Duck Hunting

It had already been a long day for Ensign Yooch Forelli. He had spent the last few hours piloting a giant magnet with wings, sifting through the debris left by his corp-mates as they drunkenly battled against the mysterious sleeper drones. Though he lacked the skills to fly with them in battle against the ancient foe, they were kind enough to grant him a share of the spoils for his efforts. It was a good life, and he whiled away the time dreaming of the day when he would join their ranks against the evil metallic space-bots.

The sleeper drones were not the only threat out in deep space. Rouge capsuleers and mercenary corporations were sighted daily, though the lack of large-scale monitoring systems made it difficult to keep track of their movements. A good scout was worth his weight in Arkonor out there, and Yooch was fortunate enough to fly with many good scouts.

In fact, as space-dusk fell, Faded Silver himself sent out a broadcast of activity in a nearby sector. The corporation quickly came abuzz. Yooch scooped up the last of the loot and headed back to base, as his corp-mates sobered up and boarded their engagement vessels. Dumping the loot in the hanger to be sorted later, Yooch hopped in his favorite Atron and set course for the wormhole Faded had discovered, hoping to finally prove his worth to the guys. The first to arrive, he set an orbit around the portal, knowing that Faded lay in wait on the other side, ready to feed him intel.

Sure enough an unidentified Anathema entered the portal within seconds. Yooch couldn’t see it, but knew the scouting ship lay watching him, cloaked and collecting intel. He flipped on the Atron’s sensor booster and instructed the computer to lock on to the ship as soon as it decloaked. He wasn’t about to let this spy collect information on his friends.

He didn’t have to wait long. Apparently the spy had seen enough, because it decloaked and immediately entered the wormhole once more. Yooch cried out in frustration as the computer failed to lock on to the elusive ship, but held his position. He knew better than to follow it through the portal into hostile territory without backup.

As he waited for further instructions, it became clear that his small frigate would not last long in an all-out fleet battle. A Dragoon had been sighted en-route to the wormhole, as well as other suspicious activity in the enemy sector. Yooch hurried back to the ship hanger to find something more useful than his space-gnat. He settled on a newly purchased Blackbird by the incredibly original name Dark Duck, hoping its highly sophisticated computer would make up for the flimsy hull. He warped back to the wormhole in time to find the rest of the fleet forming up. It was the first time he had seen his corp-mates at the helm of such fearsome vessels. Admiral and Warbwaat were piloting a pair of Legions, and Faded Silver and Hilanen orbited nearby in Dominix battleships. Trigoth stood at the ready for remote logistics in his Oneiros, while the corporate Onyx lay in wait at the exit of the portal, ready to catch the enemy off guard.

Shortly a lone enemy Drake landed at the exit of the portal and several ships jumped through to tackle it. Yooch heard commotion on the comms as the Drake pilot was unable to escape the heavy warp disruption field cast by the stealthy Onyx. The jubilation was short lived though, as the pilots regained composure and steeled themselves for the impending fight. Well most of the pilots anyway. Perhaps Admiral was still a bit drunk, since he took it upon himself to transmit a message to the enemy fleet, the details of which have been struck from the corporate logs, but were in any case, not friendly.

Drake: http://darkstorm.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18957811

Whether this provoked them, or perhaps to avenge their lost pilot, the enemy fleet pounced. Floating next to the wormhole entrance, Yooch heard the order to engage. He counted to three, said a quick prayer to Bob, and jumped through.

After a short nauseating journey through compressed space, Ensign Yooch landed in a furious firestorm. The battle was already raging, and enemy ships were everywhere. The onboard computer started listing them off, Legion, Fleet Stabber, Myrmidon, Abaddon, Moa, Proteus, Arazu. This was no place for a blackbird made out of construction paper! He might as well have named his ship Dead Duck.

After panicking for a second or two, Yooch put his afterburner on full blast and steered the ship away from the crossfire. As the distance increased he began to breath and instructed the on-board computer to lock on to as many targets as possible. As the computer managed to lock targets, he began jamming protocols on each. “GET JAMMED MOA!” he yelled as his first jam cycle was successfully activated.

As Ensign Yooch neared his optimal range a commotion on comms caught his attention, “Get the Falcon!” What? A Falcon?? Apparently it had just decloaked. A Wild Falcon Has Appeared! he thought to himself, barely managing to turn off his microphone before laughing like a crazy person. This was very bad. He needed to jam that thing out before it could jam him! He quickly instructed the computer to switch all jam protocols to the enemy Falcon.

Too late! His ship lurched and the cabin lights flickered as the first jam hit him. Whatever that Falcon was broadcasting had completely shut him down. Yooch banged on the control panel, flipping switches and knobs and yelled at the computer to activate backup sensor power levels. No luck. Everything was offline and the computer had lost all of its locks on the enemy fleet. A red light was flashing near his feet, and that obnoxious voice kept repeating “target lost…target lost…target lost.”

The lights flickered again and the electronic screens suddenly fluttered with activity. He had regained control! He quickly tried to relock the Falcon and activate jams. Nothing happened. What?! Why?? His systems were normal! He quickly assessed the fight and noticed something strange. That Arazu was burning toward him. What’s an Arazu anyway? Why in the world did he choose to go to the School of Applied Knowledge instead of the State War Academy? “Computer! What’s an Arazu?!”

Tech 2 Gallente Force Recon Ship, Celestis Class. Celestis! Oh bugger. That guy was damping out his signal strength. Sure enough, there it was, the range indicator on his jamming computer was half of what it should be. Now what? Should he burn toward the fight and get melted? Or try to get away from the Arazu and regain his ability to jam? What’s kind of range does an Arazu have anyway? Would he even be able to outrange it?

He never heard the computer’s answer. A large shadow falling over the bow of his ship demanded his immediate attention. That Myrmidon was only 15km out, on a collision course! How could he not have noticed it burning toward him? That thing would eat him alive, and there was no one nearby to stop it! Picking the first planet he saw on the display screen, he quickly aligned the ship and entered warp preparation. As Dark Duck warped away Yooch pondered his good fortune. Why had the Myrmidon just let him leave? Was it not actually chasing him? Maybe it was just trying to leave the battlefield and happened towards him? In any case, entering warp had solved his indecision and broken the damps from that wretched Arazu.

Ensign Yooch reached the end of his warp and immediately turned Dark Duck around. He had to get back on the field. From the sounds of things as he warped back in, the battle was turning in their favor. Landing on grid he immediately jammed the Falcon and watched it go up in flames, courtesy of his friends in the battleships. Spreading the rest of his jamming strength he was able to catch the enemy Legion and Abaddon as well. Cheers arose on comms as the enemy fleet scattered, and a role call confirmed that the corporation had not lost a single ship. The battle was a decisive victory, and Ensign Yooch had managed to not die.

Falcon: http://darkstorm.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18959487

Abaddon: http://darkstorm.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18957809

Legion: http://darkstorm.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18959486

After looting the forlorn wrecks scattered across the area, the team retired to their barracks, confident that the enemy would not follow. Everyone toasted the victory and patted Yooch on the back, saying he did a great job in his first deep space battle. He went to sleep with a smile on his face, and dreamed of the day when he would be skilled enough to fly his own Falcon. Perhaps he would call it Big Bird. Yeah. That was a good name for a ship.

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4 Responses to Duck Hunting

  1. tichim says:

    Enjoyed the in-character write up. I’ll pass the link among the others that blog.

  2. Smee says:

    An excellent write up – thanks for the entertaining insight from the other side. Sorry I missed the fight myself – if your corp has a EU timezone presence then I hope we meet again 😉

  3. Pingback: Death of the week | Space business, serious business.

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