VARD SYSTEM – AMARR CONTESTED SPACE
Using Evati as a bridge to Amarr space was working out better than expected. A few quick jumps through pirate infested low security space was a lot more effective than anyone had anticipated. The Bastards fleet, along with Roc Wieler, had encountered no resistance as they secured Amarr systems enroute to Vard.
For Roc Wieler, it was a thrilling accomplishment. The ease with which enemy bunkers were being secured was nothing short of miraculous; something the Minmatar Republic was in dire need of to keep morale. At first, he had been unsure of this alliance he had made, and listening to the Bastards Fleet Channel was only reinforcing his initial skepticism. It was unlike any military fleet he had commanded. Under his command, there was comm silence. The only pilots that spoke were the front and rear scouts, his XO, and anyone else deemed as necessary. Wing chat and Squad chat was handled by their respective commanders in private channels. The Bastards were a stark contrast to the discipline he took for granted. They whooped and hollered in fleet chat like they were out drinking in a pub. It was chaotic, disorderly; he thought his ears would bleed soon from the constant noise of the channel. He had gritted his teeth and beared it; it wasn’t his fleet to command, but it had left him with a sinking feeling as to the actual combat abilities of the Bastards. They hadn’t even flown formation as a fleet. There was no warping together, no waiting for scout confirmation of enemy gate camps on the other side of a system; it was just a mad free for all, where each pilot made their way in their own time. Roc shook his head at the thought; it was careless, it was suicide just waiting to happen.
Three enemy systems secured, and they hadn’t even reached their destination of Vard system. The Bastards voiced boredom; they craved combat, they wanted kills. And to their credit, even amongst their very vocal nature, they knew their roles. They guarded the complex entry beacons like professionals. They scanned down anomalies within each system with an ease that only comes from experience. They were aware of every ship that entered a system, isolated its position and intention, and marked them as a threat or a non hostile within seconds.
Mr. Frog was joking around in fleet chat again. Roc smiled to himself, thinking of some of the name these pirates went by. Obviously they weren’t their real names; they were aliases to confound CONCORD and other law enforcement agencies. He couldn’t begrudge them that, but still, Mr. Frog? Apparently the man was a helluva pilot, and if that were true he guessed it didn’t matter what name you went by really.
The fleet entered Vard, deep in contested Amarr space. Roc quickly scanned local, only finding one war target in system. There were no enemy complexes on scan, meaning they would have to track them down manually. The Bastards quickly assigned themselves planets, and went to work.
Roc Wieler had been fighting the Amarr since this war began. He knew how quickly they responded to threats within their own systems. He was actually a little surprised they hadn’t been ambushed yet; Veshta Yoshita must have the day off. His comm pinged; one of the Bastards had already revealed a minor complex. That was as good as it was bad. The vast bulk of their fleet was cruiser sized and higher; minor complexes could only accomodate frigates and destroyers. Roc, of course, was in his faction frigate, but to engage enemy battlecruisers in a frigate wasn’t exactly the smartest thing he could think of. And undoubtedly, the Amarr had defensive squads around their bunkers.
“Sorry Roc, nobody can fly your wing on this one.” That was Jedziah, whom was the currently active Fleet Commander for their little jaunt.
“Alright, let me see what support I can drum up from the militia intel channel.” Roc replied flatly, never betraying his emotions with his voice. The Minmatar Militia Intel channel was a secured comm mostly used by military FCs, officers, scouts, and those whom were proven to be 100% loyal to the Republic. Sadly it was a well known fact that the standard militia channel, though encrypted, was full of Amarr spies. If you really wanted to sabotage yourself, you asked for assistance there.
Roc didn’t speak into the Intel channel; rather he had Aura send a simple transmission: VARD SYSTEM, MINOR PLEX. ASSISTANCE REQUIRED.
In the meantime, he had a job to do, and allowed the acceleration gate that was the entry way into the complex to wrap its energy arms around him, hurtling him into subspace. He went over countless attack patterns he had learned during the course of his military career, even those he himself had implemented and were now a standard part of the military school curriculum. As his ship slowed to realspace, he accelerated the ship to full attack speed, and began targetting the waiting Amarr battlecruisers. He set a chrono on his HUD, 10 minutes, that was as long as it should take for the engineers onboard to finish their task and secure the bunker.
The Amarr scout watched the minor complex appear on his overview. There was only one war target in system, Colonel Roc Wieler. He had fought against this cur before. There was more pirate activity insystem than he would’ve liked, but that would work to both of their disadvantages; pirates were indiscriminate filth, not caring whom they fired upon. The pilot urged his ship AI to send a transmission to the Amarr militia channel. A nearby fleet was just finishing up an engagement and would be able to assist within minutes. Excellent, the pilot thought to himself, the corpse of Roc Wieler would be a wonderful trophy to advance his career.
Seven minutes to go. His engineers worked diligently, but he always wished they were faster. He knew they were doing their best, and that were highly trained; it was just the anxiety of being vulnerable in one spot for so long. He had broken free of the bunker, leading the Amarr on a merry chase, their lasers barely grazing him, but they had sent for reinforcements. Fortunately, they didn’t seem very skilled, and were simply chasing him wherever he led, continually firing even when he was well out of range. The Bastards were deep in shallow conversation, the noise of their fleet chatter quickly working its way under Roc Wieler’s skin. He was sorely tempted to just turn the channel off, but he was a part of their fleet, and they were here as part of his experiment. So far, it had gone well, and he hoped it would continue that way. Should this prove profitable for them, he could encourage them to participate again, accomplishing much for the war effort while they continued lining their own pockets.
That was when he heard Jedziah double click the channel, and everyone fell silent.
The Amarr had arrived, in force.