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Monthly Archives: January 2010

It was late.  I was sitting in rented station guest quarters in Iyen-Oursta, nursing a bottle of ale.  I was looking over ship designs of the past and trying to calculate what all I needed to upgrade them when I got the call.  “Boss, I just picked up a transmission form Faurent.” Kenzie sounded excited, “It’s Serpentis encryption, but I was able to hack it.”

“What did the message say, Kenzie?” I set the bottle down and listened.

“They are offering Agent Lanercheve protection if she leaves the Federal Freight Storage and stays with them” He said, “and it sounds like they are in Faurent now.”

I had grabbed my coat, started out the door, “Kenzie, assemble the Olorin crew.  We’re going hunting tonight.”

“Are you sure you want me to come along?  I can monitor communications from here…”

“Kenzie, you’re with me.” I informed him.

“Right Boss”

Ten minutes later the crew was assembled and my pod was being loaded into the Olorin.  “Attention crew, this is your captain speaking.  We’re not going to miss this opportunity.  I want the the people who set us up, so we’re going in as silent as we can.  I want everyone to look sharp.  Let’s find these pirates.”

With that, I gave the command to undock.  “TCAR Olorin requesting permission to undock.”

“Permission granted.  Use exit 3720.  Fly safe.”

As soon as we cleared the station, we made our way to the Faurent gate.  In one jump we were there.

“Find me a planet.  I want to start our probes there.”  I requested.

“Sir, it looks like Faurent 1 is the planet closest to the system’s center and it’s stable – no interference for the probes.” Nav/Com sent me the coordinates.

“Full warp!”

In no time at all we were at our destination.  I had probes sent out and we started scanning.  After 45 minutes, my HUD lit up.  Three Probe Analysts were trying to get me on the Com.  “What did you find?” I asked.

“Serpentis Den located and locked in.  We’ve sent you the coordinates, sir”

“Good work.”  I was impressed.  For a fairly green crew, they locked in on the den rather quickly.  “Let’s go in for a closer look.  Warp to 100km.  Not too close but close enough for us to see.”

As the Olorin came out of warp, the Combat Overview came alive with Serpentis signatures.  Three destroyers, eight frigates, and two missile batteries – and they were all Gallente.  How can the Federation be turning a blind eye to this kind of corruption?  I was furious, but I knew the Olorin wouldn’t be able to stand up to that kind of firepower.  “Let’s head back to Roden’s.  Assemble the combat crew and get the Gwaihir ready for battle.  We’re going to take this cancer out.”

“Men and women of the Gwaihir, you know why we are here.  You know that we can’t stand for this kind of corruption in Gallente space.  I have received word that Warmaster Washburne and the TCBC Cruciatus is en route and will meet up with us for our jump to Faurent.  We need these pirates dealt with swiftly and completely.  I want everyone battle ready.  Load up and let’s head out!”

The crew gave an “Oorah!” and boarded the ship.  We undocked and met the Cruciatus at the Iyen-Oursta side of the Faurent gate.  With a flash we jumped through.  “We have coordinates set to warp, sir.” Nav/Com announced.

“Warp the entire fleet 75 klicks short of the den, Joco.” I announced, “We’re going to come in hot but not foolish.”  The Vexor and Ferox hurled themselves at the coordinates of the Serpentis Den.

“Coming out of warp in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…” Joco counted down.

Immediately, the two missile batteries began targeting.  The targeting locks came to life on my Heads Up Display.  “Deploy Drones” I directed as I saw the first volley of heavy missiles hasten to their first target.  The group of Hammerheads went to intercept the incoming frigates patrolling the den.  Within seconds the flash of the first missile volley exploding against one of the missile batteries lit up the darkness of space.  I could almost see the silhouettes of two Incursus frigates and the Hammerheads tearing into them.

“Incursus patrol ships at 35 klicks, Hammerheads engaged.”  the Drone officer gave an update, “Drone integrity holding.”

A few seconds later, and amidst a brilliant flash, another update came across the com, “Point patrol ship eliminated.  The second at 30 klicks and closing.”  The first missile battery exploded and the Cruciatus started pummeling the second missile battery.  “More frigates and three destroyers incoming.  And shields are holding at 27%.”  Tactical called, “I have two Catalyst and two Incursus drawing a target lock on us. We will be locked in 12 seconds. And the second patrol boat has been dispatched.”

“How quickly can we have them in turret range?” I asked.

“7 seconds with full afterburners, sir.” Tactical answered.

“Do it!” I ordered, “Gunners, lock and load. Fire at will! Get our drones on that destroyer.”

The Vexor lunged forward as the afterburners kicked in and the turrets began to fire.  The drones raced toward one of the destroyers and the shields of the other destroyer were stripped.  The report of the second patrol ship destroyed.  “Yordru, how are you fairing over there, my friend?” I called the Cruciatus.

“We’re doing well,” he answered, “but we have picked up the signature of a Federation skirmish fleet getting closer.  I still have a bounty on my head from my days working with the Caldari Navy.  We may have to bug out if they get too close, but I’m going to take that other missile battery out.”

“Wash, when you need to get out, get out.  Until then, watch for the four Incursus at 10 o’clock.”  The Serpentis were trying to swarm the Ferox to overpower it.

“Destroyer eliminated, sir.” Tactical updated.  I silenced the alarm telling me that our shields were gone.  “Engineering, is the armor repair system readied?”

“Aye, sir.  Repair systems are online.”

“Missile Battery eliminated by the Cruciatus.”

“Drones eliminated their destroyer. One drone destroyed.”

“Second destroyer into structure.”

Reports kept coming in.  I directed the 4 Hammerheads to return to the drone bay.  “Prep the Warriors for the frigates.”

Yordru chirped the com, “We’ve eliminated the destroyer on us and two of the frigates, but we just picked up a combat probe lock by the Federation Navy and their fleet is currently one jump away.  We’re going to make a run to Perimeter.  If the Federation is going to pursue us through the gate, the Caldari Navy will hold them at bay.”

“Fly safe, my friend.” and he broke off his attack and warped out.  Tactical deployed the Warriors as the explosion of the last destroyer filled my HUD.  For a second, a smile came to my face.  Then the last four frigates rocked the armor of my Vexor.

“Armor at 60%.” Tactical called out.  The repair systems were running but the firepower of the frigates together with their drones kept whittling away at our armor.

“Focus fire on one Incursus at a time.” I ordered, “and someone tell me the status of that Federation fleet.”

The next frigate melted under the combined firepower of our turrets and drones.  The gunners and drone teams communicated together and worked as a single group.  “Tactical, status.” my voice rang through the coms.

“Three… now two frigates left.  Still engaged.”

“Do these pirates have a death wish?”

“Cut the chatter, we’ll debrief later.  Where is that fleet?” I had to keep myself and my crew focused.

“Federation Navy in system, sir.  And warping toward us!”  I could hear the sound of panic in their voices.

“Then let’s mop up!”

I brought the Gwaihir broadside of one of the remaining frigates, “Fire!” It exploded into a ball of fire.  The last one was overpowered by the drones.

“Federation fleet arriving, sir.”

“This is General Pizer of the Federation Navy.” a voice announced over hailing frequencies, “You are ordered to take your weapons offline and stand down.”

“Recall the drones.” I gave the command to stand down and let com know to pull up my Federation papers.

“This is Mithrandir Stormcrow, of the Gallente Vexor Gwaihir.  Prepare to receive my identification.”  I called to the fleet commander.

Silence followed.  It was only a moment but it felt like an eternity.  Facing off with a Myrmidon, two Vexors, and four Ishkurs is not my idea of a stroll around the system.  Finally, the coms came alive.

“Captain Stormcrow, we want to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.  We show that you have been in combat with Serpentis pirates.  Thank you for your service to the Federation.  You are dismissed.”

“Thank you, General.”  I replied.  “Nav, get us out of here.  Back to the station in Iyen-Oursta.

“Yes, sir.”

We arrived safely back in the station.  Kenzie found me and asked, “Boss, I recorded all transmission from the pirates.  What are we looking for?”

“Kenzie,” I placed my hand on his shoulder and looked him straight in the eyes, “If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t have needed you with me.”