The gnats are swarming

Its Sunday night and I just spent my 1 1/2 hour game time to scan down the chain from our hole to K-space. Not sure why I bothered, I didn’t have anything to do there and virtually all holes that I encounter these days are devoid of people to trade shots with.  Except of course that C6 into which I stuck my CovOps nose (I now scout with a CovOps, there are so many signatures these days I am really tired of the unbonused T3 or bombers I normally use).  Anyway, the C6 was occupied – mining operation in full swing.  Of course.  If they were doing anything else (sleepers), they would have crushed the hole to our C4 neighbor.  I warped to the POS at range but some clever positioning of a bubble with lots of combat drones scattered decloaked me.  If I had been in my T3, it could have gotten ugly.  But my little Helios backed up nicely and I got away without issues.  The damage however was done, Legion, Legion, Proteus… spawned all around me.  I banked that they didnt know where I came from and warped to zero km onto the hole home, jumped on contact and went into slow, cloaky orbit.  And yes, there comes the scout, some Buzzard to check out where I went.  Cloaked, mate, I am a bad pilot but not that bad.

Anyway, I was going talk about our Frigate Hole adventure.  These new holes have interested me for a while and I have scouted through them but we have not really found a use for it.  We fly Frigates a lot actually, but we don’t yet have a fleet doctrine.  And – by the way – “Frigate Hole” – is a misnomer, these things fit Destroyers.  Anyway.  So, Friday was fleet night and our truly expansive chain (we are talking 20+ WHs in the chain) is entirely empty.  We are nearly at a point where we break out the Battleships and crush our C3 static, when one of our number squeezes his CovOps through one of the little holes and ends up in Nullsec.  And there is someone in Local!  First person we ever saw this night!  He is – of course – docked up in the station and afk.  But we don’t give up.  How do we incite trouble?  Remember, we are Wormholers in Frigates.  Death and mayhem are our thing and 1 day PI will handsomely pay for whatever we are about to blow up.  We spot an Encounter Surveillance Thing.  Its that contraption that nullseccers use to make even more ISK with their bots but that nobody else understands.  My first impulse is of course “shoot it!” but calmer heads prevail. With one guy in local, one of us activates this thing and some timer starts.  We have a reformed nullsec pilot in our corporation who talks us through the mechanics.  Nothing happens, our pilot is paid a few million ISK and since he is our corp CEO, I assume that it goes into our lean wallet.  Right, Orea?

Now we can shoot the thing, yes, Dad, please can we shoot the thing?  Yes, children, you may.  Weee!  Torpedoes streak handsomely across the pitch black sky.  Yes, I brought a Manticore, what of it?

Oh yes, the pilot in the station, we forgot all about him.  He speaks. In local channel which none of us realized since we never look at that.  Matter of habit.  People who speak in local other than “gf” are weird.

Well, we answer.  I fly cloaked to the station and take a look.  He undocks – in a shuttle.  Really.  He is still talking in local, our team is hammering on that Thing-that-gives-bots-ISK.  He is 30km away from me and needless to say, I take full advantage of my bomber’s ability to decloak and lock in one smooth motion and send my torpedoes his way.  Its not meant to kill him, its meant to send a kind reminder to call his intel channel please for backup.  He docks up, naturally, and my torpedoes expire harmlessly.  My team though sees the opportunity to shoot at something even more interesting than the “thing-that-nobody-knows-how-it-works-but-its-shiny-and-generates-a-killmail” and lands on grid.  Destroyers, frigates etc, all waiting for our local friend to make a dumb move.  And – true to form -he does!  He undocks his shuttle again, fully confident in his ability to re-dock if hostiles are outside.  Well…. did I mention that one of us brought a Thrasher?  No?  Oh, sorry.  Well, here it is.  Thrasher 1, Shuttle 0.  The pod hangs, we can’t quite believe what just happened when our Thrasher pilot pods our chatty friend into high security.

Case closed.  The encounter thing blows up with a satisfying pop and we could call it a night.

If it wasn’t for the other Nullsec Frigate hole in our C3…. That leads to an empty system but it’s neighbors are not.  One of our number scouts ahead and finds a few locals.  They seem to be in the station and our man docks.  As soon as that happens, the locals undock and camp him into the station.  A Scorpion Navy Issue, a Hurricane and something else.  And us in a motley collection of frigates and destroyers!  Our man plays his station games now and he plays them well. We wait on the gate to the system where he is hostage and our capable FC is wondering how to proceed.  Can we take a fight with these clowns?  Likely not.

In one of my very rare moments of bravery, I publicly question our FC’s manhood and I do my best Gimly expression: “Oh come on, we can take ’em.”.  FC accepts the challenge (its all in jest, he is a great guy and we have been flying for what 3 years?) and jumps our jumble of frigates through the gate and onto the station. Where the Hurricane still sits guard.  Our guys do not hesitate and engage!  Death is certain!  Unless someone docks, of course.  Which the Hurricane promptly does.  I mean, seriously, he was camping in some helpless CovOps,  ready to tell manly stories about his heroism fighting the axis of evil and out of the black descents a cloud of frigates, faces painted blue, screaming “Freedom for our Brother”.  Better doc up and flip through the SOP ringbinder for the correct reporting channel to Mittani.

Our man undocks and we are free!  We align to the gate and warp out, only I splat into the damn gate like a bug on a windscreen.  Why can’t I jump? Aggression timer?  We are in nullsec what is that?  Oh man, too many rules here.  Wormhole space is so simple. If you can see it, kill it or run away.

 

Well, thus ends our adventure with the little holes, we had a lot of fun and promised each other to bring a real fleet of these little gnats into our home for similar forays.

 

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