Going out on a friday night

23 08 2008

It was early friday night but I was already drunk. I usualy dont drinkand when I do it has a profound impact. I had an argument with the Gallente girl. Arguments happen every so often when Im idle for long periods. I need something to do and the expedition to Stain had not satisfied my urge to swell in glorified combat.

Stumbling out of the bar located in the Jita station orbiting planet 4 I stumble into other pilots and civilians. I know im being rude but need to get some steam off. Im not looking for a fight but aint avoiding it either. Im mentally in another space where comon sense does not play a significant role. I need to get out. Not sure where to, anywhere but this overcrowded station where all and everything is for sale.

Salvation came in the shape of a buzzing sound from the neocom.

General KIA mobilization alert incomming…

Just waiting while the mico processors open the message I can feel how a wave of “calm” rush in to take the place of the urgency I felt before. I have a purpose again. I have a goal and slowly the world fall in to its proper shape. We all have this sence of losing perspective from time to time and KIA is a focal point that helps me concentrate and stay on track.

The orders is to get in Carrier fleet, stock up on ships and move to Obe. Rumor has it that the alliance TRI has resurrected and have started to push HYDRA from their space in order to make it their own. The name P3EN spings to my mind as the palce where we had some epic fights vs HYDRA. Never an agressive alliance they have however always fought back.

I have to sober up and get in another clone not full of implants and hardwireing. I rush to the medical center of the station and stumble upon fellow KIA pilots also heeding the call.

A quick blink of white light and we are in the TDE station in Geminate. Instantly transported lightyears away. Stepping out clone vat bay, I had a short shower before heading straight to the briefing room.

Eddz were at the speaker stand with Tjakka and some Daisho leaders as they laid out their plans for quick incursions in the Vale. Everyone paid close attention as the tactical situation of the Vale was explained and options laid out. eXceed, DOOM and some other corps were in the system of TVN having cleared out P3EN. Mainly they were busy decoration their new price, the outpost in TVN.

Of note is that BoB is roaming the north in their mega fleet not doing much but kicking ant hills and downing POSs. The Northern coalition seems to be unable to make up their minds if to protect the Vale or fight BoB.

This friday night KIA would jump to Obe and take up possition in and around P3EN and wait further notice.

Ending the meeting the pilots went for their “wet graves” and ships. A parade of ships undocked one after another while the logistic ground personel called for extra space on the carriers for Battleships, Heavy Assault Ship, Interdictors and Reconships.

I undocked Juturna and caught a brief glimpse of Varuna amidst a sea of ships, her heavy armor plates, protecting the undock point of her fighters, dully reflected the sun.

As more and more ships undocked I took up position behind the station to get a better view.

DAI was jumping their fleet in as well adding to the frustration of the officers trying to organise the logistics without collisions in front of the station.

In space there is no sound but yet space itself vibrates when the KIA titan enters the system. If one has never witnessed the presence of a Titan it cannot be explained by mere words.

The main stay of the BS fleet was subsequently bridged by the titan to Obe and the carriers made the jump themselfs.

A single hostile carrier was reported in Obe and an attemp was made to ram it out of docking distance as our capital fleet jumped in.

Well arrived in Obe the pilots changed into non-capital ships and moved into P3EN and took up position on the out gate to Obe, hoping for TRI to make their move as it was now their space being violated.

Only time will tell what will happen in this battle tested system called P3EN where fleets crash and lives are lost in firery glory. And so, for now, we await the response of TRI…

I hear Ombey after docking up Varuna updated his log on the operation, see Ombeve.

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Clearing Q-TBHW and my first FC’ing

28 06 2008

I awoke to the slow buzzing sound of a general alert. A friendly was being chased through systems coming from L-TOFR and heading in the direction of TDE. Distress signal went out as the pursuers slowly gained on his Deimos heavy assault-ship.

Running along the corridors of the TDE station I could feel the uneasiness of the station dwellers as their previous owners had abandoned them and they faced an uncertain future at the hands of an unknown alliance. Only the stories of atrocities of the battlefield was what impression they had of us, told by their fleeing masters.

They had been witness to the fast annihilation of their security that was their death-star moon POS’s in the system of TDE. They had seen the steady flow of damaged Roadkill ships docking up for quick repairs before joining the ranks on the field again. Ever noticing that fewer and fewer returning ships that did not make it back for repairs. They had seen the often futile escape attempts by industrial ships loaded with whatever possessions their pilots could cram in the cargo hold. Seen the bubbles and wrecks pile up in front of the undocking port. Finlay they had witnessed the full power of a titan attack on their station.

They were scared and as I ran to the docking bay I noticed their eyes being cast down but could feel their eyes on my back as soon as I had passed. They would get used to us eventually. Change is a fact and mankind is one of the best to adapt to a new situation.

My Deimos was ready when I arrived at the docking bay and I quickly boarded. As soon as my neocom hooked up with the ships interfacing I undocked while calling for additional backup and hooking up new fleet members.

We met up on the 5F gate in TDE and when we had 6-7 ships we burned for 6YC with hostiles reported in 6L78. A Merlin frigate escaped us barley as we jumped into O2O.

We met the enemy in open battle in 6L78-1 where we jumped in as they landed on the outbound gate and a Vexor had to bite the dust as I called him primary and called for points on whoever of the hostiles that we could catch. The rest of the enemy gang choose that discretion was the better part of valor and ran hard and fast. They cant be blamed as their prey all of a sudden had become a wolf and one with a pack. We escorted our alliance member home again missing the same Merlin frigate again. There was a general consent that it was stabbed (filled with Warp Core Stabilizers).

Upon returning to base the gang split up. Some went hunting for Gurista criminals while others oversaw the preparations of their battleships for to nights OP. Together with Ombre and Tarantino I took up position in fron of the station and waited for the time to pass.

I was watching the hypnotising trails of Ombre’s crow as he released bursts from his micro warp drive when all of a sudden a hostile undocked from the station. A hostile coming from our very station ? Ofcourse there are always stragglers who are slow and hide among the general Station dwellers but surely they should all have left by now.

Ombre brought his crow around and aligned for the hostile Throax, a distant cousin of my own Deimos. Tarantino was in hot pursuit and I aligned to ram his ship in order to deny him the opportunity to redock and get away in the myriad of hangars.

Bouncing hard as our ships made contact my sensors in the nose of my ship took serious damage against his armored side tearing off one of his engines. His ship slowed down a satisfying distance from the docking entrance.

The gunz of my ship was undamaged and the crew let loose the advanced blaster charges and drones were released. Again and again the shells landed hard on his armor, the high tech drones raining plasma on his ship. Slowly but surely his armor faltered but I was surprised that it lasted that long.

The destruction record showed a setup Ive not seen before. A weird mix of blaster, high tech armor tanking, rigged, cynogenerator ship. An abnormality ! Blessed be my blasters for ridding space of such a foul beast.

Not satisfied with the destruction of the ship I started targeting the POD that had emerged from the wreck. The clone sure was a malfunctioning one and better to rid the universe of that as well. Who knows what might have happened and where it paths would have led it. There are rumors of experiments that have given drones self-awareness by crazy scientists. We must be ever vigilant.

A message ran in from the leadership that we would be gathering our forces and heading out at 18:30. Since most of us were already in the fleet I started to organize the fleet into sections. 2 BS squads, 1 support, 1 dread and a carrier.

Slowly I realised that the BS fleet was adhering my voice. A strange feeling. I had commanded small squads before in Stain and ran one interceptor operation when we were based out of Period Basis, but never a full battleship fleet.

The command of the dreads and carriers were taken by Eddz himself. Leadership had for some time called for others to step up every now and then. I would never presume to have the strategic and tactic understanding of Tjakka, but decided to give it a go anyway.

(The KIA Alliance cards are (c) Snowcrow.)

Command of a fleet is never taken ! It is only granted by the members in the fleet as long as you perform well and give sound commands. The Capsulers of KIA was allowing me to lead them and for that I was grateful.

The battleship fleet met up on the 5F gate in TDE, when I counted 14 Battleships headed out. Tarantino ran scout duty together with Ombre and they behaved and executed orders timely and clearly provided the intel that KIA’s scouts are famous of. I admit that I may have been over cautious, but I was not about to loose a BS fleet so our progress may have taken longer than was absolutely necessary.

The route to Q-T was scouted and as we jumped in we were greeted by a small Goon camp on the L-TOFR gate in Q-T. I told the fleet to align for the station and called up command. Orders were to help the Goon battleship detachment take down a POS at planet 8 orbiting moon 5. We received a warp in point and I ordered the fleet to warp individually as Eddz had command of the fleet and therefore I was unable to initiate gang warp.

En route to the POS I gave final instructions, remember to call for remote repairing, pay attention to the fleet broadcasts and load up short-range ammo, who is warp out point in case of emergency warp out, remember to passive align towards a planet that was called as general warp out. It may sound absurd but to repeat the command I had heard a thousand times made me feel an inner warmth. At 18:45 we arrived at the POS which was almost half into its shield.

To our pleasant surprise it was not armed at all and contained only basic mining modules, moon harvesting array and a few Silo’s. The goons had been at it for quite some time and welcomed the additional firepower. It took all of 30 minutes of our combined firepower to cripple the tower into reinforced mode. Felicia Stone claimed to had been targeted by the moon harvesting array and gotten a nice tan.

The tower for some odd reason held no Strontium and would exit reinforced mode within 1 hour.

I ordered the fleet to warp out and head to the station to support a small tactical unit that held any enemies at bay and firmly docked inside their station.

I called up fleet command again and was ordered to take the BS squad to help the dreads and main capital fleet take down a larger tower.

I came out of warp next to Kresh’s looming Moros Dreadnought and opened fire on the tower along with the rest of the fleet. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be in command of the Moros Dreadnought. It has been a personal goal for a long time but I have been caught between the Moros and the Thanatos which I need for logistic purposes.

As the tower was reinforced we turned around to rejoin the small squad at the station and I gave all a small break for pilots to check the ships, see to the crews got fed and so on. In KIA terms called a BIO break.

We had Snowscrow in the fleet and as such the ever watchful eyes of the Capsuleer Labor Union (CLU). CLU had almost shut down an entire operation back when we were securing Period Basis.We had been on OP for 4 long hours and not given a single break. Under such immense pressure the pilots went on strike until the situation was resolved. The BIO break was the result and an agreement signed that if an operation takes longer than 4 hours every member is allowed a 10 minute break of hostilities at a safe-spot every 4 hours.

(The KIA Alliance cards are (c) Snowcrow.)

The staion was devoid of enemy activity and really we were just passing time for the P8-M5 tower to come out of reinforced mode. After 20 minutes I ordered the fleet to warp to the pos and prepare. At 20:13 the POS came out of reinforced mode and we once again opened fire.

After 10 minutes two hostiles appeared on the overview and was quickly identified as Stealth bombers. These small ship can contain a single munition charge that can be quite damaging to battleship fleets.

They went for the Goons located 40 km away from us and when they emerged from the POS shield was both promptly disposed of. After a while a new stealth bomber showed up on the overview and headed in the general direction of the KIA fleet before cloaking up. I called that all ships aligned for the station at full speed but this brought us out of range too fast. A new plan was formed and we aligned between two different asteroid belts going at 100 m/s and the range varying from 30 km to 50 km to the POS. This way our battleship fleet would be able to warp out fast if additional bombers should show up. I suspected the single bomber might be the warp in for more and as better to be safe than sorry I had the pilots burn fuel running back and forth between points while keeping fire on the POS.

At some point a single Suicide Megathron pilot warped in and was killed but managed to cause a single loss. I salute Gemstone505 for taking initiative and not surrendering, but screaming defiance to the last breath.

We were after some time joined by dreads and I called it a day. I gave command of the battleships to Mikhalio who is a seasoned pilot and to be just a much better fleet commander than I am.

I hope I will get the chance to lead a fleet again however small the job. For now I’m letting my crew pop some Quafe and turning on the holoreels.





Final fight in TVN

27 05 2008

It is friday. It is finaly friday. For some days there have been persistent rumors of a fleetbattle of scale. Gone is the tiredness, gone is the stress and in flows anticipation as the hour draws near. In the following event all numbers are estimates based on reports from Recons.

Tacticoverlay

19:00

We have good Intel that Hydra will move out in an hour. Our fleet is at 45 and number only 26 BS. Once again we are outnumbered and numbers were expected to be higher.

Hydra reportedly have around 30 capital ships in their fleet and we cannot hope to match such numbers.

Fleet chat is buzzing with the new addition of Majesta Empire. We have not heard of them and therefore they are an unknown. Unknowns are not good when deep in enemy space with a relative small fleet.

Next to me is Cheese Monkey this time in an Amarr Empire Armageddon class battleship. Cheese being a minmatar of birth makes it wierd to see him command such a ship that has brought a world of pain to his people.

The fleet is currently running tactical warps to the Hydra Station in TVN making sure everyone is on their toes and ready.

19:14

Our fleet is still hanging at the TVN station. There is some discussion if we can take on the ammount of enemies that are present in Hydra Fleet. I myself do not belive we have much of a chance vs the 30 caps reported. But who am I to question the chain of command. The answer is we dont. While not completely mindless the fleet must work in unison and only one or a select few call the shots. On one hand we dont mind going against a seemingly bigger enemy, on the other hand we wont make foolish gestures.

19:21

Main enemy fleet has eluded us. 34 Majestic Empire ships are reported in C-F. Calls are going out to our Recons, our eyes, our ears, or life. “Find main Hydra fleet at once”.

19:25

Hydra scout is sighted at the station. If not before, then they now know all we have on the field. This is both of good and evil. We want to fight them. But on our terms. This means they have to know what we have and measure it against what they have and belive they have a chance of winning. It is paramount they belive they have a fighting chance.

19:30

We are pulling back to the Death Star POS we have in TVN. The fleet was drawn out and incoherent, a regrouping is nessesary. The Hydra fleet is still not located which is wierd as our Recon pilots know how to locate an enemy. Reports are filtering throug that the Hydra Jump Bridge is down and that the cyno jammer effectively prevents them bringing in their capital fleet. Our numbers are rising ever so slowly. Where are the guys ? Where is our mainstay fleet ? We should number around 40-50 battleships.

19:31

Part of the Hydra fleet is located. 30 battleships hugging a POS in 1-G. 30 Majestic Empire reported in C-F and around 30 unaccounted for. Rumor has it that Majesta is here to see the KIA Titan. To trap it. To kill it.

19:34

Tjakka is apointed leader of the BS fleet. No big surprise there. He has seen us through most of this campaign, it is only fitting that he leads the final battle of this contract. What is a surprise is that the titan is taken out of the equation. Some muttering goes around. There is mild speculation as to if the allies of Hydra is going to come to their aid. The answer we all arrive at is probaly not.

19:40

Our number has increased and we have now achived critical mass of 40 BS. Hydras hessitation is going to cost them. The enemy fleet is numbering around 110. If earlier reports were accurate then around 30 of those are capital ships, here to kill our titan.

19:45

A quick survey of the Hydra jump bridge network reveals that their fleet is trapped in the northern sector and either have to come through T-GCGL or OMW gate or go the long way around. The last is not an option as their dicipline is lacking for taking such a route. Many ships would be lost in the process and they have no way of knowing if they will turn up in fighting condition.

TJ order bubbles to be put up on the T-GCGL gate but leaving the OMW gate open for the moment. The idea I assume is to force Hydra to go to the OMW gate and then bubble is with dictor bubbles if the jump through.

The Hydra fleet is reported to be of 40 BS and 50 odd ships. I will not call the 50 odd ships for a real and propper support fleet but none the less they do prose some threat as many Hydra alliance pilots fly the Caldari Black Bird. Rendering a young pilot able to effectively shut down an experienced pilot in a full tech II fitted battleship.

19:47

A small Hydra gang jumped out from TVN through the OMW gate. Caused some stir.
We estimate that Hydra commanders will gater their fleet now and come for us. As time goes our fleet grows strong while theirs remain the same or might even weaken.

19:49

Setting up the support gangs and put more bubbles on gates.
Lost intel on the main Hydra fleet. They have left 1-GBBP.

19:52

Hydra Intel is comming in. 20 sighted in 1-G and 30 in T-G. They are moving. The fleet coms fire up. Orders are barked out, long range Spike L ammo is slammed into the guns, torpedos loaded into tubes. Running final diagnostics on the armor and guns as the Megathron powers up for battle and passive align. TJ is letting everyone know the senario he sees unfold and how we are going to cope with it. Our fleet number 65 now and is all set . KIA is ready.

20:14

Hydra is for some reason backing off and reforming in 1-GBBP. KIA fleet is on stand down atm. Telling the crew to go take a piss and grab a Quafe.

20:29

Fleet had a brief discussion as to head up to 1-GBBP and fight Hydra there is they wont come to us. A fleet discussion is not a discussion at the higher command levels. Its merely a discussion among the pilots of the fleet in their own com channels but ofcource the commanders pay attention to utterings among the fleet members.

Taram, a seasoned Recon pilot of KIA, was uttering his displeasure with Hydra retreating.

Capital ships are ordered to attack the POS holding the Cyno Jammer to see if we can provoke a response.

20:53

Local is up by 10 and our fleet now number 79. Once again, due to slow Hydra response time we have grown from a target to a monster. Had they went at us 1 hour ago they would have been able to field greater numbers vs a much smaller target. We will try to take down the Cyno Jammer so Hydra can use its capital fleet. The Titan is back online and a spurr goes through the ranks. One can almost feel how proud the pilots of KIA is when the flagship is in space.

Hydra is in OMW and T-G now.
Allies of Hydra in C-F are warping to 1-GBBP.

8 Hostiles reported in T-G.
30 more Hostiles comming down from C-F.

We are ready.
Cyno jammer is down in 2 min by caps.

Dreads are prepared in Obe for an emergency cyno in should Majesta Empire catch the Titan.

All battleships have long range ammo loaded.
TJ run the fleet in cloacked ship.

Local has droped to 107.

Orders are to hold till the enemy jumps in and then warp in at long range while they are trapped in the bubbles.

Local numbers jumping to 131.

Carriers are at the OMW gate. Heavy drones released. It is the Majesta Empire fleet and there is a special suprise for them.

As previously mentioned Majesta Empire was reportedly here to kill our titan and though we had the option to use the Doomsday on the Hydra fleet it was a very concious choise that Majesta had a close up and personal meeting with her.

Our ships a few 100 thousand kilometers away could feel the blast from the EMP shockwave that is the result of many ships exploding to a Doomsday Device at the same time.

The first battle reports tickle in slowly and everyone is urging to get in the fight and know what is going on. Carriers have their Fighter drones out now and support is sweeping in.

Hydra and Majesta it seems had a plan of jumping in through two gates at once. Im not sure what their intent was to devide the fleet and the firepower. But I assume it was along the lines of a manouvre that would catch our BS fleet between the two of them.

Miscordination in the Hydra / Majesta Empire chain of command resulted in the two fleets jumping in sperately and instead of being one fleets that can work together as two groups they were now two small fleets who are miles appart. One of them dieing awfully fast and the other about to.

The Hydra fleet jump in at the OMW gate and orders start going out. For some reason our own fleet is a bit spread thin. I can feel my ship vibrate softly as I come under fire from small guns of their support fleet as Hydra land their support fleet perfectly right on top of our BS fleet. To my surprise the main fire is laid on my heavy armor repair drones in the mistake that they contribute more than my ship in keeping the whole fleet alive. I watch my drones as they go “puf”. In general the fire is uncoordinated and ineffective when they finaly turn their attention to our ships and my shield is ever so slowly going down.

No need to draw the drones in as the enemy use valuable time killing them, in a fight where they are already short of time. They need to get out of the bubble and save the Majesta Fleet they must belive are still alive. Alas little do they know, as they strugle to get safe out of the bubble loosing ships as they go, that our carriers are already aligning for OMW leaving the dead Majesta Fleet in its wake.

21:06

Hydra stand and die. That you have to give them. They take a punch in the moth and keeps staying on the field. My shield is stripped off under the fire of an angry Raven that is going down. I dont worry too much, as it will be out of its missery soon and the hail of cruise missiles stop. I dont even call for being locked by our logistic ships as a precaution.

After a few minutes the enemy fleet looses its will to fight as our main support fleet and the carriers warp in.

Slaughter and chaos is the order of the day as our light and fast ships assigned with fighters run down the heavier battleships of the enemy that are trying to get away.

Our fleet stays while the smaller ships clean up the battlefield. As I pour liquid coolant into the gun systems, my guns slowly cool down. The local com channels are filled with praise from all sides and though Hydra lost they still have the honor of giving praise to a victorious fleet.

I return to the POS in TVN and power down the ship. This consludes the final battle of our contract and orders are already going out that we withdraw tomorrow at 15:00.

A bed ! A real bed is mine by tomorrow. I long for the week long stand down before our next contract. I will however miss the Daisho guys. They have proved a most capable force with a capital section of highly professional pilots. I hope we will fly with them again sooner rather than later but rumor has it they have accepted a contract that does not involve the scale we combined present.

Fly safe DAI.