Deployment to Stain

4 08 2008

So here I am, back where it all began. Stain has been and will always be my nemesis. Whatever I do, like try to join an alliance in the far north, I end up in Period Basis next to Stain. Join a mercenary outfit, and we deploy to Stain. Figures…

As if that is not enough we are fighting in no less than three regions. Stain, Feythabolis and Esoteria. The two of them are completely new to me despite having lived so close to them for over a year.

Of note are the system 4GQ-XQ in Stain, in which Stain Empire (SE) lives. Stain Empire, and specifically Xenobytes, were the first ever true combat pilots I ever crossed. Crossed is a fine word for when they crippled 3 of my ravens in less than 2 weeks. On the other hand I learned from them and have never lost another Raven to roaming gangs.

Another system of note is C9N-CC in Esoteria, a system which Stain Empire was recently evicted from. The system has a legacy in that it still holds the wreck of the first Titan to go down. The system has some of the most vivid colors Ive ever seen. A deep blue and grey star field, a piercing red sun and some spectacular light blue and white nebulae.

As the last system of note is AZN-D2 in Feythabolis. A goon controlled system that was the staging point for the attack on C9N-CC. Also the landing zone of the KIA dropships.

On sunday afternoon we moved out from TDE in a large gang consisting mainly of Heavy Assault Ships. I was in my trusty Sabre.

We moved casually along with scouts out. Shortly after having left Geminate region we encountered a Rapier which we ignored as we were eager to get to the destination. It became aparrent that he was following us and a camp was set up at the in-gate in UD-AOK. The pilot magichka jumped into my bubble and was promtly disposed of.

Closing in on C9N-CC, which was our original destination, we were informed that a large fleet fight was taking place and it was not the place to be in our nifty HACs. As a result AZN-D2 was chosen as new destination and headquarter of KIA for the duration of our stay.

Along the way we passed through some spectacular systems of untold beaty and mystery. We even passed some strange looking vessels. We did not bother them and they left us alone as well.

As we came closer to our destination more and more combat vessels appeared. Scared, victorious and proud they roamed and patrolled. There was no doubt we were entering a warzone where everyone was hunter and prey. Goons and Tau Ceti Federation (TCF) gangs and fleets became more and more frequent. We had some banter in the local comms channel, but most of  the TCF spoke a strange dialect, which rumor has it, has its roots in the original Gallente language. They tend to put in a lot of ‘z’s in their pronunciation of words often replacing ‘th’…

After docking up in AZN-D2 and getting settled we took the ships out for a spin and went by C9N-CC.

I was happy to get the chance to see the behemoth of “STEVE” the Avatar Titan wreck. I warped well past it to get a good approach. Smoldering fires can still be observed which must be remains of some engineparts still turning being held in motion by repair drones and nano robots that have not registered the demise of the ship.

We will soon move out as we get comfortable with our new surroundings.

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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.





Securing our new home

24 06 2008

Live from the front line. The SMASH station in the sytem of TDE is about to fall.

Assembling at 12:10 and initiating attack at 12:20. Local coms are devoid of enemies.

We only have a few dreads on the field but no more is needed.

W4yloud – Phoenix
Butimtoolittle – Phoenix
Kresh – Moros
Necronomicon – Moros
Jay Death – Phoenix
KIAEDDZ – Phoenix
Inigomontoya – Revelation

12:50 Station is confirmed KIA after DD from Omega Theory.





The begining

20 05 2008

I became a pod pilot a year and a half ago.
It was really not an option.
It more choose me than I choose it.

A destiny.

So I set out in the universe. Like many others my head was filled with self-importance and a will to make a difference. Little did I know that the universe is big and fast strips away the self-importance though the desire to make a difference is still there.

Nonni was my first home and I was taken under the wings of a corporation called FM-C and placed in their educational division doing routine work. I had to endure this for over two months before I was given “my wings” and become part of the established corp.

Back then the average training of a pod pilot was at best basic at worst a pod pilot almost could not interface with the pods systems and operate even the simplest of tasks in the simplest of ships.

This has improved and the average pod jock they turn out of the state war academy is better suited to the hazards of space.

Suffice to say I needed that time in the educational division.

I started slowly by learning to align to different way points warping in and out, scanning belts, planets and moons.

We got taught how to operate the market and obtain better prices as well as selling goods.

After a while we got into combat training.

The primary function of a new pod pilot is the honorable “scram” function in a gang.

It basicly means you will die a very fast and very painfully death.

Finally one day the call went out to mount up and head to Aunenen.

Aunenen, a system where CONCORD holds no authority, infested with everything from pirates, missioners, traders and scammers. A real hole of hell.

I was met on the gate to Aunenen by a senior member who was to test me and see how I performed under fire. We initiated gang procedures and our communication systems hooked up.

He was in a Caldari cruiser class ship nicked the Caracal and I was in my brand new Caldari frigate class Kestrel.

Caracal:
http://www.eve-tribune.com/index.php?no=1_15&page=7

caracal

Kestrel:
http://www.eve-tribune.com/index.php?no=1_8&page=3

kestrel

As hinted earlier I was armed with a scram battery that can leave most warp cores in serious disarray.

The older corp member warped us to a nearby asteroid field and told me to stand by.

I spotted some Gurista ships which we engaged. They proved to be sought after by CONCORD which payed a handsome reward for their destruction. I never saw any pod eject from the ships so I guess it means total termination for the crew of the ship when they blow up. A swift dark and cold death.

As we rejoiced in the destruction of the Guristas a sole Incursus warped in.

It’s a tough little nut of a Gallente ship.

Incursus:
http://www.eve-tribune.com/index.php?no=1_5&page=6

incursus

I was confused and perplexed as the frigate just sat there. I had never seen such a strange looking vessel and the stories from childhood of the war versus the Gallente spurred all kinds of odd thoughts.

And then things sprung to life. My corp mate was being targeted and I was instructed to put a “point on the sucker”. I quickly manipulated my vessels instruments and the target system started chirping away.

Lock, point and release of missiles.

The Kestrel vibrated as the standard missile launchers voiced their opinion on this attack on my corp mate.

I forgot my basic training of informing that the hostile ship was scramed and my corp mate called for confirmation which I promptly gave.

Things are not silent in a pod contrary to some beliefs, there are indeed sound but most of all there is a rush… no a flood of adrenaline!

I completely lost track of the combat as drones was released, blaster slugs from the Incursus ramming into my corp mate. It took ages, it took seconds I can’t remember. When the Incursus finaly evaporated under the heavy fire of missiles I quickly targeted the pod and blew that too, seeing the goo of it flowing out in weird looking sub-gravity bubbles.

My corp mate had quickly investigated the wreck of the Incursus and warped us out to a so called safe spot. The word was out all over the solar system. There had been killing in an asteroid belt and though CONCORD does not interfere they do log the incident. Destruction of pods are considered an extreme act of evil and little did I know that I was charged with this on my record and took massive heat in the aftermath and settlement with CONCORD as I had to go back to CONCORD controlled space. They let me off the hook this time as it was us who was aggressed first and it was my first offence.

While we sat at the “safe spot” we went over what had happened.

Conclusion was that I performed ok under the circumstances but he was not happy by my lack on “point” confirmation as well as I had hesitated when he came under fire. I blamed my slow reaction time as I was sure it was not hesitation.

3 days later I was let in to the main corporation and got my wings.

At the same time I upgraded to the Caracal cruiser.

I was invincible.

Who would dare to challenge me in a ship so large and powerfull.