The month of the Orca is upon us. No REALLY, why do you seem to get activity of a certain type in cycles. We have confiscated 2 Orcas trying to collapse wormholes this month and killed 2 other Orcas. After zero Orca kills for several months, we suddenly get a whole fleet of them. Maybe wormhole inhabitants are getting more careless or maybe Bob has decided the Orca herd needs thinning a little. In either case, we have caught more than our share this month, including one that got away later in this story.
The first kill of the evening was a battleship that I found running a site in low sec. I actually feel bad about ganking this newbie. Tech 1 guns, tech 1 drones, and we drop seven pilots on him in an outright gank. I thought he was playing bait since there were 10 other people in local, however there was no response after I tackled him so we dropped the entire fleet on him.
The next kill was more entertaining and demonstrated the power of the new warp mechanics. One of our scouts jumped an EOL wormhole and found a retriever mining in an ore site. The guy spoke up in local as soon as we jumped in and ran back to his POS. He was nice enough and we chatted with him while We bookmarked the rock we think he was mining. We then said goodbye in local and left since the wormhole was EOL. At this point, we had every intention of going back and seeing if we could catch him in the site.
The key to our plan involves the new warp mechanics. If you haven't tested them out, you should get in a fleet with an Interceptor, a cruiser and a battleship. Then warp all of them independently (not fleet warp) at the same time to another object. We did this test with a 10 AU warp. I was in the interceptor and I had time to go get another beer while we waited for the battleship to arrive. That is only a slight exageration. The interceptor was 15-20 seconds ahead of the battleship and this was with us warping from full speed and aligned so that the only difference was the warp speed. An interceptor warps at 8 au/s while the battleship warps at 2 au/s. The difference is very noticable.
We finished scouting down the chain and then decided it was time to go back and see if we could catch the miner. I grabbed a Sabre which warps at 7.9 AU/s and everyone else grabbed some fast ships. We decided to make sure one of the scouts came along with probes since the wormhole was EOL. We meet up on the C2A wormhole and I explain the plan. We are going to jump and immediately warp to our bookmark. Any questions? Nope! GO! GO! GO!
I jump the wormhole and warp the Sabre to the bookmark. It is only a 1 AU jump and I nearly land before I left. It was quick! The Retriever is in the belt but he is mining a different rock and is 20 km from me and moving. He saw us jump in and is trying to warp out. I burn toward him and activate my scram making sure he cannot escape. I put a bubble out just seconds before he ejects and I lock and pop his pod as he yells NOOOOO in local. The new warp mechanics allow a small fast ship to get on someone before they have a chance to react. This guy was paying attention, it just didn't matter when I can warp and land on grid so fast.
After this little trap, we roll the static and hunt down another chain. The new static C2 had another C5 connected to it so I jump in with my scout and start poking around. This is the home system of Semper Ubi Sub Ubi. I have been here before and these guys have always been willing to give a fight so I scout their towers and find that they have 8-9 pilots online at the moment. Which is probably only 4-5 people. Our numbers are at 4 since it is now quite late in the evening. But we decide to engage them anyway. Complicating the matter slightly is the wolf-rayet effect on their wormhole.
While we are trying to decide how we want to bait them into a fight, an Orca appears on d-scan. We move cloaky T3s to their connection in the static in hopes that they will try to roll the wormhole with the Orca. Maybe Bob will smile on us and we can kill the Orca before they have a chance to overwhelm us with their superior numbers. We have just gotten into position, when the Orca lands on their static connection where my alt is sitting. We decloak and wait on the Orca and he doesn't disappoint us. He jumps and holds cloak. Our devoter pilot and my main jump the wormhole and prepare for incoming hostiles. The bubble goes up to slow down their response fleet at least a little.
As you would expect, the Orca pilot wastes no time in calling for help. He waits out his timer while they scramble a response fleet. Which basically consisted of whatever the pilot was sitting in at the time. The Absolution lands first and I engage him while the rest of their fleet is incoming. A cloaky proteus against an absolution in a wolf rayet! Hmmmm! That could have been a real interesting fight. But he is soon joined by others.
Meanwhile, the rest of our group (2 pilots) are pecking away at the Orca which we discover is hull tanked. Boo!! I was hoping to get a kill before they could save it. With the announcement that it is hull tanked, I immediately know that isn't going to happen. By this time, they have landed a sizeable fleet on the wormhole and he jumps back. Their fleet consists of an Absolution, a harbinger, a brutix, a vigilant, a really annoying falcon and a couple of other ships which didn't imprint on my memory in the heat of the moment. I think they had 8 combat ships and the Orca. We were fighting outgunned in their home system. We skirmish for a while on their wormhole but they neut my proteus dry (in spite of the cap booster), and they were almost perma jamming the other proteus and our tengu. At this point, we are applying almost zero DPS so I call off the fight and we escape back through their connection and disappear.
Several of them, including Longinius Spear followed us through the wormhole and we exchanged GF in the C2S. In a couple of minutes, they bring a Phobos to the wormhole and crit the wormhole on the way out. They ask if I want to get my eyes out of their wormhole and I take the opportunity to pull my scout out before they jump the Phobos back and close the wormhole.
Funny Quote from the Orca pilot, "my balls slammed into the roof of my mouth when you guys decloaked on me!". Overall, this was fun even though we didn't get a kill. The response fleet they brought was effective in saving their Orca. Bob was appeased in the fight they provided. Great fun!
You can check out Longinius Spear's blog at http://www.invadingyourhole.blogspot.com/. Given the name of our corp, I had to laugh at the animated banner gif for his site.