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.

Day of Doom

20 05 2008

Monday, god I hate Mondays. But not this one, this was going to be one of the best.

Coffe is a lifesaver in the morning and no less than three cups can make me awake.

We had just relocated from Torrinos, a high sec system with the unique property that it was right next to the lawlessness of a system Concord had seen fit to name EC-.

We had great fights with TRI and one time I was more close to loose my HAC than I would like to admit.


Right after Mondays I hate relocation. However our CEO had had dealings with an agent of an alliance that would like to see the head of another alliance named Hydra on a plate.

Hydra is known to me as I previously have mentioned I was employed by the alliance in a former life that now seems far away.

We started the exodus and moved through the low sec systems with our destination set for Obe. Blessed is the auto pilot in high sec systems. They have never interested me and I almost never pay attention to what goes on. Though they reportedly should be filled with hardworking and honest people I know better.

Everyone is trying to screw everyone and illegal sales of everything from money to slaves and drugs are common sight. The local chatter on the public communication channels is no different this travel than any other. I ordered the crew to complete radio silence as we slow boated along through one stargate after another.

When I arrived small skirmishes had already taken place all sunday. First blood had been drawn by the opening of fire on an unarmed mining barge. KIA had arrived and we were letting our hosts know it by sending in small raid parties to scout the area.

Ombey, McKinlay and Mikhalio had the honor of “first to draw enemy blood”

As a Phylacista mentioned when he heard of the barge: “and so it begins….”

As the day progressed Daisho Syndicate, Body Count Inc. and Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams showed up as well to join the battle. The friends of Tortuga was back to work.

The objective was set to take down the Cyno Jammer of the system called P3EN so that we could call in capital support in order to take down the other towers.

We started early so that we could take the Jammer down before the Hydra pilots could react in force.

A fleet of over 40 battleships enganged the Jammer, while a small force of Heavy Assault Ships held the gate to Obe and recons were sent into the IPAY system.

I myself had not gotten my Megathron class Battleship to Obe yet so I was in my brand new Falcon. I scouted the Jumpbridge that led to TVN and as I was former Hydra we had full intel on their logistic routes. Intel ticked into my com board that Hydra was on an OP with PURE to take down a TRI POS. I relayed the information and was informed to keep an eye on Hydra activities.

The Cyno Jammer was down to half armor when Hydra broke off from the siege and started to head for TVN (one of their major Hub systems). Desperate calls were going out that all Hydra members were to report in TVN and form up in battle formations. As they formed up in TVN we took down the Cyno Jammer and our alliance sneaked in a surprise.

A plan was quickly formed that the trap should be sprung on the Tower where the jumpbridge was but there were reports of warp jamming towers and other nasty stuff. We were told to wait on the gate to Obe for Hydra. We were sure they were here to fight for their space.

We waited a long time as the Hydra commanders got the fleet set up and finally jumped through. They warped straight to their damaged Cyno jammer and started repairs. Communication must have been bad cause from my cloaked position I saw no carriers or other ships that were up to the task of repairing such a large damaged structure. They did have 2-3 Logistic ships but nowhere near what should have been there.

When it became apparent that Hydra was not going to fight us we tried to appear small and insignificant by swapping out a large proportion of our battleships with Heavy Assault Ships.

Hydra did not take the bait or did not care about us. Their only priority was the Cyno Jammer.

Disappointed with the development Tjakka (TJ) took command in his Rapier and ordered everyone back in Battleships and to be ready at the Obe gate in P3EN.

The fleet got back and hit and run tactics started. The fleet warped to TJ, aligned back towards the Obe gate and opened fire on a target that strayed too far from the safety of the tower shield.

It quickly resulted in kills and the guys in the fleet made jokes on the fleet communication channel while we bled Hydra.

After a few losses they adapted and did not stray from the tower shield but came to the same conclusion as I that there were not enough to repair the tower and even worse they could not repair the structural damage as their engineers were only trained in basic armor repair and not the finer art of structural repair to complex systems.

The result was that they opted to shoot the tower and place a new one. Not a bad plan at all but again it involved them coming out form the tower shield.

Our fleet changed tactic and warped in to start repairs of the very same tower we had previously damaged. The irony was not lost on any of our pilots and comments went out once again over the communication channels.

We again got contacted if we were interested in buying information on the tower password. We all knew what that meant and it was yet another road we were not prepared to walk down.

It was late and I had to leave the fleet. I powered down all systems in the station in Obe and went to bed. Only to wake up to the news that not only had yesterday been a complete success but as the enemy fleet left P3EN they ran into yet another logistic problem in the form of too little jump fuel in their jump bridge.

The trap that was initially thought to be sprung when they entered had been changed to when they exited. The Hydra fleet had been milling about the jump bridge while waiting for refueling when our Titan saw action. In one swift strike the once proud fleet was decimated to wrecks in a fiery blast.

As quick as the Titan had entered it was gone again.

This had concluded what had started as a dull Monday.