At last the Drake

9th December 2013 – 5.18 pm

It's time for bed. Great story, Penny. See you all tomorrow. But wait: returning through low-sec and in to class 3 w-space has the Drake battlecruiser visible on my directional scanner. I see two towers too, but those two towers are the two towers in the inner system. The Drake has long been idling at the third tower, sitting alone at the edge of the system. If he was still idling I would not be seeing him from this wormhole. I'm sure that means something, if only I could figure it out.

The Drake is out. The Drake is out and shooting Sleepers. Adjusting d-scan sees a few Sleeper wrecks, and sweeping a finer beam across the known anomalies sees the Drake in one of them. I move away from the wormhole and cloak, updating d-scan afterwards for a minute or so to gauge the reaction. The Drake doesn't move, so I think it's safe to say he didn't spot me on his d-scan. That gives us a target.

HR scrambles a ship in our home system, bringing the Legion strategic cruiser to the class 3 system that bridges the constellation between home and this one. He waits in C3a, I am point ship in C3b. Glorious leader Fin and Aii have been hauling minerals between home and empire space, taking advantage of the connection in C3a close to Amarr, and rush home to get their own ships. With four of us, I think we can afford to fly a heavy interdictor to make sure we get the pod, so Fin grabs that. Aii has the difficult decision of wondering what else we could possibly need.

Finding the Drake finally out of the tower and in an anomaly

I make a perch in the appropriate anomaly, where I can safely watch the Drake and warp in at a moment's notice. Or could, if the Drake stayed there, but he warps off seconds after I start working out how best to approach him. Hopefully he's having trouble against the Sleepers and not second thoughts about what he's doing. Having made a bookmark of my perch I warp to the distant tower to keep tabs on our battlecruiser target.

With any luck the Drake is simply recharging his shields, which is fine by us as it gives Fin and Aii time to get their ships to the wormhole with HR. Or maybe the pilot's gone away for another extended break. It has taken him a couple of hours to swap ships and start the first anomaly after all. Don't let me down, Mr Drake, people are waiting.

There's a short pause, the Drake moves towards a hangar, and, with what doesn't seem like enough time for a change of fitting, aligns and warps out of the tower. That's more like it. I tell my colleagues to get ready as I warp back to my perch, seeing the Drake resuming his Sleeper combat. Excellent. Now all I need to do is stop him from leaving again. That may not be easy. From this distance is looks like the battlecruiser may be aligned and ready for a rapid exit. I'd better take a closer look.

Nope, all looks good. The Drake is moving, but not to any obvious reference point, so I keep my Loki moving and crawl cloaked to get within warp scrambler range. With a pair of Sleeper battleships and couple of cruisers still in the site, plus the Drake itself, I would normally wait for a more opportune moment to strike, but with a capable small fleet behind me I am feeling much more confident. This should be easy. Here we go. I instruct my colleagues to jump in to the system and hold, and once they are in I shed my cloak and engage the Drake.

Engaging the Drake as tackle for our small fleet

I get a positive target lock, disrupt the Drake's warp engines, and start shooting as I call for my colleagues to warp to my position. The Sleepers hate me immediately, the Drake only a second or so afterwards. He'll like me a lot less when our own Drake plus Legion and Onyx all warp in to provide support. And here they are, just as I start to rely on my ancillary booster to keep my Loki a shield-based ship.

In warps the fleet

Fin inflates the Onyx's warp bubble, HR starts sucking the capacitor juice out of the Drake—if the traditionally passive battlecruiser is even relying on it—and Aii joins all of us in applying as much damage to the Drake as quickly as possible. It's pretty quick. The Drake melts, the explosion ejecting the pod that, as it remains in the warp disruptive effect of the bubble, we easily crack open for the corpse inside. Job's a good 'un.

Drake explodes quickly under our combined fire

Wreck of Drake and corpse of its pilot

We loot and shoot the wreck waiting for the Onyx's bubble to come down, and once it does we clear the field. Aii lingers a moment longer, not being able to resist snatching a bit of Sleeper loot for some extra ISK, but we're gone cleanly. It was an awfully long combined wait for the Drake to become active, and it was only really luck that had my coming home in this direction, particularly after avoiding being a victim to another fleet's ambush first. But in the end we get a good kill, even if it was a bit one-sided. I think that just means we did the groundwork well. Now I really am going home to get some sleep, after a particularly thrilling and varied evening.

  1. 5 Responses to “At last the Drake”

  2. "It was an awfully long combined wait for the Drake to become active"

    Those are the best ones!

    By Mortlake on Dec 9, 2013

  3. It was satisfying, and the wait let me find more trouble elsewhere first.

    By pjharvey on Dec 9, 2013

  4. I once watched a solo Drake for over an hour clear a site then warp wreck to home to wreck to home before he finally warped to the wreck I was camping in my Proteus. He was the most careful guy I ever saw, and he still died. He asked afterward if it was worth all that waiting. Of course it was.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Dec 10, 2013

  5. 'Why would anyone sit and watch someone for over an hour just for one simple kill?'

    'Because it's what we do.'

    By pjharvey on Dec 10, 2013

  6. Waited 2 weeks for a Retriever once.

    Best kill ever.

    By Mortlake on Dec 11, 2013

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