Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sabre Down

                After finishing my meeting for the night I head out of my quarters to my pod.  Slipping into the pod and prepare my mind to link to the interface of the pod.  I close my eyes and reach out with my mind to the main system and establish the final connect to the pod.  All of a sudden the world goes black and there is nothing….no sound….no smells….no sights…..
                The interface finishes establishing and now I can see and hear through my pods sensors, this part is always a little odd for a few seconds until the mind can make sense of things.  I scan the area around my pod and send the message to the docking manager to prepare my hound class stealthbomber for pod interfacing.
                My hound comes into the hanger and I watch it from inside my pod as the docking sequence initiates.  Once mated with my hounds systems I get updates on the ships systems and I send the mental command to prepare for launch and run the diagnostics on all the ships systems.
                I disable my sensor dampener module and activate the bomb launcher to make sure that I can bomb a target should I need to.  I had the launcher turned off on my last operation to make sure that I could have my sensor dampener online but I don’t believe I will need it for this operation so I have decided to turn it off and keep my target painter active if I need to use my torpedo launchers.
                Now that the systems checks have finished I send out the command to undock my ship from the outpost and head down the docking bay launch tube.  Once outside I set course for the next system and send my ship into warp, activating my covert cloak once I am clear of the outpost.  I jump into the system and set course for the jump bridge into the ice mining system where my corps mining operation will occur in a few minutes.  As the CEO I kinda have to partake given that I am the one that called for a corp level operation.  Given that I don’t have any mining skills I have elected to stay point forward in the next system to watch for hostiles that may try to attack our mining operation.
                Jumping in P-Z I see not only a dozen of my corp members but nearly 20 other alliance members in the system,  always nice when you have 30+ friendlies in local for your operation.  I set course for the stargate into the X-9 system and prepare to set up in over watch position on the P-Z gate.  My ship is suddenly pulled out of warp over 40 km from the gate by the warp disruption bubbles that the alliance has deployed surrounding the X-9 gate in P-Z.  Which is annoying but does serve to slow down an attacker and give the mining and support ships extra time to escape from an attacker.
                I uncloak the ship and hit my afterburner to get into X-9 a little faster, after what seems like forever but in reality is less than a minute I am jumping into X-9 with my hound.  Where I find one other alliance member watching the system for his corp.  I immediately warp off the gate to get into my over watch position and let my alliance mate know that we have a mining op about to begin and that I will be the forward scout for them if he wants to head in.  He thanks me and he uncloaks a purifier class stealthbomber that he had been using to monitor the system and heads back into P-Z to get into his own mining craft and get some time in while I am watching the system.
                I report on my corp communications frequency that the system is clear and the mining craft can undock and head into the ice field.  I than set in for a long couple hours simply watching an empty system for hostiles.  This is the part of being a forward scout that is so annoying but it is so important that we have people watching the system to give the slow as hell mining ships the opportunity to escape from any hostile.
                I reach out with all my sensors and begin running periodic omni-directional scans of the system which yields nothing of any real interest given that I am the only capsuleer in the system.  I lessen over the comms as my corp members get into the ice field and get set up to mine.  We have a nice little group going, 16 capsuleers from my corp are in the belt and active for this operation.  Given that I hadn’t made this operation mandatory that isn’t bad number at all.
                After approximately 20 minutes a new capsuleers enters the system….he isn’t from the alliance or any of our allies.  We have a nuet in the system.  I send out the warning that we have a neut in X-9 but he isn’t on the grid with the stargate and I don’t see him on my scans of the system…..but I recognize him from some earlier intel reports of hostiles roaming around our space.  The alliance has acknowledged my warning of a hostile in the system and those in P-Z are preparing to warp to safe locations before he arrives.
                All of a sudden my short range tactical sensors pick up a new capsuleers ship entering the grid near the gate… is him and he is flying a sabre.  This is not good, I send out the warning that he is about to jump into the system in a sabre and that all alliance members need to be getting safe to one of the pos’s in the system.  Although we have an outpost and the enterence to the system is bubble a sabre with a MWD can move very quickly and clear those bubbles in a few seconds.
                I remain behind in X-9 to make sure he doesn’t have friends coming and thinking nothing of the miners in the next system over, I sent out the warning in plenty of time.  One of the alliance’s main fleet commanders comms on the general alliance frequency asking if anyone has been tackled by the hostile and to my horror one of my own pilots responds that they hostile has him pinned and is under attack.  The defense fleet moves immediately to his aid and begins to engage the enemy.
                I hold my position waiting for him to call in reinforcements and nothing happens.  I warp to the P-Z gate to be in position to engage the enemy on his way out if he escapes from the defensive fleet.  I hear shouts on the comms that they have gotten him, one enemy sabre down.  No losses among brew pilots, my original attacked pilot has survived without loosing his ship.
                 I jump into P-Z to get my ship near the gate to catch the enemies pod as he attempts to flee the system.  The defending fleet has reported that he has fled in a direction tword the gate but he hasn’t arrived yet and he should have.  Several members of the defensive fleet arrive to join me at the gate and still nothing from the hostile.  We can see him still in local so we know he is still here.  The FC drops combat probes to scan down his pod and gets a lock on him.  He reports that he is in warp and the target disappears from local.  We don’t know if he has gone to complete emissions shutdown (a.k.a. log off) or what has happened.
                The FC arrives on grid to where we had detected the pod and finds a capsuleers corpse floating in space less than 2000 m from his ship.  The enemy has self-destructed his pod rather than attempt to run the blockade of the exit gate.
                I head back in X-9 and resume my position in over watch on the gate and no others are spotted for the next two hours that we maintain the surveillance of the system.  In the end we destroyed an enemy sabre and lost nothing but some combat drones.  The enemy capsuleers self-destructed his pod and denied us that kill but we know that we had him and he had no real choice.  Either he did it or one of us would have with projectile or missile fire…….
                In the end I declared the op a 100% success and ordered my pilots to go about their own business.   Several decided to head back to one of our outposts for the night and get some sleep, allowing their crews some down time.  A couple others decided to keep mining on their own and I wished them well as I docked in the outpost and ordered my crew to stand down and get some sleep.

Ranger Gama
Schwarzschild Casmir Collective
Str8nge Brew Alliance

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