The one that (almost sort of) got away
So I was online one night and got “the call”…. I was sitting in the lobby of the alliance’s TeamSpeak server with a bunch of other guys, when a senior Fleet Commander jumped into the channel and said with an urgency in his voice: “guys, get into your ships, we’ve got a potential Mothership kill. I need carriers, battleships and HICtors with scripts to rally in EC-P8R right now Go! Go! Go!”
An opportunity to take out an enemy mothership class supercapital is a rare opportunity. They are more than 10 times more expensive than carriers and hundreds of times more expensive than fully fitted battleships, and so they are normally well guarded and used sparingly. The tone of the FC’s voice suggested someone had made a deadly mistake, exposing their Mothership to our grasp.
So as fast as I could, I docked up my ratting raven and jumped into my Heavy interdictor, fitting an extra focused warp disruption script to generator. All the while, alliance chat was being spammed with fleet invitations and cries of “Mothership kill! Get in fleet now!”. The heady feeling of adrenaline rushing through my veins was like a drug.
It is known that most large, sovereignty holding alliances have spies embedded within them, so the fleet was told where to meet, what to bring, and nothing else. When we got to EC-P8R the destination was changed again, to 93PI-4 where we were told to warp to a particular member of the fleet already in the system. There we found a waiting Titan pilot, and we knew we were going to be jump-bridged into an unknown system.
My little Onyx Heavy interdictor is dwarfed by the mighty Avatar class Titan
The FC by this time was telling us “this is going to go down real soon, get close to the titan and when I say jump right click on the titan, jump through and tackle the mothership.” In the quiet before the battle I looked up and down my overview at those in fleet. It seems like there was only one other Heavy Interdictor pilot (the only ship that can prevent supercapital ships from warping off). I didn’t know what we were going to land in the middle of, but I didn’t like our chances of survival. If the Mothership wanted to escape, he’d primary the Hictors or get his mates to use Electronic countermeasures on us.
Then the command came. “Cyno’s up! Jump! Jump! Jump!”, but instead of the expected titan jump bridge animation, our titan blooped out of existence…
“WTF dude? Haha, you noob!” said the FC good naturedly. “aww, sorry man, I just woke up” the titan pilot said in a weary voice. The titan had jumped to the cyno beacon instead of creating a jump bridge for the sub-capital fleet to use. Thankfully there was already a Heavy interdictor in the target system with a tackle on the Mothership. and initially there was no support for the mothership and so the only thing attacking the HIC pilot at that point was the mothership’s fighter drones – something a moving HIC can tank for a fair while. I wasn’t there of course, but I believe we also had a number of carriers and a mothership also jump into the beacon, and so they were able to assist while the titan jumped back.
Within a short while the titan blooped back into existence and immediately set up a Jump Bridge. The subcapital fleet approached the titan and jumped through, materialising beside a hostile Aeon Class Mothership belonging to a known lowsec pirate corporation.
The Aeon class Mothership is tackled by a fellow HIC pilot The bubbles in the background are a graphical bug when HIC’s use scripts in lowsec, the game still thinks that a bubble should display.
Go! Go! Go!
I immediately locked it up and got my warp scrambler on it. it was at this point realised that we had jumped into a lowsec system, where HIC’s cannot use bubbles and have to rely on focus scripts. I consoled myself that the empire standings hit I would be taking today would be worth it to be in on a mothership kill.
4 or 5 times during the fight, the pirate corporation warped in battleships and electronic countermeasure ships in an effort to destroy the HIC’s locking down the mothership. As everyone knew the criticality of the HICs maintaining a lock, these ships were killed almost before the FC had a chance to call them as primary. I was only jammed once, but thankfully the other HIC’s maintained their locks and we started to take the Mothership down.
As the killmails revealed at the end, the pirates were getting desperate, after initially sending properly fitted ECM force recons to ward us off, they degenerated into throwing hastily bought and partially fitted blackbird ECM cruisers at us in an effort to free the mom. But soon it became clear that the mothership was going down.
It was then that a notification popped up, informing us that the Mothership had initiated a self-destruct sequence and we had two minutes remaining before it destroyed itself. Furiously we pilled on the damage, but even when combined with gratuitous smack-talk in local it was not enough, and the Mothership exploded, denying us any loot or a trophy killmail.
On the return trip home, the FC told us that he had heard this pirate corp had bought a new mothership and was a little bit careless in showing it off, using it quite regularly in lowsec combat. So he had an alt character move to that system to keep an eye on it in case of a slip up.
It turned out on that fateful day that the alt character noticed that the pirate was dismantling his POS in the system, acting on a hunch, he hung about, thinking that the mothership pilot would hang around to pick up the unanchored POS. His hunch was correct and he was rewarded with the mothership warping nearby to the pos and cloaking up.
This is when the FC started getting the fleet together and when we were all formed up, the alt character jumped in an industrial ship, and pretending to be just an innocent bystander hoping to pick up an unattended, unanchoring pos, he warped in and meandered towards where the mothership had cloaked up and “accidentally” bumped into it.
At the exact same moment a heavy interdictor and one or two other ships were in warp and it was game over.
There you go, a mothership decloaked by an industrial ship, a sleepy titan pilot jumping in instead of creating a bridge, savage one-sided fight and a self-destructing supercapital. It doesn’t get much better than this in 0.0.
It even spawned its own features and ideas discussion thread on the