Hurry Up!

“Drake and Rifter on the gate. Proceeding the tackle the Drake.”

The two enemy ships were sitting on the gate, waiting for a chance like this, a lone ship coming through to them.

“Roger. Be aware that we are three jumps away. We may be sometime.”. The response from the fleet commander was expected. I was the advance scout afterall.

Engaging the microwarp drive I settled into a wide orbit around the Drake, outside neutralizer range, and kept an eye on the Rifter. How long before they realised I was going to be on my own for a while.

We’d put together a 20 man shield tanked fleet with a few logistics and some tackle to counter a similar sized red fleet in Atioth/K-I. When we got there, they ran. A bit disappointing but one thing I’ve noticed is that whereas we are prepared to engage with around even numbers, even slightly less if we are in the mood, a lot of our foes aren’t. Its a bit disappointing, but does give us a few easy kills as we snag the one that was slow getting away from the gate.

The gang headed down towards N-RAEL so we followed them. Trying to bait with a single Drake. I know, I know, “a bait Drake is a bait Drake”. Sadly we weren’t successful. We lost a stealth bomber in a bubble in N-RAEL but by the time the rest of the fleet arrived they were already running.

No success so far. Time to head towards Solar Wing carebear space in Insmother. This would take us through I6- which was usually good for a fight.

As I was in the warp boosted Ares I took point and burned towards I6- keeping a couple of systems ahead of the main fleet. The route through to K-I was clear and I jumped into I6-.

Five reds in system. As the grid loaded there was a Drake and a Rifter 20km from me on the gate. I thought for a couple of seconds then decided to try for the Drake. I hit orbit, the MWD, and the warp disruptor. I had the Drake tackled.

“Watch out for the Rifter.”, came from the FC. I was keeping an eye on both ships. I knew that as long as I stayed at my current orbit range (26km) I was probably safe from the Drake, but the Rifter was another prospect. The paper-thin tank on the Ares wouldn’t last too long if he managed to close on me.

No response from either of the reds. Strange. I would have expected something. I kept up the orbit and started hitting it with the 125mm railguns. Hardly worth it at this range, his shields barely noticed the rounds hitting him.

Another Drake warped in. Then almost immediately warped off.

A friendly Scimitar jumped in and locked me up.

“I’ve got you if they engage.”

The fleet was still two systems away but almost at the gate.

The Rifter warped off. I kept the point on the Drake. Two more reds entered local.

“We are jumping into K-I”.

“Keep some tackle in K-I. In case he jumps through.”

“Drake is moving off the gate.”

The fleet was close now and, without being able to jump through, we would get this Drake.

Two reds warped in; the Rifter from earlier and a Falcon. They all locked me up and the Falcon  jammed me. Now the Drake I’d tackled started shooting. No damage, but why wait until now. The reason for the Drake moving was clear he waiting for the other ships to align and all three warped off. Just as our fleet began to jump in.

I’d almost managed to hold tackle for the time it took for the fleet to arrive. What I don’t understand was why the Rifter didn’t engage. If he’d come towards me I’d have had to back off. I couldn’t have let him get in scram range. I guess he was thinking that I’d switch the point to him and have a better chance of killing him than the Drake.

The other thing that puzzled me was that once the Drake knew that the Falcon was on the way and it started to align why it didn’t engage straight away. Why wait for the Falcon to arrive and jam me before doing that? Again, if he’d managed to start hitting me, it might have meant that I’d have to leave.

The rest of the roam was fairly uneventful. The reds seem to have got wise to us and flee to POS as soon as we enter system. Still we did bag a Cheetah on the way back, and I pointed the Pod so it wasn’t a complete loss.

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