"Sleipnir class command ship on scan Flash. I have it pin-pointed at a belt. It's firing on some Angel cruisers. What's the plan?" Said one of my contacts, hovering above the mark in his cloaked covert operations ship. I have an extension field of such individuals, all hunting and spying for me.
I checked the munition load-out of my hurricane and it was the 'standard' Black-Flag set up. Packed with EMP, Republic Fleet EMP, Barrage, Hail and Phased Plasma: I had enough ordnance to take on most things but a Sleipnir?
To hell with it.
I hit the thrusters and the hurricane slid out of the hidden deep space pocket I was hiding in. The ship slowly winked into life as more power was being fed to the other systems. Slowly, the crew made ready. Extra thrusters came online and support systems sputtered to life. Internal comms chatter increased as the various section chiefs reported back that all was green and that we would ready. Scanning the local pirate channel, I saw that a bunch of pirates from The Bastards; a corporation that I had tremendous respect for. I toggled the channel button and quickly updated the pirates on the target. They were two systems out and we already making their way in. I was to make the tackle and hold on for them.
Fair enough I thought, as ready as we could be.
"Scout. Update on the sleipnir."
"The sleipnir has finished off the angels and is checking the wrecks; I think he will move to the next belt. Hold please." I aligned to the next belt and loaded up with EMP-based ammunition. I flashed up the ship information on the sleipnir:
"Boundless Creation's ships are based on the Brutor tribe's philosophy of warfare: simply fit as much firepower onto your ship as possible. Defense systems and electronics arrays therefore tend to take a back seat to sheer annihilative potential." A maximum of seven turrets, probably 425 mm auto canon IIs identical to what was being carried by my hurricane.
OKAY. A straight slug-fest and I needed my ECM drones needed to get an early bite. I wasn't going to last long going toe-to-toe with that monster.
"Flash. Bastards on the way. You have a point?"
"Negative. Spinning up my drives and en route. Target is in belt II-I."
"Roger that. Good luck. We'll be there in a little under two minutes."
My scout spoke up.
"He's moved to the next belt and he's landed dead centre. Go Flash and good hunting!"
"Roger that. All hands: red alert. Prepare for hostilities." My hurricane re-adjusted it's alignment and with a sigh, it slipped into warp space and sped towards the unsuspecting sleipnir. I had to get send a burst into it's warp core to stop it from warping out. Then maintain this burst and hope he didn't have warp core stabilisers.
Navigation counted down the exit the time.
"Exiting warp space in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....exit!"
There was a bumping sound as the debris field of the asteroid belt was forced around the shield of the ship. The sleipnir was in forward and slightly port side of my hurricane, it was pulsing it's sub-light engines and was making a steady 175 m/s. The sleipnir pilot locked me almost as my own lock had resolved and I was warp scrambling his engine.
The sleipnir sent out it's drones (ogre IIs) and was already peppering me with EMP. I replied in kind.
"Bastards: I have engaged sleipnir and disrupted his warp core. Engaging."
"We're own our way Flash, some slight issues with the gate activation fee. We're alright and be there in 30 seconds.
The firepower of the sleipnir was horrifying and I was already down to 50% shield, my shield buffers overheating trying to keep up with the destruction wrought by this fearsome command ship. I had barely scratched him but was making progress; I just needed to hold on. My ECM drones were failing to get a jam in.
There were several flashes as more ships arrived into the same belt. It was The Bastards and the contest was over. The sleipnir turned and hit it's micro warp drive and attempted to get away but it was quickly webbed then jammed then taken apart.
The loot drop was almost all T2. Very nice.
We missed the pod but I managed to auction off the salvage rights to the first highest bidder, eager to remove valuable parts from the wreck to make the juiciest ship rigs. Salvagers appear so quickly, it makes me wonder whether they have a feed into CONCORD?
I ended up the night by adding a typhoon and blackbird kill.
So with some excitement, I found an activated a recently planted beacon. This was a rally point for one of the Empire's militia and once the gate spat me out, I could see a number of brooding battle ship class ships. They locked me soon after and I had to leave unless I wanted my ship to be blown to scrap, however interesting nonetheless. Am waiting for some Amarr Militia members to converge on this spot. There's a number of other beacons, of different types with different ship classes allowed. I was in a rifter class frigate and went to a suitably configured gate and went in. However, the local pod pilot channel was bereft of any pilot, friend or foe.
Patience is required, am sure the militias will rally their troops soon.
OK - something is going on but rumours are that the four Empires are finally showing their hands. Already, Militias are being recruited and logistics being put in place. How does this affect me and my pirate brethren? One word: TARGETS.
Oh yes. Bring on the 'Empyrean Age' and let the galaxy BURN.