"Targets destroyed. Grabbing loot." Said one of The Bastards' Captains over the voice comms. I had just linked into the fleet chat as I was going to be leading a fleet out in the evening, but The Bastards were already out and as busy as ever. They just had a successful encounter with our erstwhile neighbours: 'Los Chupacabras' and we had held the field and were looting it and salvaging the wrecks. Piracy can be an expensive business after all.
It was with some surprise that I was informed that our local Mexican space bandit charlatans have apparently joined the Minmatar Militia? What is going on I wonder, but it does look like they have taken up arms for the Republic. Wonders never cease. My best wishes to them as they are extremely good at what they do.
So the night appeared to be starting off well and once things had settled down, I got all the ship Captains together and briefed them on our roam tonight, outlining the route and the ships we would be taken. After some lobbying by Lord Breathnach - we would be taking his Vulture class command ship for a spin aided by a sleipnir. I had some administrative tasks to compete (loot related) but then was ready to roll - our scouts once again racing ahead eagerly seeking out targets. Some of our Captains needed quick bio breaks (their pods were obviously not fitted with the new suck-o-matic urinal, but I digress) before they could get into their ships with their crews.
Our scouts and contacts had informed us of the locals and this time, with some delight we spied M34N coalition ships - mainly from the core M34N corp but some of their newer brethren in the alliance were docked up. A quick scan and we had their ship types and in the absence of any other viable targets we opted to go for them. As we got ready our scouts shouted out a warning:
"EM ships landing on the Ingunn gate. EM ships landing on the Ingunn gate."
Fighting on just one side of a gate with the guns against you is always tricky and required team work and timing. Captains Dame Death, TheHermit and Marco moved to engage and jumped into the waiting ships. They were designated as Red1, Red2 and Red3 to ensure clear communications.
"Contact. Contact. Contact!" The fight was on. The rest of the fleet jumped in, there was some jostling on the gate and the sleepy gate crews were not the most efficient but the rest of the fleet was processed through.We should have jumped in earlier to be honest, my mistake.
The adrenaline levels rose as the rest of the fleet jumped into warp. Even from this distance, we could get remote telemetry from the fight and it looked ferocious indeed. We approached the warp exit.
"Hurry, Red1 is going down. Need shields."
"On our way." I said. The short warp felt it was going on forever.
"Red1 is down. Red1 is down. Getting pod out."
We landed at the gate and hammered our request to jump. Ominously, there were a couple of M34N coalition battle ships, also on the gate. We had to ignore them and jump.
|Red 2 is down|
"Red2 is down."
Right, time for revenge I thought and as we dropped cloak we found that our fleet was a bit scattered. Never mind, I thought, we would have to make do with what we had.
"Primary is Hoe Bag. Secondary is Duch Crystal. Tiertiary is TenTon." I called out, selecting the appropriate targets. All around me, The Bastards fleet re-aligned and discharged their ordnance while the EM fleet returned in kind. Actually, there was only one EM alliance pilot (Duch); the rest were a mixed bag - probably all blue to each other. These chaps were too fast and they managed to squirm away before we could lay enough damage. Our webbers were too far to be effectual and we only managed to keep one of their hurricanes and drakes locked down.
"Gatefire! Gatefire!" The Gusandall gate flashed multiple times as more ships came through, a quick check in local and we discovered it was M34N coalition.
As we poured fire onto the hurricane and drake, the newcomers dropped gate cloak. Battle ships with some battle cruiser support.
"Do not engage M34N, concentrate on the EM ships." I said, despite knowing that everyone would be yellow boxing each other. Pretty standard really for pirates: in an unclear situation with multiple actors, go for the anti-pirates and neutrals before you go for other pirates. Simple in theory really but notoriously difficult to execute. Fog of war and all that.
We lost the enemy drake (somehow) but managed to snag Duch in his hurricane. Just as Duch's ships blew up, one of The Bastards declared that M34N had gone hostile and he returned fire. So much for the truce. We locked horns with M34N Coalition as they unloaded on us: Marco's drake was targeted and was blasted into near hull until our scimitars picked up the pace and saved him with some last minute shield repairs.
|Ship, it go boom.|
Vaginitis in his tempest was next, the distinctive looking Minmatar battle ship shook as heavy missiles unleashed from the drakes of The Bastards tore into it. The tempest returned fire but it was ineffectual as the drakes overwhelmed it. Vaginitis exploded in a ball of flame and scrap - his pod whipping away while the rest of his crew died in the conflagration.
Macadee1, in the barrel shaped typhoon class battle ship was broadsided by our ships and was left a smoking wreck. With his destruction, it was over. We held the field and looted it while TheHermit and Dame Death finally arrived after racing back to Evati to re-ship.
Unhappy at missing the fight, Dame Death took his fury out on an absent minded covert ops, even podding the pilot.
Let's continue to roam...
The fleet took a ten minute comfort break before we resumed, with our scouts racing ahead. Our destination would be Molden Heath. Nothing was found between Sotrenzur to Atlar, there was some evidence of fights all over the place with wrecks as evidence. This only made us want more.
Our scouts (and sympathetic contacts) notified us possible targets and it was with some delight that we discovered that one of our targets was Hoe Bag, who managed to squirm away from us in the earlier evening. We definitely had to try and get him!
There was some false alarms but eventually our fleet had managed to manoeuvre into an advantageous position in Bosena (or Bosnia) on a gate. A vexor blundered into us, which we swatted but then the main entertainment piled in. No idea whether the vexor was their scout or whether he was just unlucky.
The enemy fleet dropped in, we immediately noticed TenTon Tommie in his sleipnir. He was quite far from the gate but z0de was on the ball and gave chase and with the arazu's enhanced systems, optimised for warp disruptors and scramblers. At 80KM from us and TenTon Tommie was still unable to escape.
As we raced close to the sleipnir, his friends piled in. Fighting far off the gate didn't give them any advantages but certainly helped us escape the sentry guns.
Thanks to z0de for the initial point, we managed to kill the sleipnir. A rook dipped in and out of the fight, causing nuisance to us but his luck ran out as well, one missed jam and it's thin defences get blown away. The artillery hurricane as flown by Dame Death certainly did the job. The enemy drake died, thanks to Meode (where the hell has he been?) for dealing the most damage with Dil'e delivering the killing blow. Then an enemy smart-bombing blackbird - it probably was scared of drones but well, we had lasers, artilleries and long range missiles. We killed the blackbird pilot too, which was fortunate for us but we lost out on a few more ships who sped away from us. Finally ended up with a myrmidon kill to end this encounter. It was a triple rep fitted but went down easily enough.
It was a mad affair the ten minutes of the engagement: targets appeared and were locked, some died, some escaped. It was a blast and we held the field thanks to our logistical support who saved more than a few of our fellow fleet mates from a fiery death. Importantly, we held the field and had the pick of the loot. Moneys!
We raced home after an exhausting three hour roam.