Arriving late at Bawilan did not help. Most of the corp had already undocked and were in Archee blasting into jaspet rocks while I was still stuck in the office and planet-bound. Four hours later, I blasted off from the planet and docked with the corp factory.
Checking the fleet disposition and I realised that Umpa had brought out his Archon-class carrier. Very impressed to be honest and I was excited with the way the corp was moving. Getting into the pod, I tried the pod-pilot to pod-pilot communications and was greeted by static. Cursing, I had to go back to an older method of communication. It was slower and less clear and prone to errors but with this method being the only available means, it had to do.
Quickly catching up on intel; I discovered that one of the gang had already lost a ship to an opportunity ganker (Kitin Michian) piloting a rokh and that this pilot and his ship was still in-system and hassling the mining crew. I undocked in vigilant and arrived at the gate when Umpa declared that his fighters had scared off Kitian Michian and sent him packing. Moments later we found Kitin in a pod and that meant he had either ejected from his ship or it was destroyed at a gate, this would have been due to his criminally flagged status on attacking Giant Eagle. He warped away and left local. We were pleased but little did we know that his absence was probably the worst thing possible to us.
Two more ships came in, a raven and rifter and we kept an eye on the ships. They did not move from their safe spots.
Tator was in an arbitrator and was zipped between the two gates in order to keep an eye on potential hostiles. The rest were in mining barges and haulers. We felt quite secure. Little did we know that it was going to go horribly wrong.
I left the belt with a semi-full hold of ore and had a call from Umpa telling me that the carrier did not have enough fuel to generate a cyno-sural field. I offered to make the 6 jump round journey but we all decided that there would be time for this. As I aligned to warp back to Archee - there was an explosion of noise over the weekend.
Max: Warp out! Warp out!
Local exploded in numbers as an unknown force had appeared. The miners and haulers all laboriously turned to warp out. However, it was the carrier who lingered behind and it was the carrier that the enemy had targeted.
All the other ships managed to get out. Tator whipped into the belt.
Tator: ENEMY. ENEMY. Warp out.
Tator: Am down.
And with that, the cruiser was reduced to molten pulp by a trio of battleships.
Now the enemy started to nos the carrier and without a full isotope load, the only hope was for our carrier to warp out or fight it's way out. Both were horrible choices. Without any support ships ( a huge oversight on our part) - there was nothing much that could be done except stare on in horror at the slow and deliberate dismantling of our first carrier.
The carrier eventually succumbed to the fire after tanking x2 carriers and at least x5 battleship and x1 force recon cruiser.
Ach - a horrible night.