Last night when I logged into the game, a fleet commander I’ve been flying with lately greeted me and a few others in militia chat, proposing fleet ops at a specified time with a rally on the Nourvokaiken gate into Tama. Although it probably wasn’t the smartest thing I could do with a war on, I confirmed my intention (still in Militia chat) to be there.

In the event, we wound up rallying in another place, which was probably my good fortune. When the fleet warped to the Tama gate, I found a hitherto unknown (to me) member of CLDRI sitting fifteen clicks off the gate in a kestrel, flashing angrily at me as my war targets are wont to do. His name is vermilles, and he’s less than a month old.

He targets me.

I was in a Drake. I was still waiting for the fleet jump command, so what else could I do? I lit him him up and started chucking heavy missiles at him.

He absorbed one entire volley, which ate most of his shields. Heavy missiles don’t hit frigates very hard, sadly.

The next volley began to arrive. One missile, two missiles, three missiles, four missiles, armor melting in rotten chunks, he’s about to be dead… drat. He got into warp.

No worries. Fleet is jumping, I’ll follow as soon as my aggression timer counts away.

What’s this in local? VampireZIM, who was not in local last time I checked, is now in local shouting “XXX for fleet, XXX for fleet!”

I jumped into Tama, rejoined the fleet.

VampireZim is now trying to “X for nourv fleet” in militia chat. Someone in fleet calls the X to the attention of the FC. The FC, who was not born yesterday and who doesn’t seem to miss much that happens in his fleet, dryly says “I think we’ll leave that one.”

And off we went on about a two hour fleet operation, me keeping a weather eye on local in case any CLDRI boys decide to come into lowsec on an Ironfleet hunting excursion.

During the next twenty minutes, I observe that Max Threat and D34TH — the usual Zimster sidekicks — have logged in.

The fleet op is quiet but useful, we get several nice kills and show the Caldari flag on the pipe down to Old Man Star.

On our way back to Nourv, I observe that the three Vamskateers are all still logged in. Could they, are they, have they really been sitting, drones out, in their favorite Onyx/Ishtar/Ishtar combination, on the Tama gate, this whole time, camping for little old me to return from fleet ops in my fully insured disposable Drake?

I make discrete inquiries. It turns out, they could. They are. They have. Onyx/Ishtar/Ishtar, fully deployed in Nourv.

I decide to quietly end my evening in Tama, since I was planning to log anyway. The fleet jumps back into Nourv, without me.

About two minutes later, one of Zim’s former corpmates jumps into Tama. Looks like my failure to return with the fleet was noted.

I logged, content.

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