Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bless me Barnacles!

In the happiest of circumstances, we lose another good pilot to the most dreaded and indefatigable of antagonists : real life.

I’d not flown with BarnacleBoy007 long, but as he was a two+ year veteran of USYSC, I was surprised at the response (or lack thereof) at his early goodbye mail. We’d known he was getting married for some time, but hadn't realised his marital love-nest would be devoid of such modern amenities as interwebs. At this point I don’t want to dwell on mawkish sentimentality, but aside from being a thoroughly decent bloke, Barny would always be up for getting stuck into any fight with anything close to hand which had guns and a point, so a farewell roam seemed the very least that we could do.

Then it occurred to me – I was certain that in our rare plexing events, Barny mentioned being able enough to fly a carrier to trigger and escalation wave, but couldn’t do much else. Not actually owning a carrier relegated him to either flying ECM or salvage, however. I decided to rectify this situation and gave him an early wedding present: a fully rigged/fitted Archon (with contributions from William Walsh, Utari Onzo, Alzuule the fool, Fiestyone and O’nira – maraming salamat, my friends). I offered the gift with a small condition; that he’d fly it on his final night in Eve. United Systems Commonwealth would provide a sub-cap escort and we’d go down in a blaze of glory. “That would be awesome!” was his eager reply.

There were a couple of problems though. Firstly, the idea never struck me until the day before he was due to move house, so organising antagonists so close to the event might be problematic (especially so given it was to be on a Thursday). The second may not have been a problem, given our intentions, but Barny had only trained carrier skills to 2, having never actually needed them before, giving me the feeling that this was going to be a short event. Not rating our fleet’s chances of survival, I asked USYSC to turn up in T1 hulls (for insurance purposes) and themed it ‘Golden’, so Amarr ships all round. The choice was partially to match the Archon, but also I had an Abaddon sat in highsec for what must have been two years that I wanted to use, since I had always found the hull had an aesthetic appeal.  

Given that the idea was to die horribly in a fire, I thought the turnout would be slim, but either in mains, alt-form or both, Gabriela Arch, Fiestyone, ImmortalisMyst, William Walsh, Utari Onzo, Athanor Ruthoren, Vincent Jardanian, Oddic, O’nira, Tuscor, Sherpa Tsi and even Galmas (after he had gotten over his aversion of K-space) turned up to see Barny off. Mostly everyone was in Amarr ships too. Abaddons, Armageddons, an Apocalypse. The Augorors had been upgraded to guardians, but in addition, there was a Scorpion, Dominix and a Machariel.

As the fleet made its way to Aunenen, the call went out on various channels inviting more people along in-case the local hotdroppers didn’t notice us. Dracos Dozen had already notified us that they’d turn up with a small fleet to initially support us, but then get in on the fun later. I accepted their proposition, given that they were a small group, but when they turned up at our fleet location, I did have trouble convincing the guys not to shoot at them. RvB had got the message that something was going on, but had been suspicious that it was a trap. A couple of frigates showed up to reconnoitre the situation and I was hopeful that it would escalate from there. The appearance of a Pasta Syndicate Ishtar fleet may have put them off, however.

We were, of course, prepared for the likes of Pasta Syndicate and had anchored a mobile cyno jammer nearby the Archon. Predictably, the Ishtar primaried the structure, but along with the Archon, our logi was up to the task of keeping it up. The Ishtars switched targets and in short order, the Dracos Dozen fleet was left a series of smouldering ruins. Pasta’s fleet was supported by several Interceptors, which darted into close range before burning back out to where the Ishtars and their support Basilisks were drifting. Our Armageddons soon got wise to this and hit them with long range neuts, leaving them as helpless targets for the other Battleships. This cycle repeated for the best part of an hour, in which we lost a Scorpion and one mobile cyno jammer (which was quickly replaced). Other than that, all the Ishtars succeeded in doing was to keep our logi on their toes.

As they quit the field, Pasta decried our ‘perma-capped triage Archon’ in local. Oh, if only they knew. We even had some nobody from Hard Knocks claiming we should thank him for facilitating the Ishtar fleet. He’d turned up to whore on the carrier mail but obviously didn’t care about it enough to bring anything bigger than an interceptor. And after we’d turned up with the intention of losing a carrier, having it warp off the field unscathed provoked some delicious tears.

After such a long fight, derps were likely to come in at some point. I just didn’t expect for them to happen once the perceived had gone and the fleet were proceeding to dock up. Sherpa was eager to log and proceeded to warp his Dominix back to highsec. At this point, it might be worth mentioning that over the hour long fight, we burned a lot of security status (especially for Gabriela who was was happily smartbombing pods). Pasta syndicate were still in the area and had intercepted Sherpa at the gate as his suspect tag made him fair game. Otherwise, I was joking about how much I wished I had an mobile tractor unit, given the number of wrecks on the field (and not counting the hundreds of millions worth of abandoned drones). O’nira  actually went ahead and warped back to deploy one while the rest of the fleet were taking a break or logging off. Barny was one of those that logged, trading back the Archon and thanking everyone for a brilliant last night in Eve.

That was when we found our lurking hotdroppers. An Arazu decloaked and pointed O’nira’s Machariel as it returned to the battlefield, prompting undock orders on comms. The subsequent cyno then prompted orders of “Don’t warp!”. Local spiked as The Bastion jumped in to get a faction Battleship kill.

On the plus side, all those people who brought the Golden ships that were asked for got out without a scratch. Sadly, this also meant I didn’t cash in on my ship’s insurance after the value had inflated nicely after 2 years of gathering dust. Either way, there was content. Many thanks to Draco’s Dozen, the USYSC guys who could make it and apologies to those that couldn’t. And last but not least, best of luck to Barny with the wedding. I'm sure we’ll see you back in Eve soon.

I accidentally got the whole things on fraps. It's an hour long and watching Ishtars warp in and out for that hour doesn't make brilliant viewing. However, I've pulled some of the more eventful parts of the fight in regard to the comms - some derping and getting titan-bridged on with some transcription:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

No Content, Please. We're Funding SRP.

Chronologically, this all happened before “Three rounds with the champ” but it kind of got parked and forgotten about - probably because of posting 3 articles in 3 days, which made me take a bit of a break (plus I actually had some work to do). As fantastic as it is to have things to talk about that thick and fast, it was equally a relief to have things just slow down so people could chill. It sounds odd since we spend so much time in WH’s looking for PvP, that after a couple of days straight of it, that a lull would be most welcome – but probably only because of the intensity of what is now being referred to in United System’s Commonwealth as “Content Day”. The relief was pretty obvious logging into TS the next day:

Jay > Evening chaps
Alzuule > No
Jay > No?
Alzuule > No. No more content!

I’m not quite sure how I got the blame for all that, but there are worse things to be accused of! With things being less intense, we could worry about things like SRP. Normally, this is done from accumulating PvP loot and selling it to members or the market, which might not seem as robust a system as a lot of other people use (as well as being reliant on the members to loot wrecks and ensuring that said loot goes to the right place), but it seemed to be working out pretty well. ‘Content day’ did leave us with a few ships to be replaced, most notably an Archon. Apparently, we also lost a couple of Tengu’s from the pilot forgetting that he could jump through a wormhole. At the time, it was looking like there might be a bit of a hole in the SRP fund for all this.

This is where The Gorgon Spawn comes into things. It’s always interesting to see off-shoots of null entities jumping into WH space. We rolled into Gorgon Empire’s poorer cousins with an open mind. Could these guys be here to enhance the WH community and revel in the environment, using the convoluted chains of C5 space for PvP? No, they were there to farm. I seem to remember the Gorgons being Russian or at least eastern European, in the main, meaning their primetime was a couple of hours ahead of ours and indeed, it looked like we’d missed them ratting. Moros’ were sat at the POS’s, but what was interesting was that there were several mobile tractor units still in space. The sites were scouted and the MTU’s were there, but 300km off. Given that their dreads were fitted with rails, it looked like they were using the capitals at long range and leaving the MTU’s in the sites until the site despawned. We may have missed their fleet ratting, but we were in time to see one of their Loki’s emptying the MTU’s. A gank, for sure, but PvP loot all the same and enough to plug the gap in SRPing ‘Content day’. Thank you, Gorgon Spawn.

Then came Hyperion. Looking for content once more, scouts spotted a Lazerhawks tagged Vargur which must have been clearing a Gas site in a C5 magnetar, later confirmed by the appearance of 4 NPC wrecks and a pair of Lazerhawks prospects. That’s about where the confusion began. There were a lot of connections to that WH. What really didn’t help was that a significant number of them were the useless frigate wormholes that we can all thank CCP Fozzie for. 
“Isn’t Lazerhawks’ home a Pulsar?” 
“I thought it was a C6” 
“No, that C6 in here is a frigate hole.”

Galmas scouted the pulsar and found the Lazerhawks there with a few ships starting to assemble on the WH. I kept eyes in what would be their static, which was a magnetar. The rest of the fleet was moving through our static (which had a wolf-rayet effect) to the magnetar to try and catch some of the Lazerhawks and hope that things escalated. Galmas ordered the fleet to jump into the magnetar and align for the Lazerhawks hole when I spotted another fleet on D-scan. Viperfleet Inc’s tags alongside DE.NY’s distinctive [˄˅] and a special [Jez] tag for Disavowed’s resident special snowflake. It looked to be a small fleet of Gila’s and Ishtar’s and a Scimitar, but we had no idea where they were or where they came from. 
“They definitely live in a C6”,
“That one’s a Frigate hole…”

By the time we checked out the null (which did have a connection to a C6 – but through a frigate hole), there was no sign of the Disavowed fleet and the Lazerhawks had moved from the WH and the prospects had also left. Apparently, Lazerhawks had caught a Disavowed scout amid the confusion and the [Jez] tag on D-scan was replaced by Jezza Avada’s Capsule. The Lazerhawks own scouts had obviously spotted our fleet before we moved it back into our static (the wolf-rayet) and started to form up for a fight. They looked like they had similar numbers, so Galmas made the call for him and I to switch our respective Proteus and Loki for Bhaalgorns. The Bhaals stayed in our home system with a couple of guys who just logged in as the Lazerhawks made their way to the Wolf-Rayet to engage the ships that waited there for them. The Lazerhawks jumped through to the fleet, de-cloaked and started to engage just as our reserve landed on grid - perfect timing . With two Bhaalgorns on grid, I knew Galmas would focus on their Guardians, so I put neuts on a couple of the Proteus’ and a Tengu to reduce pressure on our logi.

As far as numbers went, it was pretty even. The Bhaalgorns swung things heavily in our favor and it started to look like more of a gank than a fight. Lazerhawks, facing the prospect of capped out logistics, ECM and hybrid dps jumped back out of the wolf-rayet, into the magnetar. I still had my Legion scout on that side, which decloaked and attempted to catch something on their rout. A few ships warped, but some stayed to engage the Legion as my Bhaalgorn waited to finish off a guardian that had strayed out of jump range on the other side. As the rest of the USYSC fleet followed the Lazerhawks, more ships decided against staying around, leaving a Proteus engaged with my Legion. The fleet managed to tackle the remaining two guardians and a Tengu as they dithered.

In the end, it was not much of a fight at all, but I made sure to thank the Lazerhawks for content. Incidentally, TFC seems to be spreading. I had a bit of a dual-boxing error while engaging Hole Control. in their home system in what was, initially, a decently balanced fight, until the point where they upped the ante with a Bhaalgorn, an Archon and a Thanatos. Broadly speaking, we were ready for this and jumped out into their C4 static. This was when I noticed my error in that my Legion was 30km off the WH in some random direction. Needless to say, it didn’t make it back, but as I warped the pod away, they did drop a “Thanks for content” in local, so despite losing a Legion (and electronic subs 5 L), I still felt pretty smug.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Three Rounds with the Champ

It's always fun logging onto TS to:

Jay> ‘ello
Fiestyone> Grab an armour assault frigate, if you’ve got one. Got some guys down the chain. Name linked in corp.
[user joined your channel]
Jay> Oh, it’s W.H.O.R.E.
Utari Onzo> Charming!
Jay> er, sorry mate. That was quite unfortunately timed.

Of course, what I meant was WormHole Occupation and Resource Exploitation by way of their charming acronym.  It wasn’t actually a Fozzie-hole (frigate WH), but owing to their small numbers online, they were in the process of arranging a frigate fight and had asked for no podding. Great. RvB in WH space. Oh, well - a fight is a fight.

Unfortunately, I was a little short on armour assault frigates. The only armour frigate I had available was an Astero, but figured I’d send an alt down another branch of the chain to bring in a Vengeance from K-Space. Even if it didn’t make it back for the fight, it might be handy if we find more Fozzie-holes. The RvB style arranged fight (with no podding) was taking so long to sort out, that I had to not only get to Dodixie but also to finish fitting the Vengeance. That was when we were informed that due to numbers they now had, they could upgrade to T1 cruisers.

Wonderful… Although we did have some T1 cruisers in the main POS. A while back, someone had the idea to put together a T1 doctrine with free ships and fittings that had never been used. There were indeed a bunch of Thorax’s, Augorors and Mallers – none of which were fitted and the module stockpile was missing a few vital items. We could put together some logi, but otherwise, things were very kitchen sink. Armour-Jaguar, Ishkur, 2 Augorors, Thorax along with my Stratios and the Vengeance that had made it back from Dodixie. The Stratios was about all I had available and the WH0RE guys didn’t seem to have a problem with faction as they were shipping into Navy Augorors themselves but had strangely requested no Ashimmu’s(but of course!). At which point I asked our scout/diplo if we couldn’t just have a good old fashioned T3 brawl and we’ll pay for their losses. I don’t think the suggestion was forwarded to them.

Round 1: We knew the Navy Augorors would be tough cookies but the key to the fight would be breaking their logi. Focusing on one of their Augorors, I set my dishonour drones on the other one. Very slowly, it started to break, but the second Augoror re-established a lock before his partner hit structure. By now, our own logi was under pressure from neuts. Mid-fight, I spotted a Merlin warp in. I suggested we could deal with it quickly and with our FC’s agreement, we made short work of it before one of our Augorors went down. After the other was forced to jump out and we lost the Ishkur, I found my Stratios being primaried. I wasn’t too keen on leaving 60m ISK’s worth of Geckos behind, but things were looking about as hairy as they get. I abandoned the Geckos and escaped with 19% hull. The Vengeance was still engaged and was able to scoop my drones back up before being forced off the field.

Round 1 to WormHole Occupation and Resource Exploitation.

It’s easy to say how rubbish arranged fights are after losing out like that, but the subsequent spontaneous skirmish was even worse. Scouts reported that WH0RE ships were jumping out of a direct null – Sacrilege, Myrmidon, Sleipnir. Those of us who were still around reshipped to shield-nano to try and catch something so we’d feel better about the bloody nose we’d gotten earlier. Athanor was ahead of me and had engaged the Sleipnir on a gate. At the other end of the system, I’d spotted the Myrm and another Sacrilege. Guys who were passing through their home system spotted a Harbinger, Hawk and a Zealot moving out to the null. The numbers weren't looking great but what was worse was how spread out and disorganised our fleet was. Athanor got caught out on the gate with the weapons timer and suddenly things looked like a really bad idea. Back on the WH to null, Oddic had engaged the Harbinger and got it into mid armour before having to disengage as the rest of their fleet turned up to assist.

Meanwhile, my Orthrus was moving slightly behind Feisty’s Gila to try to at least finish off the Harbinger. We landed 50km from the null WH in their home system, which happened to be right on top of their fleet. Keeping one eye on the range to each ship, I lit the micro-warpdrive and pulled range. Tackle landed on the Gila before it could move off and it went down as I lit up the Harbinger. The intention behind the shield ships was to kite the slower fleet and harry them down, but this is not an easy thing to try solo. The Harbinger hit structure as their Hawk burned out to tackle. My attention was more on the distance between him and me than anything else. I hit the micro-warpdrive and aligned away with the heavy missiles still heading for the stricken Harbinger. I was aware that if the Hawk got a scram on me, it’d be all over and Sacrilege’s could catch up. As it got close, a burst of neut and a flight of warrior drones dissuaded him to continue his pursuit. Crucially, he’d done enough to put me out of range of the Harbinger, which escaped in very low hull and I decided that was a good time to make my own exit.

Round 2 to WormHole Occupation and Resource Exploitation.

With tails firmly between our legs and running low on ships, it seemed like a good time for a break. By now, a couple more of our guys had logged in and we were explaining the whole embarrassing state of affairs to them over comms. That was when they got in contact again.

Feistyone> Sounds like they want a proper fight now.
Jay> Tell them it’s their turn to come to us. We’re not fucking around with these guys anymore. Tool up into armour T3’s.

It might have been fair to say that we might have lulled them into a false sense of security with our previous successive derps. Our scout reported 2 full neut legions, 3 guardians, Hurricane, 2 Proteus’, Sacrilege, Armageddon and an Absolution, which was more or less equivalent to our numbers with a couple of guys dual-boxing. I was keen to bring a HAM Legion to exploit the Black hole that was our static, but the Absolution was likely to be on-grid boosts. I decided to fight fire with fire and switched into the Eos along with a Loki.

From the off, we were looking light on dps, but with a HAM/Neut legion, 2 Tengu’s, plus Oddic’s Armageddon in reserve, I was pretty confident we could break their logi and we assembled the fleet (except the geddon) on our static. We knew they had eyes on us, and our scout followed them. They assembled on the other side at zero and I started to hatch a plan. The static had dropped to half mass after round 2 and I knew from earlier that they weren’t keen to fight in the black hole, so I ordered the fleet to jump. As we started to engage, I ordered the geddon to warp to the hole but the  WH0RE fleet jumped earlier than I expected. The only thing this changed was that we had shown our hand. I didn’t mind this in the position we were now in, but we now needed a HIC to pull off what I was planning. Oknos was having trouble re-shipping into his, but this was fine. For this to work, we’d need to wait for our polarisation timers. Given how tentative the other fleet was, I didn’t rate them going for a prolonged brawl but I intended to force the issue. 5 minutes later, Oknos was warping a Phobos over to the static and I ordered the fleet to jump back.

My first concern was the Armageddon. Along with the 2 Legions WH0RE had, they had the neuting potential to wreck our fleet. Their Guardians burned out to range as we engaged the geddon, but one of the three was caught close and webbed down. It was obvious from early on that our dps wouldn’t be able to burn down even a T1 hull while their guardians were still in play, especially with links active. We couldn’t even scratch it. I dropped the neuts from the Eos onto the stranded Guardian and damps on one of the orbiting pair while calling for the fleet  to switch dps to the close guardian. As it hit low armour, the reps landed and seemed to cancel out our dps. We needed this to work to tip the balance in our favour and I called for the fleet to overheat on it. It was agonisingly slow, with their reps heroically dragging the guardian back into mid armour after the damage started to bleed into hull, but it couldn’t hold. We’d done enough and as the guardian popped, the WH0RE fleet manoeuvred back to jump range – just as I had anticipated.

Jay> That’s it, they’re jumping out.
Fiestyone> You sure?
Jay> Yep, fleet jump-jump-jump.   

I’d been watching and listening out for that moment and our fleet managed to get ahead of some of their ships on the jump. As we decloaked to spread points, the wormhole collapsed. I love it when a plan comes together. really love it when a plan comes together. I’d like to say that it was the WH0RE geddon burning back to the hole and jumping heavy that made it collapse as it jumped behind our fleet, but the truth is I’m not sure what collapsed it. Either way, all of my fleet had made it to the other side, and the WH0RE fleet guardians were now trapped in our home system, cut-off from the rest of their fleet. Only one thing was missing to make the execution of said plan flawless…

Jay> Where’s that bubble?
Oknos> No cap

Fair play to WH0RE. It didn’t save them totally, but they’d seen the danger in the Phobos and had managed to get a few ships away while it was regaining cap. Here is where it really showed to me where USYSC had really improved as a group and the new and old pilots had got used to flying with each other. In this situation in so many previous engagements, we were lucky to catch one or two fleeing ships, but now points were being called loud and clear and therefore, spread efficiently. We quickly burned down the geddon, the hurricane and the Absolution as the last two WH0RE ships on grid burned in opposite directions out of the bubble Oknos finally managed to deploy. Feisty called that he was losing point on the Proteus and I moved the Loki to assist, the webs thwarting the Proteus’ escape. The Legion that had burned the other direction was about 70km off but the fleet had split up to keep each one tackled and to make sure there was no escape for either the Legion or the Proteus.

As we looted the field, Chesterfield Fancypantz convo’d me. We exchanged “gf’s” (I did make sure they were thanked for content in local) and he asked if there was a way out for his guardians. I told him we’d scan the new static for them. Since one of the guardian pilots was an ex-Blackstar member in Sool Nera, it was the least I could do. Our fleet managed to make its way back to K-space via a deep lowsec connection, but WH0RE’s stranded guardians had a more convoluted route to safety. Our new static happened to be Blue-Fire’s home system, and with their usual subtlety, they started shooting at our customs offices in between attempting to catch our scanners. I had to let them know that the fleet went balls deep, so no fight would be forthcoming until we fixed that. They let me know they only had 4 EOL nulls in the chain, which was kinda the end of that. The only other possibility seemed to the direct null into our home. Sure enough, the guardians were escorted 1 jump through null, through another C5 and into a direct lowsec 1 jump from highsec.

Thanks for the fun, WormHole Occupation and Resource Exploitation. Can’t wait for round 4.

P.S. Once again, no fraps. Apparently, my last efforts weren't HD enough, so apologies but this is all the fault of Alzuule and O'nira.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Sum of All Fuck Ups

Even for me, it's more of an abstract title for a blog entry than usual, so I’ll start by saying that at first glance, it may be slightly misleading. So, a small explanation: It’s not referring to a monumental catastrophe that happened through a series of terrible mistakes, but rather a play on reddit’s TIFU (today I fucked up) threads, which a corpie introduced me to a while back, combined with Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears, in which I suppose the protagonist, at least in some of guises can be called a spy.

Earlier in the week, I’d sold a toon that could fly everything sub-cap. Once again, I’d probably done this way too early as a while back I sold a perfect carrier toon months before any of my remaining toons were even thinking about sitting in carriers (and a week before I moved back into a C5). Then a couple of guys brought in some black ops battleships for the usual hotdropping fun. I thought this was great news until it dawned on me I’d just got rid of my blops pilot and the two characters I had left didn’t even have recon ships trained up to a respectable level. However, there was the option of bridging with a Crane incase someone needed jump fuel…

Now, in real life, one of my former colleagues introduced me to one of the new starters as a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’, which I took a slight offence to as it would imply the sentence should be affixed with: ‘master of none’. Sadly, in Eve, convoluted and ridiculously long training plans have meant that Jay is a Jack-of-all-trades toon and master only of the minmatar cruiser. As far as black ops goes, this isn’t terrible news since a Rapier is handy to have around on a hotdrop, if I would spend something like 4 days training it up to level 4 – except that would have interfered with other plans (like actually training some skills that would justify buying a Naglfar).

That was when I realised there was a more expensive alternative; yet another Loki! I hadn’t flown a covert ops fit loki for a while and was becoming bored of the Stratios and fit one up from a hull I had lying around. I’m actually a big fan of the Loki aesthetically, which is handy when you can’t fly any of the other T3’s and I’d taken to using my new toy as much as I could, instead of the scouting Legion on my other toon. Besides, what sounds cooler than a “Cloaky-Loki”? Not many other ships have the same assonant charm when describing their fit/function.

So it’s a quiet night in the chain. There’s a Euro football match on, so corp chat is quieter as a consequence but there is a couple of highsec connections which people exploit for a couple of trips to the market hubs. Galmas uses to opportunity to replace a Bhaalgorn he lost in a fight with Sleeper Social Club. O’nira is already in Jita and offers to haul in things for people, but has no room for the Bhaalgorn hull. This isn’t a worry, since there is one fairly cheap nearby one of the other highsec connections, so the mods get bought in Jita while the ship itself is flown in through a different route. While this is going on, I’m buzzing around the chain in my cloaky-loki (and not a legion), which conveniently puts me in the perfect place to scout the bhaalgorn home.

At this point, it is completely unfit – not even any rigs, but the chain was quiet and I’d not seen anything on my way through. Galmas jumps in from highsec and I throw him a web-warp just to get the vulnerable ship home quicker and warp after him towards the connection with the static. The cloaky-loki is about to land when I hear “Oh. Disavowed are here.” A cloaky-proteus (see, doesn’t have the same ring to it) had arrived on the WH at the same time as the Bhaalgorn and subsequently de-cloaked. There was about 10 seconds of all three pilots sitting there, each wondering quite how precarious the situation was. From Disavowed’s point of view, the Bhaalgorn could turn the Proteus into a floating spectator in a one-sided fight, at least until the inevitable back-up arrived. From our point of view, it looked quite different. We had no idea where they had connected to, so the safest option would have been to warp back to highsec and hope it wasn’t bubbled. The proteus obviously had faith in his reinforcements and put a point on the Bhaalgorn before we could take the safe option, forcing Galmas to jump.

Apparently, the cloaky-loki’s autocannons weren’t enough to grab the attention of the Proteus and it jumped after Galmas, which left me a second or so behind. This meant that Galmas was pointed jump before I was able to webwarp him. Discouraging the tackler with point/webs/dps probably wasn’t going to work at this point, since there was no response from the Bhaalgorn, but it was about the only option I had aside from wishing I was in the Legion instead of the Loki. Neuts would have all but guaranteed the escape from a single Proteus. Here’s where my multi-tasking prowess fell down a little. I was trying to log in said Legion while putting point/webs/dps on the tackler, but in my haste I hadn’t unlocked Galmas and the point went on him for a cycle (along with the webs from the failed web-warp). As I rectified the situation, a Negative Density Proteus jumped in (oh, apparently Negative Density have joined Disavowed). At this point, I started to wonder how much neuts might have been in the system where Galmas had bought the Bhaalgorn.

Prompted by the panicked screams being broadcast via teamspeak, O’nira had turned up with a Falcon and Sherpa also reinforced us with his own Proteus. Even with ECM, we weren’t able to save the beleaguered Bhaalgorn. O’nira only managed to jam both the DE-NY proteus’ after their target had popped. By now, I had put some distance between me and the hole, but Sherpa was at blaster range just as the rest of the Disavowed fleet jumped in, adding a Proteus loss to the night’s woes as I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and found my way back home.

“Ah, the Spy strikes again!” It had completely passed me by that my little miss-click would put me firmly on Galmas’ Bhaalgorn loss as an involved party. I’d already received plenty of ‘spy’ banter from the Marmite Collective connection just after I joined USYSC, but tonight’s derpage was about to trigger another round.
“Jay, isn’t that your old alliance?”
“er, yeah.”
“Is that why you tackled Galmas?”
“Wait, what? No, I can explain!”

Realistically, it made no difference. I’d have provided an ‘assist’ from the webs but as the point showed rather than the webs, the casual observer might think it suspicious. For us, it was a good way to make light of a good number of things that just plain should not have happened.

Ah, well. At least I christened the new cloaky-loki with a killmail. Even if it was my own CEO.