13 Mar 2008

Another engagement in Eifer

EVE standard time: 22:05
"Move! Move! Move!" I roared at my crew, urging them to get into their positions as fast as humanly possible. Since I was a pod-pilot, I had a much smaller crew than a conventional ship with a bridge crew. Therefore, I could scramble a battle cruiser or battleship into space almost as quickly as a conventional frigate-class ship. Still, when a corp mate was feeding you intelligence of incoming ship types and might need help quickly, you could never move fast enough.

"Tor. Update please?"

"I see a myrmidon, drake, caracal, blackbird, ishkur, rifter and rupture. Not sure about the last one. And a crow. Yeah, a crow as well." A nice bunch for sure and a good kill. Tor was in his hurricane battle cruiser as was I. We could do it but more firepower would be good.

EVE standard time: 22:06
I decided to try and organise a fleet as quickly as I could and fired up the channel interface as my hurricane undocked and slid out into the cold embraces of space. A quick roll call and I had a number of pirates all eager for the hunt.

"Tor update please?" I said as I arranged for the pilots to get into the appropriate voice channels. All Black-Flag pilots have a check list we all go through to ensure we can have a crash-team ready to move at the moment's notice. After two-minutes of frantic communications, I had a fleet of six: Tor, Muhaar, Deathstar, Gwendonline, WayCharles and RealZonk.

We had a warp in point to the cluster of ships - they still haven't moved it would seem.

"Pilots status and points please."

"Tor: Cane in Eifer. One point."

"Muhaar: megathron in Gusandall. " There was a burst of static and I missed the last bit of information from Muhaar.

"RealZonk: vagabond in Gusandall. One point."

"WayCharles: manticore in Gusandall. One point."

EVE standard time: 22:07
Due to software incompatibilities, Death and Gwen had trouble connecting into the Black-Flag voice communications. No matter, it was enough. We had Deathstar and Tor already in Eifer and probably in the same grid as the targets. I was aware of the time element as well, the longer I took to order the fleet in, the more likely the targets would scatter.

EVE standard time: 22:08
"OK fleet. Targets: Myrmidon is primary, Drake is secondary." I consulted my notes and worked out where the points would go. "Muhaar and Tor, points on the myrmidon. Zonk point the drake. Waycharles and I will point and go after the blackbird. Blackbird is Way's and Flash's primary. Are we all clear?" There was a chorus of affirmatives from the majority of the fleet. Cahli was invited but was suddenly silent. I had extra points available and was considering who would get either the caracal or rupture.

There was a private message, my interface blinked urgently - our scout (cloaked and hidden from view) was informing me to hurry up. Had to go, couldn't afford to wait any longer.

"Warp to contact. Go Go Go." Tor and Deathstar, being in the system already warped first while the rest had to come in via the gate.

Light and sounded blended together as I was shot through into Eifer. I was already forcing the ship to warp to our contact point when Tor's voice came through, loud and clear.

"They're all here. pointing the Myrmidon. They're all here!" The rest was drowned out by the electro-magnetic static generated by his now fully-firing auto canons.

"Muhaar in warp."

"WayCharles in warp."

"RealZonk in warp."

"Flashfresh in warp." My scanner pinged ahead and there appeared to be a lot more ships at the warp in point then we first believed. My hurricane was spat out of the warp and landed amongst a clutch of ships. They were flashes as Tor and Death were already engaging the enemy. I glanced for my mark. I found the blackbird, it was right in front of me. My tactical computer locked the Blackbird and within seconds, it's range and velocity was tracked.

"Blackbird pointed!"

"Drake pointed. Firing on primary." It sounded like Muhaar, I wasn't too sure. My lock on the blackbird then winked out. The cruiser had jammed me and was already aligning, in a flash it was gone. I switched my point onto the rupture but it too was already aligned and managed to get out. An enemy crow streaked past, spewing rockets and after it's one pass was through the cluster of ships and out of scramble range. It too warped out. Only two ships remained: the drake and myrmidon; our two main targets to be sure.

The myrmidon went down very quickly to our combined fire with Deathstar landing the killing blow. We missed the pod as all focus was then switched to the drake.

EVE standard time: 22:09
With it's slightly tougher shields, it took marginally longer than the myrmidon to completely dissolve the shields but once into armour, it started to spew out fire and fuel. It was dead.

"Ransom the Captain!!"

"Noted. Point the pod. Do not pod kill the pilot. Flashfresh will ransom." The drake twisted on it's axis as a tremendous broadside punched it sideways with bits of ship now spinning off into space. The drake went down so quickly that the crew didn't have a chance to escape. The captain's pod appeared on our scanners.

"Point the pod!"

"On it." It sounded like Zonk. "Pod pointed." Sending a narrow communications beam directly to the pod, I initiated a private conversation with the pilot of the now very dead, drake, 'Craiten Forejt'.

"Craiten. You are being ransomed. 25million isk will let you and your go. You have ten seconds to comply."

"I have no implants. Go ahead and pod me, pirate." I passed this message on and the pod was vapourised. The loot from the drake was T2 versions too. Very nice and we would split them amongst the group. Our kill board chattered away in the background as we updated the kills. Only the drake appeared as there was a problem with Deathstar connecting to our killboard interface. No matter, we could chase this up. Our scout, his identity still hidden under a cloak congratulated us.

"Nice kill. If they had all stayed, it would have been a massacre. Good kill." We thanked the scout and proceeded to dock up and split the loot we had gathered. I love cloaked scouts! A nice kill in a short amount of time. We need to improve the crash-team more though.