Tuesday nights will become Flashfresh's regular roaming gang operation type thing - and I will try and make it a regular event though not every week. As in the tradition of The Bastards, there has to be a theme to bind the pilots together, either some fitting restriction, ship type or some other stipulation.
Last night, it was 80s movies nights in destroyer-class ships or an equivalent. I sent out a call to the corp and allies that they had to have a destroyer class ship, fitted for gank first and foremost with points and for them to pick a signature 80's film of their choice. Some research had to be done to ensure that they have thought long and hard on the choice. It generated a lot of chat and interesting fittings and as the operation kick-off time rolled around, it looked like there would be a fleet of about a dozen ships.
Untypical of a Bastard roam, some of the pilots were assembled around Evati an hour or so before the mission was due to kick off. Happy San spotted a dominix class battle ship nosing around Evati and the proto-fleet went out to give them a typical Evati welcome. Leading the charge in her stealth bomber was Mynxee and the dominix was melted down extremely quickly. Just check out the damage from the stealth bomber. I know that recent upgrades had given this ship class a lift but this is impressive!
So, once 20:30 ticked along, the fleet was ready to go. Destination set, scout roles allocated and order of battle communicated. 'Top Gun' (1986, grossing $350million worldwide), a thrasher class destroyer rolled out of Evati, sporting several 200mm auto canons loaded with EMP ammunition. This was going to be my baby. I was joined by Scrumptious Shae in catalyst named 'Blade Runner' (1982, by Ridley Scott, one of the top 100 films of all time) while Happy San in his crow, called 'The Blues Brothers'(1980, $58million US Gross) raced off ahead as our scout. He didn't have the skills for a destroyer and was a better as our scout. A crow was much more suitable.
We had four thrashers, one catalyst, one wolf, one cheetah, one incursus and one crow. Ok, not a 100% dedicated destroyer gang but close enough.
However, it was Gorgoleon in his cheetah ('First Blood', 1982 with $157million world wide gross) who spotted the first victim of the night. After brushing past a very lack lustre GIS camp in Egmar we proceeded another few jumps. Happy San was locked by a GIS falcon but ignored it and carried forward. Hanging at the back of the main fleet was Jmarr in his incursus.
"Flash, GIS merlin, falcon and brutix are following us. I think."
"Roger that Jmarr, no worries - we have some distance on them and they would be foolish to tangle with us." A thought flashed through my mind. "However, once we're in Klogori - hold gate cloak on the gate please."
There was a ripple of acknowledgements and the fleet jumped into Klogori. If the pilot was sensible, he wouldn't just blind jump after us, especially not in a battle cruiser.
However, common sense doesn't seem to be in supply amongst those space warriors and the Brutix pilot jumped in after us. We knew because we had already made a note of his name and that there was a gate fire behind us. Silly boy.
"OK - this chap is not an outlaw so only war targets need tackle. Only war targets."
Once the gate cloak had vanished, the brutix was sitting there like a big whale, it turned and tried to race back towards the gate - spitting out drones.
"Tackle. Tackle. Tackle!" I said, nudging my thrasher towards the brutix. I was about 32KM away and hit the micro warp drive.
"Point." Said Mynxee, her thrasher was aptly named 'I'mGonnaGetYouSucka' (1988, US Gross $19million) got point as did several others.
"Point." Said an unfamiliar female voice, she didn't sound like Shae or Mynxee. Then there was a huge explosion and I realised that one of two Hellcat applicants had gotten carried away and also initiated hostile actions against the brutix. The sentry guns, detecting an illegal weapons discharge, since these neutrals were not in a sanctioned war, promptly dismantled Amy Fae's thrasher.
However, against the damage dealing fury of this gang, the brutix was peeled apart. Since the fight was against a recognised war target - no-one had a global criminal countdown. We all laughed and prepared to continue moving.
"Grab the loot and let's go!" I said, the fleet whipped around and went to a safe spot. However, GIS rarely travel or fight alone and soon the merlin and the falcon were at the gate; no doubt more were on the way. Some of us went back to joist with them but the merlin and falcon jumped back through and no doubt ran back to Egmar. We had more important things to do. Ten minutes later, 'First Blood' had probed out a hurricane, again in Klogori. We all piled in and killed it with extreme prejudidice. We wanted to ransom the pod but the tackle was missing as the capsuleer expertly whipped his egg out from under our noses.
Waiting out our criminal countdowns, we saw a lot of traffic and most were towards Ardar. Eliviron, the second of the new Hellcat applicants did not have a criminal countdown and was tasked to explore the surrounding systems.
Finding nothing and with our countdowns expired we went to the next system and again, Gorg drew 'first blood' having probed out a drake and myrmidon in safe spot. I tasked Jmarr, Kamoonga and Mynxee to do the deed however while the drake was tackled, the myrmidon bolted. Wishing for a quicker kill, I ordered the rest of the fleet to jump in after the tacklers and as we landed - the myrmidon returned. No doubt shamed into flying back to rescue his friend.
"Primary is the drake. Secondary are the myrmdion's drones. Confirm your points please." I said.
"Point on drake." Replied Jmarr.
"Point on myrmidon." Said Happy. Other pirates confirmed webs and target painters.
"Target and pop the myrmidon's drones. Keep the myrmidon pointed but knock his drones out."
The myrmidon was promptly pointed and webbed while we went to work on the drake. The drake was popped but not before it managed to snag and destroy 'Blade Runner' with a well-aimed salvo. We took swift and brutal revenge and managed to snag the pod. We were going to have fun with it later. Our attention switched to the Myrmidon and we pounded the hell out of it. Fenneck was smart and targetted the drones throughout the engagement, forcing the myrm pilot to scoop his drones on a regular basis in order to save them.
The space between our ships was thick with auto canon projectiles, missiles and drones zipping between the antagonists. As the myrmidon went into structure, I wanted to grab this pod along with the drake pilot's pod we had earlier. I had no idea what I was going to do, ransoms were so routine.
"Tacklers, take points off the myrmidon, get the pod." There was a flash and my thrasher was showered by gallente battle cruiser debris. The pod zipped away amidst a lot of cursing but at least we had the other one.
"Sorry boss, I lost the first pod, I moved too far away and lost point...." Cursing at the loss of both pods, I decided we had to move on. No matter, loot was scooped and we went to a safe spot to cool things off. We also examined the kill mails and discussed the ship setups. Pushing further south we ended up in Frerstorn and tackled an Armageddon - what a treat! However, local then shot up by dozens and the order was given to bail out. It looked like a blob was pushing their way through here - possibly called in to combat us or maybe not. We couldn't take the risk. Gorg, all cloaked up and sneaky reported back that there were at least four battle, ships, seven cruisers, nine frigates, a couple of interceptors and some battle cruisers all close by. The 'geddon may or may not have been bait. We couldn't take the risk.
Of course, even if we were doing nothing, something always happens and there was a smaller fleet who were also present in the same system who initiated chat with us - blaring out greetings in local. It turns out that they were readers of our various blogs (this one, Shae's and Mynxee to name three) and we exchanged pleasantries. Of course, this would also mean that it would be doubly more fun to kill them and therefore give them a mention.
Oh we got some love in Local while roaming last night. It was highly amusing and I would like to give a shout out to: Griznatle, Jyren's Rage, Vhis Iridion, kapu4u. Some memorable lines of chat include:
z0de > I've touched Shae in rl, who wants to lick my hand?
Griznatle > Me! and lines up
flashfresh > I've done more than lick her HAND
Mynxee > ROFL
z0de > lol
Griznatle > FLASH!
Griznatle > JEBUS
Griznatle > OMG
Shae Tiann > hehe it's true.....
This group soon left, passing through Ardar and once our GCCs were up - we went this way too; with our scout and covert ops moving ahead. The presence of a vengance assault frigate, a rupture class cruiser and a golden hued 'geddon was observed and Happy tried to lure them off the station towards a planet. He danced and wiggled to entice but nothing, yet. Gorg was also there and relaying more information. Just as we decided enough was enough and that our beds were beckoning, Happy reported back that we he may have been finally successful in his bait antics and in this case, kapu4u and Jyren's Rage were coming. Two of the four chaps we had chatted to earlier.
"Vengance just landed about 45km from me. Burning towards him."
No one spoke, we just waited at the safe in the next system.
"Jmarr and Kamoonga. Warp to the Ardar gate but do not jump." Two ships peeled off from the fleet and warped to the gate.
"I am closing.....thirty kilometres, twenty-nine, twenty-eight.." Counted down Happy. A few seconds ticked by.
"Jmarr and Kamoonga. Jump and warp to Happy. Rest of fleet, warp to Ardar gate and hold." The rest of the fleet, already aligned, jumped towards the gate, the ships almost straining to get involved in the kill.
"This is Gorg. Hostile Rupture inbound. Hostile Myrmidon inbound." The trap was sprung.
"Kamoonga, this is Flash, call primaries please."
"Roger. Primary is vengance, secondary the rupture."Jmarr bravely tackled the rupture on his own, amid a swarm of drones. We jumped in after Kamoonga and Jmarr and the main fleet dropped out of warp into the middle of the fire fight. We sincerely hoped that the 'geddon would also come in but it didn't. Still, the fight was brief and brutal with no losses on our side and with a decent haul in loot. The distinctive thick, red curling stream of energy neutralisers snaked out from the dying myrmidon but none of this could save him.
Would've been supremely funny to have gotten Griznatle but his group moved on apparently.
The operation was approaching the end and I decided to call an end.
"All ships, head back home at your own speed. Gorg and Happy are ahead of us and the path is clear."
With the acknowledgments ringing in my ears, the fleet broke up and made their own way home. Leaving myself and Kamoonga to pick up the loot. As the first elements of the fleet entered Evati, they managed to tackle a harbinger and then a cyclone. However, our strength is due to our size and numbers: going into a belt in dribs and drabs would kill us. The lure of an extra kill or two just to end the evening was too tempting for most of us and we engaged the harbinger and cyclone. I stupidly lost the thrasher (with some of the evening's loot) but we succeeded in killing the pair AND recovering the lost loot.
The pair were determined to have their revenge and they returned in battle ships that killed our battle cruisers but then we were hot dropped by a couple of carriers. Not what we had expected and we had to scatter; the abbadon we had targetted would have gone down eventually to our battle cruisers but not quick enough.
A disappointing ending for me, when the evening was such fun.
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