It was a busy day in null sec yesterday. A lot happened. There were a massive number of ships in motion. Yet almost nothing of real consequence came to pass.
So it goes.
The day started full of promise. There was a fireworks event planned at the Imperium’s main Keepstar in 1DQ1-A, with more than 1,700 people in system and fireworks going off all over, which was enough to drag you frame rate down into the low teens.
The firework effects are relatively small compared to the size of the structure, but the cumulative effect of them going of lit up the whole tableau.
I had to peek in on that via an alt, as a couple hours before that kicked off there was a ping from Asher Elias to Reavers that was too hard to pass up.
SUPER IMPORTANT. TORP BOMBERS UNDER TOM FLOOD, NEED AT LEAST 25 REAVERS FOR THIS. IF IT SUCEEDS YOU’RE HEROES FOREVER. USE REAVERS SIG COMMS
Special operations can be a treat. I love a big fight and, frankly, I am happy enough just shooting structures when it comes down to it, but something out of the ordinary is always welcome.
So a pack of Reavers flew off… and almost messed up the mission when our first black ops battleship warped with us straight into a gate camp in 1DQ1-A and got popped along with a couple of bombers. The fuel truck got through the gate with 8% left in structure and had to tether up on the other side to repair.
A replacement blops was found, a Marshall, which is an 8 billion ISK ship. But it looks good and, as fit, it aligned and warped off faster than the bombers as we moved to our destination.
We moved carefully, eventually setting up shop in a dead end system in Stain that would allow us to drop onto a range of systems where Legacy Coalition was expected to drop a new Keepstar.
This Keepstar was to be the new staging base for their invasion of Delve. But we had eyes all over and watched likely freighters come and go, bridge this way and that, because they knew they were being watched and no doubt feared that we would crash the party when they decided to anchor the structure. And our hope was no less than to drop on the freighter and blow it up as it prepared to disgorge the Keepstar.
We even knew the timing that they wanted to align with, as they wanted the Keepstar live and deployed to in time for their own 19:00 UTC state of the alliance meeting to announce the start of the war. Since it takes 24 hours to online a Keepstar in your own territory, the window of opportunity was pretty clear.
But being watched made them dither. Meanwhile, as time went on, more and more Imperium luminaries slipped out of 1DQ to join our fleet. Most of the major alliance FCs and one of our CSM reps were cloaked up on the blops with us before the decision point came. Some poor Russian kept asking us in local to leave and go back to Delve so he could carry on farming LP for Nirvana implants, but we never answer back in local.
As we sat there, the Meta Show kicked off, where The Mittani, who had been on coms with us a few times, taunted Vily, the CSM member and leader of Legacy Coalition, that we knew what he was up to, that we were in his head. If we couldn’t kill the Keepstar, we would at least mess with them.
The likely candidate systems were being watched, but we only had so many eyes, and in the end, after hours of hustling around and PM’ing our lurkers to see if anybody would answer, they dropped the Keepstar quickly in FAT-6P, a few systems over from our foothold in Catch at 4-07MU.
We got a covert ops cyno in position, but there was enough going on in the target system that tidi was up and it took a bit for the bridge to go up.
But the cyno ship got popped before more than a few of us could get through. I ended up stuck with the blops. But that was okay, as there were not many of us and the Keepstar was already anchoring. In their haste to get things going, rather than giving it a meme name, as TEST tends to do, they named it “1111,” which we took as a sign than we has indeed made them nervous. It also wasn’t very carefully positioned. When you lay down a structure you try to face the undock in a useful direction.
Asher, who had been through to see the Keepstar only to have his Purifier popped, took a moment to ping out this to the coalition.
Congrats to Test for starting the anchoring if their non-aligned keepstar panic-named “1111”. They meant to start anchoring it 3 hours ago so it came out with their 19:00 SOTA but a few brave bomber boys kept them flummoxed and confused for 3 hours while they cyno’d around Stain and Catch trying to lose us. A great start to the war for them! Looking forward to their pilots waiting for 3 hours after their SOTA before they can do anything!
With that ping “1111” became the new battle cry as people at the fireworks party in 1DQ began to repeat that in local.
Expect “1111” to come up a lot. At least you’ll know where it came from now.
This Keepstar was placed in the buffer zone between Legacy and the Imperium, which was yet another violation of the Non-invasion pact between the two powers, but with only a few hours to go before it ended, it was hardly going to change anything.
We made out way back home, disappointed that we hadn’t gotten to kill the Keepstar, but happy enough to have had an impact. I actually had to leave part way through the vigil on the blops to go fire up the BBQ and cook some lunch for my family. I had enough time to do that, eat, and get back on the blops again before anything happened. Sometimes we just sit and wait.
It was about time for the State of the Goonion. The Mittani read a prepared speech, the text of which has been posted on INN, in which he announced that our own war aim was to destroy TEST Alliance Please Ignore, that they were to be the Carthage to our Rome. An list of 102 alliance might arrayed against us, but we would have one real target.
And once that was over, the form up for war began. TEST seemed to have some plan to start the war well into July 5th, but so far as we were concerned, if the NIP between the Imperium and Legacy was to end on a date, we were going to get started at 00:01 EVE Online time, so declined to wait around for them to have their SOTA or for their Keepstar to anchor.
This led to a series of clashes across the map. Up north PandaFam came out of their staging in Hophip and into Fountain where they fought several engagements with The Initiative, which was watching that way into our space.
Meanwhile, down south, TEST seemed to be ready to form up for battle on the Period Basis/Paragon Soul border, where the systems TCAG-3 and G-M4GK form the connection between our territories. This led to… not much at all. I flew on down with the spec ops group in an ECM frigate, ready to cause trouble.
However, while a fight threatened to develop, with TEST forming up fleets, they would inevitably stand them down or leave them idle. They did poke into Querious and manage to reinforce the Ansiblex in 49-U6U, and there was a brief clash as they came through into TCAG-3, but no huge brawl developed. They seemed to still be on their own timetable, set to have a meeting at 19:00, move into the new Keepstar once it anchored, and then get on with the war.
So the opportunity was taken to go in and reinforce a bunch of their infrastructure hubs in Paragon Soul and a few more in Esotaria.
We seem to have stolen a march on the invaders, though these are more morale points than anything tangible. The first day of counting coup was fun, but made no real change to the situation. We are still greatly outnumbered by foes who plan to assail us from multiple directions. They will get their act together and come for us, sooner rather than later.