Thursday, 12 November 2009

Ill-Prepared in Essence

I was overseeing the refitting of practically my entire fleet -- and cursing myself inwardly for not remembering to pick up new rigs -- when trouble walked into my hangar. I knew she was trouble because she was a Naraka pilot I'd spoken with a few times.

'Hey, Heyna.'

'You need to come out with us, Shae.'

'Why's that?'

'We just popped a Drake out there. C'mon, it'll be fun! My first time FCing.'

I scrubbed my hands over my face. 'What kind of ships?'

She shrugged. 'Something that'll tank sentries.'

Tanky. My Hyperion was still back in Evati; that left the Brutix or the Myrmidon. And the Myrm was...

'I'll have to go to the other station for a ship.'

'No big rush, we're all waiting out the clock.' Heyna headed back out, leaving me looking at three half-fitted ships, four fully-fitted ships that lacked rigs, and a bunch of bewildered hangar techs.

'Yeah, drop it, guys. We'll finish up in the morning.'

As soon as I got to the Tekeli-Li, I realised there was a problem: she was still wearing an older fit from a year ago which wasn't quite up to withstanding sentry-fire. I'd have to engage carefully.

I joined the gang on the gate to Onne, and as we were waiting for everyone else's timers to finish, a Nighthawk warped in and started shooting Morwen. I considered getting involved, but a fragile battlecruiser tank vs sentries plus a command ship didn't seem like good odds; I was left sitting on the gate watching and fretting over what I could do.

Morwen escaped, then the Nighthawk turned on Myrhial and pursued her fully a hundred klicks off the gate til she finally got out of his scram range and warped off with her Drake's hull smoking and riddled with holes. The command ship warped off to the planet and Myrh went to the station for extensive repairs.

We sat there for a bit while the scouts checked Onne and the next system, and Heyna made the call to wait in safes in Vitrauze til Myrhial was repped up and ready to go. I was just about in warp when the Nighthawk came back to the gate, slapped a scrambler on my warp drive, and started shooting.

I sighed and rolled my eyes, considered the situation, then politely asked the gate crews if they'd let me jump.

Of course they would.

I considered my options in Onne. The Nighthawk would have to wait for a minute before being permitted to jump, the rest of the fleet was on their way to the gate. Best part was that the moron had aggressed me, and I could fire on him with impunity for the next fifteen minutes. With that in mind, I engaged warp to a safe-spot in system to wait for the call to engage.

Remember, kiddies: Label your safe-spots accordingly. I cursed as the bookmark I chose turned out to NOT be the one near the gate, but the one furthest away. Note to self...

Despite a couple of the Naraka pilots jumping into Onne to wait, the Nighthawk pilot entered the system and got snared by the tacklers. The rest of the fleet pounced, and I finally coaxed my Myrm back into warp, landing 10 km away as the Nighthawk's shields passed peak recharge. For some reason, the silly fool decided to launch his drones at me, for reasons I can't begin to fathom. A set of five Warrior IIs are not going to make much of a dent in a battlecruiser, but better me than one of our smaller ships. With his shields broken and unable to recharge due to the heavy cap neutralisers Inara was wielding, the Nighthawk's structure failed in short order.

Looking the fight report over, Jude chuckled. 'Hey... I think that was the same pilot as the Drake we blew up earlier!'

Then someone noticed the specially modified items in the command ship's fit, and comms flooded with an excited babble of voices. The sale of the items would be profitable, indeed. We stashed the loot and continued on the roam in high spirits.

A few jumps along, the scouts reported Old Man Star filled with capitals and a massive heavy fleet on scan. We decided to power through and hopefully go unnoticed. Unfortunately, as we hit the exit gate, the whole of Advocated Destruction's fleet warped in on top of us.

What followed was a merry chase through several systems with a cloud of battleships, battlecruisers, strat cruisers and logistics ships just seconds behind. A Harbinger nearly had me in Murethand, and in the next system they managed to catch Amaterasu's Hurricane. Ama got her pod out, and we managed to lose the pursuers at the next gate as they went the other way towards Placid.

We did some idle hunting on the loop back, but the pipe was empty save for a Scorpion in a safe-spot in Onne, and a non-outlaw Vagabond that decided he didn't want to engage us as we sat on the gate waiting for the scouts' report.

It was a fun roam, if a little chaotic; you don't think about it at the time, particularly not when being pursued, but after the fact, we all laughed and agreed we should do that again sometime. Heyna did a good job for her first time as FC, and the sale of the Nighthawk loot fully covered Ama's loss with a bit left over to split amongst the rest of the gang.

And for myself... I docked up in Vitrauze and saw about upgrading the Tekeli-Li's armour. Next time, I'll be better-prepared.