Repeat that please?

Report from OPSRD0113

“Afternoon Khal, you in the area?” Jon opened the coalition’s private communications channel to find Khal Evingod already connected. Khal was a good pilot, and part of the Indecent Exposure Alliance, the group that the coalition had been fighting daily in Enden and Erstet only 6 months earlier. He was also the guy that landed the initial tackle on the Charon a couple of weeks ago, and knew his way around the block.

“Hey Jon. Yeah, I’m just in Enden. There is Drake in here somewhere, and a Widow as well. They appear to be at a POS sadly”

Jon perked up at the news of a Widow in Enden, and the news that it appeared to be at a POS only increased his interest. Who was this pilot, and which POS were they using? Jon quickly called up the hanger to make sure the Cheetah was prepared and quickly jogged over to Leeroy’s office to let him know that he was going to go out for a quick spin. “Just going solo, all I need to run is the covert cloak and that’s something that I can easily do.”

“Roger Jon. Oh, and we still haven’t taken the Cynabal out for a test. Do you want me to make sure it’s all prepared and crewed for when you get back in?”

“We haven’t done that yet have we?” Jon was perplexed at how he had forgotten that vital chore. “Oh, that’s right. I went to Amarr to test out those Bellicose fits. Yeah, get a crew ready to take it for a test, I shouldn’t be too long with the Cheetah.”

Making his way to the ship hanger, Jon got an update from the hanger crew, informing him that the Cheetah was ready to undock. Upon reaching the Cheetah Jon quickly boarded it and undocked from the station. Turning hard to the right as soon as he undocked, warp was initiated to the Enden gate and the covert cloak engaged to make sure it was working properly. After a quick warp the Cheetah landed at the gate and jumped into Enden. Information provided by Khal gave a rough idea of which moon the Widow and Drake were at, and within a short period of time Jon was sitting off their POS cloaked, looking down upon both ships safely in the middle of the protective forcefield.

“I’m going to check Erstet out Jon, let me know if anything happens with those two.” Khal’s Orthrus disappeared off D-scan as he warped off to the gate.

“Certainly. It doesn’t look like they’re interested in doing much, at least not with me in system with them. How’s Erstet looking?” Jon finished noting down the features of the new POS and prepared to head back to Wirdalen to pick up the Cynabal. “Oh, hold that. We just got two new pilots in system, I don’t recognise them either. I’ll see if I can find out what they’re flying.” Within a short period of time an Orca and Procurer appeared on D-scan, and their location narrowed to one of the asteroid belts in the centre of the system. “Khal, I have an Orca and Procurer in Enden. They are in the belt, this is not a joke. I am going to reship to my Cynabal and attempt to tackle the Orca, you able to back me up?”

“You’re kidding right? Umm, sure, what do you want me to bring?”

“Whatever you’re comfortable in. We don’t know if these guys are related to the Widow and Drake, so we may have a fight on our hands. My Cynabal needs a test, and this seems like a good way to do that.”

“I’ll bring my Orthrus then, good range control if things turn bad. Erstet is empty, I’ll get on the Enden gate in Nein.”

“Sounds good. I’ll see if I can rustle up another pilot or two, I believe Pick is close by.” Hitting up some less-used communication channels, Jon managed to get hold of Pick, and brief him quickly on the situation. ‘Orca’, ‘Enden’ and ‘belt’ seem to be magic words, and within a short time there was a Vagabond joining Khal’s Orthrus on the gate. “I’m jumping into Enden and warping to the belt guys, I will let you know when I have tackle.” As soon as the jump between systems finished, Jon activated warp to the belt that the Orca was last seen in, and prepared for a potential fight.

“All crew, we are going after a high-value target, so I want no mistakes. Gunnery, make sure we have Hail loaded, we’re going in hard and close. Navigation, keep an eye on short-range D-scan. If that Drake or Widow start heading our way I want to know. E-war crew, get that long point heated, we may need the extra range. We are going to be initiating bumping on the enemy vessel until our friends arrive on field, as the Orca may have warp-core stabs fit, and I don’t want this target escaping.” As the Cynabal came out of warp the Orca appeared in front of them, sitting still while the Procurer mined away next to it.

“We have engaged the Orca, jump jump jump guys!” Jon shouted over comms for Khal and Pick to join him, and local jumped by two as they entered Enden. In a few short seconds the Orthrus and Vagabond were on grid with Jon and the Orca, with the Procurer escaping off grid just before they arrived. Reports came in quickly from Khal and Pick that they had engaged the Orca themselves, and the shields and armour disappeared rapidly. Upon hitting the structure of the Orca the damage slowed down noticeably. “Oh, we have a hull tanked Orca guys. Keep a look out on D-scan for the Widow coming to play.”

The Orca’s structure was slowly ground down, with no movement from the Widow pilot to intervene. As the last scraps of structure were torn apart from the barrage of fire coming from drones, missiles and autocannons, the Orca exploded in a massive explosion. Escape pods were seen ejecting as the once massive ship twisted into a mess of melted metal, and the pilot’s escape pod warped off to safety.

“Enemy ship down, good job guys.” Jon congratulated Pick and Khal, and thanked them for their quick and professional response to the unexpected appearance of the Orca. “Sadly it didn’t drop anything nice, this guy didn’t even have a T2 shield buffer. No wonder he melted quickly, but it’s not like T2 would have saved him.”

“What’s the plan now Jon?” Leeroy came up with a grin on his face “Also, I think the Cynabal passed its test with flying colours.”

“Indeed it did, passed the test perfectly. Can’t beat an Angel Cartel ship for build quality, they use a bit more than the duct-tape and rust that proper Minmatar ships seem to use. That being said, Pick’s Vagabond does look nice, I might have to get one myself and give it a spin. As for the plan now, take us back to Wirdalen. The Mordu’s Legion appear to have launched an attack on a Gurista’s research facility in Enden, and I feel like taking the Machariel for a spin.”

 

****
It was certainly an unexpected sight to see on my D-scan. Apparently they thought that because they posed no threat I would leave them alone. Sure, an Orca doesn’t scream out ‘threat’ to me. However, it does scream ‘large and shiny’, and that’s enough to make me try to kill anything. Why they used an Orca and a Procurer instead of two Procurers I’ll never know. A lot cheaper, and a better overall yield if you’re using just two ships.

Orca killmail: https://zkillboard.com/kill/47108252/

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A new ship, and mining

Report from OPSRD0014

“Beautiful” said Jon to himself as he walked up the ramp to his hanger. The new Cynabal was sitting there, just waiting for the captain to board and fly out into space. Jon looked up and down the ship, noting that the cleaning crews had done an excellent job on cleaning the outside of the ship. Looking down the length of the hanger showed the other ships that had found their ways to Frarns only station. There was the Hurricane, the old level three mission workhorse, which was mostly being replaced by the Cynabal, the Firetail, used for quick transport when ammunition was needed from Rens, one jump away, and the Maelstrom, sitting at the end of the hanger collecting dust.

“Leeroy!” shouted Jon as he looked at the Maelstrom. “Do we have enough crew to take the Mael out for a quick workout? No shooting or anything, just to make sure all systems are still working.”

“That we do sir, shall I order them to board the Maelstrom?” Receiving an affirmative from Jon, Leeroy promptly got all vital crew onto the Maelstrom and in position. After receiving confirmation from the station that it was ok to undock, the Maelstrom left the station and warped to the sun.

“Run checks on all systems apart from guns” ordered Jon. As the crew ran through shield tests and capacitor testing, Jon called Leeroy over to ask a few questions about earlier events.

“How’s the crew morale Leeroy, has word gotten out about our loss earlier this week?”

“There have been a few rumours floating around, but the two survivors have stopped most of them. They know that there wasn’t much you could have done, and they did all volunteer for the job, knowing it was highly dangerous,” replied Leeroy, himself glad that he hadn’t been asked to come along. It had been a mission born of boredom and having a little too much ISK in the wallet, with Jon deciding to take a Firetail out to lowsec with a couple of corporation mates and trying to kill whatever they could find. Sadly, they had become the prey to a pack of Eve Uni students and their teachers, getting caught at a planet after taking what looked like a lone Talwar. They did get the Talwar, but the loss of the Firetail and Thorax outweighed the kill of the Talwar.

“Well, that’s good then.” replied Jon. “With that fight that’s happening out in B-R5RB the crew should quickly forget about that adventure. All that fighting and loss of life over a bill not being paid, some-one’s head will probably roll for that. Anyway, we have other business to discuss. Do we have any crew members in need of punishment for minor transgressions?”

“Let me check…yes, we do. Enough to crew a barge, if the normal punishment is what you’re wanting to do.”

“Certainly is. Make sure they’re all on board, we’re going to pick up the Procurer and go mining.” Jon grimaced as he said this, sure it punished the crew members, but it also had the nasty habit of being completely boring for himself. “Leeroy, you can hop of at the station and have the rest of the day off if you would like, no need for us both to have to endure this.”

Leeroy grinned. “Thank you sir, I’ll certainly take up that offer.”

While flying to our mining station, Jon made contact with a couple of friends in Hotra and got a fleet started to increase every-ones mining yield, making it a slightly more profitable punishment. Once we arrived in Hotra and the Procurer was boarded and undocked to begin mining, Jon sat down and started working on tweaking the Cynabal’s fit, increasing its survivability while still maintaining its damage output.
After a couple minutes of mining, Jon’s communications device alerted him that someone was attempting to contact him. Calling up the information of the caller showed that it was Melody, his trading and logi friend that worked for a mercenary corporation in Gallente space.

“What’s up Melody?”

“We got him! He attacked, and we jumped, and I saved the tackle, and…”

“Woah, slow down girl. What happened?”

Taking a breath, Melody tried to gather back her normally rock solid composure. “Sorry Jon, I’ll try calm down. I was out with a few guys from the corp, no war-targets were around so they were trying to bait missioners into a fight a few jumps out of Dodixie. We had a couple of bites from some guys, but they knew the game and ran before we could land tackle. Just as I was looking at docking up for the night, our hero tackle, an armour tanked Rifter of all things, had a Myrmidon engage him. Of course, as it seems to always happen, the damn pilot forgot to pack enough nanite paste for his aux armour booster, and so was kinda in a REAL bad way. I managed to land on grid and get repairs to him just before he lost his ship, damn thing was at 11% structure before I saved him. Of course, the Myrm then decided that I was a good looking target in my Exequror, and set his damn drones on me. I may laugh at frigate logi ships, but I was glad we had one with us today, I didn’t need the repairs, but it was nice to know I had a little buddy with us. The guy ended up calling in Concord onto himself, I don’t know if it was accidental or on purpose though, he attacked a guy in our group that wasn’t suspect.”

Jon laughed. “Very nice, you hang out with a nice bunch of people don’t you? Just keep them away from my hunting grounds, I wouldn’t like to receive the order from the FC to primary your logi.”

“Haha, where do you roam again?” Melody laughed again and looked around Jon, noticing what ship he was in. “Eww, you’re mining?”

“Don’t remind me. It’s punishment duty for the crew that need it. Sadly I have to be on board to oversee it. I did get a new toy though, which makes my life a bit more bearable at the moment.”

“What did you get?”

“A Cynabal”

“Very nice. I’ve got to head off, I’ll catch you later. Fly dangerously man.”

With that Melody signed off, and Jon was left to work on his fittings and make sure that the ore was being mined correctly and efficiently. He decided that he could only stand an hour of mining, and then it would be time to dock up and sleep.
****
Mining is boring, but it can be made bearable if you’re working on other projects, reports or talking to other people. Especially if you’re in a fleet with boosts.

Link to the Talwar kill: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=21605850
Link to the Firetail loss: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=21605849

Roam the skies,
Jon