Don’t care, had fun
I saw the ping for Cainun’s fleet about five minutes after it popped. There was a sense of urgency in it that made me decide to give it a pass. If they were in a hurry about something I was probably too late to make it. But a couple minutes later a follow up ping came up; Cainun needed more people in fleet. So I logged in.
Once in I had to dig around to see if I had the right ship. I mentioned that the Imperium was moving Keepstars for staging in 1DQ and at this point about half my stuff is still in the old Keep. It was an Eagle fleet, and I did not have a Basilisk in my hangar. I moved a bunch of stuff in my Fax and Dread… going against all warnings and warping them between Keeps… but didn’t pack much logi because they always have refits in the cargo. No space priest role for me. I did, however, have an Eagle in my hangar. I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit, but it was probably close enough. I got in fleet ready to just shoot things for once.
I am always optimistic about how quickly a fleet is going to get moving. It always takes more time than I think it will, though this time we had the opposite of the usual problems, with too many boosters and too much support and too much tackle, so Cainun was trying to get people into Eagles and Basilisks.
Still, we got ourselves undock and going, warping first to another citadel to take a titan bridge, then off for a destination in Fountain.
The pace was quick, we were clearly headed off to a timer of some sort. We entered Fountain and found an incursion waiting for us. However there were no NPCs on the gates and we jumped into another system to find a wormhole waiting for us.
We were through that and off to another destination system. That too had a wormhole waiting for us.
Through the second wormhole… both were direct normal space connections… we found ourselves up in the northeast of New Eden null sec. And when Cainun set our destination to FDZ4-A I knew what we were up to.
FDZ is the one system in Geminate with an NPC station. I have a jump clone and some ships there because it is the place you base if you want to hit Pandemic Horde, which owns Geminate and neighboring TKE. Space Violence and Black Ops both keep a presence there and I had seen updates just the day before about a Raitaru that had been planted up there being hit by PH.
I figured we were headed to the final timer for that, which Cainun confirmed as we got closer to the system. He also told us that PH had dreads and carriers on the field, so that we were not going to be able to save the Raitaru. We were there just to get a fight and see what we could kill and have some fun doing it.
Eagle fleets depend on speed. We got into FDZ, took our drugs… if we remembered to bring them. I actually had more drugs than required, but took all the performance enhancing items I had in my cargo as it seemed likely we might suffer significant losses.
Cainun warped us on grid with the structure and we anchored up and followed him into the danger zone.
Around the Raitaru was the PH fleet. They brought out more than they needed for the kill or even any likely opposition, but it is good to get the bigger toys out to play with, especially if you live within cyno range.
We were there for the battleship fleet they brought, which formed around Apocalypses and Megathrons. Moving fast and at the edge of our range with spike loaded, we took shots at targets as they were called. Early ones got reps quickly enough, but others we were able to burn down before they could get logi support.
The carriers began sending fighters our way, so we pulled some range and set about kiting and killing those instead. From then on it was back and forth between battleships and fighters, with the occasional other target hoving into range.
And we were getting kills. However, we were also taking losses. The Eagles remained mostly intact, allowing us to keep delivering enough damage to kill things. But PH had been focused on our logi, so Basilisks and Ospreys had been getting blown up regularly, whittling away our ability to stay alive in the long term. When we were down more than a dozen logi, it was time to head out.
Cainun turned us for the exit and we left, taking a dozen or so gates to the third wormhole of the night, which dropped us back in Delve. From there it was just a few gates home.
Overall, the operation could not be measured as a success. We lost the objective as the Raitaru was destroyed. The battle report shows us losing the ISK war. We drew some blood, but easily lost two ISK for every one we killed.
But it was a fast and exciting op in a time of relative quiet and stagnation in null sec. You take your fights when you can find them and Cainun’s current philosophy, as quoted at the top, is that some fun is worth the ISK expended.
Addendum: I was told there was a video take of the battle and only just found it.
This explains my “Danger Zone” mention. Also, I was going to mention the constant reminder on coms to get on the anchor, but the video shows why that was a thing. We were all over the place.