I was relaxing in one of the bars in Curse Watchtower station (F4), when I heard laughter and loud exclamations from a group of U’K pilots just entering. I recognised them all, but the source of the amusement appeared to be BHaddow, and a story he was telling by the looks of it. I waited till they got a drink, then waved them over and asked them what was so amusing.
BHaddow took a long swig from his drink, and grinned. He then told me a tale which was quite amazing.
He was hanging around, being cloaky, and entered S25C in the hopes of killing some miners in the ice belt. Upon arrival there were no miners so he was disappointed but decided to check for offline POS towers and found one. Result! He warped to it and to his surprise, saw a Capital Ship Assembly Array and a Capital Ship Maintenance Array too, along with nine other assembly modules and the like- all for building Cap Ships.
He immediately decloaked his Hound Stealth Bomber and started to shoot the Assembly Array, but a Sylph Nemesis (also a Stealth Bomber) showed up, but it wasn’t moving. BHaddow kept shooting, but was aligned off to a celestial….just in case. As the Capital Ship Assembly Array popped (worth 1.8bn ISK), the Nemesis cloaked and a Taranis showed up on grid.
Knowing he was out numbered and a that a Taranis could make short work of his Bomber (torpedoes do negligible damage against small ships, and even less versus Interceptors), he decided to call for help in our Alliance channel, and informed our AAA (-A) friends of his finding as well in case they had any interested parties nearby.
Kristeos Valamache and Buther el’Hek responded that they were near, and soon arrived- also in Hounds, so still they didnt stand much of a chance against the Taranis. The cavalry arrive in the shape of an -A- Rapier, which was exactly the right ship to counter small ships which relied on speed to keep them safe.
As the Rapier was moving into position, the Sylph Nemesis dropped a bit of fuel into the tower and started to online it (smart thinking…but maybe too late). All Sylph pilots then warped off grid thinking their tower was safe. However the online timer was at 30 minutes, so they now had 30 minutes to kill as much as possible including any more resistance they encountered. BHaddow ordered our Bombers to decloak and take out the Capital Ship Maintenance Array which they did successfully (worth 1bn ISK).
Upon its destruction, Sylph returned in a Taranis, Wolf and Nemesis. The Taranis was burning towards BHaddow so he started to warp off, but not before the Taranis badly damaged his Hound, leaving 10% structure integrity. Upon returning to the grid he saw the -A- Rapier (piloted by Ion Hound) take out the Taranis… then the Nemesis… then the Wolf. Gotta love Rapiers versus small ships.
While the Rapier was taking care of business, BHaddow and the others looked to see if anything had dropped out of the destroyed Ship Maintenance Array. Lady Luck was smiling, and ships that had survived the explosion included a Megathron Navy Issue, a Transport ship and… a Thanatos class carrier!
Kristos maneuvered his bomber to the Thanatos, ejected from his bomber and boarded the Thanatos (again, lucky he was certified to fly a Thanatos, let alone Carriers) and got into it. Thinking fast, he powered up the ship and moved it to try and pick up the the Megathron Navy Issue. However when he was half way to the Battleship, local channel spiked to 30 plus Sylph, so BHaddow gave the order to get out and fast. The newly liberated Thanatos JUST made it out in time and then proceded to warp between safe spots since its cloak was offline.
A cyno was hurriedly arranged, but it was just out of range so they had the Carrier power down in an effort to avoid being probed out. However, it wasn’t enough, and Kristos had the Thanatos and pod destroyed, waking up back in F4R. According to the killmail, the Sylph fleet had a Mothership in.
[OOC- you'll note we amended the killmail's name/ corp/ alliance to reflect it as a Sylph loss, which it effectively was. We don't ever amend KMs, but under the circumstances, I think in this instance it was fair]
So, due to Sylph’s inattention, BHaddow’s sneakiness, an -A- Rapier and a bit of luck, three Bombers and a Rapier caused 5 billion isk in damage and almost made off with a carrier. The insurance from the carrier was 337m ISK, which was split between the participating pilots.
I shook my head in amazement when I heard this story, and had to shake him by the hand. For the rest of the night, his drinks were on me and everyone else in U’K who heard the story.