Prologue Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7
* * * * *
The first small targets exploded in a flash, the particles of lead accelerated to near light speeds ripping through their inadequate armour in a flash. Some other targets were tougher, with shields and plates that could divert and absorb the energies, but only for a few moments before they too were debris.
Luccul in his Drake arrived and began working on the cruisers, taking them by surprise with attacks to their flanks. He launched drones and had them attack some destroyers making for Kla'strit's Maelstrom which in turn was accelerating to top speed to close with the nearest Cartel battleships to engage with his 800mm autocannons.
I set about adding to my target list as approaching frigates were destroyed. Soon I was firing at destroyers as the last two enemy interceptors got under my railguns and I launched my drones to deal with them.
The enemy fleet was being decimated but their poor electronics and command structure was slow in seeing it. They probably didn't even realize yet that the escort ships had been neutralized and the cruisers were about gone. The Maelstrom chewed through two old and broken down Machariel hulls before they enemy started taking a withdrawing stance. Luccul was trading salvos with another so I changed my ammunition to antimatter as I approached and opened fire in his support. The target's port side disappeared in a flurry of explosions.
The remaining 3 enemy battleships and a single battered battlecruiser entered warp moments later. The battle was won.
"Good work, team," Kla'strit broadcast. "I'll let the salvagers know they can clear up the pocket, and I'll see if my agent has any more work for us."
"Roger," I replied. "We'll wait here until the salvage ships get here."
The big Maelstrom aligned to the station and accelerated to warp speed while Luccul approach several wrecks to see if anything survived intact. I simply sat in place and reviewed my comms for messages, composing a reply.
"Hello, who's that?" Luccul asked.
I stop concentrating on the message I was writing and focused on my overview again. A ship, a pod pilot ship to be exact, was 30 kilometers off of the Drake's bow and 45 kilometers from me. It was a Pilgrim, an advanced Amarr cruiser with some impressive electronic warfare capabilities. "I don't know, Luc. But he can't do anything here in high sec unless we act stupid. He's probably looking at the salvage. Leave him be."
The pilgrim was not advancing on any of the Cartel ship wrecks, however, and instead was making its way steadily towards us. I checked the pilot information, one Forsa Jolummin of the Amarr Imperial Academy. I tried to open comms with the newcomer but it was not accepted. "This is odd, Luccul. Make your way towards me and make sure your drones are under control. Don't target him either, I don't want any mistakes."
The battlecruiser came around and starting moving towards me. Seconds later the Recon cruiser activated its afterburners and started closing faster.
"What the hell is going on?" I wondered out loud. "Luccul, you don't have a GCC or kill rights or anything, do you?"
"I swear to god, man, I've done nothing."
"Then what is this bozo trying to prove?"
"He's locking me," Luccul reported, his voice climbing a bit higher as adrenaline upticked in his body. At the same time, the yellow indicator started flashing on my screen. "Same here. Screw this, let's go and pick up the other guys and come back in force." Luccul agreed and we brought our vessels around together. The Drake, being a smaller and more agile ship, sped up and entered warp first. My Rokh battleship reached just over half speed when my ship's AI reported the most dreaded words a pod pilot can ever hear...
"You cannot warp because you are warp scrambled," it purred at me as the icon for the Pilgrim went red.