Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Serving of Revenge

Revenge was often taught as an accredited class in some Amarrian educational circles before the rapid expansion of the Empire. Over time, it fell out of favor as Holders gradually came to the conclusion that the Serfs didn’t need any bright ideas about their situation. Still, a true act of revenge is something sweet to savor, and I am glad we could dish out some last night.

A few weeks ago, an OEC pilot was attacked during a routine belt patrol in Beke, Genesis and was unfortunately defeated by a superior Vulture Command Ship and Maelstrom Battleship. Operating in low security space has its own set of situational awareness issues compared to zero security in that you really never know what intentions a ‘neutral’ pod pilot has until the battle is upon you. In zero security space you just shoot and ask questions later…but not being a pirate organization, we must hold fire until intentions are known in low security. Blitza Ling’s Hyperion went down in a blaze of glory, but that did not stop us from seeking retribution.

Exactly 18 days later, one of the two pirates was spotted yet again in Beke. The Vulture seemed to be running missions around the Leran sector, and coming into Beke quite often. We quickly scrambled what ships we had with the pilots active during that time…and luckily caught the Vulture in Beke as it jumped into the system. Although we knew it had a superior passive shield defense system, we had no idea what we were in store for.

My Abbadon quickly locked the enemy Vulture down, and drained its capacitor…on the off chance it had a shield booster installed. A LSD Hurricane was on the scene also locking down the ship….and the gate sentries responded in kind stripping our shields. This was not a problem as I could permantly stay ‘in the sentry pocket’ as my defenses were geared towards soaking damage. Sariene’s Hurricane needed remote repairs and armor maintenance drones (which the sentry operators targeted and destroyed in short order). We had trapped our prey, so we brought in what we thought would be our kill group: A Hyperion Battleship, Pilgram Recon, and a Sacrilege HAC.

The Vulture’s shield buckled to 75%, and we thought we experienced a graphical HUD anomaly as the damage indicator never moved again. Blitza’s Hyperion was ripping into the Vulture’s shields furiously, but nothing was getting past its defenses. While able to operate on zero capacitor, it calmly inched back towards the gate to jump out of the system and inside high security space, where we would not be able to follow. More webifiers were deployed to slow the ship down, but we could not budge the shield at all. Blitza’s 120 rounds per Blaster turret sent out the call they were reloading…an amazing transmission as most targets would have been dead by then.

I opened up the communication link to the Alliance to see if we could get some help. Quickly pilots from MK and TCSYN responded. Another LSD Hyperion Battleship entered the system along with a Thorax Cruiser and Megathron Battleship. The OEC brought in an Archon Carrier just to draw sentry fire as my Logistics Abbadon got dangerously low on capacitor charges.

It had been 5 minutes since the start of the battle.

The Vulture was still at 75% shields when we renewed our attack with additional firepower. Slowly the shields dropped…and she was no closer to the gate than before. At 25% shields she initiated a self destruct sequence, but it was too late in coming and once the armor started getting pocketed by numerous blaster rounds, the Vulture quickly succumbed to the volley of fire. With the sentry operators still dutifully targeting our ships we exited, but not before recovering a wealth of ship equipment from the wreckage. While the Vulture did not fit ultra rare ‘officer’ or ‘deadspace’ class modules, it was fully upgraded to Tech2 standards. Nothing but the finest shield recharge equipment and large shield boosters…we were fighting a brick wall, but finally knocked it down.

Of course, once I realized she had no resistance modules fitted I cringed…two Amarrian battleships would have made short work of her with EM damage, but that’s the lessons learned in battle. The equipment will be sold off and be used to re-purchase some Tech2 drones. While we admire sentry operators, we wish their target selection was a bit more logical.

In the end, revenge was served. Now we just need that Maelstrom for dessert.