Escalating Tangle

This entry is written to give an ‘in character’ perspective.

Today, the mission falls to me. The mission?  To stir up trouble.  Heh. How hard can it be?

I spent awhile assembling the gang, a few logistics, some battleships, a couple of battlecruisers.  Once I had fifteen or so pilots ready to move, we got under way.  Moving just one jump from CNC-4V into -A- held FAT-6P, I deployed the fleet to start hitting an SBU, -A- are using them to ‘control’ the sovereignty challenge over the system, their presence forces us to remove them before any serious attack can get under way.

As we start pumping shells into the thing I know full well that it will take us a long time to kill with our current firepower, but our presence provokes the enemy. Ignore us too long and we make headway, we are an annoyance.  And a tempting target.

After a little while my scout reports a local spike in 25S-6P.  Twenty, fourty…eighty.  Too damned many for our small fleet so I pull the gang off the gate and let them pass.  It turns out to be an Ev0ke fleet moving deeper into Catch they barely pause and move on past us.  We soon resume our work on the SBU.

It isn’t much longer before things begin to warm up.  I hear intel reports of -A- Armageddons amassing around a Titan, soon rising to a hundred strong.   I knew that we were not their primary target but we could well be the warm up, so I start to think defensively.  Small fleets are easy prey for larger hot dropping forces if caught unawares.

Reports start filtering in that the Ev0ke fleet might be heading back our way and that -A- seem ready and waiting to drop.  I also know through my liason that White Noise have their eye on the situation.  My goal is becoming clear; keep my pilots alive and on the edge of this enfolding clash until the right moment emerges to weigh in ourselves.  Now its all about the timing.

-A- bridge into FAT-6P well ahead of Ev0ke’s arrival, following a brief showing by a couple of scouts.  I had withdrawn our fleet to a forward starbase to bide our time.  As over a hundred -A- battleships drop out of warp above me I get that old sinking feeling of being badly outmatched.  It doesn’t last long though, no sooner had they opened fire than the whole fleet warps away to the CNC stargate.

I listen carefully as scouts exchange reports on the movements of both fleets.  Our liason asks questions, the scouts answer.  I adjust the heading of our fleet in response.  After a few shifts in position we receive confirmation that Ev0Ke and -A- have engaged in CNC.  I move our fleet to enter by a different stargate and move into another starbase field as events unfold.  Ev0ke are taking a beating and -A- gain a decisive upper hand.  But our forces are now in position.

As the fight unfolds I assess the forces at my disposal; a dozen battleships with a trio of logistics cruisers will be ill-matched in a fight on this scale.  And when White Noise move to engage -A-, it will be vital to hold them on the field.  Well, it seems clear what comes next then.  I order every pilot to dock and re-ship, we re-emerge flying as many Interdictors and tackle frigates as we can muster.

By this point White Noise have engaged -A-, our cyno jammer was offlined by an attentive Starbase gunner at just the right time allowing friendlies to Titan bridge their way in to the system.  White Noise’ sudden arrival in force put -A- onto the back foot and they began to withdraw into FAT.

Our time had arrived.  With White Noise ships unable to jump with their combat systems on cooldown, the -A- fleet was already disengaging and jumping out ready to break off the battle.  I ordered the charge, warping onto the FAT gate and jumping past the White Noise fleet we barrelled straight through and emerged in the middle of -A-‘s still numerous fleet scattered all about the other side.

That feeling again, surrounded by a host of enemy battleships in my small, fragile sabre.  Crammed in close with their thick armour plating and heavy turrets seeking a target as they slowly bank and build up speed to warp.

Now or never.  This is really going to hurt….

I throw the throttle into a hard burn, triggering the micro-warp drive and interdiction sphere launcher all at once.  Bubble up!  Other bubble surround my as my brothers do the same, frigates going into hard burn casting warp scramblers on whatever they can.

That’s them pinned…

Packed so close together we catch dozens of ships in our bubbles.  And inevitably, ourselves too.  Within seconds I’m locked up and taking fire from the enemy support ships.  My pod blasts clear of my crumbling hull but I didn’t make it out of the bubbles.  For a few ridiculous seconds my pod’s meagre thrusters try to outpace the lock speed of a Muninn.

Damn that light is bright!

I come to in Hasateem, a medical tech is crouching in front of my with one of those damned scanners checking my over. 

What the hell? My medical clone isn’t supposed to be here!  Dammit…

I slap the tech’s device out of my face and bark instructions to start the jump clone cycle.  No way in hell am I done with that fight yet.  A few minutes and I don;t know how many light years later, my pod is sliding into place inside another Sabre and the CNC medical staff are updating my new medical clone.

I blast clear of the station and go to warp.  As soon as the stargate looms into view I key the jump sequence and plunge straight back into the battle in FAT-6P.  This time I’m greeted by a chaotic dance of ships engaged in close quarters battle, hostile trading fire with friendlies.  More of my Ushra’Khan brothers are doing the same as I am, returning in fresh ships and several new bodies to take another run.  I drop another bubble, break into evasive manoeuvres and the fight goes on. … _id=148576

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