren, we failed to notice the presence of the ishtar now at the Gult gate in Ingunn. I had already warped to a safe spot but Muelac did not. He was cloaked but in hindsight, this proved to be disastrous. The CE gang had followed Muelac and went through into Gultratren leaving the Ishtar sitting on the Gult gate.

Wonderful, I thought. Now we had a hostile CE gang between me / Muelac and Jubes and Inglorifin.

Still, if we sat there and did not jump through - we would be ok. I was about to give orders to Jubes and Inglorifin to continue with their roam further down the Metropolis pipe while me and Muelac would double-back and head in Gusandall. We would leave the CE gang on the gate.

Disaster struck.

Muelac, sitting near the gate had got himself decloaked by a passing hauler. Worse was that he was not within jump range of the gate and had suddenly found himself, horribly exposed.

"Shit. Am de-cloaked." He croaked. I turned my Hurricane towards the gate fearing the worst.
"Muelac, status?" I said. Fear building. I hoped that the ishtar pilot was a noob and knew nothing about gate fighting.
"Shit. He's engaged me. He' s engaged me. His drones are out." I aligned and checked my guns.
"Muelac, jump into Gultratren and take your chances with the CE camp. Jump! Goddamnit Jump."
"Too far Flash. Am too far, I was too far! I de-cloaked too far from gate. Am a retard." Credit to Muelac that he wasn't screaming for help. He was trying hard to get himself out of the situation and doing it in a calm manner. Still, there was genuine worry in his voice.
"Shit." I made a decision. "Ing and Jubes. HOLD in Gultraten. Do not jump into Arnstur. Am going to help Muelac. Do NOT join us. CE are waiting for you."
"What about you? CE are on the otherside and they'll jump in to get you"" Said Jubes.
"It's a trap!" chimed in Inglorfin.

I knew full well it was a trap but I was going to try something. I was in warp when Muelac's huginn exploded. He managed to get his pod away while his crew scattered to the four winds in their life launches. Arriving at the gate, the ishtar was there; loitering at the spluttering wreck of the Huginn. It was not blinking due to him being engaging a known outlaw but it was doubtful he could jump due to his recent weapons' discharges. He locked me and sent his drones to me; they started to chew my shields. I was hoping that this ishtar was working with the CE camp next door and that they would be coming through to assist. I tanked the drones easily. I returned the lock and powered towards him.

The gate fired.

'Incoming' I thought.

I jumped into Gultratren.

The CE ships were still there! Too late, I realised my mistake - at least three of them, all compounding on each other and meaning that I was already dead. The CE ships were spread out in a standard engagment pattern suitable for gate captures. I was more or less point towards nowhere and with armour plates slapped onto this hurricane, it would be slow. I had three options:

1. Align and try to get into warp before the crow can make a tackle.
2. Align towards the Ingunn gate and jump through once they had aggro'ed
3. Fight.

I decided on aligning to a planet that was about twenty degrees off my warp out point. I was about 7km from the nearest ship, the curse and realised my chances were slim. I did not want to call in Jubes or Ing as it would mean a slaughter. I had to risk it.

De-cloaking, I was greeted with locks from all four ships, instantly.

The curse, crow and both sleipnirs had me in their grip. I gave the order to abandon ship as I turned the guns towards the curse. I opened up with all my fury but was taken apart and then podded to add insult to injury.

It was a good move by the CE guys, well-planned and ruthlessly executed.