“Hey Bren, wanna go roam with A4D tonight? They got caaaaan-deeeee!”
So with a tiny arm twist, I join fleet with the boys from Appetite for Destruction. I’ve only got an hour to kill, so I’ve got three questions: How long are we going to be out? What am I flying? Do I have two minutes to take a leak?
“We’ll have you home in an hour, Bren. Shield fit. Yes.”
Alright. My protege suggests I fly a Harpy like him and play tackle. I say sure and he gives me a ship. I’m really not too keen about playing tackle, because it’s been my experience that guys with names that start with ‘B’ get primaried. Flying a small ship doesn’t help. But it is a Harpy, and they do have over 15k ehp when properly fit. The one I jump into has an EM Ward Field. I’m used to using EM Field Amplifiers, but what the heck, the resist profile is very nice. I’ll take it.
Seems that we are off to space where the locals don’t know us very well. One of the guys found a wormhole that leads to null space some 40 jumps away. We’re taking a shortcut.
We undock and warp to the hole, follow the scout through, bookmarking each side as we do. Through the hole to the exit and out to null again, bookmarking again.
Everyone remember where we parked.
We’re in Malpais, deep in someone’s backyard. I don’t know whose and I don’t really care. I set destination and we’ve got a 7 jump run to check out what’s what. It’s quiet out here. Our scout is one or two systems ahead and we are flying gate to gate through empty systems. We follow him into one abandoned drag bubble and quickly remove it from space. I remember to reload as I burn back to the gate as we continue our trip through Malpais.
A couple of systems later, our scout finally tells us to hold up on the out gate: He’s found people, a system with an outpost and a populated local. The gates are bubbled, completely covered with a more than a half dozen large and medium warp disruptor bubbles. He sniffs around. Finds a Loki and a Legion flying around. He dodges and weaves and warps back to the out gate, we get ready to jump in if they come to the gate.
They do. We jump. We’re 3 AFs and 1 faction frigate, 4 faction cruisers, and pair of Vagabonds. A couple of Strat cruisers are easy pickings.
I get in and tackle, and I’m primaried, of course. The Order of the Day is Don’t Get Scrammed, so I kite around and break scram and minimize damage. The Loki and Legion get some support: A second Legion, a Tengu, a Rapier, and a Sleipner. It’s a long fight. I run out of cap and I’m not sure if I did it myself, flying stupid, or I’ve been neuted and luckily coasted out of range. I lose tackle, tank and MWD. I regain tackle and get back in. We’re struggling to put enough damage on a primary to kill one of these T3s, but they are handling us pretty well. We finally all get on the Sleipner and he goes down surprisingly quickly. Then I’m scrammed, webbed and taking a beating. I try to get out but my ship shields fail, it’s armor ablates and she breaks apart in a muted explosion. I warp my capsule to a celestial and start the process of making an unaligned safe that the team can use me to warp to. I’m not looking forward to slow boating back through all those bubbles on the gate in my pod. In retrospect, I lost that ship because I failed to turn my EM Ward back on after I lost it due to low cap.
It always traces back to pilot error.
But our guys wear down all those active tanking T3s and start taking them down one by one. In the end, it’s 2 Legions, a Loki, a Tengu, a Sleipner and a Rapier destroyed at a cost of a single Harpy. They rally with me on the safe, and I start the self destruct sequence that will reduce 40 odd jumps to just 8 jumps from home. I thank the crew for a good time and tell them to try not to forget to grab my corpse for their collection.
Heaven knows I’ve left enough of those laying about.