I'm stirred by an alert. A colleague reports battlecruisers in the class 3 w-space system, two jumps from our own. A Cyclone and three Drakes are spotted by a pilot returning from empire space in a hauler, the combat ships sharing a directional scanner reading with some Sleeper wrecks. My colleagues ping my systems to see if I'm awake, but I am already in my Onyx interdictor and warming up its systems. As I am the only capsuleer currently at our tower I get a fleet started, creating the advertisement to let allies know we are hunting battlecruisers.
The hauling pilot gets back to the tower and swaps in to a Pilgrim recon ship, heading straight back out to locate the targets. My Onyx is joined by an allied Tengu strategic cruiser, as a Hyperion battleship is readied by another colleague, although he is having problems keeping everything on-line. We warp out and jump to our neighbouring C5, moving to sit on the connecting wormhole to the C3. The Pilgrim has jumped in to the C3 and is searching for the battlecruisers, now identified as only three Drakes, the Cyclone being elsewhere in the system, and we wait for our command.
There is only one anomaly in the C3 and the Drakes are fighting Sleepers there. Our scout warps in, gets a good point of reference, and warps out and back to get close to the targets. The final Sleeper battleship is destroyed. 'Jump and warp to me', we are told, and my Onyx is in the C3 and in warp. I drop out of warp on top of the Drakes, activating my warp bubble to trap them all. An arbitrary ship is selected as our primary target and we open fire, our combined firepower breaking its shields without too much effort.
The Drakes sensibly try to flee in different directions, but two of them head along roughly the same vector. The third will escape, though, and I have cause to thank leader Fin for refitting my Onyx with its second warp disruption field generator. With its focus script, the second WDFG holds a single target with infinite disrupting strength out to a greater range, allowing me to keep the third Drake snared for a while longer. As the first Drake pops, and I take care of the pesky pod, I call for a secondary point to be applied to the fleeing Drake, which the Tengu zooms across to take care of.
Our second target is still within my warp bubble and again his shield is looking to break under steady fire. The targets aren't going down without a fight, though, and the relatively fragile Pilgrim is popped, although our pilot gets his pod to safety. We lose the Pilgrim but our Hyperion turns up, and the second Drake is toast. The ejected pod is safely encapsulated in my bubble for the pilot's guaranteed return to empire space, and we turn our attention to the third Drake.
The final Drake is now far out of my bubble, as I manoeuvred to ensure the second target wouldn't escape. Our man in the Tengu has a point on him, though, preventing him from warping away. I request everyone hold fire for the moment, as I drop my warp bubble and burn towards the Drake, no longer dragged back by the bubble's penalty to reheat boost. In short time I am back sitting on top of the Drake, warp bubble again activated and ready to capture the pod. All weapons shoot once more, joined by our Pilgrim pilot returned in an Ishtar heavy assault ship for added damage.
A conversation request appears. It is coming from the remaining Drake, and I accept, curious to see what he will say. The pilot compliments us on a 'nice job', saying that we have a good set-up. That's decent of him to say so, and I feel a pang of pity in killing someone so pleasant. I give him the opportunity to pay a ransom for his ship, making an offer when shows he is amenable to the idea. I again request a ceasefire whilst I negotiate, finally remembering that I, too, need to de-activate my weapons. The price tempts the Drake pilot but, as is understandable, the pilot wants to know 'what is your guarantee?' We could, after all, take his money and still destroy his ship and pod.
'As good as any pirate's, really', I reply. Anything else is just words, and he sees my point. A few seconds later my wallet blinks and I am paid the ransom fee. I ask for all warp disruption effects to be dropped and the pilot left free to go, which my colleagues comply with. The ransom demand was perhaps a little low, considering the pilot kept his Drake and not just his pod, but 'this is why Riyu negotiates', I say. Even so, we make a good chunk of spending iskies each, get to loot the Drakes, and even salvage the Sleeper wrecks. And I have two more corpses to add to our morgue. But now I must be somewhere else, and I leave my fleet mates as I return to the tower, drop the loot and corpses, and power-down.