The one corp in our home system that wasn’t around for the previous evening’s supply run consisted of our Oceanic compadres, and I want to make sure they have the support they need before we lock up the system, so I drop in early in the morning (one of the upsides of a nine-month-old copilot) to see what’s what.
It turns out Cabbage and Pan Demic are fine on tower fuel, but Pan is still planning a run out in an Orca, due to a slight miscalculation on the ore required for the Rorqual project. We’re ready to begin building parts of the ship, but as it stands right now we won’t have enough material to keep the forges running for the week we’re going known-space cold turkey. I might not be able to do too much to help, but luckily Berke is around as well, so our corp can still lend a hand.
We scan down the exit to lowsec to see if we’ll get lucky with a useful connection and the answer is “yes.. and no.” The system itself is quite useful: immediately adjacent to the minor market in the Hek system means we only need to go a single jump with the Orcas to get the minerals we need (and the prices are even good). Unfortunately, the local comms channels (unavailable in wormhole space) tells us that there are two pilots in system who are members of the alliance with whom we will very shortly be at war.
We consider collapsing the hole to find a more secure connection, but as we debate it, Ty (who’s scouting the lowsec system) reports that the two pilots have jumped out of the system. A bit more research shows that the gates we need to use are currently clear of any pilots, so we decide to make a break for it; Thunder-orcas are GO.
Pan heads out first to purchase all the necessary materials, followed a few minutes later by Berke, who has a very small shopping list of his own.
It takes more than a few minutes to deal with the logistics, but eventually both the ships are ready to return to the system, and we get scouting eyes on the gate again. Both ships jump, but there was a miscommunication: Pan went to the gate back home, while Berke jumped to the next system over to pick up the last thing on his personal list.
We don’t wait; the gate is clear for Pan to get home, so we get him moving and back into the home system without incident, however just as he warps away from the gate, he sees a Tengu-class strategic cruiser decloak and an Armageddon-class battleship land nearby. Things look a bit interesting for Berke’s return.
Berke, for his part, is ready to make the attempt as soon as the gate gets a bit less congested — he’s fit with warp-core stabilizers (as usual), so it’s highly unlikely a single battleship will be able to tackle him, and it doesn’t look like the Tengu is on the Armageddon’s side, since it warps away as soon as the bigger ship heads its direction.
Right. Berke warps to the gate and prepares to jump.
Meanwhile, Pan has unloaded his own orca and jumped back to the wormhole to jump through it and back again, to ensure that it’s close to collapse when Berke returns — he’s thinking positive, but he has good reason, since one of his corp mates has jumped into a Hurricane-class battlecruiser and is en route to the gate to meet Berke coming the other way.
The Hurricane lands, the Armageddon turns and starts blowing away his shields, and Berke jumps through. With the Hurricane already in his sites and the Orca coming through the gate over 35 kilometers away, the attacking pilot doesn’t bother switching targets, and Berke is easily able to warp away from the fight — as soon as he does, his bodyguard/decoy jumps through the gate and into high-sec space. Easy peasy.
A few minutes later, the Hurricane is ready to jump back, and the Armageddon is nowhere to be seen. Curious. Also curious is the return of both of the pilots from the corp we’re about to be at war with. Ty does a bit of poking around the system to see if he can figure out where everyone’s at.
“You’re clear to jump back home,” he informs the hurricane pilot.
“Very sure,” comes the reply. “The Armageddon is dead.”
“No kidding? Who killed it?”
Ty peers through the canopy of his cloaked covert ops ship. “Looks like those two pilots we’ve been watching out for,” he says. “And they’re currently looting the wreck a few klicks off one of the other stargates, so they’re distracted. Come on through.”
The hurricane jumps through the gate, warps to the wormhole, and jumps through. Ty follows, and Berke drops an Orca-shaped hammer on the over-stressed wormhole to bring it crashing down.
“Nice work,” comments Pan. “Now then: time to build a Rorqual.”