Another day, another death

20 05 2008

Tuesday my Megathron finally arrived and announced it’s presence.

My Mega

When I look back at my life as a pod pilot, I was always awestruck when people fielded fleets of pure tech II fitted ships, with lots of tech II support ships, command ships, logistics… You name it.

As a member of KIA I am part of such a fleet.
After the great success of DD’ing the Hydra fleet everyone was in a good mood as we formed up the fleet and headed for P3EN. During the night Hydra personnel had been busy making repairs to their damaged Cyno Jammer. Our orders were clear. Go in, take down the Cyno Jammer, retake P3EN.

The Fleet assembled outside the station in Obe while there was light chatter in the fleet coms.

I was late due to some dumb waiter who had been slow serving my dinner.

I powered up my battleship while screaming at the dockworkers to load some freaking short range and high damage ammo slugs into my cargo bay. I am unsure why we pod pilots always have a tendency to yell at the dockworkers but they don’t seem to mind and it makes me feel better.

The station was in short supply of the highly volatile antimatter charges of the large size so I convoed a fellow alliance member asking if I could borrow some. I already had plenty of the advanced Spike L ammo and was ready for long range battle.

Well assembled we warped to the gate P3EN gate and jumped into P3EN where some light support was already waiting. TJ was in control of the fleet and warped us straight to the POS we had fought at the day previously. Targets were called and the slow process of killing the Cyno Jammer started. Again.

Christina Knight is the responsible commander for the enemy fleet and actually does a good job with what she has available. But Hydra lacks a doctrine, an idea, a concept.

KIA is renowned for their turtle battleship formations. It lacks in range and damage, but makes up for it, with its ability to keep the battleships alive through mounted monstrous large armor repairers on the hulls and an even distribution of repair drones and combat drones in the fleet.

Such is the basic KIA battleship and as such we have a doctrine, an idea and a concept.

While we started doing runs on the POS, Hydra opted to man it with specialized gunners. More than once people found their cap running dry and then being pondered by heavy stationary artillery.

Staying together as a group we all share the damage and all share the combined repairing abilities of the fleet. We are stronger that way, we can stay on the field while soaking up damage.

We don’t flinch. We don’t falter. We have a job to do and the means to do it.

Reports started filtering in that Hydra was assembling their fleet. With the average pod pilot in Hydra coming in what he or she were able to bring, we knew they had to come in at a close range or lose their damage potential.

When Hydra was reported on the Jump Bridge in TVN to P3EN, we were ordered to pull in drones and align for the Obe gate. A few battleships and some support were drawn out of P3EN at once.

Tjakka had a plan.

We would retreat in good order. Making it seem as if we could and would not fight them at the POS while they had gunners and neutralizing towers hitting us.

We mustered on the Obe gate and waited. Intel told us that Hydra pilots were checking the status of the POS and were sending a small covert OP frigate to investigate the Obe gate.

I am not sure why the covert Ops pilot did not cloak up his ship before he warp, but we were informed that we had a Buzzard class covert OP aligning for the Obe gate and he warped in that direction before he cloaked. Hydra now knew what we had on the field and we knew they knew.

We hastily pulled out of P3EN by the order of Tjakka and jumped into Obe. In Obe we were met by the battleships that had jumped out, as well as a smaller fleet, that had assembled. Our numbers swelled and unknown to Hydra the group that had been viewed as an even match to their own fleet was turning into a monster.

Hydra had in the meantime warped to the Obe gate in P3EN and was now waiting for us to come to them at their optimal fighting ranges. A fight on their terms, but against an enemy they did not understand. An enemy with a doctrine, an idea, a concept and now also a plan.

Order to jump into P3EN went out and in unison the battleships made the jump into P3EN. We held the cloak while we waited for things to stabilize as large fleets jumping through a single gate cause massive disturbance and EM shockwaves that render the systems unresponsive for some time.

When all had reported they were on location and at operational status, we were ordered to head for the gate in order for us all to get in range of each other’s remote repairs and the quick change of repair drones from one friendly target to another.

Targets were called and the heavy 425mm Hybrid turrets thundered their anger at the enemy. Our CEO was called primary by the enemy as they believed him to be the fleet commander. It happens all the time and the KIA pilots were ready for it. A storm of nano robots, remote repairs and drones rushed to heal the damage caused by the enemy. We managed to hold the damage and structure intact though at one point the computer estimated there has as little as 20% original intact structure holding Eddz’s battleship together.

Other alliance mates were called primary and we took a loss. The support was ordered to jump in and put bubble on the enemy and the lightning fast interceptors caught the ones further away. Another ship of ours went down. This one belonging to Cheese Monkey, he is a former corp mate who has recently returned to KIA and I by damn tried to keep him alive. The crew was ordered to inject capacitor boosters directly into the power core in order to keep up with my remote repairers. Alas I could not save him and his ship exploded in a fiery inferno that rocked the fleet.

We are taught not to show emotion less it clouds our judgment and Tjakka quickly directed us to new targets and the loss soon forgotten. The unity of the fleet held it together and the enemy started to lose ships. First at an equal pace with us but then faster and faster. Primary was called and while the huge guns spoke almost instant death the secondary targets were locked by the computer systems. The older veterans of KIA already know who is going to be called as next target and had automatically started the locking procedure even before the order got out.

Blue and red flashes danced before the eyes of my mind as the once proud fleet of the enemy was being decimated.

Tjakka did a great job of calling targets and the orders went out clearly over a dead silent communication channel. A disciplined communication channel where only the fleet commander, the Recon and the scout pilots talk is the sign of a fleet that is about its business in a cool and professional manner.

The result was a devastating blow to the enemy morale and fleet.

No less that 74 reported kills to 7 losses.

It was never an even fight and it was never supposed to be. Tjakka knew full well what he did to that poor fleet when he called the shots, directed the support fleet and ripped their hearts out.

A battlefield with a victorious fleet is a majestic view and the faster and smaller ship collected what could be collected from the enemy ships. The chatter went up again and even the local communication channel was filled with praise for an enemy that stood in the face of death and it even in defeat gave praise to our victorious fleet.