We were lucky enough to get some time with Salamaar of Sal’s Waste Management and Pod Disposal to find out about what exactly went on with that Nyx kill in The Bleak Lands back in January.
Sit back and relax as I spin you a little tale about a backwater system called Uusanen, where a group of Waste Management Specialists, formed under The Mockers Alliance, perform a much needed “cleaning up” service.
The setting for our story is Uusanen, a fledgling trade hub but otherwise unremarkable system in The Bleak Lands; a low security region within the Amarr-Minmatar front of faction warfare; where a group of like minded alliances have formed a coalition committed to carving out a small area of space they can call their own.
Our story unfolds like any typical day in The Bleak Lands, with small groups of pilots patrolling their area of influence looking for any targets of opportunity. However tonight would prove to be anything but typical.
“I have a Nyx on scan in Sosala” a capsuleer calls across the Alliance Intel channel.
As you could imagine, this peaked some interest and some questions. What was a Nyx doing here in low sec? A couple of scans revealed that the Supercarrier was outside a station. A quick warp over with some covert eyes to confirm who the Nyx Pilot was: StarshipTrooper.
Quickly a HIC pilot got into system but moments before he could position himself he was noticed and called out in local. Shortly thereafter the report from system was that “Wait… it’s gone. He’s jumped? Apparently our quarry had quickly moved on? or had they?
Next, a pilot in Uusanen one system over calls out “I have a cyno here now”. An FC responds: “Get on it. We may have gotten lucky.” Immediately the cyno disappears, denying us an opportunity once again. There’s definitely disappointment in that. There is a strange satisfaction in killing cyno ships, especially when they are in your own backyard. Suddenly over voice comms, you can hear an excited voice “Hey- there’s still a Nyx on Scan!”
With that information we set our intelligence network off to pull any information on the guy, while we got some covert eyes in place. Just as the cloaky landed, the Nyx warped, disappearing in the direction of the sun and quickly disappearing off of scans. We figured that he had warped to a safe spot or had warped to the Star at range and cloaked up.
At this point we knew we were facing a problem. We had a Supercarrier cloaked in one of our systems and no idea what his intentions were. He had lost a ship earlier in the day. Was he going to move in a POS and set up operations in our backyard? Or was he the bait of a hot drop or Titan bridge?
Time to get a plan in place. We assembled 2 HIC pilots and got them standing by at a 20AU safe spot with a dedicated combat prober, just in case he came back up on scan. Then, after a quick check of the moons, started bringing up POS’s on the 5 moons without one to make sure we didn’t end up with this guy outstaying his welcome behind a POS shield.
While the POS’s were going up, our Intel Network got some solid hits back on the pilot. It appeared that the account was traded about a month ago and since that time he had already lost one Supercarrier. Inexperienced and careless? These were all good marks in our favour: could this mean he was solo with no backup? 5 minutes later we’d formed up 25 combat pilots in a number of ships, from frigates to battleships. Our batphone started to send out our signal to our allies to standby for some additional numbers if we managed to catch him.
The Nyx pilot stayed cloaked for almost an hour while we continued our build up of troops and assets. Tensions were high as we expected him to uncloak and jump system denying us the opportunity once again, locator agents were being used and scouts dispatched to harass the known cyno pilot. Finally, one of our pilots catches him on scan as he decloaks towards the Sosala gate cluster. Our combat scan prober had his probes out standing by and quickly drops them on towards the gate and hit scan. Bang: 100% hit on first scan so he warps the HIC’s in for the point.
When they land they see that the Supercarrier is aligned and warping to the Erkinen gate. We sent pilots there at different ranges to land on him. Fighting him on the gate wasn’t the greatest idea but we would do it if he gave us no choice. The heavy interdictors landed at 30 km and 50 km from the gate as luck would have it the Supercarrier landed at 100 km from the Erkinen gate and immediately began to reverse course.
The heavy interdictor pilots were not able to burn fast enough towards the Nyx before it warped back towards the Sosala gate. We followed in warp to the gate to get on grid with our prober.
Landing at the Sosala gate, we realized the Nyx wasn’t there and was off scan – it must have dropped a couple of safe spots having destroyed his cyno pilot to deny us the killmail. Fortunately our combat scanner brought his A-game and had been bookmarking his location every 10 seconds while he was in warp. In an act born out of genius and desperation we started to retrace the book marks from bottom up. After the second warp we landed on and uncloaked the Nyx.
The Heavy interdictors called point and burned out to 15km to ensure a single ECM burst would not allow an escape. The rest of the combat squad was called in and we started to apply neuts to take away his cap while our DPS started to go to work.
The bat phone was ringing as our support wanted to join in, asking us what we needed. We told them to stand by with some heavy DPS until we knew what this guy was going to do. Anticipation was that hostile reinforcements would be arriving momentarily. We got his shields to melt and he started to send out wave after wave of fighters. He first tried to remove the two interdictors with cap drains and fighter swarms but he failed as both pilots knew their stuff and were able to maintain a rotation allowing logi to keep them effective.
Once we finished off with the shields we hit a brick wall of armour that didn’t seem to be moving. By now we felt safe that this was a solo pilot and that he was working alone so we called in our tactical support in the form of Ushra’Khan. A cyno goes up on the field and they jump in a Dread to assist with the DPS. Swarms of fighter drones start to assault the Dread and fighters were called primary them to remove the DPS from the Dread.
Shadows were called primary and removed from the field, followed by Templars, and Firbolgs. Somewhere in the back of voice comms another FC wept softly “not the Shadows those are worth 1.5 billion each!”. The rotations followed with drones being primaried, and either destroyed or recalled into the safety of the fighter bay. In the end this decrease in DPS paid dividends as the Dread exited Siege, and shortly afterwards the field at 10% structure. Soon after the fighters were exhausted and focus was returned to the Nyx.
As the remnants of the armour failed and the structure was following, a concept was mentioned over comms. If the guy can afford a second super, his pod was likely valuable as well.
Unfortunately bubbles are not available in low-sec, and we had to resort to attempting to land a smart bomb battleship on the pod. Unfortunately some pilots (who shall not be named until they are AWOX’d) succumbed to the red mist and ignored the repeated ceasefire calls while the bomber was in warp. Obviously the thought of having a supercap final blow was irresistible.
Predictably Murphy’s Law proved true, and the smart bomb battleship arrived on grid in time to see the explosion, but not in time to be able to cycle his weapons, and we saw the (likely) juicy pod warp away. As expected, comms were chaotic as loot was removed from the field.
As the adrenaline rush began to subside the result of our efforts began to set in. We killed a Nyx in low sec without losing a single ship and almost had the pod too.
Death to all Supercaps?