Wardecs to WH corporations are nothing more than an irritation.
Normally, we'd have little cause to travel around in highsec unless we were buying ships. Fuel stuffs I tend to haul on an out of corp alt anyway, but for whatever reason, we found that our old friends The Marmite Collective were at war with us again.
Among ourselves, we had a sweep-stake on who would be the first to forget that we had a wardec. I don't think any of us would have guessed that Myst would go AFK on our way back from an op with No Vacancies which went tits up, losing his sabre and pod.
As far as the op itself went, NVACA had found some guys ratting with an open lowsec but had sent in the tackle before any of the dps was ready, let alone in the lowsec system. Or even 3 jumps out. I wont go into how that worked out. The only 'eventful' thing to happen was someone poked me on TS to say: "Enigma Project are still a thing? Thought you guys were a PvE corp."
"Still a thing? Never were." I replied, realizing any in-jokes or irony would be lost on whoever it was.
And I had no idea who the guy was or how upset he was with us, until he started shooting at Enigma Project ships on the lowsec wormhole, along with a certain Peter Moonlight. Then it started making a little more sense. Our buddy Pete got quite precious over a post Odi made of the WH forums after he had somehow made a connection with what Odi had said and Lazerhawks, who Petey was a member of at the time. He accused us of rolling away from them, which just plain didn't happen. The guys we rolled was Peter's farming corp, when it was obvious we weren't going to get any content out of them. Is that enough for a guy to be so mad he shoots people joining a diplo-channel organised op? You'd have thought 'no', but maybe his cohort, Luft Reich would have better reason.
Now, I had no idea who that guy was, but I did look him up on eve who just to make sure I didn't know him, but if the comments are anything to go by, he's a class act. Eve Who isn't the kind of site where you use the comments for high praise either and this guy has quite a few comments on his page. My personal favorite is "runs away in logi". Something I've only seen once before, when Isogen 5 were flying logi for us on a joint op.
I may have digressed a little, but the fact of the matter was we were now losing the war with 2 losses (the sabre and the pod) valued at 88mil. Sure, not the end of the world and not really something a WH corp would care greatly about, but I had to redress the balance as a matter of pride. So I set off in my Bustard.
Of course, there is more to it than that, but all in good time! It had confused the good folk of 13. as well. I had a second fleet up and people were asking which one to join. I didn't want to bring anyone with me though. The last time we had a tangle with Marmite, we brought a WH space T3 fleet and ganked 3ulldog's shitfit loki hard. Knowing then what I know now, my Proteus could have quite happily solo'd that gatecamp. The thing with these highsec 'mercenaries' is they don't gear their ships for PvP. There's a lot of sensor boosters with tank and dps added as an after thought. The sebos are necessary though. I mean, if you can't get on that hauler killmail, what kind of merc are you? And it's highsec, so nothing shoots back and is probably AFK anyway.
Hence the choice of the bustard. Firstly, if you want to lull someone into a false sense of security, don't change their routine. Autopiloting haulers are the bread and butter of the crème de la crème of highsec PvP, the Marmite Collective. Nice, expensive targets that don't return fire. While the bustard may not be the ne plus ultra of their preferred targets, I had to give myself a bit of a chance and while you can fit an almighty tank on these ships, the armament of 2 missile launchers, should you choose to use them, leaves a lot to be desired. I chose not to use them.
Earlier, I'd spotted a gang from Gate is Red moving up the Amarr pipe from the Kamio, but by the time the ponderous bustard had arrived, there was no sign of my quarry. I knew they tended to operate closer to Dodixie, so I headed that way. From the Amarr pipe, the route takes you past Uedama, the headquarters of the Marmite Collective, but as I passed, the bustard continued unmolested.
2 more jumps and I'd found a Cynabal sat alone on a gate. Perfect! As he was alone, he'd have to call for help to keep the bustard tackled just in-case he missed bumping it of the alignment for the warp. He didn't disappoint. He bumped away like a trooper, missing only a couple as I made an effort to do my best impression of a big fish flopping helplessly on the deck of the boat that just landed the catch. There was probably a couple of occasions I could have warped off, but that didn't deter our friend, who was soon joined by 2 garmurs, a svipul, confessor, stilletto and a broadsword, who all joined in with the tackle.
The whole plan was predicated on giving the appearance that there was no threat and get them to redbox. They got hold of the cheese, so now it was time spring the trap. I personally would have thought that guys who live in highsec would know their mechanics better than someone who's lived in wormhole space. Especially when people pay them ISK for that kind of thing. But maybe they didn't see my out of corp alt in the Bowhead steaming towards the bustard as they piled the points on. The ship hangar of the Bowhead contained my flagship; The Locust Star. A 425mm autocannon Loki, built lovingly by my own hands (as far as the industry interface allows you to actually build stuff).
I knew what was going to happen before I even set off for highsec. At the first sign of something that shoots back, their gang would be gone quicker than Usain Bolt on rocket skates. Which was why the Loki was perfect. A shade over 700dps with webs and point to over 30km. The 425's provide that little extra range and in concert with the webs as well as a target too panicked to worry about transversal, tracking is not an issue. I hadn't expected 7 ships on grid, but if they were to stick around, it might be a good fight. My plan was to go for the Cynabal, give the value in comparison to the other ships, but I opted to go for quantity rather than quality. Plus, I thought it was reasonable to assume the Garmur might have been shiny. Well, a little, but the value from the loot he hadn't dropped off at station made up for the lack of anything substantial (which includes tank!).
Next was a Svipul, which tanked slightly as the ancillary shield boosters kicked in, but only as a token gesture. The speed and agility dual nano's might provide don't help when you burn away in a straight line.
A quick scan of the field showed that the stiletto had done his best brave Sir Robin impression while the other Garmur was seriously testing how big the new grids can extend to. Sadly, the Broadsword and Cynabal were pushing 50km with no sign of slowing down, leaving just one poor Confessor to fend for itself. Which didn't work out too well. At least that one looked more like a PvP fit. I'd like to say that he stayed to fight, but it's because he couldn't run away as fast as the others with his afterburner. The Confessor's explosions punctuated the end of the fight, but to Marmite's credit, they had depleted my shields.
I thanked them for content and made my way home, but I have to say that a small part of me was hoping they wouldn't fall for something so simple, yet the vast majority of me was overwhelmingly smug that they did. As well as the fact that war report ended with us being positive on both kills and ISK.