It Was In That Moment…

There are some fuckups that are just too surreal for words.

IMMURI SOLAR SYSTEM
BLACK RISE REGION
CALDARI STATE

My fleet had been out hunting for quite some time with limited success, as for some unexplainable reason, the systems that we had been traveling through seemed relatively empty.  I had just called for a fleet warp to the Nennamaila stargate when one of my scouts called out that they had observed a Thanatos-class carrier bearing private designation on the Immuri stargate in Hikkoken.  The large majority of my fleet was made up of frigate-class hulls and variants, and I thought for a moment whether or not we should risk the engagement.  I keyed fleet communications, “As soon as we arrive at the Nennamaila gate, align back to Hikkoken stargate and prepare for warp.”  “Jack,” the scout called, “I’m being aggressed!  I’m going to need some help over here.”  Without hesitation I barked over comms, “Full fleet warp Hikkoken stargate and jump on contact.  Upon arrival, I want all electronic warfare focused on fighters as they’re launched.  All weapons on the carrier itself and for fucks sake stay the fuck out of smartbomb range.”  The fleet arrived at the Hikkoken stargate.

HIKKOKEN SOLAR SYSTEM
BLACK RISE REGION
CALDARI STATE

I took a moment to clear my head as my exterior camera drone feed came back to life, projected across my retina.  I then willed Haukr, my Sentinel-class Electronic Attack Ship into orbit around the hulking vessel which had chosen to engage one of my fleet-mates on a stargate, prompting an immediate response from the sentry guns positioned around it.

“Jack, fighters deployed,” one of my pilots called out.  I engaged the neutralizers on board the tiny vessel, and launched drones as I keyed comms once again, “Get me electronic countermeasures on the fighters and ensure we have multiple warp disruptors on the Thanatos.  This is too good of a score to pass up.” 

The carrier pilot was a fool, but at least he was a smart fool.  As soon as he realized that the squadrons of fighters he had launched were being jammed so that they could not target or engage, he would recall them, and try launching them again, directing the pilots to try to pick off targets within my fleet, but my electronic warfare pilots were on top of them as soon as they’d launch.  The carrier began to slowly drift away from the gate, partly in thanks to a collision with an Orthrus-class cruiser at approximately four-thousand meters per second.  Even if the pilot of the vessel could manage to deaggress from my fleet to gain clearance to jump through the stargate, he was already outside of range, and the stasis webifiers being applied en masse significantly hampered his maneuverability.  The capital vessel’s pilot began a practice in insanity, repeating the same action multiple times yet expecting a different outcome.  Beyond being jammed, his fighter squadrons were beginning to experience losses to the swarming frigates and drones, unable to respond due to their inability to lock targets.

The Thanatos’ shielding failed, leaving the full brunt of the incoming weapons fire to begin damaging its armor plating, and while the frigates themselves weren’t doing much damage alone, due to the sheer numbers, and the support of the sentry guns, the massive vessel’s armor plating began to show wear as it began to buckle, warp and holes began forming, the molten metals giving way to the hull plating below.

“Jack, I hate to be the one to put a damper on things,” one of my pilots called out, “But what if this is bait?  What if the pilot lights a cyno beacon on the carrier and calls for backup?”  “If that turns out to be the case, we just warp off,” I chuckled, “I mean, it’s not like he can target any of us very quickly.”  The pilot breathed a sigh of relief, “You do bring up a valid point.”  “Of course I do mate, now keep shooting,” I laughed.

It was a slow grind through the capital ship’s armor plating, but finally telemetry reads showed that we were making headway against it, I smirked, “Alright ladies, this is it.  Armor is gone, and telemetry is showing numerous hull breaches.  If he’s going to light a cyno, it’s time for him to shit or get off the pot, but I think this guy was just fucking stupid.”  It was obvious the pilot of the Thanatos wasn’t about to go out quietly, as he still attempted micromanaging the fighter squadrons that launched from his vessel, only to have them rendered completely ineffective, the swarm of skirmish frigates having essentially defanged the vessel.

“We’ve got numerous hull breaches and as far as I can tell, the reactor on this thing is exposed,” a pilot called out.  I did a quick check of telemetry feeds, all the while maintaining the orbit around the now doomed vessel, “All pilots, overheat weapons, let’s fucking finish this thing off.”

Several large, jagged holes formed in the hull of the vessel, and it appeared almost as its toothless maw was smiling at us.  A salvo of Nova Javelin rockets launched by a nearby Jackdaw-class Tactical Destroyers screamed through the void in the vessel’s plating, striking the reactor.  Telemetry feeds showed a massive energy spike within the Thanatos itself, all of the lighting flickering, and then going out for good.  The vessel was evidently out of control as it started to list, a shockwave being emitted which buffeted the shields of all surrounding vessels.  The launched fighter squadrons were now vulnerable to attack, and that is exactly what we did, finish them off to leave no survivors.  The dark space around us began to be illuminated by a warm orange glow as the hull of the once beautiful testament to Gallente engineering began to bubble out into twisted chunks of molten slag, secondary explosions being triggered throughout the entire vessel.  Then a sudden, bright flash illuminated the entire area as the reactor went critical, exploding and causing massive segments of the vessel to be sheared off and projected outward.

All was silent on comms for a moment.  Then the channel erupted into a chorus of loud cheering, shouting and laughter.  One of the newest pilots in my fleet laughed, “Holy shit Jack!  That was fucking intense!  I’ll be looking for when you’re running your next fleet, because if we can get in fights like that, I want to be a part of them!”  The newest pilot in the fleet asked, “So, why’s everyone so excited?  And what the hell is a Thanatos anyway?”  I laughed and keyed comms, “Mate, we just killed a capital ship with a gang of frigates.”  “Oh,” the new pilot said, “Neat I guess?”  Everyone had a good laugh at the comment.  Another pilot keyed up, “Hey Jack, so what’s next?”

“Align to the freeported Astrahus, coordinates have been broadcast.  Let’s go dock up and grab some beer, also, I need a smoke,” I said with a smirk.

END

2017.10.08.03.18.10

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