Mike looked at the insurance notice and smiled. He had not insured the ship yet, though he had meant to when he got to the border to lowsec. He never got there. It was supposed to be a ‘date’ He and she would go see what they could do about the low opinion that Concord had for her by hunting for a while.
He had fit out a perfectly nice hurricane for the occasion, to match hers. He’d considered taking some other ships but he hated being left behind while she whipped across the sky, laughing. So a Cane it was. 20 jumps became 15 became 10 when the call went out.
[Calling all pilots . . . a major Sansha incursion is confirmed in Zith. A second one is also confirmed in Hebisa. We will make our stand in Zith. All pilots report in . . . ]
He looked at the call and then at his map . . . he pictured her in his mind . . . and jumped again, closer to where the date would start. Two more jumps and the call was repeated., only more urgently. And he picked up comms that people he knew, flew with, were already in the fight. While it had been an impersonal thing he could live with bypassing it to be with her. This was . . . personal.
Growling to himself he turned the ship and headed straight for Zith. He opened comms and called out that he was incoming and was swept up into the fleet. He breathed a sigh of relief when names lept out at him that he knew. Hardins calm voice was giving orders and herding the fleet so Mike had no trouble with jumping right into the fray.
The overview exploded with targets and allies. It was huge and the sky was already littered with wrecks. Opportunistic scavengers scooted in little frigates trying to rob the dead while the battle still raged. Some of their ships added to the chaos. As reports of logis being targeted filtered in he checked the tagged targets and went after them, guns blazing.
He stayed active for about two minutes before the Sansha took their toll of his ship. He managed to hit the call for shields, as his vaporized. Armor and hull swiftly followed but he was already initiating warp so his pod escaped. He got to a safe and then out of the system and headed for a LONG trip to get a scimi and come back.
The fleet retreated soon after Mike lost his ship though the two events were unrelated in everything except the fact that the Sansha were very strong in force, this time. The calls were going up for logistics and that was something Mike knew how to do. So on the long series of jumps he went while the fleet licked its wounds and compared notes. He was halfway back in the Bandaid (His scimitar) when they went back in.
Listening to the comms of a battle that you are missing is agony. Hardin asked that people dying not jam the channels as their ships burned . . . cold, but necessary. Basilisk pilots tried desperately to keep a steady cap chain in the face of overwhelming fire power. “Faster . . . FASTER!” Mike yelled as they went to warp-jump-warp-jump. As he flew hecalled out in local after local for more targets. For the most part his words fell on deaf ears. At worst, the few that listened just saw the opportunity for scavenging.
Finally arriving he again warped to his allies and the battle raged on.
One of . . . two standard Kundalini class motherships and what had now been designated as a Nation class vessel. Resists in the 80’s across the board, used energy neuts, an ecm burst, and fighters along with fighter bombers. The subclass pilots were at a distinct disadvantage. This time retreat was called when half the basilisks had been swept from the sky by alpha strikes that defied the other logistics from being able to do anything more than blink and wonder if they were next. The ecm would blow the cap chains asunder and the loss of ships magnified the problem.
“Fall back to Tew” Hardin did his best not to leave anybody behind, with limited success. While they were in Tew the Sansha decided that the lesson had been hammered home and they left, not were forced out, just withdrew back into their controlled and guided wormhole. It was over.
Some might bemoan the loss of the battle. Others might whine about their loss of ships and assets. The fleet did neither. They discussed what had and had not worked. They brainstormed ideas and concepts to make sure that the next time the fleet performed better, had fewer losses. They learned and reinforced the learning.
Mike felt the loss of the ship, to be sure. The paltry sum he received from the insurance agency was almost taunting. But what he mainly felt was pride. The pride of knowing that he had done the right thing and done it with like minded people.
If you go to a Live event, fly something you can afford to lose. I know that is one of the general rules of Eve but even more so in the events. Losing the Cane hurt becuse I had just finished fitting the damn thing.
I have been watching FC’s a lot and am slowly making notes of do’s and don’ts. Funny thing I most of the FC I fly with haven’t got a lot of ‘don’ts’ to show me.
Draw for the ship is in just a few hours.
fly it like you won it