Continued from reunion.
The situation had me in a tight spot. I wasn’t about to fire upon my alliance mates, and as the alliance executor was in the STUGH gang, I’d likely be asked to fight if it came to that. I flipped over to alliance chat, and began my usual work as a liaison trying to sort things out.
Fortunately, a fight wasn’t necessary, and the BS heavy STUGH gang was willing to let the ERIS (Aggressive Dissonance) gang go. I relayed to the news to Cephas, dropped gang and switched over to STUGH comms, joining their gang as I did so. It didn’t take long for things to get interesting from there.
In the time it took for me to join the STUGH fleet, a scout one jump over in Ostingele reported two bumps in local, shortly preceding the arrival of two neutrals at our location in Pelelie. A Stabber decloaked over a dozen kilometers away from my position: too far for me to tackle, and the nimble cruiser warped away unmolested. The Rupture he was paired with wasn’t as lucky with his arrival, decloaking less than ten kilometers from my scrambler fit Brutix. I manage an overheated tackle, and begin ripping into the cruiser with my blaster arsenal.
The STUGH gang hesitantly followed my lead, combined ordinance culminating to the quick demise of the Rupture. The cruiser duo weren’t operating alone however; our pilot in Ostingele reported another ten bumps in local, which we took as our cue to leave. Battleships began entering warp just as Pelelie local began spiking, and after entering warp myself, I managed to glimpse the greater composition of the enemy fleet: ten or so BC, a few cruisers. It’d had been a losing battle to entertain them with sentry aggression on a gate.
Landing at a different celestial than the fleet, I continued watching scanner as I aligned to a new destination in case any hostiles followed my escape. Our FC had warped the gang to a station, which had promptly docked to escape and assess the situation. Inquiring how he intended to proceed, he replied that due to his lack of experience in lowsec, I should take FC in his stead. Brilliant strategy, commander.
Spying a newly arrived Nidhoggur on scan, I dropped any aspirations of combating the BC gang, and docked myself. Alliance attendance was limited due to the time of night, and we couldn’t expect any blue reinforcements. Grinning, I shot a chat invite to Cephas, and quickly worked out a compromise: the reinforcements we needed, without the expected drama, courtesy of yours truly.
Leaving Cephas to sort out his people, I concentrated on keeping tabs on the enemy fleet, which didn’t seem in the mood to camp a station at length. Roughly twelve minutes after losing their Rupture, the BC gang began filtering out of local, back into the Ostingele system. From there, they flirted with our scout still remaining in Ostingele (who flew an Armageddon, a very heavy scout) yielding precious more minutes to wait down GCC and for ERIS to mobilize.
Finally our GGCs expired, and the STUGH gang undocked, entering warp towards the Ostingele gate. The plan was to use our known force as the anvil, and once the enemy fleet was engaged, jump the ERIS force in as the hammer. The only trick with the situation would be to engage the enemy fleet in such a way that they didn’t merely cream our ships before our comrades could turn the tide.
Landing on the Ostingele gate, the plan began to deteriorate as the situation within Ostingele shifted. The BC fleet kept moving about, at some points chasing our geddon within the system, at other points warping to stargates or stations. I wasn’t about to complain, as this gave time for ERIS to converge a jump from Ostingele, however indecision has its costs. Amidst the confusion, the BC gang filtered from Ostingele local, until only three enemy pilots remained.
Fearing the worst, I ordered all ships to jump, and converge on the gate our scout estimated they had left through. With the ERIS and STUGH gangs together, we no longer had the element of surprise, but with our combined force of arms, I wasn’t much worried. Landing on the Alperaute gate, I readied to send our HIC in to investigate the adjacent system, when a lone battlecruiser, a Hurricane, landed on our gate at 10km.
I decided to force the issue once and for all, tackling the Hurricane with my Brutix, while calling for the rest of the gang to hold fire. Holding the BC down should force his comrades to jump back and join the fight, leaving us in a good position on the gate for remote repairs and deagressing. I wasn’t disappointed, as local began to increase as the enemy fleet returned to aid their comrade.
The Hurricane pilot was pushing the bait card a bit too much, and hadn’t taken any hostile action on our gang. Not wanting to lose my Brutix needlessly in the opening moments of the fight, I warped off, giving my active tank time to recover before returning to the greater fight that was about to take place. As I warped off I placed Cephas in charge of target calling, and began the grim wait between warp hops.
With my ship departing, the Hurricane took its cue as well, leaving the field just after my Brutix. The hostile fleet took its time decloaking, and I was able to land at the celestial and start aligning back before any hostilities broke out. Curiously enough, the Hurricane had decided to follow me in warp, landing several kilometers away from my position. I tackled the Hurricane just as Cephas started taking fire at the gate, and had begun directing primaries for our fleet.
Initially I hoped by tackling the Hurricane at the celestial, we could have our engagement at a celestial without the worry of sentries, but with the fight underway on the Alperaute gate that hope was dashed. Additionally, the Hurricane decided to return the favor, matching my tackle kit with a point of his own, and had begun returning fire. Lacking optimal range for my own arsenal, and capacitor from running repairs tackling his ship at the gate, I was in poor condition to win this fight on my own. As I jockeyed closer to the Hurricane, the other two pilots which had been curiously absent from recent action arrived, sealing my fate.
Cephas, while losing his Armageddon to the combined BC fleet had carried the day, his target calling resulting in the in total destruction of the enemy fleet. The three ships that had split off to deal with my Brutix arrived too late to affect the outcome of the fight, and had been taken apart piecemeal. The overall engagement can be seen here.
Distancing myself from any possible drama within the alliance, I had never understood why STUGH had decided to purge those members that eventually formed ERIS. That an ERIS FC led a STUGH gang to victory merely cemented my dislike of the current situation. At least I proved to the two alliances that cooperation is still possible, which will hopefully lead to more joint operations in the future.