In EVE Online, the Amarrian presence grows in Aldodan despite multiple skirmish scale defense attempts by the Minmatar. This comes as the pocket, nearby to Minmatar trade hubs, loses another star system to Amarrian control; Ofstold fell and has become a rally point for their forward operations elsewhere in the cluster. The recent fall of Ofstold appears to exacerbate the incursions into Minmatar space by invading forces. I took a chance and tagged along with Capt. Patroklus on a reconnaissance mission to see the effects of Amarrian occupation on this side of the war front.
The captains orders were to hold defensive formation, aiding the reinforcements flowing to a medium sized Minmatar outpost. There were plenty of allies in system, who were apparently working in concert to defend the assets in orbit around the nearby star, Evati. Amarrian interlopers had moved in on at least one system in the constellation successfully.
Patroklus, along with the rest of the officers in the Matari Liberation Front, usually flew with no backup, choosing instead to throw all caution to the wind in pursuit of bloodshed and glory. Her thoughtful glance landed upon directional scanning sensor readouts. Her ship was telling her that danger was nearby, and an ally, alone, was trying to hold it at bay.
It was in high orbit around Evati V in the form of a Succubus-class frigate. The vessel was capable of reaching microwarpdrive speeds with the use of only an afterburner. There were reports that this dangerous frigate had opened up an assault on the small Minmatar outpost there and was laying waste to Republic patrols, one after the other. Ample resources were unavailable to the outpost inhabitants to deploy multiple ships at a time. The defense suffered heavy attrition from this piecemeal deployment.
Word of casualties reached the captain. Instincts to intervene were examined and discarded in lieu of orders; maintain formation at all cost. When she had first reached her position at the medium outpost, she’d hoped that the Succubus would attack her position. Her plan was to draw the ship into a range duel, using what she had calculated as a slight speed advantage. Prolonging the engagement might give any of the numerous allies in system ample time to intercept.
This never happened; the Succubus maintained its assault on the smaller outpost. Eventually, an allied Republic Fleet firetail arrived and engaged. As quickly as the sensors on board the Republic Frigate detected the close relative range of their two signatures, the ship was en route to the small outpost at Evati V.
Mere seconds after activation of the bordering acceleration gate, the Rifter hull thudded from warp, easing to a halt within range of an active engagement between the firetail and succubus, visible for the first time to the captain and crew. The Succubus had established a wide, slicing orbit around the firetail, which was seemingly powerless to escape. Volley after volley buzzed noisily against the Firetails shields, until they eventually failed.
Patroklus made the split second decision to rescue the firetail, trading the Republic Frigate to ensure its survival. Aside from selfless glory, Patroklus’ intentions were rooted in the fact the Republic Frigate costs less than 2million isk to construct. The Firetail costs over 15 million. 7 Republic Frigates could be sacrificed for a single Firetail before such an exchange could be viewed as a monetary loss. There would even be some margin remaining, to account for modules or ammunition.
Almost no chance existed that the Republic Frigate would be able to kill the Succubus alone if the firetail failed to do so by itself. The Rifter’s 5MegaNewton microwarpdrive thundered to life, expelling an unbroken pair of cylindrical plumes of whitish blue behind the main engines. The die was cast, though whether in time was yet to be seen.