(ooc)Never a dull moment in Blacksheep. If minnies aren't shooting at us, we're shooting at eachother. Even a mining op is full of peril...(/ooc)
Every worthwhile effort takes sacrifice. Sometimes a sacrifice of pride, sometimes of free will, sometimes of material posessions. And behind every worthwhile effort are hours of mundane, unsung labor. It was the way of things, the balance of the universe or something like that.
Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better...
Garreck was grumpy. The Alex Rowe, his pride and joy, with all of its advanced electronics and highly trained crew, was hovering 60 km above an asteroid belt, covering the better part of the Blacksheep Squadron as they mined. Mining. Blacksheep Squadron were a rough cut group of combat pilots, most of whom came from a less than reputable background. They were fearless, dangerous, and had caused as much of an uproar in the newly formed People's Republic of Minmatar as any equally small group of pilots could cause. And they were all in Tartoken with mining lasers strapped to their warships, chewing on rock.
But necessary. Blacksheep's list of enemies continued to grow, and noble feats of fearlessness didn't do much to change the fact that 6 cruisers could do little in the face of an alliance's firepower. The loss of 3 of Garreck's own cruisers in one particularly nasty week had driven that point through his thick skull well enough. Mining was the quickest way to fill corporate coffers and begin deploying battleships.
So there they were. The few Gurristas foolish enough to harass his men had been dealt with swiftly and permanently, and Garreck had settled himself into a pattern of watching local space and playing with his camera drone.
_There's Russo's blackbird...Taer's Thorax...Tury's Thorax...ooooh, there's one of Tury's mining drones. Oh, and here's a rock. Anybody suspicious in local?
Just like it was a minute ago.
The corp had passed the time discussing which battleship should be constructed next, how best to equip new members, typical administrative stuff. Russo was definitely stepping up as a leader, full of energy and good ideas...just needed to work on that ego. "That's why I'm the CEO," had been his own proud words...
"Hey Garreck, CATCH!" Russo's voice snapped Garreck from his reverie, as a fast moving glint of light appeared from Russo's blackbird and began closing the distance to the Alex Rowe.
Bored Blacksheep. This could get fun...
Promptly jamming Russo, Garreck returned fire with his 425mm railguns, doing significant damage.
"Okay, okay, that's enough!" Garreck smiled. Large hybrids handled differently from the medium hybrids he was so fond of, but he was getting the hang of the larger weapons.
"Try this, Gar. I'm going to speed up your targetting. Tell me how fast you can lock Tury."
Remote sensors in your mining kit, Russo? Hmph...badass indeed... Garreck locked Tury's thorax, and was most pleased with the results.
"Nice, Russo. We haven't played with those near enough. Something we should work on. Maybe we can schedule-"
"Stop it Tury. STOP. CALL 'EM OFF MAN!!" Russo's insistant voice came loud over the comm link. Garreck adjusted his camera drone once again, in time to see 8 ogre heavy drones eat away the last of his Commander's shields. Tury's good natured laughter came next, and the drones pulled back.
This is getting out of hand...
"Let's be careful, fellas. Last thing we want is to be out here flirting with eachother when badguys show up."
"Spoilsport." Came Tury's reply.
"Garreck, we got another wave coming in..." The ever watchful Taerlon.
"I'm on 'em." Garreck took a better look at the distance and rate of closure. "Marika, you may want to disengage...they're right on top of you folks. Brace for incoming missiles."
"And for God's sake, watch your target, Russo." Taer added, launching his own drones to aid in defence.. "Marika's right between you and them. Russo, don't-RUSSO." Garreck was well focused on the caracals that would be pouring missiles into his flock of miners, but that didn't stop him from noticing the tell-tale white flash of a fusion drive going off. Bantam down.
"Yeah, way to go, Russo. That's why you're the CEO!" Taer's cutting remark was beautifully timed, and Garreck could not help but laugh.
A flurry of apologies and sarcastic anti-Russo sentiment filled the channel for the remaining moments as Garreck dispatched the hapless Gurristas reinforcements. Now-targetless cruise missiles wandered aimlessly and Garreck turned to the task of making peace.
"These things happen, folks. I'm sure Taer still remembers Tury doing the same to him a couple months back. Russo, recommend we pack it in for the day. We've been out here a while, and situational awareness is clearly not where it should be."
Watching Russo's blackbird hurl itself into warp, Garreck shook his head and chuckled. How does Omadon do it, day in and day out? His old mining partner was a machine when it came to organizing and executing successful mining ops, and IBS corp was extremely rich because of it. Maybe they could do some co-operative mining some time...Garreck shuddered. Maybe not...might have to do more apologizing than I care to...
Suddenly threat recievers and proximity warnings began blaring from the pod interface as the massive form of a Tempest hurtled past the Alex Rowe and settled out of warp...the orange brackets displayed by the pod's GUI told the tale. Hakera. Doubtless here for a fight. All of the distractions of the past several minutes had kept Garreck from his careful watch on local space, and now a dangerous enemy was sitting 30 kilometers from him.
"Blacksheep...get out NOW. Hakera in our belt, Russo. Hold at the station for now. Everyone get clear!" Acquiring lock, Garreck activated his jammers and prayed that Hakera did not have any sort of sensor backups equiped. Missiles leaped from their mounts, and the 425s spoke again. Garreck noticed Taerlon still in the belt, drones moving from their passive orbit of his thorax to engage the Tempest. Nothing less from a Caddarn... Hakera's shields fairly whithered, and the Tempest accelerated away on microwarpdrive, aligning for warp. "Do you have a scrambler, Taer? Does anybody have a warp scrambler?" Garreck already knew the answer, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. Already, nearly half of Hakera's armor was gone...
Before anyone could answer, the Tempest found its escape route and vanished into warp. Garreck breathed a sigh of relief. From his perspective, Hakera didn't really have a chance at all by himself...but he was a wiley enemy, and if he was engaging, it's because he thought he could win.
"This is a problem, folks. If Hakera knows we're here, then PRM knows we're here. "
Russo's Iteron mk 5 made short work of the cans of ore, under Garreck's watchful eye. Hakera remained in system, but did not appear again. Repairing his armor to be sure...
"Everybody return to base." Russo's orders. "Gar, Tury, and Taer will meet me in our conference room. We have much to discuss. Get some sleep, Blacksheep. We may have a fleet waiting for us tomorrow."
No rest for the wicked.
I would have stayed to dance with you but the other half rang as I was warping in. :evil:
You know from the past that jamming me isnt that bad for me,I could have sat there a lot longer (my shield does tend to wither quickly as it is not boosted on that particuliar setup )
However gf was on the hump so I just sat at a planet for half hour, by the time I came back you had all logged bar one anyway.
If it helps, you were not the reason i was there aside from when i noticed you but yes - I hope I provided some entertainment for a brief minute.
I should hope a scorpion can stand up to your FoFs a bit better than a fragile blackbird, Hakera.
Next time though