The Angel Legionairre exploded into a ball of light and debris as my 220mm ACs slowly spun down to idle. I approached the sputtering wreck and sent in some drones to investigate it, I managed to salvage some ship components as well as cut out two 650mm howitzers. They should sell well or failing that, I could melt them down to scrap. I decided to move on and jumped into the next system. The warp tunnel collapsed around my hurricane with a sigh and I hit the scan button. Nothing. I was on a solo roam and could not find a thing, I knew of an anti-pie crew moving up and down the Metropolis pipe but with me in my solo hurricane, it would end in a fiery death. I am aggressive, not suicidal.
After 12 jumps, I turned round and decided to head back. One of my many chat channels blinked at me, demanding attention. It was a contact that had been quiet for a while.
"Salah. Well met." I said, greeting a fellow Brutor. His avatar broke up a few times but his message was clear.
"Flash. Well met. I have possible marks in Evati for you. No idea if they're out of dock but I have checked your killboard and I have a feeling you would be interested." A second window opened up on my interface and I expanded it. I recognised the face of the pilot and oh yes, I would be interested.
"Thank Salah. Come into Independence some time, I owe you a drink."
"I will my friend. Good hunting." With that, the link was broken and I set course to Evati, some nine jumps away. The mark was Turion Leatherface and we had tangled with him before, from what I remember he was piloting a Myrmidon and it was outside Gusandall.
Approaching Evati I made sure that the ship was on red alert and that damage control teams were in place. I toggled my corporation chat and only Viper Sam, the CEO was logged in.
"Flash. What's up?" I quickly explained to Sam the mark and that I was now in Evati and tracking him. Turion was in a drake-class battlecruiser this time round. He was outside a station and was just sitting there. Difficult to tackle him there. Viper Sam told me that he was undocking as we speak and on his way; five jumps and he would inbound. So I waited and kept the scanner active. I could see him and no doubt, he could see me. I realised that he was not at a POS and was still at the station. I warped to a spot 300km off the station. Too far for a visual lock but close enough to confirm beyond all doubt his location. He was there but I also spotted a brutix within scan range.
"Flash. Am on the gate."
"Sam, we have a brutix here at a belt. I think. Hold on." I fiddled with the scanner to confirm. "Yeah. The brutix is in belt III-I and the drake is in a holding position at the station." I said as I started my docking cycle. I needed to change some drones. As my docking request was accepted, my scanner told me that the drake had moved and was also at Belt III-I. "Drake is there too. Belt III-I. Drake should be primary. "
Things then happened awfully fast.
Viper Sam shot me a fleet invite - thereby improving our co-ordination. I accepted but then realised that I could not undock immediately. My computer was still trying to finish off the handshaking with Viper Sam. Stupid of me - never accept such invites prior to undocking or jumping to another system. Never. Never.
"Am on my way in." Informed Sam calmly, quite clearly thinking that I was already in the belt and engaging or in space and aligned. In reality, I was docked and stuck temporarily.
I was still docked and hammering at the undock button.
Precious seconds crawled by.
"On my way! On my way!" I shouted, throwing a thousand curses at everyone as my hurricane, sluggishly moved out of the station and painfully aligned to Viper Sam's position.
The hurricane finally jumped into warp space. I locked into Sam's hurricane-class battlecruiser and from the remote fleet telemetry, I could see he was taking tremendous damage. His shields starting to wink off and damage biting into his armour.
"Sam. ETA ten seconds." I said as reassuringly as possible.
"Brutix has engaged. Drake has engaged. Need to get some distance." Sam was an experienced hurricane pilot, able to utilise the characteristics of this minmater ship to maximum effect.
"ETA five seconds." My computer was already picking up the EMP flashes from Sam's guns.
"Shit. They've got ECM! Flash, where the hell are you?" By reply, my hurricane burst out 1 km from Sam's hurricane. I locked the Drake and Brutix. My webber snapped onto the Drake and my 220mm ACs spun up and threw EMP shells over the 1000 meters at the drake. The Drake had disappointingly high shields left. Damn those passive tanks!
My ECM drones slid out and went after the enemy brutix who was 15km and closing, afterburner flaring brightly. It had it's own drones all over Sam's hurricane. Sam's hurricane ('La Cruces') gained some distance and nimbly moved behind the Drake, however the drake's missiles were still peppering the 'cane. The brutix was close. I suddenly lost all locks.
The drake's own ecm drones had a cycle on me and my tactical computer went into a frenzy as it got itself confused over the multiple targets. The brutix was now starting to tear chunks at Las Cruces. We had to change tactics.
"Sam. Brutix is now primary." I said, just as Sam said the same thing to me. We both could see the danger. Leave the drake, it's tank was too tough and it would take too long. I managed to relock both targets and swivelled my guns over towards the brutix; what was left of my ECM drones were on the drake now. At this close range, it would be a down to who had the faster DPS and / or better tank. I was confident that I had both.
"Engaging Brutix." It's shields flared as they were stripped off. It was into armour very quickly. "Part switch to anti-armour ammo." Half my guns went silent as my ammo loaders changed from the EMP rounds to the hail and phased plasma rounds. They've always proved devastating against armour tankers. La Cruces danced closer to me and got some distance off the drake, now silent as our ECM drones were doing there work.
"Flash, point the drake!"
"Roger that." I replied, switching the warp disruptor over towards the drake. Silent and brooding, the pilot no doubt seething at his temporary blindness. As soon as my disruptor came online - the drake re-acquired me and sent a salvo of missiles towards me. My armour repairers came to life as I fed it capacitor to patch the holes now rapidly appearing on my hull.
La Cruces was into armour and she had no shields. She also had no armour repairer either and was surviving through Sam's good piloting and good damage control. The brutix was down to 10% armour and this was soon gone, the hull flaring out with flames. I could only imagine what was happening on board the ship. It must be like an inferno. The drake was still at 85% shield and well up for the fight.
"Brutix is going down. Brutix is going down." There was a sudden stream of crew escape launches than the brutix burst apart. Rounds from my ship and La Cruces scissoring the ship into two pieces. We left the captain to escape. He fought well.
The drake was throwing out fearsome ordnance but his tank was the big problem, if it was configured properly, it would be very difficult to break.
"Switching back to anti-shield ammunition!"
"Roger that. Keep at it. We can break it."
The drake twisted around as it tired to move itself away from my webber. I noticed that it had webbed (double-webbed?) La Cruces now. I switched on my neutralisers once I was close enough. I had to try and shut down his capacitor. The Drake's shields started to drop as both hurricanes continued the bombardment. It was webbed, scrambled and trapped. It was dying. A minute of solid EMP based bombardment later, the shields finally broke and the thin armour was pummelled to pieces. There were cheers on my ship and on La Cruces when the final blow was delivered and the drake was destroyed.
The drake appeared to have some very nice loot in his hold.
Well done to Captains Delta Arcani and Turion Leatherface for fighting back hard.
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