Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Story of Ralph Wiggum

Flying through the vast regions of Eve, you're bound to run into people that you like, and also don't like. But more importantly, you're going to run into people that don't like you. As a Pirate with -10 standings, I am a favorite target for the vast majority of Eve. In this regard, myself, and friends of mine, have learned a valuable lesson, we fly together, we live together.

Every so often, however, you will find yourself in a precarious position, alone, in hostile territory. And this is the story of the little ship that shouldn't have, but did.

Casual intelligence reported 2 Carriers on scan, along with a Battleship a few jumps away from our home base. Ears picked up by the 3 others online at the time, and we requested more information. After what seemed ages, the intel came down that the Carriers and Battleship were NOT at a celestial, and wrecks were found on a 5 degree scan in the direction of the ships. Quickly thereafter, the pilot giving the intel had to log, saluting and wishing us luck as he left.

A prober logged in in the general area, and quickly began to locate these ships, while we struggled in our home system, with the other 3 members online assembling a fleet and scratching our heads how we would be able to take these mission runners on. Luckily, one of our Dread pilots was logged on, and was itching to get in on the action. I offered to supply the heavy tackle in my Broadsword, aptly named "Ralph Wiggum". We had another recon pilot set up for tackle in his Arazu, that was assembling himself to burn to the target station as well.

While this was going on, some other hostiles had camped themselves right outside the undock of our station, and thought themselves clever, figuring they could pick us off or hold us inside.
Intelligent preparation proved golden as we undocked and warped out to instant bookmarks leaving the pests behind.

Leaving the Arazu pilot behind as he finished up some last minute logistics details for the Dread movement, I rushed ahead in my Broadsword.

2 jumps out of the home system, and 3 jumps away from my destination, I cursed myself when I jumped into a hostile gate camp, full of Interceptors, Command Ships, and miscellaneous other T1 and T2 Cruisers and Battlecruisers. Pure genius words were relayed on vent after I stated my prediciment, "well you can either burn back to the gate or explode, so quit your bitching"

Still holding my cloak, I surveyed my surroundings, and knowing I would not have the assistance of gate guns on my side, I realized, this was likely the end of my Broadsword. Fit with an Afterburner, ready to bust the mission, 15km looked impossibly far away. Turning on the hardeners and Afterburner, I turned towards the gate and said a silent prayer.

Scrammed, and swarmed over with drones, and weapons of all shapes and sizes, I realized that they did not have me webbed, and the gate kept getting closer. A quick survey of the hostile forces on my overview, made me laugh on the inside. ALL of them had agressed me, and there was nothing on the other side to stop me from warping away again. Once in jump range, I saluted at my keyboard and jumped through, my tank not even taxed yet as the big ships were trying to get in range when I jumped out.

I limped my pride back to our home system, warning everyone of the gate camp, and sat in a safe letting my cap and shield regen.

By the time the first probe came back empty (with a volley of "wtf?" on vent) another prober had logged on and was burning towards in a cheetah. Easily clearing the gate camp in a cov ops, he got in to place, and had a scan running quicker than you can say bobs your uncle.

The call was made that they had a hit, and were in position with a warp in, screams for tackle echoed across vent. Thinking out loud, "fuck it, I have to get there" I again started burning towards the destination system, wracking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to get through the gate camp.

I jump through knowing I am landing right in the middle of somewhere I really don't want to be, but blinded by my desperation to make it and tackle at least one of the 2 carriers. I see that I'm pointed in the direction of a planet, and I watch the hostile interceptor reach the opposite side of his orbit, and try to make the warp. Nearly there, when I get pointed by a nearby Cruiser. I instantly turn and burn towards the gate to try and jump back through.

This time, they all agressed again, but I see a web on me. I make it through at slightly under half shields, and about a third of my cap left. On this side, there were a Battlecruiser and another Cruiser waiting for me now. Sandwhiched, I get pumped up and laugh, saying "well I can't get through the gate camp, so I'm just going to ping pong back and forth until I can't make it to the gate anymore and die, get that carrier for me!" I turn back towards the gate, and start my planned ping pong of death.

I jump back into the main blob system again, and do a quick check on what I'm aligned to, if anything. No luck this time, so try to warp to something nearby, stopped again, and boat back to the gate. Back to the almost empty system, locked again by the Battlecruiser, and I jump back into the blob system. I'm almost out of cap, and shields are really starting to dwindle.

LUCK! There's only 2 ships under 20k from me, and I'm pointed towards a celestial. I hit warp, come out of cloak, and watch as everything tries to scramble and lock me. I warp as the Interceptor gets about 30km from me, and the closest ships don't seem to have warp disruptors on! I am amazed at how I got away, and I keep burning as fast as I can to my destination system.

I'm low on cap and my shields aren't coming back nearly fast enough. I think about docking up 1 jump away from the targets and getting back my cap and shields, but when I hear, "there's only 1 wreck left!" I say fuck it, and jump in. I warp in, right as the covert ops cyno pilot is getting into position to bring the Dread in. BAM! Infinite point all over a Naglfar. Neither of them seem to notice me for a few seconds while I pray for cap. Neut towers in the mission are showing me what it looks like to have zero cap, and the Carriers just notice that I'm there. Fighters appear all over me, when the sky lights up with the friendly Moros landing right on top of the Thanatos.

Before the light from the cyno jump fades away, the Arazu lands, and gets a point on both Carriers. The probers rush back to get into ships that can hopefully do some sort of combat and still make it through the gate camp. The Moros locks onto both Carriers, and locks down the Thanatos. Without web support having arrived yet, the Nag slowboats away from the Moros and tries futily to get away.

Fighters are shifted onto the Arazu, and he manages to warp out in structure. Another cycle of the neut towers rock my Broadsword, and turn off my infinite point. I get all the love from the fighters, as well as mission rats, as the Thanatos gets some serious love from the Moros. I warp out with zero cap, and my shields dropping from the mission rats and Thanatos Fighters tearing into me.

The Arazu struggles to get back in to point the Nag, just as it warps away and docks at a station in system. Frustrated, I warp back in with very little cap left, to help bump the Thanatos and keep it from running out of the Moros' weapon range.

The Thanatos hits armor, and we get ready for the tank to kick in, when... his shields go back up ever so sightly. "Is he shield or omni tanked?" we start taking side bets on vent, as we start up a conversation and try to work out a ransom. We are still hoping that the second Carrier comes back to try and help (thus sealing it's doom as well). With no second appearance from the Nag, we all focus on the conversation attempting to secure a Ransom. Afterall, every good pirate knows, a ransom pays more in the wallet than a Carrier kill on the killboard.

In good sport, the Thanatos pilot puts his fighters back on to my Broadsword, no doubt hoping to take at least one of us out, while we see those unhappy words in the conversation "I don't have that much isk" Hey, at least this guy was believable when he said it, swearing at the fact that he wished he had it so he could get away. By this time, not having to run any of my mods for a little while, my cap is secure, and I just sit out the tickling by the fighters.

A second Dread pilot logs on, and gets cyno'd in, sadly with only 1 Carrier to shoot at. Already into structure, and the tank obviously ineffective, the Revelation locks and gets a shot or two off before the Carrier explodes. The Arazu pilot and myself, both lock on and prevent the pod from warping off, hoping to ransom the pod (for obviously less than we were hoping) when POP! the pod disappears and is replaced by a frozen corpse. In my excitement, I fat fingered the F1 and F2 keys, and accidently activated my guns at the same time I activated my scram. *Sigh*

The loot, as suspected, is sub par, a few cap mods surviving, as well as a few fighters, but no where near the isk we were hoping for with the Ransom.

Haulers are brought in as quickly as possible, and the Dreads secured. Unfortunately, the remaining rats were able to take out a few fighters before they were all liberated from space. Nonetheless, we all walked away with some good stories.

My Broadsword, "Ralph Wiggum" has now been idolized in my eyes after that miraculous gate camp escape. This little ship has seen a few engagements that it shouldn't have walked away from, and is starting to get quite a few impressive kills under its belt. An offer was made to purchase the ship from me after a corp mate had lost a Broadsword of their own, but even with an offer a bit over market value, I could not sell this ship. "Ralph Wiggum" will fly with me forever, fate allowing. So if you see me on scan, the thought must run through your head, "He's coming for me." Right before you realize, if you see me on scan, it's already too late.


Hallan Turrek said...

Nice battle summary.

*Hallan tips his hat to the Ralph Wiggum*

Mynxee said...

Great write-up! More like this, dear Sarge! ♥ Are carriers really necessary to complete L5 missions?

Jedziah said...

I bent my wookie