Alert in Atlar!

February 7, 2009

It starts as a pretty typical day.  Aziza is ordered by her employer to relocate to Gelfiven for a time, as his work is transferring  from predominantly for the Brutor Tribe to that of the Minmatar Republic Fleet.  Specifically they are working for logistical services, an area Aziza considers herserlf a bit of a specialist in.

Her employer [redacted], comes across the channel with a burst of static:  “Mayday!  Mayday, I am under attack by a Broadsword in Atlar while enganging Ammarran national forces.  Any ships in the area, please respond.”  This brings a lump to Aziza’s throat.  Mr. D was still flying his brand new Sleipnir.  It still had the ‘new ship smell’.  Any insurance payout for a command ship is pitiful compared to the chance for gain.

“Chebri here, I’m on my way in my Drake.”  One of Colonial Fleet Services officers, that fine collection of individuals who worked together when availible.  “Minz here, should I bring the Brutix? It’s not fitted!”  Her normally cool alto voice cracked with fear and excitement. “Negative Minz…” came back the voice of her employer.   “They’re bringing friends to this party.  He’s got a buddy in a Raven.  You’d be so much toast out here. ”

She replies, “I can help!”

He barks “Not NOW! The Raven’s opening fire….”  Tense seconds pass in silence while her employer deals with weapons and shields systems.  “They’re from Twisted, Inc.”

Aziza pales.  Twisted Inc. is a notorious pirate corps full of skilled and deadly pilots.  Her friends ships and pods were on the line.  Chebri’s cheerful and voice comes back online. “I’m warping into system… I’ll be there in moments.” Mr. D says, “Good, hurry, they’ve just got a third buddy on scan in local.  They can’t penetrate my shields though.  When you get here, we target the Raven and see if we can…”  The rest of the sentence was drowned out by the heavy “Foom! Foom” of his auto-cannons.  “That Broadswords gonna be too tough to crack…”

“He’s on my six,” says Chebri.  “Crap, no ECM on this ship.  One ECM mod would turn this fight.  Uh oh, they’re firing on me….  80% shields and falling.”  Aziza’s employer replies “Get out of here… Run, I don’t want you to lose a ship too.”  Chebri’s voice comes back over the comms. “I’m in his bubble already no warping.  Boosting away from you, let’s see if we can split their fire.  If one of us can get away and come back we do it.”

More long seconds ticked off as Aziza tried to remember what all she needed to take with her,  throwing modules around the normally neat  hanger with the speed and ferocity of an angry Wookie.  All too soon before she’s ready, she’s strapping herself in and launching.

Mr. D’s voice comes across the comms. “Switching to the Broadsword, they’re fourty kilometers apart. We could fight him off.”  After a few moments, Chebri says,  “I’m almost out of range for the Raven, shields back to 60% and climbing.” Mr. D’s only reply was “Switching drones and guns to the Broadsword.  We’re not gonna get him, you know… No scrammer or jammer.  Maybe we can get him to rabbit, and then both get out.”  “Roger that,” is Chebri’s reply.

Aziza’s ship jets toward the Gelfiven-Atlar gate and drops out of warp.  She is shaking, her teeth chattering with fear as she  thumbs the comms. “Minz in position to jump in…” comes out of the comms and she punches the button, the jump gate throwing her light years in instants.

Unfortunately as her systems begin to online again and  register her surroundings, the comms crackle again, Chebri saying “Broad’s running.”  Her employer replies “Scram then, grab and ECM and get back! Maybe we can still take them!  Aziza, DO NOT JUMP!”

“Too late bossman, I’m on my way to you.”

“Aziza, stay at the accelerator gate, that Raven would light you up! Hurry up Chebs, I’m worried about them coming back… Crap, the broadsword is back… Long way off though.”

Chebri’s voice comes over the comms. “We’re in a bad way, I don’t have the mods I need, gonna have to shop around.”

Aziza’s ship aligns and warps toward her fleet mate.  No sense getting caught hanging out by a gate in low-sec space.  As she reaches the acceleration gate so common around deadspace areas, she checks her fittings.  A warp scrambler, an afterburner and a webber.  No weapons other than the drones in the bay unfortunately.

Her employer’s voice growls over the comms, “Everyone stay where you are, the broadsword isn’t gonna catch me in his warp bubble, he’s 42km out… I’ll wait until he’s about 32km from activation and then bug out. If you’re here by then great. Aziza. Do. Not. Warp. To. Me, until Chebri runs past you.  You’re too much of a liability in a fight.”  Aziza gulps, unsure of the range of the Warp Disruption Field generator that most Broadswords sported.  Her only consolation was Mr. D was a fully qualified Broadsword pilot himself and probably *did* know.

Aziza ponders her employers words and furrows her brow at that, stung by the simple truth.  She was *not* a combat pilot.  Her gut was in knots and she hadn’t even *seen* an enemy ship.   Chebri’s voice comes back online. “You might have to run… I’m not ready yet.”  Her employer curses softly, and snarls, “I’m warping out. I’m in warp… They got your drones Cheb.”

Chebri’s musical laughter tinkled over the comms. “I have plenty.  Where’s Aziza.”

Aziza is just clutching the arms of her chair, too worried to move, almost too worried to breath.  She aligned for the nearest space station, not even caring who owns it or whether or not it could already be a trap.  With an expelled breath of relief she her warp engines engage and she jets away from her first near combat experience.  She realizes that there’s a very sour taste in the back of her mouth as she was prepared to just chuck her lunch into the pod.  Not good.  Greenly, she thumbs the comms channel open and says, “I’m on my way to the station, just get out… My ship’s insured… Get out… get out…”  ”

Her employer came over the comms. “That’s only the second time in my career that I’ve been outnumbered and lived and it was only thanks you both. Thank you Chebri, thank you Aziza…  Let’s get our intel to the Republic Fleet, perhaps they can arrange for a strike force to go and deal with them.  But I doubt it.  They’ll be there again.”

Aziza ponders the outcome,  a failed mission and frustration all around, but no lost ships, and no lost pods, all in all, a victory for Colonial Fleet Services and a draw for Twisted, Inc.