Villore Accords and allied Gallente Militia pilots once again flew a Hecate-class destroyer patrol throughout the regions of Black Rise and Placid, attempting to bring this chaotic area under a higher level of security for Gallente-friendly organizations. In addition, these smaller scale operations help enhance our pilot readiness, skill development, and ensure we maintain a regular tempo of operations for increased pilot flight hours.
Friday, May 5th, provided another interesting engagement. As we continue to hone our tactics and fittings for these Hecate patrols, we have run into more and more high-profile, infamous pilots that darken Gallente skies with their reckless behavior and wanton destruction. These pilots, motivated for reasons such as publicity, fame, honor, or drunken revelry, inflict numerous casualties on Gallente Militia forces throughout the week. This time was no different, an a pilot by the name of Zarvox Toral visited the Black Rise system of Hikkoken.
Following a few hours of relatively low-level combat our Hecate squadron’s scouts found what appeared to be impossible: a Machariel accompanied by a Gnosis-class battlecruiser, lingering inside the Large Outpost in Hikkoken. This presented a prize opportunity, however, as we would soon find out, a Machariel is not to be trifled with, even with a superior force.
We warped our squad on the targets, and joined battle. Unexpectedly, there was a hostile Caldari Militia Kitsune, that rapidly jammed several of our ships, including our armor-repair Augoror cruiser. This generated the first loss of our fleet in that fight, and made me concerned. Against a Machariel, the key is to burn it down while avoiding the superior firepower of its massive autocannon batteries. If any of our Hecates slipped into the sights of those 800mm cannons, they would be mincemeat for the projectile firepower. We had to bring Zarvox down, as every minute we delayed we would lose more ships.
After dispatching several drones that were aiding the Machariel’s firepower, I ordered the fleet to disable thermal safeties on their weapons and overheat damage. This ramped up our firepower and we focused our full attention on Zarvox. We blasted through his shields and armor, but to our great surprise, his internal structure and bulkheads were holding his ship together much better than we anticipated. This turned the tables slightly, and allowed Zarvox’s Gnosis companion to destroy another of our Hecates, belonging to our famed pilot Zexxi Purple.
We continued the fight however, bringing down the Machariel. The Gnosis followed, ripped to shreds by the Hecate fleet’s railgun fire. Interestingly, we learned that the Machariel had been donated by a ‘fan’ of Zarvox’s, perhaps in some sort of perverted mercenary contract against the Gallente Militia. We plundered the wreck and are in the process of selling the rather valuable equipment that survived the Machariel’s reactor core detonation.
The Death of Zarvox.
Once again the space lanes were liberated from the tide of Caldari influence and piracy, if only for a few hours. However, the experience was rewarding both in terms of skills and monetary gain. Over six hundred million ISK were recovered.
((Props to Zarvox for fighting, was great fun. Check out his stream at https://www.twitch.tv/zarvoxtoral ))