The night before I had scouted out our C5 connection finding a corporation with about the same size as us but five or six active towers. Definitely an industrious corporation. Today I was operating semi-afk doing some things around the house, but I noted that this was the C5 corp and decided to put eyes on the C5 hole to help with the scouting. It's something I can do pretty well from near the computer with the sound cranked up and listening for wormhole activity. Our pilot was also dual-boxing and had eyes inside the C2 as well. When he announced that the pilot was returning (I think perhaps in an interceptor), he decided to try engaging but, of course, was unsuccessful. The Arazu just doesn't have the lock time needed to catch interceptors. I noted the pilot returning to the C5 but just after a Gila jumped the connection. It was the pilot returning, presumably to engage the Arazu. My guys had a handful of people active and decided to take the fight. Now, it should be said that when we "take a fight" it usually means everyone jumps into something and attacks. We're definitely at the beginning of the curve when it comes to fleet composition and tactics but we don't lack in chutzpah. The Arazu decloaked and engaged the Gila with the others dropping onto the C2 to assist. I quickly alerted them to wormhole activity and that a second Gila and a Curse were inbound.
What resulted was a hot mess where we lost the Arazu, a Proteus, a Vexor Navy Issue, and a Vexor while taking down the first Gila. Not exactly a strong showing on our part other than the willingness to fight. I came late to the party rushing back to get at the keyboard and ended up jumping into a Brutix but got some bad warp in information and took way too long to get on grid. Even once I landed, the only thing I was able to do was to attempt to lock the second Gila who had retreated to the C2 and then jumped back, polarized to make a break for the C5. Here our disciple failed for if we had better information passing or an official FC, we might have called for me to bring a dictor and bubble the hole, keeping the Gila on field. As it was he escaped in structure and we missed out on a kill that would have slightly evened the score.
We regrouped and I put myself on comms now via my mobile (still not able to dedicate myself to waiting for another fight) with the ability to get to the keyboard faster now that I could hear the activity instead of relying on chat to know what was going on.
It wasn't long before the Gila pilot jumped out in a pod and headed for high-sec. Our scout in the C2 was told to move to the high-sec entrance so we would get extra notice if something returned and we were at the ready to engage expecting a similar response. We had a couple more pilots heading back into the hole now with action afoot and got a more organized composition together but still far from being a tight doctrine. Time passed and then the pilot jumped back in a Myrmidon. We warped to the hole, this time I was flying a Thorax as one of our other pilots was in a Flycatcher. Also in the mix were a couple Ishtars and I brought my alt on field in a Prophecy as it was a kind of set and forget ship to fly. I wanted the extra DPS on the field for when the Gilas returned from the C5. Sure enough, the Myrmidon jumped in and we jumped on.
This time things went a bit better as far as the killboard was concerned. We dropped the Myrmidon but could not pin down the supporting Gila or Curse who landed at range and popped the Flycatcher (and one of our guys in an Atron who I assume was trying to get tackle). Better, but we lacked the composition to deal with the kitey ships. Even my Thorax for all its speed couldn't catch that Gila.
Everyone back to their homes. People replenished their snacks and drinks and then...
"Um, we have a Sacrilege on dscan in the C2...with wrecks"
Scouting reported a new contact and people jumped into action. Ships went into the C2, scouts used dscan to pinpoint him in a combat site and they moved into position with one of our alliance members who is known for some excellent warp-in placement got us another and people jumped and landed right on the HAC as he was finishing the last wave of the site. Meanwhile, our C5 friends were spotted bringing a Manticore in system and Stratios of unknown origin was seen. The Sacrilege was properly ganked and was his MTU. In a comedic turn of events, the Stratios pilot asked to see the killmail in local. Interestingly, I noted, that the Sacrilege pilot was from Sudden Buggery, the corp of Trinket's friend whose blog I very much enjoy reading. I half expected some kind of response, but what we ended up with was not at all what I expected.
I reported as we saw the return of the dual Gila, Curse combination into our hole, presumably now to gank our gankers as we expected that the Manticore scout had reported the goings on in the C2. Our guys though were already returning home and as they landed we heard
"Drake on the C2"
What? A third party Drake had landed on the hole. I advised that everyone just hold in position as I wanted to see what our C5 friends would do. They were not stupid in their actions today but were tactical yet ready to engage and I expected they would take this Drake bait looking for the resulting fight. I was not disappointed.
This is where things get weird.
Dscan lit up with Drakes and a Ferrox and other ships that I don't even recall at this point. They pounced on the C5 corp and the fight raged into the C2 where our scout, almost decloaked by the mass of ships, retreated and then reported the fight to us. It was a mess of warp outs and warp ins and remote rep Drakes (is that a thing?) fighting and ended with one Drake down and a Gila and Sacrilege lost. A much better showing for them than we had. But looking at the corp, it was Low-Class. We've tangled with them before as I believe they live in a C2 with C4/HS (similar to the one we had connected to us) and expected that we were, once again, their static and they just happened up the conflict here.
For our part, we bubbled the C2 and tried to pick up stragglers but the fight didn't end up traversing the hole again. We weren't in a position to take on Low-Class with some of our pilots moved on to other RL activites as this had no been going on for a few hours since our first encounter. We watched though as Low-Class member menacher stuck around picked off a Thorax and then a Crusader trying to use the C2 HS. Did I mention that T3 Tactical Destroyers are kick ass?
We ended up losing another Flycatcher and Scythe in the shenanigans as the C5 guys continued to try to get people back into their hole ultimately using repeated Interceptors to get past. At one point I gave chance with my Dramiel but through some good natured conversations in local, his Interceptor had me beat overheated by a good 500m/s. By the end of it all, we had nearly a solid four hours of content that quite invigorated our pilots. We had once again engaged in a fight where we didn't lose everything, managed to kill a few things, and came out with some lessons to work on for next time.
Big thanks to Cruentus Invicta, Low-Class, Sudden Buggery, and the mysterious Stratios pilot for the content. And much credit to all the Reckoning Star pilots involved for being there and being involved.