Here be Russians
While our member count was well over 200, our true body count, as we would come to find afterwards when purging our ranks, was well under 50. And this would include people who were out of the hole, on break, or otherwise unavailable. I, myself, was driving across two states at the time this all went down. The situation looked bleak and did not improve as the days wore on. While we had contacts with some larger wormhole groups who had no love for our Russian attackers, our enemy had 24x7 coverage and gave us almost no opportunity to bring in reinforcements by keeping excellent hole control.
It is hard to admit when you are beaten before you even have a chance to fight but that is where we found ourselves. Outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside our burning home, we had few options available to us that didn't involve just whelping ships into an overwhelming force. We did manage a few small victories such as killing an enemy Rattlesnake with our 2nd Astrahus when they were attacking with a less than ideal force. We were also able to log off/evacuate many ships to limit what we self destructed prior to the hull timers. As expected though, our Astrahus, which had been anchored for years and was filled with many ex-members hangers, still provided a decent loot pinata for our attackers.
In the end, all was lost and while our attackers showed no interest in sticking around (we even were able to take their unanchored Raitaru in the end), we also felt that it would be better for our sanity to seek a new home.
To Sansha we will go
After regrouping in high-sec, we moved our rag-tag group into the Sansha hole feeling a bit lost like Battlestar Galactica. It didn't take us long, however, through rolling of the C2 static, to come across a C4/C2+HS that had a freeported Astrahus in it. Interesting. We quickly jumped at the option, anchored a Raitaru of our own, and docked up. Of course, this didn't go over very well initially with the locals who we learned were mostly using the system for PI. After a brief conversation about our recent eviction, the owner of the Astrahus re-opened his doors while our structure anchored and we set to rolling the C4 connection looking for a replacement home, a C4 with C3+C5 statics. Ironally, in true EVE fashion, through all that rolling we did end up jumping into our old C2 home from many years ago. It felt like a true sign from Bob.
Finding a C4 proved to take a bit longer, but before Christmas, we had already found a system, removed the existing structures (which were abandoned), and anchored our own Astrahus again. Our new home we dubbed "Floyd" due to the lovely pink star that it had.
Invasion Two: Electric Boogaloo
This time it was a Polish/Czech corp of much smaller numbers. Having learned some things from our previous eviction but still not feeling as prepared as we would like to be, we quickly set to testing our invaders control. Not only were we able to roll a hole with them in system (though we did lose one roller), we were ecstatic to find that Bob had blessed us with an outbound frigate hole to a C3 system. We knew that this could be the key to getting friends inside and sent a scout in to find the way. While this was happening, our invaders were using a different wormhole chain to bring in some things but did not seem as organized or forceful as our previous opponents. Then suddently, a new wormhole rolled into us and very quickly my scout observed two Hole Control scouts enter the system. I knew that this was going to end badly for our new invading friends if we could get the two groups together. Having had some less than ideal interactions with Hole Control before, I was reluctant to just point and say "Go get them! We're being invaded", but I didn't have to do much of anything before a slew of Damnations and other ships from Hole Control came pouring into Frank.
During this time we had been talking with some friendly corps again about getting a little assistance with our defense. Two were gearing up to help. One had some closer contact with Hole Control and was getting information to them. Hole Control had engaged in a fight with losses on both sides but agreed to keep the chain open to bring in a scout from our friend. This was very appreciated from our side but just the attack itself seemed to leave our invaders on their heels. They were far less active for the next few hours as we approached later EU and then US timezones and our members were able to be online.
We were able to get a fleet from our other friends in through the open chains our invaders left and reinforced their POS with a timer that came up at 4am US Central. Not ideal for anyone but a step in the right direction. This show of force and then the subsequent destruction of the POS without any real resistance, alarm clocked by our team and a few of our friends, turned the tide and what few people remained from our invaders either self destructed or had logged off and did not show up to contest the Astrahus anchoring later in the day.
So big thanks to our two wormhole friends that came to our aid this time. We will never forget the assistance. And to all the members of Star Explorers, we may not be good at much, but we fucking tried...and won!