Our C4b looks active – 2 Tengu’s and a Noctis on D-scan, not a single anomaly on system scan. Means, someone is cleaning up these pesky sleepers – a reasonable expectations is that there are not many sigs so scanning for the static C3 should be quick. But the visible Tengus concern me a little, not exactly normal POS floaters and not something I want to face in my Battle Helios covert ops ship.
So, no probes for now, just d-scan down the towers. Planet 5 Moon 5 is quickly resolved and warping at a 100km lands me 8.5km away from the warp bubble generator. The POS is 250km out with a occupied Tengu staring at me or at least the hole in the visible space where my cloaked ship landed. Ok. They know their bubbles – no dummies. Better make a safe observation perch for my fellow scouts when they come through here later. One Tengu accounted for, the other quickly shows up in its own POS also piloted, nuzzling up to an empty Orca. I wonder what kind of children they are trying to make. Real Life calls and I need to head back, confident that I can come later tonight and finish the scan and possibly a route.
I jump to range to the WH back to C4a and one of the Tengus whizzes past me uncloaked slams into the WH and through it. That changes my approach a little and I hang out a little longer before I jump to C4a weary of that strategic cruiser. But the WH is quiet, 4 Germans playing cards in their POS, in Nemesis bombers. Well it is Friday night. At least they have good beer. No other activity, I had scanned that system down 10min ago and true to their Germanic reputation of efficiency, no anomaly remained and the two sigs corresponding to wormholes.
Probes appear on D-scan in C4a and hello Tengu, somewhere in the system. I warp to and through our hole and alert my gas -sucking corp mates that we have a scouty and cloaky Tengu inbound – he can only go one way and that is to us. They rightly tell me to relax and keep an eye on the WH. And sure enough, the Tengu jumps in, cloaks undoubtedly salivates when his narrow D-scan shows him a Harby and a Moa clearly somewhere near a jetcan. I take down his name (which was spelled weirdly and hence caused some confusion) and we are pretty confident that he has to fly combat probes for at least 1 cycle before he scans the gas suckers down.
And there are the probes. My friends were aligned, warp to the POS and all is safe. My corp mate convos the Tengu tells him that he won’t find any targets but the following reply is not of high enough culture for me to repeat. Minutes pass. We are bored.
The Tengu is somewhere in our hole which makes every routine carebear operations a little risky and my easily-bored corp mate decides to provoke the Tengu by jumping his Harby to the WH and stay uncloaked. I switch into a bomber – only cloaked combat ship I can fly – and while I am cursing the ship array lag, the Tengu decloaks on the hole chasing my mate out into the C4a and the loving arms of the other Tengu and an additional Dominix. He somehow gets away and I resume station on the green side of our WH – this time in a bomber loaded for bear.
Holefire, the Tengu is back in our home system, 50km from my cloaked bomber and cloaks up. I report dutifully to my friend who by now is the FC in our 2 man fleet – he has vastly greater experience in PvP than I will ever acquire. I have seen him FC before, he knows his stuff. So make a silent commitment to follow what he says and am starting to say good-bye to my bomber – 2 Tengus and a Dominix can’t be good for me.
Status: 1 Tengu cloaked in our home system, another Tengu and a Domi on the other side in C4a – where my FC is bouncing around. FC announces that he is just making a run for it back home, assuming that the Tengu on my side has a targeting delay when he decloaks. This may just work.
FC enters warp right on time when the Tengu on my side decloaks and and gets ready for the inevitable trap. Holefire, FC’s Harby is coming through, holding cloak. Holefire, holefire, Tengu and Dominix decloak. Not a pretty sight from where I am sitting, 55km away.
FC says on coms he is going to lose his ship likely. I ask what I can do in my bomber and he replies, “nothing, tbh, mate, stay cloaked”. Which I do and watch the two strategic cruisers dismantle my FC’s boat while the Dominix neuts his cap. I repeat my question twice what I can do and get told to hold cloak. Pod warps free.
It really annoys me that I am again spectator of a PvP event – but unlike the last time I had a perfectly fine bomber strapped to my pod, not some weak-sauce Buzzard. I feel I could have at least thrown some torps at the Dominix, battleships don’t take kindly to my volley damage. My sensor damp may have held off one of the Tengus probably. Would I have saved my friend? Probably not. Would I have exposed myself to enemy fire in my paperplane? Definitely.
Should I have defied the FC’s “command” and engaged? At least spook them, expend some ammo while I can, maybe warp away when they target me? Of course, inexperienced as I am, it would have meant overcoming my angst. Following the FC’s order to stay cloaked played into my newbie reluctance to engage and explain away my cowardice as “just following orders”.
Not next time though. Then it will be torps away, screw the consequences. Am annoyed with myself right now.