15 Feb 2008

Fighting under sentry guns and a pirating velator

Jubes is turning out to be our main killer in Black Flag. He has been terrorising pilots of all standings for nigh on a week or so. A one-man killing machine and we love him; though we all have to get some more kills to catch up with him. Not for one is Jubes also known as 'The Eager' in the group. Still, there is no-one better to have at your side than Jubes.

The hostilities between Black Flag and M34N has died down to a cold war, the kill death ratio is 12-3 in Black Flag's favour with a 96.61% isk efficiency. I think it will stay like this for a while now, as both sides get on with pirating and while not avoiding each other; we're wary enough to not get ambushed. I can not see any more kills for both sides in the near future.

To the pirating at hand. I have recovered sufficiently from the contaminated pod fluid to get back into the ships for a few test runs. I even managed to pop a thrasher and a rifter as a means of getting back into the saddle. This morning, as I woke up, it felt different. There was a tingle in the air, the anticipation of pre-mediated violence and how I was eager to drink deep into this.

Viper Sam and Jubes were online and out in their ships. A quick check of the killboard (click here to have a look) showed that Jubes had been busy, especially against a new corp: Kamimazi Kaigun ([KAI]). Intelligence reports on this corp had showed them to be relatively newly-qualified pod pilots, with one or two exceptions. They certainly worked as a team and showed spirit and fighting determination. Viper Sam and Jubes had tangled with them a few days before - killing two of their brutix and scaring off their battleships, while both Sam and Jubes were in their Black Flag Fleet Hurricanes.

I grinned when I saw that Jubes had also killed a 'dramiel' class frigate. Quite rare, an Angel-cartel designed frigate. Am sure that they would be coming back to exact revenge and we would be waiting. I was just checking into the Independence bar, to shoot the breeze with some of the residents when Jubes asked me to get into our hurricanes and join the new fleet. SnakeBoy was there too in his rifter. Jubes was in his rupture.

"Flashfresh here. What's up Jubes?"
"Potential hostile cyclone and thrasher in Eifer." I quickly got my ground crew to ready my solo 'cane. "Am going in!!"

SHIT. Jubes was eager and lived up to his name!

I raced towards the hangar, knocking down pedestrians who were foolish enough to get in my way. With a whine and puff of air, I was inside my pod and locking into the embrace of my hurricane ship within a minute. The last member of the crew sealing air-locks and popping the magnetic locks on the ships.

"On my way Jubes. Sorry for the delay." Snake Boy joined in.
"Am going in for the tackle."
"Hurry Flash! I thought you were on gate!" Yelled Jubes. I was concerned, surely Jubes wasn't in trouble already was he?
"Hold on. Am on my way." The hurricane took what seemed like an age to slide out of the hangar before aligning to the Eifer gate.
"Shit. Am going to pop. Someone get that thrasher!" Yelled Jubes, increasingly frustrated.
"Am on it.." Replied Snake Boy, no doubt his rifter now slashing it's way into the melee. I was finally at the gate and activated it. Cursing my slowness. As my senses recalibrated to the new system, I warped to Jubes position, my targeting computer having made a strong lock onto my corp mates location. A thrasher and a cyclone versus a rifter (Snake Boy) and a rupture (Jubes) - they sounded like good odds.

"Jubes is down. Jubes is down."

What the fuck? I was four seconds away.

"Snake is down. Snake is down."

Oh no. I was one second away and then my Hurricane ripped it's way back into reality and real-space. The tactical computer picked up the solid returns of a cyclone class battlecruiser and the thin shape of a thrasher-class destroyer. I was close to the cyclone and my ship pushed it's way through the still sparking wreckage of what I can only assume to be Jubes rupture wreck.

"Kill them Flash! Kill them Flash!" Yelled Jubes, fury and rage clear in his voice. My computer was already acquiring a lock on the cyclone and once successful, my warp disruptor came on with a hiss. I then webbed the cyclone for good measure and sent the ecm drones over towards the thrasher. I was greeted by returning locks from both of them. The thrasher was quite far from me but it was this latter ship that appeared to be getting the damage on me. It had to be artillery pieces that he had. I maintained a point on the cyclone as my 220mm dual-autocanons started up with their distinctive chatter. My EMP based rounds flashed across the short distance between our ships. The cyclone was a shield tanker and my rounds were designed to have maximum impact on shield-based defence systems.

Meanwhile, it was the thrasher that was doing the most damage. I punched on my armour hardners as my thin shields disappeared. Now, it would be my armour and armour systems absorbing the blows but since this was exactly how I designed this ship, I had little to worry about. With the cyclone webbed and scrambled, I kept up the punishment. The thrasher was about 19km from me but hitting me quite hard from that distance. The cyclone could not keep up with the punishment and it burst apart in a delightful explosion. I quickly switched my attention to the thrasher but it was already hitting it's afterburners and putting some distance between itself and me. There was a flash and then the thrasher was gone as was the pod containing the cyclone pilot.

The concord killmail.

2008.02.15 09:18

Victim: Draksar Lord
Alliance: None
Corp: Corpse Creation Crew
Destroyed: Cyclone
System: Eifer
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 29298

Involved parties:

Name: flashfresh (laid the final blow)
Security: -10.0
Alliance: None
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 18972

Name: Jubes
Security: -9.9
Alliance: None
Ship: Unknown
Weapon: Hornet EC-300
Damage Done: 10326

Destroyed items:

Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 43
'Arbalest' Assault Missile Launcher
'Malkuth' Standard Missile Launcher I
Republic Fleet EMP M, Qty: 80
425mm Medium Gallium I Machine Gun
425mm Medium Gallium I Machine Gun
Caldari Navy Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 67
Warp Disruptor I
Large Shield Booster II
V-M15 Braced Multispectral Shield Matrix
1MN Afterburner I, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Nanofiber Internal Structure I (Cargo)
Stasis Webifier I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
150mm Light AutoCannon I (Cargo)
Phased Plasma S, Qty: 176 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 474 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet EMP M, Qty: 1248 (Cargo)
Small Shield Booster II (Cargo)
Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Dropped items:

425mm Medium Gallium I Machine Gun
425mm Medium Gallium I Machine Gun
425mm Medium Gallium I Machine Gun
Republic Fleet EMP M, Qty: 120
'Arbalest' Assault Missile Launcher
10MN Afterburner II
Medium F-RX Prototype I Capacitor Boost
Damage Control II
F-M3 Munition Inertial Suspensor
F-M3 Munition Inertial Suspensor
F-M3 Munition Inertial Suspensor
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 351 (Cargo)
Small Nosferatu I (Cargo)
150mm Light AutoCannon I (Cargo)
Inertia Stabilizers I (Cargo)
Small I-a Polarized Armor Regenerator (Cargo)
Gyrostabilizer I (Cargo)

It turned out that Jubes had engaged them with less than 50% armour, from a previous engagement he had with them. Typical Jubes, couldn't be bothered to even repair himself if there was a potential kill to be had! I grabbed what loot I could and re-engaged the warp drives back to station.

Some time later, Viper came back online after completing his own personal business. There was a raven at the Gusandall gate in Eifer. Jubes was debating on whether to engage it in his cane. Viper and I both undocked in our canes and went to wait on the otherside of the gate. The pilot was called 'Callvictory' and yes, a pilot for Kamikazi Kaigun. Jubes decided to engage and fired on him, the illegal weapons fire meant that the gate guns opened fire in response and Jubes reported back shield damage. Sam and I stayed on the gate and waited.
"Has the raven opened fire?" Demanded Sam. There was a pause as Jubes tried to see if the mark would fire.
"Negative, negative. He hasn't fired."
"He wants to use the gate guns to take out Jubes." I said. A single hurricane will be eventually taken out especially if the raven could tank and NOT fire back.
"Jubes - get him to agress."
"Sam, I am trying. He isn't biting."
"OK. Am jumping." Replied Sam as Eifer gate control allowed Sam into the system. I followed in his wake. The raven was there and hovered over the gate, serene and untroubled. We locked it but waited for the raven pilot to do something. Nothing happened. Instead we saw CallVictory align and then warp out. Sam and I did not fire on him, it would have left us stranded on this side of the gate due to the weapon's discharge disrupting the star gate's operational environment.
"No point - the raven would have warped as soon as we fired on him."

A little bit disappointed, we jumped back when approaching the gate - we heard that the raven was back. So we did the same thing again. Undocking we jumped into Eifer. There was the raven and it was firing back at Jubes.

Mistake number one: we were all scattered after the gate jump. I was 35km from Sam and another 5km from Jubes who needed shield and armour repair. We should have got into formation before we engaged.....

Mistake number two: Sam then engaged the raven and incurred sentry fire himself.

Mistake number three: Not keeping an eye on local, yes the old classic one.

As I closed towards Sam, I could see that the Raven indeed was firing on Jubes. I locked the raven but had to get into range. I was also angling towards Sam as he needed some assistance.
"Am engaging the raven." Said Sam. "Sentry guns on me. Goddamnit they hurt." The automated guns spinning up and smashing into Sam shields far harder than anything the raven could do.
"Am getting into formation to you Sam. Hold on." I said, nudging the hurricane closer. It was slow going though.
"Megathron on gate! Megathron on gate!" Warned Jubes. Streaking in from inside the system, a megathron and a second raven had joined the first raven. Sam was quick to realise the danger.
"All ships disengage. All ships disengage. Shit." He cursed as he approached the gate and tried to leave. I hit the afterburner and activated gate control and jumped. Jubes hit his afterburner and left as well. Sam was stuck too close to the gate. He had to try and tank one minute of sentry gun fire and firepower from the two ravens and megathron. There was no way a hurricane could do that.

"Viper is down. Viper is down." Came the tired reply from Sam. Clearly irritated and distracted, Sam returned to Gusandall in his pod.

The killmail showed that the sentry guns did 63% of the damage to Sam. Without the sentry guns, Sam probably could have survived the x3 BS firepower. I joined Sam in the bar, he had lost his ship but managed to save his little puppy 'Plato', it nestled comfortably in his arms as he took another drink. Reminds me, Viper Sam has run up quite a drinking tab in the independence bar already!

We discussed the last engagement, with Jubes joining in remotely as he was still in Eifer in his cane. One should never take on sentry fire like that, we were split up and were facing BS class ships. Discussing on how best we get revenge, it was Jubes who chipped in.

"Guys, I think they're at the planet III. Am going in! Two ravens! Yaarr!"

Jesus! Jubes was certainly living up to his nickname, 'The Eager' as Viper and I bolted for our hangars and yelling at Jubes to hold fire! However, it proved to impossible. Jubes had his blood up and was engaging as Viper Sam and I raced our hurricanes back towards the gate. A Kamikazi Kaigun interceptor was there and we detected a low-level transmission from it, no doubt warning his colleagues in Eifer of two incoming hurricanes. The gates fired up and Sam and I were back in Eifer. The Kamikazi Kaigun megathron was at the same gate, lurking and watching us. Half of my crew were still locking things down in the ship as Sam warped both our ships to where Jubes was battling away, solo.

We landed and amidst the battleships. There were two Ravens with Jubes locked in combat.
"Primary Sam?" I asked, getting ready and reloading EMP based ammo.
"Kantenga is primary. Jubes, get points onto Kantenga. Flash get a point on CallVictory."
"Roger. Kantenga is primary. My points on CallVictory." My 425mm autocanons spun up to full speed and pumped out EMP-based rounds. They ate into the raven's shield with gusto. Jubes looked like he was primary but he was tanking all the damage just fine.
"Kantenga going down." I said, seeing the raven's shields quickly dissipate under our combined fire. Our ships were then thrown around as warp bubble exit appeared. The megathron had decided to join the fight.
"Contact. Contact. Megathron in very close proximity." I locked the megathron and threw my ecm drones on him.
"Jubes, point the mega!" Yelled Sam as Kantenga's raven exploded. "Primary is CallVictory. Secondary is Sain Markaan." I had the second raven but it was about 14km and moving away fast. I pulsed the microwarpdrive and I quickly got back on top of the raven. My 425mm guns ran out of ammunition and I had to wait a precious ten seconds for all the rounds to load up. I gave the raven a broadside and it shuddered as I overloaded the shield systems. It's shields droppped. I glanced towards Jubes and he was doing fine. I returned my attention back to CallVictory's raven. He was firing cruise missiles but my much faster damage per second was overcoming his cap booster backed shield booster. Once the raven was into armour, it was good night. It clung on around 10% armour, no doubt - a damage control unit was racing ahead but it was inevitable. I had it scrambled and was not even into 85% shield. The raven took the remaining broadside - most of my ordnance punching it's way completely through the thin armour. CallVictory fought well but his T2 kitted out raven blew up in a most satisfactory fashion.

Then our attention was on Sian Markaan's megathron. Against the three hurricane's it died very quickly. We had our revenge. Sam even managed to get his mods back. We three in our hurricanes engaged three battleships. Not bad.

Raven Kill Number One.

Raven Kill Number Two.

Megathron Kill One.

However, hats off to each of the Kai pilots. They showed good team work and were eager to fight and didn't run. We're looking forward to more engagements from them soon.

After this, a quick search of belts gave us a cyclone kill. A nice jaunt into our neighbourhood.

Velator pirating..

Had to add this, despite our strained and hostile relationship between Black Flag and M34N; I had to give Tiggertime a mention. That crazy red-fringe topped pirate! He was pirating in a velator and managed to get a rifter and kestrel kill!

Well done sir and take a bow....

More please.