I made it to the weekly coalition fireside talk on Saturday, and it was a good thing I did. I haven’t done much since I alarm clocked for that last Keepstar kill. The word passed down was that we were pulling back in our commitment to the war.
We are not done up in the north, but rather than having capitals and a half a dozen or more doctrines to hand and everybody’s death clone set in the DO6H-Q Keepstar, the whole thing was going to be reset to be a jump clone effort with two doctrines left behind and everything else being hauled home.
And move ops home were to commence after the fireside, once a cyno vigil to a fallen member of the coalition was concluded. That gave me enough time to get back to the Keepstar and get packed, because I had parked my main and my alt out Venal at 92D-OI and WLF-D3, a good dozen gates away from our staging, in anticipation of there being another set of Keepstar fights.
But Fraternity has been getting its act together, working to get gate and grid control going in advance, making it unlikely for us to succeed.
That and the whole time zone difference… you can only get your coalition to alarm clock so many times before it becomes a real drag… were big parts of why we were dialing things back.
I got both my characters back to the Keepstar safely, the route home being fairly empty. I was even back in time to fly around the cyno vigil for a bit.
When the ping for fleets went up there were three, which filled up pretty quickly. I had to leave one to get both characters in the same fleet. We were told to have at least 60K of isotopes, the fuel that capital ships expend for jump travel, to be sure we could make it home. I had 100K on each of my capitals, because I had TWO capital ships up in Pure Blind, an Apostle and a Ninazu.
The Apostle had been in Pure Blind for a Reavers deployment that never really came together. It turns out that if your SIG leader is also the coalition leader, then your SIG doesn’t end up doing much… though we are always around for special tasks.
The Ninazu, meanwhile, is what I flew up to this deployment, a fleet hangar full of sub caps, most of which I never undocked. So it goes.
The move op home was… well… exceptionally smooth. It is almost like we’ve learned something since the trail of tears and the doomed convoy op at KVN-36 back in the day.
Once in the fleet there was already a cyno target in the MOTD. We were told to undock and jump right away.
That put us at another Keepstar where we waited a bit for red timers to count down, then it was time to undock and jump again.
We had to stop along the way at a couple of Fortizars, which meant that the supercarriers and titans had to sit out on tether while the rest of us docked up.
Fortunately, the capital ship bumping mechanics have changed over the years. I remember back in Delve in 2012 witnessing two titans bumping at a POS and that causing one of the titans to be flung more than a hundred of kilometers out of the safety of the forcefield.
Now, while there is still bumping and you can get pushed off of tether quite easily, bumps are not that crazy.
The whole thing was very low key, though I was sitting in the No Chatter channel which meant I only heard orders from the fleet commander, Apple Pear, about when to dock, undock, and jump.
I spent the intervals while we waited for jump timers to run down playing Civ II. ManicTime says I spent a lot more time playing that than in EVE Online during the move op, which is a good sign for a move op in my opinion.
Apple Pear was encouraging people to get at least as far as J5A-IX in Fountain on the move, because that would put them back in friendly space. Also, there was a surprise for us once we gated from Cloud Ring into that system in Fountain.
We got through and were bubbled on the gate, which is usually a serious faux pas on a capital move op. Cap pilots get very anxious when unexplained bubbled pop up. And then we were told to lock up a titan with the pilot Voltran and shoot him. He wasn’t broadcast in our fleet and I couldn’t find him, get him locked up, and drop some drones because he was dead before I cold get my act together.
Apparently Voltran was one of Pandemic Horde’s big spies in our super capital group and we were using this moment to purge him. The bubbles were up to keep him from getting away. It all happened so fast I didn’t even get a screen shot of the explosion, just the greasy smudge of smoke in space where his Avatar had been.
If you go find his character in game you will see that he did, indeed, end up in Pandemic Horde once he was purged. I would link his EVE Who profile, but the API end points are still disabled, so nothing is getting updated.
Other spies were reported purged as well, but none so dramatically.
Then it was to the Keepstar to wait for another jump timer. We had two more jumps until we ended up in Delve on a Keepstar one jump from 1DQ1-A. We were left there, but that was fine. I had a long jump timer at that point and there is a safe cyno on the 1DQ Keepstar most days. I came back later that evening and jumped myself home.
I ended up using about 47K isotopes, oxygen for the Ninazu and helium for the Apostle, because each NPC empire powers their jump drives with their own special fuel. I am sure that makes logistics lots of fun.
Now we are back at home. I have a couple of ships and two jump clones still up in Pure Blind should something happen, but most of my assets are now back down in Delve.