The Loss Of A Raven
Today is a big day, if not bigger than yesterday. My agent in the Caldari Navy is certainly on to something…
Hurry crew, we must complete refitting the ship by 18:00 hours to meet up with the rest of the support fleet! Hey you, foreman Henderson! I need you to run the fitting check list, and don’t be afraid to check it twice as we have no room for errors. This is our chance to go big and earn big!
“Yes sir! Cruise missile launchers, 5 of 6 online; 3 of 5 loaded. Drone link augmentor, wired and synced…”
Please call all aboard captain Arnie! I will be in my office to finish all the paper works for this mission and finalize the contract with Arkiras Airilen so our deal holds tight. Set destination for the rendezvous point and send a request to Scotty for a priority two permission to undock.
As the smoke clears away from the hanger pit and the Raven is revealed, the crew hustles to get the final preparations completed. Some even stayed here for overtime making repairs or replacing the overheated ship modules. Captain Arnie is optimizing the engines and the hum of the 7 Magpulse Propulsion Jets slowly takes over all other sounds there is.
Now undocked and in warp to the Kamokor gate, I made an announcement to everyone on board. “…this deadspace complex is not much more dangerous than the one we faced last night, but you need to remember that all the ships from yesterday’s support fleet are doing their individual assignments, just like us. So we need to be on top of our game! Intel provides detail of 3 Megathron classes battleships, 6 cruisers, and the amount of frigates in the 10′s range. This really is enemies abound… Good luck and may we fly safe.”
Ironic, isn’t everything?
We arrived at the hidden gate into an unauthorized Roden Shipyard in Caldari space. I contacted HQ one more time for a go and they have not swayed from their original statement; engage at your own risk. I thought how nice it would be for all to receive a nice bonus and was sure the battle hardened crew could handle what we were expecting…
“Captain Arnie, please warp us and engage on whoever fires on the Blacktide.”
Twenty minutes later we had half of the cruisers done, more than 8 frigate kills registered on the drone logs, and the Megathron battleship into hull damage; he won’t last long. Hahaha. Just as we finish off all of their cruisers the transmission technician picks up a signal from both of the Dominix classed ships signaling for help. She tried to intercept and scramble the waves, but it was too strong to jam and too long to break.
The clouds distorted.
3 battleships descend from the blinking astronomic anomaly along with 6 cruisers and then finally 4 other interceptors locked us down. Man I wished we had reinforcements at the snap of two fingers.
“Admiral, our shields are taking more damage than we can handle; the alpha damage alone from the neutron Megas would are spiking into the shield. We need to get rid of them first!”
“No! All drones lock and engage the navy interceptors! Now damn it! I also want all power diverted to maximum shield boosters, overload them if u must! Set all cruise launchers on tag B Thorax as soon as we can achieve a lock!” As this is happening, the shields are draining steadily. I figured it was the blaster Thoraxes doing most of the damage – note to self: train the flight crew to judge total hitpoints and total damage on view. One Thorax gone, one interceptor gone, still warp scrambled! And that Megathron we took down into hull is repairing his armor.
“Call for backup from the Corp, if not then local! Catalysm cruise on the damaged Megathron ASAP and keep hitting the interceptors with the drones! Arnie I want you to align to a station in half of the needed time and as soon as we aren’t scrambled, get us out of here!”
All the interceptors are now gone, and we still aren’t going… “put the metal to the pedal Arnie!” By now I was yelling hard, my throat dry. That’s when I ran to the windows and saw I had missed 4 other frigates that could be warp scrambling us. “Awe jesus…”
“Shields 7%, armor taking damage… Shields gone, armor at 88%, 64%, 33%. You better get in your capsule admiral! This ship is going to blow. I’ll overheat everything and hold them off, there’s no point to fight a losing battle.” The sirens sounding and panic growing, I unfortunately agreed, and right after I readied the egg, a violent blue explosion occurred and I warped off. Having a moment of silence I thought about what the whole crew and I have gone through in the past…
Captain Arnie, the best pilot I’ve had. His ability to tune ships for agility was of an guru and his tactics were often used to solve the ever occurring conundrums in New Eden. He could not afford a clone, but I was required to take a DNA sample of everybody on deck; least I could do was arrange that in the Navy for him. I’ll see you tomorrow Arnie.
A stupid decision on my part.
It’s time to sell sell sell. No insurance means nothing to fall back on. The new crew will be hard to find, harder than the modules, if we were want the most skilled and will be paid the least; and start running the new Raven with the minimalist crew requirements and at most basic modules.
But now I need some time to rest up; hoping that these missions we do are really helpful to the State.