The Glacier slowly slid into the docking bay and a little while later Mike stepped out of the ship and headed for the nearest bar. Being a University Station, he knew he would have no problem finding one. He was right.
The place was full of people celebrating, the Sansha had been driven out of Obray and things were returning to normal. The alert sirens were silenced and the threat of kidnapping was quickly fading in a deluge of alcohol. Mike slid to the bar and grabbed a stool. The noise was high so he just pointed to a bottle on the shelf and a shot was poured. He leaned forward and listened to the chatter around him.
“It is all about bringing the damage to the field . . . it is what I have been saying all along.” One ‘armchair commander’ opined. “When they had enough people in system they finally took the fight to them and swept the system clean.”
“Nope.” Mike interrupted, disliking false information to be spread. “Not how it happened. Oh the guns played a part but that was not the weapons that finished this incursion.”
“Like you’d know . . . ”
“I know one or two things about it. The key was not the weapons.”
“I suppose you are going to tell me it was support? Or maybe it was logistics?” The speaker had been celebrating hard and was almost belligerent.
“They helped, too.” Mike admitted. “But the key was communication and organization. I was in one of the smaller fleets when the Sansha showed that they were on the ropes. First thing we did was start to form up, to make a big enough fleet to handle the final push.”
“Oh. Listen to the big ‘hero’.” Sarcasm dripped from his voice.
“Nah, I just was there, not a hero, just a grunt who knows how to fit a ship to be welcome and knows how to listen when orders are give. Not a hero at all. But I ain’t a scavenger and I WAS there.” Mike poked a finger into the chest of the student and gave him a subtle shove.
“What do you mean, fit a ship to be welcome?” Another person, nearby, asked, trying to redirect the conversation away from the obvious violence it was heading for.
“I was flying with 5cott. Good man, well organized. Wedgetail showed up just as the Sansha were reeling. He was the #1 pilot in Algintal. 5cott made the top ten there, as well. Me, well I travel about . . . I was there but nothing to write home about.” He shot back his drink and nodded to the bartender for a refill. “Well we knew that we had to have the right MIX of ships. Anybody who thinks ‘more guns’ in the way to go is gonna be limping home in a pod, if he is lucky.”
Mike ticked them off on his fingers. “HACS (heavy assualts), Logis (guardians are nice), Sniper Battleships, and Jammers. The last is what I was in. A slow as molasses Scorpion. We also had a command ship or two. There be about 54 in the fleet when we went in and the reception was rough.”
“But the guns blew them all away!”
“We did shoot some of the incoming but mainly we focused on what the real mission was. This is not just a stand-up battle, last man standing wins. We had to get hacking to stop their plans and then get to their main ship before it blew. Moving the pieces in the mission demanded more than just ‘destroy them all’ mentality. Wedge, Julianus, and others had a good plan going in, had tractor beams and hacking modules fitted. We finished in quick time because we had that plan and stuck to it. When the fighter bombers hit the field we nailed ’em before they could bring too much pain.”
“So you sat safely in the background and watched?” sneered his critic.
Mike nodded. “Pretty much, that was my job. I kept the Sansha battleship systems scrambled and made myself an irritation. They didn’t like that and shot at me instead of smaller ships. My job was confusion and bait.” He looked into his drink for a moment. “One of the other scorps did too good a job. Commander Raymond drew more fire than he was ready for and was destroyed.” He raised the drink and tossed it off and set the glass down for a refill. “To lost friends and crew”
The bar was getting quieter as folks realized that this might actually be someone who was there. “So where are the rest of the pilots?” Someone asked. “The other people who fought in that fleet?”
“A lot of them headed off for lowsec, last I heard. Some decided to give their men and women time to stand down. I brought my people here.” He shrugged. After this I am gonna find a fast ship and go visit someone to take the edge off.” He smiled wolfishly.
“So what kind of ship is a Scorpion?” A sweet young missy asked, tossing her hair back.
“Well the Glacier, she be an Jammer with an armor tank, buffer, not active, because that be welcome in the smart fleets. I can take a hit and keep on coming and I can distract the battleships on the field long enough for the HACS to finish off the smaller garbage. We knows that the Sansha don’t like the White Noise so that is what I loaded up with. A couple o’ defenders in the top to keep any o their incoming torps busy, an auto targetter to increase the number of Sansha ships whose day I can ruin and to get re-locks when they burst us.”
“Ya, they play smart and they was using ECM against us as well. I got cap drained for a while but the logis to made short work of that and the amount of damage I was taking. If I started taking armor damage I just sent out a call and they was right on the money.”
“Don’t you mean shield?”
“I said I was armor tanked. I wouldn’t bother any logi ship till I was taking hits where it hurt. Shields was just icing on the Glaciers cake. Ya don’t call for help till you needs it because someone else might need it more right at that moment. I had a damage control and enough plating to build a small town. I could soak up a bit of damage which would give the good folks time to send some lovin my way. Which they did. To Logis, Oneiros or Guardians, I loves ya both.” He tossed back his third shot and smiled at the young miss who seemed to be standing closer, now.
“When the Sansha ship was on its last legs, you should have seen the scavengers. Every lowlife who wouldn’t join to fight was there, hoping to scoop up prizes. So many salvagers and jackals, following the lions like Wedge, 5cott and Julianus. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they had agents tracking them on a regular basis. Me, I don’t merit followin at all.”
“Oh I don’t know about that . . . ” The missy was definitely closer now.
“So what sort of reward is there for doing something like that.” A voice from the crowd asked.
“Well, I paid off my ship . . . and gots a bit left over to celebrate.” Mike leaned back and grinned. “So, who here knows how ta dance?”
I don’t claim to be the expert on ship fitting, and I ran a cheap scorp and slowly am modifying it as the isk returns. But if you get a good fleet with a competent commander . . . you will make isk. A thrasher in our fleet was part of Gallente Hero channel and was amazed . . . 14000 lp from concord and about 57 million in isk after we sent payments to the people who lost ships. Yes, we even had a reimbursement in fleet. No, there was no way to enforce it . . . except the FC and others would take note of people who did not pay out and it is VERY doubtful they will be welcome in another fleet. .
That is the thing about Eve, isn’t it? You are build a reputation, be it good or bad, depends on how you play.
I will try to get a decent fit for the guardian and the oneiros for the next post, then see what I can find for the HACS that have been active. But I cannot emphasize this enough. YES, you need good ships but more important is the commands behind those ships. From a simple countdown to launch so we arrive on the field in a slightly staggered order all the way through making sure we have the best boosts and adapt to possible bugs in the system.
Auto Targeting System II
2x Standard Missile Launcher I (Defender I)
2x Heavy ‘Ghoul’ Energy Siphon I
8x ‘Shade’ I White Noise ECM
2x 1600mm Reinforced Nanofiber Plates I
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Large Trimark Armor Pump I