Date: March 16th, 2017
Revenge is a great motivator. Among the great many drivers of conflict in Eve, doling out retribution ranks near the top of the list for deriving satisfaction. Whether it takes hours, days, months, or years to achieve, paying someone back for their misdeeds makes even the bitterest of bittervets smile wide.
Lone Wolf Union knows a thing or two about revenge. Years after a mackinaw gank, the corp continues to extract tears in The Bleak Lands. So when three WLVS cyno ships were blown up in Thakala within two days, the corp took notice. Thakala, you see, was a quiet midpoint for many years. Alliances of all stripes use the system to run logistics, and an unspoken truce had been the lay of the land, with everyone leaving each other’s’ cyno ships alone. The role of a jump freighter pilot is thankless enough, and for over a year, the haulers of every nullsec group in the galactic south just wanted to haul in peace. Until last week.
A ragtag group of players from Test Alliance Please Ignore (TEST) recently took up residence in the system, carebearing in partly-fit Nidhoggurs and Chimeras, and camping the Shastal gate with Gnosis insta-lockers. Although the group was originally satisfied with the challenges and rewards offered by lowsec belt ratting in carriers, they found themselves wanting more.
Not merely content to get rich by shooting the Sansha menace, the TEST pilots began to chase cyno ships, much the same way that a small dog chases a parked car. Lifting their legs against the hulls, they found an enemy they could reliably kill without any risk to themselves or their almost-fit caps. They had stumbled upon a winner!
Little did they know that the cyno ships all belonged to Lone Wolf Union (WLVS), a group known for their fierce master baiting skills. Annoyed at replacing their corvettes, WLVS directors sensed a chance at revenge. Eschewing the concept of a proportional response, members of corp leadership slammed their fists on the desk and decided to come back with total disaster, in a move that would make President Jed Bartlet envious.
Space Jam, WLVS’s premiere hotdrop fleet, happened to fall on the same day as the third corvette kill, so when the fleet formed and sent out hunters, one toon quietly made his way to Thakala, knowing the TEST pilots were still active and in their carriers. Making his way past the Shastal gate, the hunter took up position, and waited.
Two TEST subcap ships found the shiny battleship first, sniffing around the bait ship with eager anticipation. Confused at the somewhat odd sighting, the pilots nevertheless merrily began to chew through shields and armor.
The bait pilot waited.
As the armor began to run low, a TEST Nidhoggur appeared on grid to finish off the bait ship and score an easy, risk-free killmail. With an enemy cap on the field and aggressed, the bait asked for ransom in local. When the reply of “200 million” came back, he clarified himself: “No no no, ransom for you. Not for me. You’re about to die.”
They laughed, the bait ship finally lit his cyno, and 50 battleships poured through to wreak havoc.
Unable to dock because of an aggro timer, and slow to align out, the Nidhoggur was infinit-pointed by a WLVS Phobos while the rest of the fleet dispatched the TEST subcaps. After making short work of their initial targets, Space Jam trained its firepower on the Nidhoggur, which seemed frozen with confusion, or panic. Managing to get off one cycle of its shield booster, the carrier came apart at the seams in under a minute, leaving behind a smoking ruin and nearly a billion in loot.
Valued at 3.3B ISK on zKillboard (https://zkillboard.com/kill/60837936/) the Nidhoggur pilot’s antics at killing cyno ships earlier in the day came back one thousand times over to bite him in the ass. Glee on Space Jam comms were no doubt balanced by stunned silence from GGarrett, who warped to a highsec Astrahus in Shastal to lick his wounds and wonder aloud if he’d have lived, had he just fit that last midslot on his now-dead carrier.
Will the galactic south’s midpoint become peaceful again? How will TEST respond? Can the Sansha threat now be contained? And most importantly, can someone sell GGarrett a new Nidhoggur? Because he was asking in Thakala local the next morning. Tune in next week to find out. And remember, service guarantees citizenship!