Intercept!

“Mayday! Mayday! Under attack. Its a Retribution. Please He…….”

Comms fell silent.

I pointed the interceptor ‘Gesture of Disdain’ towards the gate to see if I could find the assailant. Jumping through all I found was the wreck of the cruiser.

We had the usual irritants in our constellation. They were hopping around, in mostly cloaked ships, trying to pick of the unwary or terminally stupid. Eventually a fleet was formed and we set about clearing them out.

Looking at the fleet make up I picked a Taranis as my weapon for the day. Its fast locking abilities would be needed with the rest of the fleet being primarily T1 cruisers.

The fleet was split between systems, as were the reds. I was hopping between safe spots in our gateway system, keeping out of harms way whilst waiting for a location to go to. The reds had a Sabre with a bubble up on the gate to our main system.

Suddenly they dropped the bubble, as reported by our cloaked FC, and began jumping through the gate. I moved to the gate and started a close orbit. Suddenly more ships started entering the system, neutrals. Local climbed 10 .. 20 .. 30 .. 32. Damn that’s a lot of ships. I bailed from the gate and went back to safe hopping.

The neutrals were from a corporation that used to occupy these systems. From the reports of ship types from the FC this was a show of strength. We decided not to engage with the current fleet, no sense in giving easy kills.

The neutrals moved from one system to another. Sitting outside each station for a few minutes before moving on. Then, not having found any targets, they jumped out.

The one thing that it had done was force the reds to hit their own safe spots. They were blind, just able to report on the systems they were in.

A fleet member moved to the other side of the gate in a cruiser and was engaged by two reds. An assault ship and a recon. The Mayday went out and I burned for the gate ready to jump in to help.

“Popped and podded”

I jumped through with the FC. We could see the wreck but the assailants were long gone.

“Engaged Arbitrator outside station”, came the call from another cruiser pilot.

I selected to warp to the cruiser at 0 and my interceptor flashed through space.

“Taking damage.”

“Hold on till we get there.”

Dropping out of warp I was 28 km from the target. I quickly hit the MWD and started closing the distance priming my warp disruptor and blasters. I waited until inside disruptor range and started to target the assault ship. Locked, disrupted and my guns barked into life. I might waste a few rounds until I got into effective range of the Null ammo but I wasn’t worried about that. I dropped my drones and they joined in.

As I settled into a close orbit an enemy Recon appeared and both it and the locked Arbitrator started raining fire down on my ship. The Arbitrator’s shields were down and armour rapidly disappearing. Mine were too. This was going to be touch and go. The Arbi went into hull and the structure began to collapse. My armour disappeared and I picked a tactical warp point and hit my drive. Just as I aligned the Arbitrator exploded and my warp got me away from the recon.

Seeing his friend was no more, the recon pilot warped off.

The reds started leaving system. I quickly picked up my drones and we followed them out. They hopped around a little and we almost had them on a couple of gates but, in the end, they left the constellation and we could resume normal operations.

It had taken a little while to get the fleet together, and the attendance wasn’t good considering the number of alliance pilots online, but we’d had another success. Hopefully this and the previous ones will embolden some of our other pilots to join up. The more we have the less chance you have of being the one that loses a ship.

As a bonus I had the kill mail. Looking at it I not only got the last shot but also did the most damage. That’s the first real combat I’ve done in the Taranis and it turned out pretty well. It’s nice to know that I only need to worry once I’m into structure. I just need to fit a couple of rigs. Any suggestions?

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