Capt Nessaja (aka Nessa), Tenchuu Khaan (aka TK and pictured), RealZonk (aka Zonk) and I were out hunting for a raven, running some sort of kill mission but it had been proving to be a most, elusive prey of the night.Numerous probes were dropped but the raven pilot was evading us. Taunting us even, with his continued presence.
The scanner piped and I checked the results. I toggled the fleet channel:
"Raven has left system."
There was a groan from the small fleet's captains as we all scrambled over to the various gates and jumped into neighbouring systems, hoping we could catch the raven.
No such hope.
Grumbling, I pinged the scanner a couple of times more before leaving. I stopped and starred at the result. I checked local and scanned again. I reached out to my fleet mates.
"Guys, I see a Machariel and a Megathron on scan. We have some friendlies but those two beauties are not ours."
"Flash. You sure?" queried Nessaja.
"Yeah, am sure. Goddamn Mach and Mega on scan. Towards the Arnstur gate in Gultratren. There's also a couple of NO FEAR pilots in local too." I said. "We saw one of them in a vaga going through Brin." I added. After some fiddling with the scanner and the process of elimination we had more or less narrowed down the possible battleship pilots.
"Then I am going to get my maelstrom." Said Zonk in a matter-of-fact voice - he swung his ship towards his homebase.
"Getting my Domi." Added Nessaja as he too, left for home. Steady on I thought, we haven't even located them let alone pointed them! However, I guess Zonk and Nessa's instincts were stronger than mine on this occasion.
"Am on my way to the gate. Phear my ruppie of doom!" Roared TK; completely disregarding the danger he was in. He just wanted that tackle and had no interest in changing ships.
I re-aligned towards a safe spot and waited. It was a few jumps back to my home base as well; I could really do with my hurricane and not this rupture. Gate fighting is fun but against monstrous brutes like a megathron- and machariel-class battleships, under sentry protection as well? However, TK had made his stand and I was going to stick around to help him out. No sooner had he settled onto the gate, that his voice came over the communications channel, excitement clear.
"NO FEAR Corporation Vagabond locking me."
"ID of pilot TK?" I asked, though I had a pretty good idea which one, I began reloading barrage ammunition into my dual-180mm auto canons.
" Tial'C and he's firing on me!" TK laughed manically, "Yes! Am coming to get you, you.... " the rest of TK's response was lost in a burst of static as his guns opened up.
"Fleet: enemy vagabond has aggressed on the Arnstur gate in Gultratren!" I began my warp to the gate; the rupture picking up speed as it aligned to the destination.
"Zonk; one jump."
"Nessa; one jump also. Overkill for a single vaga. Where's that Mega?"
My rupture was mid-way towards the gate when the communications cleared and TK shouted out.
"Mach and Mega at the gate. They've just come through.....They've fired on me!" There was something incoherent as TK's communications broke down once more, no doubt interference from the weapons' discharges. The TK came back. "Going down. Going down."
Cursing at my long warp - I hoped that TK could hold on.
"TK - move away from the gate!" I said, not being too helpful.
"What do you think I am doing?" I didn't get a chance to reply as my sensors detected the sudden presence of a pod.
"TK is down. TK is down. Didn't even get a chance to fire on the mach and mega! Shit!"
"Mach? Where?" It was Maro from M34N corp who was listening in. "Am undocking!" Nothing could stop Maro or his friend, Jubes from throwing his ship into the fray.
"Arnstur gate in Gultratren." I said.
"OMW," replied Maro.
Meanwhile, back near the gate. "GF." Offered Tial'C in local, no doubt proud of the kill. Having a machariel and megathron arrive definitely tipped the odds!
My rupture arrived just as TK's pod whipped out from under the sentry guns and the dual brooding presence of a machariel- and megathron-class battleship. The vagabond, no doubt damaged from her engagement with TK's rupture, was nowhere to be seen. The two battleships' guns were still glowing from the salvo they had delivered into TK's rupture. They turned their guns onto me. I locked them. The targeting reticles cycled. It was going to get very ugly. My targeting computer resolved it's lock and I threw a point onto the machariel.
"Flashfresh here: Mach pointed." I croaked. The sentry guns spun up. I braced myself for the inevitable battering from battleship class weapons as they slowly turned their attention to me.
"Hold on Flash. We're almost there." It was Zonk, his accent is unmistakeable.
Then things happened very quickly.
Multiple gate fire seared my senses. Zonk and Nessa were back, in their battleships. Maro also joined in his megathron, a second later.
"The Mach." Replied Zonk.
"The Mega!" Someone else counter-ordered.
"The Fecking MACH is the primary!"
Oh the confusion. The shouting. The swearing. With no recognised FC, it was a brutal affair. Half the ships now engaged were not in the original fleet of four and therefore they cluttered each other's overviews. More pirates were being alerted and we had Annapolis, Mandaro and WayCharles on the way. The latter bringing in the curse. The machariel is very fast for a battleship and was in danger of leaving the battlescene, so the presence of WayCharles' curse was vital. My rupture was spewing out gasses and fluids as the hammering it was getting from the both Machariel and the sentry guns was just too much.
"Flash is disengaging. Someone take over the point on the Mach."
"Mach has been pointed. Go." Said someone, it sounded like Nessa. It was unclear as I was in danger of popping in a spectacular fashion. My rupture re-aligned and whipped out. My warp engines un-molested. Meanwhile, there were curses as the machariel was moving out of the other pirates' ranges. It wasn't until WayCharles had arrived and hit the fast battleship with a couple of energy neutralisers that the prey was locked down. We had no losses and both the enemy megathron and machariel were down. The Mach dropped some gorgeous loot. Concord, efficient as ever recorded both the megathron and machariel kills. Check out the dread gurista cloaking device that survived the explosion.
In all, the loot drop totalled between 400-450million isk according one pirate, so a nice payout to all of us. Very nice indeed and fair play to the pilot for having enough courage to undock in his faction battleship in the first place.
After Hours 20: Alan Mathison - After Hours Episode 20 with Alan Mathison is now available HERE. We discuss all things Exoplantary in perhaps the nerdiest After Hours so far. Project Di...
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