The great thing about free ships is you feel absolutely no compunction against making a kamikaze run.
I was about to take a break and get dinner last night when a bunch of guys from Raype, Inc. started discussing an op into Egmar to party a little with GiS/Com-Star. Egmar is their base system in Metro, so when the idea reached my ears, I knew if they went through with it, it would probably result in an arse-kicking to remember.
It also sounded like fun, and it was obvious a lot of the Bastards who were online felt the same way. Everyone joined comms to Make Plans. In the end, it was decided remote-repairing carriers with a tanked-up fleet would be the best in terms of survivability, but smaller ships were needed to bait and take out GiS's notoriously overused ecm ships.
Having at the time no tanked ships in Evati, I decided my freebie Taranis was the way to go. Suicide inty, after all, wouldn't leave me out of pocket, and I have a stock of spares.
The fleet chased war-target scouts through Arnher, the bait jumped into Egmar, and it was on. I was a minute behind the rest, so I missed the beginning of the fight; by the time I jumped in and my ship's systems caught up, the cyno had been dropped and the flurry around the gate was slowing our ship-systems' response times. Targets were called, and someone asked for fast-ship assist on a Crow which was kiting above the action. A few of us ran at the interceptor, who warped out before anyone achieved a scramble, and we turned back to the main fight.
It quickly became apparent that in the presence of triage-fitted capitals, GiS/Com-Star's tactic was to shoot down as many small, less-survivable targets as possible. The Bastards' fleet, consisting primarily of nothing larger than battlecruisers, was picked off one by one; a Rapier locked me early on, but didn't make any real effort to snare the Little Missile til halfway through the fight, and then it was all over. No sense even asking for repairs, since I'd be dead before the carriers could lock me. They took their time getting around to the Raype, Inc. pilots, who are not at war with them and thus were tanking sentry fire.
Meanwhile, many of the Egmar denizens who started taking more damage than they liked either warped away or deaggressed and jumped through; because of this, I actually ended up on no killmails from the entire fight. Depite that minor disappointment, I had fun. It was the first large-fleet op I've been on for... months. Nearly a year, actually. I'd almost forgot what a rush that could be.
Thanks to the guys from Raype, Inc. for the support, and props to GiS/Com-Star and FrEEdOOm Fighters for making the effort worth every second!