Last night I logged in to find nothing serious going on. I decided to roam in a blaster Catalyst because, well, why the hell not? In Aeschee I ran into an Ishkur that aggressed me so instead of doing the smart thing and looking for easier targets I barreled in and tried to overpower him with sheer stupidity. That did not end well.
I docked up and grabbed my Dramiel from last week's roam and went looking for the Ishkur again but he didn't want to play. What I did find in Onne was a -10 Zealot and Loki. I easily avoided them and joined the fleet that was mustering to kill them. Our FC put out an offer in our shared channel with the Tuskers to join us and we were joined by the infamous Sulieman Shouaa and Ka Jolo. I admit I was a little starstruck and felt like I should be asking for autographs instead of sharing a squad with them.
|Sign my Rifter please?|
But our quarry was afoot and I focused on comms. The fleet was primarily Drakes and a boosting Strategic cruiser or two, and I was the lone frigate. I had a long point and was fast but the enemy, now two Lokis and a Zealot, would probably melt me if I didn't get immediate support so the baiting and tackling was left to experts in nano Drakes. I would have reshipped if I had ships closer, dammit.
The enemy finally got a scout's eyes on us and we figured the game was up as the Loki pilots, almost caught a couple of times, docked up. Dejected the fleet pretty much stood down... but not Suleiman and Ka Jolo. They kept looking, probably figuring that the fleet moving off might entice the targets back out to play.
I debated logging off while I headed back to Goinard, but decided that if they were going to keep looking I would too. The reports from comms suggested the Lokis were on scan but not getting close so I decided to bring a probing ship with some firepower. In hindsight I wish I had grabbed the Falcon now but at the time I settled on my probe launching Proteus.
As I headed back I heard on Comms that the Loki was playing with Suleiman again. "Point!" he called, and he asked for help ASAP. I jumped into Palmon... and kicked myself. I thought the fight was in Palmon on the Vitrauze gate but it was in Vitrauze on the Palmon gate. I kicked into warp for the long 83 AU trip and apologized on comms. I was so nervous I was stumbling over my words, desperate to make a good impression on these notorious pirates.
NOTE: sometime before I got back Ka Jolo lost his Drake to our foes and I don't know the circumstances, so I'm adding it here for timeline completeness.
Suleiman reported more reds on him including the second Loki and a Vindicator(!) battleship. As I jumped I saw Suleiman and the tackled Loki over 60 km off... but on the upside the other hostiles warped out. I don't know if they thought I was part of a trap closing on them or what, but I didn't look the gift horse in the mouth as I punch the MWD and overloaded mids. With faction warp scrambler and leadership bonuses my point range was 20 km and I was closing at over 1600 m/s. "Hold on, Suleiman, hold on," I encouraged under my breath. "Point!" I called as I passed over the magic range and I pulled in tight to let my blasters help.
As the Loki went down under our combined firepower, one of the hostiles came back: The Vindicator. Now, this pirate battleship has a lot of firepower and powerful bonused webifiers and chances were looking slim that I would survive a direct encounter with it in my probing Proteus that was designed for ganking mission and plex runners, but I was not about to run and let the Loki get away scott free. So I stayed and saw finished the first hostile, then turned my attention to the big battleship that had me slowed down to ~70 m/s. I considered making a run for it but knew that I would wander into his optimal range at slow speeds long before I would escape the web should I try to do so, hence I decided to simply apply damage to my eventual killer in the hopes it helped Suleiman and the coming reinforcements take him down.
I exploded, but two minutes later the Vindicator did the same and that's a trade I'm willing to make. To make matters all the more sweet, the fleet also managed to catch and kill the second Loki that came in late to, I don't know, try and save the Vindicator? Its all very weird.
So the final tally shakes out like this:
I'll take that as a win.