Stuff can be replaced.
The warning siren woke me from a deep sleep. I staggered up from my bunk, grabbing my boots from beside it, and pulled my jacket from where it was hanging in the corner of my corp quarters. I thumbed my comms unit, patching through to ops to see what was going on. Wordsworth answered the call.
“We’ve been war decced; hostiles inbound. Get Roc’s Renegades in the black.” he said with a fast staccato. It had finally happened; someone had a grudge big enough with Freeform Industries to declare Concord sanctioned war against us.
I finished tying the laces to my boots, and walked out of my room. Personnel were running down the hallway, each to their own duties. Support crews, logistics staff, pilots, and the like, all scrambling to their stations. You could smell the fear in the air, the anticipation. While it was true we were all actively involved in the war against the Amarr, this was the first time any of us had conflict brought to our own backyard, metaphorically speaking of course.
I hurried down the hallway, falling into step with FullMetal Basilisk, one of our more loud-mouthed members. The man had talent, but to hear him speak you would think he had achieved every capsuleer kill everywhere in the entire history of New Eden. Still, likeable guy.
“You up for SC Metal?” I asked as we jogged down the corridor.
“Sure Roc, gimme a squad. We’ll nail these bastards.” he replied with his usual vigor. He was younger than me by at least a decade, taller, and far better tanned.
“Any idea who we’re up against?” I asked between breaths, suddenly feeling far older and out of shape than I should. I needed to spend some more time working cardio apparently.
“Yeah, Turanic Raiders.” he said, already savouring the deaths he was envisioning.
I had never heard of the Turanic Raiders before, and wondered what we had done to get on their bad side. It didn’t matter much in the end; they were a self-declared enemy, so we would defend ourselves viciously.
Within ten minutes our fleet launched; an assortment of cruisers, frigates and battlecruisers. I had opted for Tribal Vengeance, my Republic Fleet Stabber, as the Renegade was still under repair. Eighteen ships, flying in tight formation, to engage a new enemy.
Intel reports came in from ops, but it was Cytral delivering them, the Director of Freeform Industries, our corporation. “Attention pilots. Turanic Raiders has declared war on us for no reason whatsoever. We’ve never dealt with them, we’ve never encountered them. It is a totally unprovoked initiative on their end. Fly weapons free, kill on sight. No ransoms, no mercy. Cy out.”
And just like that, we had our kill orders.
I’d like to write an indepth combat report of our engagements. I’d like to go on about our combat prowess, spinning the tale of glory that would be Roc’s Renegades.
Sadly, the initial skirmish was over so quickly some of us didn’t even get the chance to fire. They fielded less than a squad of assault frigates and frigates against us, and we steamrolled them, following their few survivors to the local stations they retreated to.
Then we ordered take out. Not really, but we could have. We camped those stations for fifteen hours straight, cycling in new ships to relieve tired pilots and crews when necessary.
I was just starting my second rotation when the news came in from ops. It was Cytral. “Fleet disengage. I repeat, fleet disengage. The Turanic Raiders have withdrawn their declaration of war. I guess they bit off more than they could chew. Well done, team.”
I was relieved, yet disappointed. To be honest, I longed for more experience in ship combat. Any chance we had for real engagements was invaluable. Drills and simulations were good, but they were never the same as the adrenaline pumping rush of a live enemy. Still, we suffered no losses, and there were no careless mistakes made; that was always a good thing.
Ah well. Maybe next time things would be more interesting.