The Payoff

The Eris class Interdictor flashed through space, warp engines pushed to their limit. The fleet we’d engaged earlier was one system away. We had to get to the gate before they did.

After escaping from my Astarte loss with my pod intact I made my way back to our Empire home to refit. The enemy fleet was still in our space and the fleet was in the process of recruiting more, and re-shipping to take them on.

I looked through my hanger and picked up an Eris class Interdictor. The enemy fleet was BS heavy, it would be useful to catch them on the gate in a bubble. It was also the most appropriate ship I had to hand.

The delay between changing ships seemed to take forever but I was soon back out in space and headed back down to D-I. The enemy fleet had disappeared. In the flight from them our scout had lost sight of them. Scouts were out in the nearby systems looking for them.

“Sabre on scan in Atioth”

We moved to the Atioth gate.

“He’s landing on the gate.”, we waited in anticipation for it to jump through, “He’s orbiting the gate”.

“Jump through and tackle him.”

I jumped, burned for the Sabre and dropped a bubble. It was caught in the bubble preventing it from warping off. It tried to burn clear when the rest of the fleet began to get locks.

“Point.”, one of the other pilots called as I settled into a wide orbit throwing shells across the void. It shuddered under the onslaught from our combined firepower and quickly melted. The pod appeared and vanished in a blaze of fire. One down.

We continued to look around the local systems for the rest of the fleet. Then there were reports of part of it in the pipe towards our low-sec entry system. It would be long chase to catch them, but that wasn’t our only option. We headed to our jump bridge system and ahead of them. In the meantime we’d managed to get a scout get eyes on their fleet.

As we arrived in BWF they were reported two jumps away in BND. They’d most likely come through IOO so we headed for that gate.

“Enemy fleet has jumped IOO”

“Jump on contact. See if you can catch them.”

The IOO was still some distance off. Seconds seemed to stretch with the anticipation of the encounter.

“Enemy fleet has left BND gate”

The warp started to slow. The countdown to normal space began as the speed and distance decreased. Luckly our starting point meant that I hadn’t had to warp to a load up off the gate to avoid bubbles.

I clicked jump and waited…

and waited…

Damn! Of all the time to lag. I spammed the jump button and the cycle started.

The grid loaded in IOO. On it was the enemy fleet. I burned for the gate, flipping on the MWD, as I reached it I dropped a bubble. It was a good drop, most them were caught in it. The first target called was a Guardian, but I couldn’t get onto that quick enough to do any damage. Next was a Megathron I started orbiting and shooting. To be honest I wasn’t contributing much to the overall damage done but every bit helps.

Then the targets started being called thick and fast. One after another going down. There was a Vagabond getting away. I dropped an ECM drone and tried to get close enough to bubble him. I wish I’d enough mid slots to carry a point but, with only two, I chose a shield extender everytime. Initially it looked as though the drone was working but then I got hit by a volley that took away my shields. Someone had point now, so I tried to warp off. Not quick enough. For the second time in the evening I was sitting in a pod.

I could see the Vaga locking me, but managed to warp off before he had chance to fire. Seconds later he exploded.

Once the combat was over I got back to the gate to look at the wrecks. It had been a good battle. The initial bubble had stopped them warping off and we’d brought enough to kill most of their fleet. The remainder had fled back down the pipe.

Overall I probably broke even with the two losses and my share of the Golem loot. I was up on the killboard though and gaining a reputation for taking part in ops.

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