March 6, 2014

Contract Wrap Up - Titanic Defense with Mildly Intoxicated

Noir. has had an interesting two months. Traditionally based out of Sahda for years, it was decided in late January that we'd be moving to Venal permanently. Venal offers a lot of opportunities such as decent ISK making opportunities. But more importantly, it offers a great opportunity to find and take advantage of fights. Thus it was decided and we began living in a new home for the first time in many years. It wasn't long before alarm bells began ringing, something no one in Noir. Mercenary Group wanted to hear. There was trouble in Tenerifis, which was very bad news.

Our long time allies Mildly Intoxicated have been in control of this area since 2012, specifically the 6I-3VX constellation, which is a six system pipe ending in T-AKQZ nestled against Immensea's border. Darkness of Despair began pushing further south from Immensea and north from Feythabolis with the help of SOLAR. The encroachment was slow, yet relentless, until B-R5RB, during which time N3/PL lost a massive amount of supercaps, as we all know.

This meant that Mildly Intoxicated was in the middle of a quickly approaching enemy expansion from both sides, an enemy that was encouraged, strong, determined, and undeterred by the threat of enemy capital and supercapital ships. Instead of hightailing it out, Mildly Intoxicated decided to stand in fight. Helping out a long-time friend while being given the opportunity to fight hard and dirty was a chance that Noir. certainly wouldn't pass up, and we quickly moved into Tenerifis with minimum assets; most of us had one or two ships during the entire deployment. Nevertheless, we made our way to the target location, hired to defend the 6I-3VX constellation at all costs.

We arrived on February 14, 2014, and quickly began to help in the destroying of SBUs. From there on out, it was a knock-down, drag-out slug fest. Every day SBU's were dropped in the constellation by DD or Goons. Every day we took them down. Every day we were on alert, in space, fighting to ensure that the enemy could not gain a foothold. Every day we were keeping them out.

Darkness of Despair wasn't able to take a single system in the constellation until the 23rd of February when B-6STA fell to DD, but not without a fight in which we almost saved it. We managed to put a TCU down, but it didn't make it all the way.

The Tables Turn

Four hours later, invigorated from the fight in B-6STA, Darkness of Despair moved into T-AKQZ, trying to cut the constellation off by taking systems in the northern edge at the same time as the southern most tip. DD entered the system shortly after downtime with about 70 Dominix and Typhoons, reinforcing cynojammers and a POS with a CSAA in it. Being a dead-end system, there was only one SBU, and to speed up their destruction they jumped in three Moros, three Naglfar, and a Rorqual. While the dreadnoughts and battleships made short work of the SBU, the Rorqual warped off to Planet X, Moon II and dropped a small tower.

The SBU was destroyed and the combat ships jumped out, leaving the Rorqual and a small Minmitar tower with no guns and half shields. The Rorqual pilot tries to get guns online, but was destroyed for his efforts. Thus, in the wee hours of the morning, we decided we'd do what we could and start shooting the tower. It was a helpless gesture, really, but as mercenaries we never say die. It was a target and it wasn't supposed to be there. Once the tower was reinforced, everyone was surprised to find that it only had a two hour timer. Oops.

A few people start trickling in, fresh from a night's sleep. I was one of them, and with a mug of coffee in my hand I too began shooting at a small tower, fresh out of its reinforcement timer, chatting freely on comms. We were at least planning on destroying the tower and trying to trap the Rorqual, which we knew had logged off inside the POS.

Suddenly, an Arazu that we knew was in system appears at the edge of the POS shields and lights a cyno. Two chimera jump through. The Arazu dies. There were only about five or six of us at this time, but we began shooting at one of the two Chimeras, trying to keep them from edging into the shields with our measly stealth bomber bumps. We manage to get one to about half shields, but there wasn't any real hope. They were inside the shields now, and we redirected our attention to the tower as we began searching for more people and hard tackle. The tower soon dropped, but we had gotten bubbles onto the field by this time, anchoring them so that they overlapped the carriers inside the POS shields. Once the tower was down, we swiftly put bubbles up with our one or two available dictors.

At some point during this, three more carriers appeared on the field. A total of five Chimeras now, all stuck in our bubbles. We didn't have nearly enough DPS to do anything to them, however we could keep them tackled there indefinitely as we tried to reach out and find the manpower.

NC answered the call and was en route with an Eagle fleet, but to ensure that DD took the bait, we brought two Nyx onto the grid, 200km away from the carriers. As soon as DD saw this, another cyno went up and 17 more carriers jumped in. DD interdictors raced to our friendly Nyx and bubbled one, but they were immediately dispatched by the quick response time of Noir. The other one safely warped away when the bubbles went up. At this point, DD had not only taken the bait hook, line, and sinker - they're the ones who set their own hook.

We maintained constant tackle on all the carriers with less than five interdictors, keeping them on the field until NC showed up. It wasn't much of a fight after that, with nearly every single carrier being lost. CFC jumped in dozens of Archons to try and save the doomed Chimeras, but it was too little, too late. The battle was over, and it wasn't even close.

After this, we heard from Mildly that Darkness of Despair was willing to allow MI to evacuate the constellation peacefully and was given ample time to do so. Mildly accepted the offer, and Noir. immediately began making our way back to Venal, one more successful contract under our belts, with everyone quite happy - no one more so than us.

You see, as well as being hired to defend a constellation against an imposing foe in a desperate situation, as well as supporting our friends in a time of need, Noir. Mercenary Group had an interest in keeping the area under Mildly Intoxicated control for a certain amount of time. That CSAA that I mentioned earlier? It was building our Titan. To be honest, there were many moments were we weren't sure if we were going to complete all of our objectives. We felt confident we could bloody DD's nose and make them stop at the line we drew in the sand for longer than they expected. While it was tough, that wasn't the worry. The worry was if we could keep our tower alive long enough, keep the system under control long enough, for our Titan to finish.

Isn't she a beauty?