Friday, March 20, 2009

A Week of Blood

Selina dropped on the thick couch within her apartment at the headquarters station. The past week, beginning with the previous weekend, had been a whirlwind of activity both good and bad and she had a feeling this weekend would be no different.

It started off on Saturday with the decision being made for the fleet to head into one of the wormholes that have been popping up all over the place since... Well... Anyways, it was a chance for the corp to get a feel for fighting this ancient race known as Sleepers. They had gathered a fleet of about 15 ships, a mix of battleships, battlecruisers, logistics and such and struck out towards the previously located wormhole. Once inside, various complexes were scanned down, patrolling Sleeper gaurdians dispatched, wrecks looted and salvaged.. All in all a very successful op with barely a scratch on any of their fleet's ships.

It wasn't until the call was made to return to the wormhole and head home that the op hit a bit of a snag.

A decision was made to first jump a couple ships through the wormhole back into known space just to make sure there weren't any surprises on the other side. Once that had been accomplished, the rest of the fleet was ordered to approach the gate and jump as well. First one then another disappeared through the wormhole.

"Captain Froulia, commence wormhole jump."

"Umm....I'm sorry Miss Selina, but I cannot process your request."

"Captain Froulia, that is not a request. That is an order."

"I understand Miss, but there seems to be a problem."

Selina mentally ground her teeth. "And just what would that..." her words cut off as she stared at the wormhole ahead of her. She hadn't noticed it before but strange fluctuations began emanating from the anomaly and growing quickly. And suddenly, as if it just never was, the wormhole was gone.

Immediately the comms lit up in a frenzy. Half the ships had gotten out but the other half were now stuck. The horror stories she'd heard from other pilots had just come true. Immediantly the FC demanded order. A reordering of squads was created, those in known space and those still in wormhole space. As a rule of thumb, the probe ship was intended to be last to leave and thus immediantly went to work, seeking an alternative exit, while the squad in known space started the trek home. Eventually of course an exit was found through which the remaining fleet was able to get through. An even better turn of events was that the exit brought them within only a few jumps of the corp's operations base for cyno jumping carrier and jump freighters.

So that was Saturday.

Sunday, a fleet was formed to go on a rather lengthy roam. All in all, about 20 pilots showed up for the roam. For the most part it was a smooth journey, but the only kill being a pirate in a Megathron who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After returning to the home base, a majority stayed together and decided to go harass the local bullies in the region. Unfortunately, the fleet ended up losing two Raven battleships in return for killing one of their Megathron battleships. It was a slightly bad decision on the fleet's part for being so far away from the bait ships.

Either way, for the night, it was a 2 for 2. Not really good but acceptable. As for Selina personally, she realized then she really needed to get someone working on shortening the time of her battleship's targeting computers as she was beginning to feel like she was always a step behind everyone.

As for Monday, she did take that day off. Relaxing just a bit and getting some paperwork and other things in order. Tuesday, herself and a couple others headed out to see what could be found. They ended up finding a crow interceptor who definitely gave them a short run for the money. However, with her trio gang spread out well enough, all it took was one bad mistake and the crow met it's demise.

The following night, while herself and her corp mate, Promephius, decided to go check out a couple active systems in the area, they came upon an ally who was attempting to narrow down a couple of unwelcome visitors from the nullsec regions nearby. Fleeting up with him, they were eventually able to catch them at a planet and within short order, separated one from his battlecruiser while the other, in the Caracal cruiser, escaped. Unfortunately, it turns out the ally was quite drunk and just being an absolute punk in passing along the killmail if he got it. Claims he never got one, though he didn't seem to know where to look no matter how many times it was described to him. Of course there is the possibility the pilot ejected. Either way, seems it will remain a mystery...

Finally, yesterday, Thursday evening, Selina had set out flying wing with Promephius. They hopped around a couple systems within Solitude, tried to bait/catch a couple of blinky pirates but not having much luck, made the decision to head towards empire some 20 hops away. Destination was Mara, a system well known to be active with pirates. However, they decided to split up slightly with Selina taking the slightly shorter route through a few low sec systems. Upon jumping into the first lowsec system, she was greeted with a delightful small surprise.

A number of pirates had set up a gate camp. Immediately her mouth began to water, looking at all the juicy targets on her radar. Too many for herself in her Incursus, even with Promephius nearby in a Vexor cruiser, but it definitely gave her hope of some action that evening. Moving on, she finally came to Tama, another well known pirate system. Sure enough, subspace communication beacons reported an average of 20 to 30 pilots in system, with numerous ones marked by Concord as shoot on sight. Passing word to Promephius, the decision was made to hang out for a bit and see what could be found.

Spotting a couple of assault frigates in a belt, Promephius gave the word he was warping in. Selina got a tad confused by which belt he'd called and aligned to the wrong one but as soon as he relayed he'd found them and was engaged, she immediately set her navigational computers to warp to him. Unfortunately it was a delay that probably cost them the kill. Quickly they primaried the Wolf. For a moment, things were looking really good...but then the inevitable happened. Out of warp came 2 more elite frigates, a stabber cruiser, and a short distance off a Falcon uncloaked. Decision was made it was time to bail out. Unfortunately, they already had Promephius locked down while Selina alone escaped. At that point, all they could do was sit and laugh as it took nearly a full 3 minutes for so many ships to chew through his armor, him unable to do much of anything except spam the warp command given the Falcon had him completely jammed. Finally, of course, the ship's structure gave way and although he would've normally escaped, there was a slight delay in his pod systems which ended up costing him the life of his clone. (Of course a petition was filed to the systems engineers...though they both knew it would probably be for the most part ignored and blamed on pilot error)

So all in all in had been a pretty decent week...though Selina was definitely itching to get her own killmail...

"Ah well, sleep is a waste of time anyways," she said with a quiet grin before standing, grabbing her jacket and heading for the hanger.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Death's Lessons

Solar System: Uosusuokko
Region: Lonetrek

With a start, Selina snapped her eyes open and screamed. The searing heat in her head roared down her spine and through the rest of her body. She strained to sit up but only to find her body tightly strapped down. This caused panic to flow through her even further as she began to flair wildly in an attempt to free herself, screaming uncontrollably. Only when her head felt like it was spinning out of control did she begin to subside. Her eyes began to blur, the room appearing like liquid. All around her stood faces of whom she didn't recognize. She could see their mouths moving but the blood rushing through her head drowned out any words they spoke. And soon, consciousness left her entirely once again.

"Fleet stand by. We have a Drake inbound. Bubble up. Tacklers in the ready. Weapons hot," called out the fleet commander.

Selina panned her camera drone around to watch the gate. Very shortly, as called, the gate activated, the white blaze of light tracing across the sky. She turned her attention to her overview in excitement, waiting for the battlecruiser to decloak and make its run. Holding its cloak for as long as possible, it eventually gave way and the ship turned about, determined to reach the gate before it met its demise. But almost as soon as it appeared, the interceptor was upon it, its webber slowing the Drake's momentum considerably.

Quickly Selina broke orbit from the gate. She knew if she wanted to be truly effective on this one, she was going to have to get closer, her blasters seriously limited in their range. Already her drones were deployed and rocketing towards the ship, their own guns blazing away at the Drake's shields. Somewhat unfortunate for her, the target went down considerably fast under the fleet's assault and she was only able to get off a couple shots before the ship erupted in a massive explosion.

It was enough however for her to break out in pure joy as she knew that was going to be her first real kill on the corporation's killboard. However, it was just as she was about to express this to her fleet members when suddenly the voices on the comms went absolutely berserk.

Selina slowly opened her eyes. For a moment everything was a blur of colors but with a little effort, things began to take focus. She was in a clinic, that was for sure with all the medical gear lying about, the various monitors beeping away beside her. Slowly she attempted to raise herself up when a man in a lab coat appeared beside her.

"Don't get up. Lie still for a few more moments while I do some checks first, okay?"

His voice was soothing though firm.

She tried to speak, but managed what sounded more like a croak, her throat and mouth being so incredibly dry. He smiled and motioned to someone else in the room who quickly came forth carrying bearing a glass of water. Her first few attempts at drinking the liquid failed miserably as more of it ended up on her face and neck then it did her throat, but eventually the dryness subsided.

As soon as she was satiated, the tech stepped forward once again, checking her vitals and other readouts. Seemingly pleased with what he saw, he lightly patted her shoulder and smiled warmly to her. "Your going to be just fine. Just lay here and rest as long as you need. And there will always be someone right outside the door if you need anything. Okay?"

She nodded slowly, shifted a bit and before they had even left the room was out once again.

"Tempest is primary! All hands, focus fire on that Tempest!"

"Taking heavy damage, warping out!"

"I'm being primaried! Need shields!"

"They've got 3 bubbles up, we're pinned down!"

"I'm being jammed! Anybody got that Falcon?!"

"I'm down. Oh shit! They're targeting my pod!"

Selina stared in near shock. Her mind continued to try and process all that was happening around her as the lights of lasers, guns and missile explosions illuminated the darkness of space. So far her Dominix had gone unscathed as she had yet to be primaried by the attacking fleet but the flight of neuting drones had already done there work and she knew it was only a matter of time before they turned their full attention on her now nearly defenseless battleship. She had already turned her ship about and was burning full power towards the edge of the warp bubbles but was already beginning to realize she was never going to make it.

Suddenly the ship rocked violently as an explosion pummelled the side of her ship. It was soon followed shortly after by jolts of blaster, laser and projectile fire. Her shields dropped fairly quick and soon her armor under the massive onslaught. Already she had ordered all hands to abandon ship. She only hoped that they would make it before the inevitable happened...and more importantly that their escape pods would make it out of the fray as well.

Suddenly the ship's computer started chiming, "Warning. Hull breach in Sections six, nine, and twelve. Warning hull breach in..."

"I know! I know! Just shut up and get us the hell out of here," she yelled back at it. However with no shields nor armor left to protect the ships fragile structure, the attackers weapons tore through the ship.

"Warning. Explosion Imminent. Jettisoning Capsule."

Though mentally detached for the most part from her body, she still felt the violent jolt of the capsule as it jettisoned from the ship, perhaps less than a second before the ship exploded like the grand finale of a fireworks display. Immediately she began spamming the warp command as her capsule blazed its way towards the edge of the warp bubble but before she reached it, she heard the warning pings of a ships target lock.

Selina silently cursed her killer, vowing her revenge as first one then a second shot ripped through her pod...

Having finished dressing, Selina made her way down the corridor, stopping at the clerks desk to finalize the paperwork.

"Tech Chief Croden here will escort you to your ship ma'am," said the desk clerk as she signed the last form. "Hope we don't see you again too soon," the woman tried to lightly joke but Selina only snapped a look of venom at her before turning to follow the tech.

As they neared the hanger, the man glanced over his shoulder. "She ain't much Miss, but she'll do the job. I assume you have another ship prepared elsewhere?"

She only nodded in response as the door slid open and there sat the Velator rookie ship. Unfortunately, she had never taken the time to get the forms completed to have her clones moved to Solitude. Definitely something she was going to have to fix once she made the 40 odd jumps home....