The fall of Darkness, the alliance at the core of the Dead Coalition… once the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition… a couple of weeks back was a sign that the fighting in and around the Venal region was likely going to fall off. Not immediately, of course. Wars have their own momentum, and being deployed up in Venal with the Goon Expeditionary Force and ready to fight meant there were still some sizable clashes after the news.
The final fight for me was a dust up between a GEF Typhoon fleet and a Pandemic Horde Ferox fleet in Q-7SUI, just a jump from where we were staged.
There was a call for more firepower so I bought a Typhoon, figuring I would regret it when it came time to move home, that being one more ship to get back to Delve, but whatever. So got ourselves in range of PH and their Feroxes and the shooting began.
My worry about hauling home a Typhoon was unfounded as I managed to get it blown up during the fight. That left me hanging out and watching things transpire.
A couple of PH pilots locked me up at various points to try and pop by pod, but their Ferox fleet was moving fast and they we not often in range. I took a few hits but was able to motor to the gate and jump through to dock up. This was fortunate as I realized at that point that I had deployed in my Reaver’s speed implant clone and, while it wouldn’t have been a tragic loss, it would have cost me a couple hundred million ISK to replace it.
As I was gating out HAW dreads were dropping in to join the fight.
I got back to the station and re-shipped in a logi hull, but the fight was over by then. While we had killed more more ships, the battle report showed the ISK went well in favor of PH and company.
That pretty much wrapped up the deployment for me. There were some further fights… a couple of good ones from all accounts… but I missed out. But when the first call came to fly home… I kind of missed out on that too. I think I was playing Pokemon Sword. And it is unlike me to miss the first move op. It has long been my practice to be on the first one because there have been times when there has not been a second such op. I was on the first move op to the deployment.
Fortunately, there was a second op… or whatever op it was I got in on earlier this week. I joined the mixed bag of subcaps who wanted to go home. Given that ranged from frigates to battleships, it was going to be a slow move. I grabbed the largest ship I had out on the deployment, a Jackdaw, and undocked with everybody else.
The flight home wasn’t too bad. It ran about an hour. However, it would have been a lot quicker if we had been closer to the Eye of Terror, the Ansiblex Jump Gate network that runs from Querious around into Pure Blind. Being out in Venal meant we had about twenty gates to take to get to the terminus to the network.
Mixed bag we were, but it was a big mixed bag, with about 150 in fleet. So while we didn’t make up a coherent doctrine, we had the mass to pass and the locals left us alone. Once we got to the travel network about three quarters of the time in fleet had passed.
After that it is about eight connecting gates and five jump gates and you’re back at the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A. While it was slow going for a bit, with align and warp and align again, it was safe.
That done, there was still a bit of time left in the evening, so I clone jumped back up to Venal, where I still had two more ships to bring home. I grabbed the Purifier stealth bomber and ran the route again solo. This is not always advisable. A move op often signals to everybody that people are trying to get home and highlights the route to camp if you want to pick off stragglers. However I managed to slip through without any issue and was soon making the warp from the final Ansiblex on my route.
And so ends the deployment for me. There were a few good fights for me, and enough structure shooting to keep me satisfied. Now we’ll stand down for a bit until somebody figures out what we ought to get up to next. Isn’t it about time for a Burn Jita or something?