I was again out with fleets in the north last night. During the day, if I read the pings correctly, the EUTZ crew was shooting their structures. But come the evening and USTZ prime time, it was time again to defend our own structured being deployed on grid with the Darkness Keepstar in DO6H-Q.
We formed up in Ishtars again, so I grabbed my Guardian and got in the logi channel to play space priest once more. Undocked we spread out in front of the station as everybody got together.
Ishtars once more in space
There is always somebody changing to the right fit at the last second, and even I was at the hairy edge of that as there was a call to change the Guardian fit from what I had been flying.
This time out we took gates to DO6H-Q. It isn’t that far away and nothing was reported lurking between our staging and there.
Ishtars landing on a gate
We arrived in system and tethered up at one of our already anchored structures and looked around to assess the situation. We had a bit until the first structure finished deploying and entered its 15 minute vulnerability window as it came online.
Coming online in a little over 12 minutes
You can see, in the background of the above, another Raitaru slowly deploying.
By default Upwell structures take 24 hours to deploy, but as part of the sovereignty mechanics of conquerable null sec, deploying a structure in space owned by somebody else ups that time to six days. So that Raitaru will be ready on Monday morning EVE time.
There was a moment of hope that GotG was going to bring a fight with something new when a Tempest Fleet Issue undock from the Keepstar.
Tempest Fleet Issue
However that turned out to be just one person undocking it for whatever reasons.
As the timer on the first structure ticked down Asher, privy to coalition level intel, decided that the locals were not going to undock a fleet at this point to contest the onlining. We were going to stay in the area in case something came up, but do something else while we waited.
Asher warped us off to a gate and we jumped, and warped off to a POS where the locals had a jump bridge anchored. The tower was armed, so we left light stuff with a bit of support back at the gate we came through. We landed, anchored up, and disabled the warp disruption batteries on the POS first, then started in on the jump bridge module.
Shooting the jump bridge module
This was probably the most challenging part of the evening for logi. The tower had no shortage of guns and we were big enough to hit fairly easily, with just a couple of shots able to put an Ishtar or Guardian into armor. Also, when POS guns shoot in their autonomous mode, they switch targets regularly. This meant a steady stream of calls for reps as everybody seemed to get their turn as a target.
Rep, cap chain, and neut effects on the Ishtar ball
A year from now, if CCP keeps on task, the venerable POS will be a thing of memory and jump bridges will be a different beast, But last night we were in for the old school experience. We knocked the jump bridge module down to half structure, then tried to rep the armor back up a bit. The owned have to decide if the want to spend the time repping it back up or if it is easier to just shoot and kill it themselves in order to drop a fresh module.
We did not get much time to rep the module however. As we were shooting things on the tower, a small group of locals undocked in bombers, along with one Ferox battlecruiser, in order to shoot the onlining structure. They were hitting it with enough damage to stop the repair timer, but were making slow enough progress that we had time to finish disabling the jump bridge before heading back to shoo them away.
When we got back into DO6H-Q and landed on grid with the Raitaru, the locals set themselves to warp off. But the Ferox pilot was a bit too slow on that front and ended up locked down, unable to warp, or even move very fast.
A Ferox in trouble
Asher wanted to let everybody get on the kill, so had us drop just one light drone each. But as we started to eat through him he has logi start repping him as well.
Repping a hostile Ferox
I do wonder what was going on in the pilots mind as time dragged on and we were both shooting him and keeping him alive. He kept trying to move and shoot us and launched his drones, which were shot as well. That is all you can really do, just keep squirming and maybe there will be a mistake and you can get away.
After keeping him as a pet for a while, Asher had us all launch two more light drones to apply damage to see if logi could keep him alive. I activated my other two reps on him as the extra drones hit. As it turned out, we could not keep him alive. According to the kill mail he managed to tank a lot of damage with us repping him.
We were briefly able to capture a Nemesis stealth bomber as well, but it was too fragile and blew up very quickly.
After that we were left alone to tether up and wait for the timer to count down, after which we headed back to our staging. Or tried to. On the gate out we got fed a couple of targets and started to wonder if this was a ploy to keep us there. But once everybody’s aggression timer finally ran down we jumped through and headed home.
We went back because it was late for some people… it was late for me even, though I get up at around 5am, so late is a relative term… so we docked up and let people log off. A few more people joined the fleet and I decided to stay for the next round.
Asher said that we had intel indicating that they would undock for the next timer so we might get a fight. That merited a ride out to battle, so we got in range of the titan and waited to be bridged directly to our destination.
Waiting for the bridge
Back in DO6H-Q the locals, like earlier this week, had formed up a fleet based on the Eagle heavy assault cruiser. However, like last time, they didn’t form up enough numbers to overwhelm us so, once we clashed, things turned very quickly in our favor and they had to flee the scene.
As that happened a TEST pilot, Cpt Sobad (alt of Capt. Soban), indulged him in his alliance’s tradition of shitting up local by haranguing the locals for not being able to stop us despite being in their staging system and under their capital and super cap umbrella. We, as usual, stayed silent in local. But seeing an outsider taking the locals to task was amusing.
Cpt Sobad tethered at our citadel
He was able to tether up safely at one of our structures because we have them set to be open to anybody not in GotG or PanFam. We let him warp out a pick up a souvenir corpse from the battlefield. He has since returned the favor by writing to PepsiCo about the obvious state of our thirst after this hard work.
That was about the end of the action. Asher deployed his MTU, named after Erebus SilentKill, the only MTU he will tolerate on the field, and it cleaned up the wrecks so as to leave nothing for the locals.
A Vigil valiantly salvaging wrecks
Once the Raitaru was online a hauler was brought in to fuel it up.
A Prowler and a covert cyno
That was it for the op. We rolled home without incident.
The battle report for the night, which covers both interludes, shows the ISK war tilted again in our favor. We didn’t kill as much as the other night, but we didn’t lose anything expensive this time either. Somehow I didn’t get counted on the battle report even though I was on a few ship kill mails. The zKillboard related kills shows me, though it has a different time frame.
Also, a side note on the topic of GotG FC Erebus SilentKill; he apparently has decided to quit EVE Online, for which he was memorialized and/or mocked over on zKillboard, depending on how you look at it. We have faced him more than a few times lately. He was the one harrying our fleet when we went back to shoot the Sotiyo again. On the other hand, he was also streaming his fleet with no delay and talking about his intentions, so handed us a bounty of intel.
Anyway, I wonder what the leader of GotG, Sort Dragon, who is vacationing in Japan currently, will have to say when he gets home?
Addendum: See my comment below on what has happened this morning, including the theft of a Keepstar. More links there.