Ready for nothing

9th November 2010 – 5.55 pm

A fleet is engaging Sleepers, and unusually using their shields to soak up attacks. I presume a couple of Basilisk logistics ships are keeping the shields replenished, allowing me to join the action more directly. All I need is a suitable ship. I consider taking my Damnation command ship in to the fray, adding some siege warfare links to the fleet, but am dissuaded from piloting the normally armour-tanked vessel in to today's combat. I don't have the Caldari equivalent Vulture, either, mostly because actively flying one demands some training in guns. But glorious leader Fin has a Nighthawk command ship available, which is shield-tanked, uses missile launchers, and allows a warfare link to be fitted.

Fin graciously lets me borrow her Nighthawk, as well as refit it from its current PvP configuration in to a fleet-supporting PvE fit. I also need to strip the Tech II weapons from the ship and replace them with standard heavy missile launchers, as I still have a guilty little secret of not having trained any Tech II weapons yet. But that's okay, our corporate hangar is well-stocked, letting me fit launchers I can use, and add shield hardeners and an extender to boost the tank of the Nighthawk. The shield has 72,000 effective hit points and resistances ranging from 84% to 90% for all damage types, without the bonuses from boosting the fleet or the effects of the shield harmonisation warfare link.

Setting up the fleet is a little more tricky. Our influx of recruits, coupled with sharing a system with our allied corporation, means we are struggling a little to find capsuleers with the skills trained to command enough pilots in our growing fleets. I get positioned as wing commander, where I can command three squadrons, but allocating pilots to the two squads below the wing takes some fiddling by a colleague. Finally the fleet is configured correctly and my shield boosting warfare link helps everyone. My borrowed Nighthawk is refitted and looking dangerous. I'm ready. 'For what?' Hmm.

I turned up as the fleet was engaging Sleepers. I was told this and I asked to join. I thought this was fairly clear, particularly as I was discouraged from piloting the Damnation and allowed to borrow a different ship. I then spent a while refitting the ship before asking for the fleet to be reconfigured for my warfare link to help everyone. I thought it was quite clear what I was getting ready for. Maybe I missed some crucial communication on the (supposedly still optional) voice communication channel, but I don't like spending so much time preparing to enter combat and aid the fleet only to be rebuffed. I don't quite know how to react.

Luckily, a stranger pipes up in the local channel, deflecting attention to himself. The fleet breaks up to look for new wormholes, finding a couple of connections to null-sec in our system. No doubt the unfamiliar pilot entered through one of them and saw our ships on his directional scanner before leaving again abruptly. Whatever, I am in no mood to chase a shadow, at least not in the current fleet. I lurk at the tower for a while, until I realise I could be productive elsewhere. I stow the Nighthawk, apologise for refitting it for nothing, and log off.

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