The past few days have been incredibly active in Molden Heath, with multiple types of targets presenting themselves. This sort of constant activity from the region is uncommon, and deserves special notice. While it is tied in part to the COW and GC evacuations from nullsec into Molden, they only account for half of the available targets which have been braving MH lowsec.
Sunday began with a roam from Oddelulf, myself in a shield cane, Coffee in a Cheetah and Lt Graham in a Blackbird supporting. We shortly bump into a mixed 520 and SCONEs gang, which I decide to shy away from in hope of other targets. While we frequently fly together, RANSM hasn’t set blue status to the other pirate corporations in MH, to ensure we’ll always have at least someone to shoot at.
Pushing past Atlar and heading towards Skarkon, Coffee sights a Providence in space, parked at a POS oddly devoid of modules. Investigating, the modules are incapacitated, though the POS itself still has a force field. The Providence is adjacent to the tower, and a few ships, including a Rook and a Drake nearby within the field. I opt to hold our gang nearby in Meildolf, hoping that the POS would be taken down with only the skeleton gang supporting.
After ten minutes of waiting, little happens, with a few cruisers landing to begin repairing the incapacitated modules. While watching, we are joined by two friends from the Black Sinisters in frigates who were roaming nearby. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Dirty Protagonist of 520 asks for assistance in Oddelulf: an anti-pie gang has engaged the 520/SCONEs gang at a belt. RANSM and the B.S frigates quickly responded.
By the time we arrived the anti-pirate force was routed, and my force moved to apply tackle where we could and finish the opposing gang off. In this kind of situation, we had no time to join up with the 520/SCONEs gang, and thus it was rather confusing for my gang to deal with both friendlies and enemies both on overview. Lt Graham managed to jam a 520 Abaddon, which in turn reported my gang was engaging him. Once the anti-pies were down, the pirate gang switched focus to my cane, and rather than asking first they decided to speak with their weapons. My Hurricane dropped to friendly fire, though fortunately the rest of my gang was able to warp off before more mistakes were made.
While waiting down GCC, I moved my pod back to Egbinger, then jump cloned to Oddelulf, boarding a Sleipnir and sat in station for the last three minutes of criminal count down. During all the commotion, Coffee was still watching the freighter at the POS, which had started burning away from the force field. The freighter now had two Drakes and a Rook for support at the POS, plus a few T1 cruisers which continued to repair modules. With less GCC timer to worry about, the B.S pilots Alex Medvedov and Mister Torture began moving with Lt Graham back toward Ennur, where the freighter was located.
With my GCC timer finally finished, I undocked and began hurrying to meet up with the rest of my gang. By the time I jumped into Atlar, Coffee reported that the freighter had warped to the Tabbetzur gate and was likely heading towards high sec, two jumps away. We all began mashing warp to and jump buttons as quickly as possible to hasten our approach.
Following the freighter into Tabbetzur, Coffee began ramming the capital industrial ship with his Cheetah, however the difference in mass meant that the covops frigate was only able to slow the freighter’s alignment by a few seconds, every one of which absolutely necessary for the gang to catch up. By the time the Providence warped, Alex had arrived in Tabbetzur in a Jaguar, however Mister Torture and myself were still two jumps away in an Ishtar and my Sleipnir. This was going to be too close to call.
The two Drakes and Rook, which had pushed ahead of the freighter were already in Offikatlin, which was one jump from high sec, the freighter’s destination. One of the Drakes jumped back into Tabbetzur to support the freighter on the gate, while the other two ships remained waiting in Offikatlin. By the time the freighter finally landed on the Offikatlin gate, Sard was a jump out with Torture in Tabb, warping to the gate.
Coffee had jumped ahead to again delay the freighter once it jumped, however seconds dragged on as the freighter remained in Tabb on the gate. Coffee eventually burned back to the Tabb gate, mindful of the Rook and Drake which also were there waiting. Alex reported the freighter was trying to align to something, but between Alex’s bumps and the bouncing off the gate, it was stuck! The precious seconds this all took allowed me to jump my Sleipnir into Tabbetzur and begin warp to the Offikatlin gate.
The Drake in Offikatlin decided to ward off Coffee’s Cheetah, firing a volley of heavy missiles and forcing him to jump into Tabb. At roughly the same time I landed on the Offikatlin gate, which the Providence took as its cue to jump. Alex, Torture, Lt Graham (who had been on the gate with his Blackbird), the second Drake and myself all jumped into Offikatlin after the freighter.
Torture and I immediately decloaked our ships, myself overheating 425mm ACs to volley down the Rook. Torture didn’t even manage to lock the recon ship before I tore through the cruiser, three volleying the ECM ship off the field. The first Drake which had shot at Coffee took sentries to do so, and had warped off the gate. The freighter finally decloaked, and the pirate gang fell upon it, my Sleipnir first applying EMP, then reloading Fusion once the shields were down. The second Drake decloaked shortly after the Providence, and decided to whore onto his corpmate’s mail rather than fire on the GCC outlaws.
This went on for roughly 20 seconds, when the Drake which had warped off arrived back on the field, and with the second drake began firing on my Sleipnir. The low DPS from the Drakes coupled with sentry fire was just enough for my tank to keep up with while injecting 800 boosters, meaning the pirates could continue to burn down the freighter, which was just at 90% structure. Lt Graham and the pirates had to warp out several times in the following minute of combat due to sentry aggression; however my Sleipnir was a pillar the combined might of the Drakes could not displace, continuing to blast apart unresisting structure of the Providence as it labored to return to the Tabb gate.
Then the Providence exploded.
The Drakes dropped one after the other to my Sleipnir; the second trying to MWD away, to no avail. The next 20 minutes were spent gloating in intel channels, waiting on haulers to scoop the remains from the wrecks, and defend said wrecks from scavenging opportunists. One Thrasher learned the hard way to not touch wrecks he didn’t make himself.
Loot stowed, I eventually had to take a break, the remainder of my gang joining a 520 force trying to wreck someone near the Gonheim system.