In the weeks after DSR, logistics pilots were run ragged; hostile ship types had been recorded and logged during DSR, with the results being fedback to the War Council to design a combat plan for all pilots – the local Minmatar Militia liked to fly small, fast, implanted and with numbers in their favour, so the combat plan needed to counter this.
Keacte had already been awake for a few hours in the Alpha Squadron sleeping quarters. He saw no point laying staring at the ceiling, so had got up and had quietly made his way to the break out room adjacent to Sector 4. Sleep deprivation in space is a funny thing. Keacte was exhausted, and yet, he just could not sleep. He had always struggled to sleep after a period of DSR, and this time was no different – he poured himself a mug of herbal tea, and momentarily recalled the period whilst he was in Syndicate in M2-CF1 when he got the shakes and night tremors. He had been to see the corporate medics about this a few times, given the once over, and eventually given the all clear. But this feeling of restlessness, almost anxiety, always stayed with him for a few days. Sadly, he had grown used to it, but that didn’t mean that he liked it. One could say that he tolerated it.
This thought stream was suddenly broken. Shortly before 07:55am a claxon began that sounded throughout the Corporate Debrief Facility. The Battle for Kourmonen had begun. The Kournmonen POS was finally under attack.
Glepp exited her quarters calmly, and rearranged her hair slightly, and pulled on her jacket. She took a sharp left turn along the dimly lit corridor towards the Corporate Debrief Facility. The Amarrian Protection and Enforcement Diplomat, Agony Senior Combat Exec, Carenthor Loon and Deran Francks had all received the page, and would surely be making their way to the facility now. As Glepp entered the Corporate Debrief facility, Loon and Deran were already there waiting – they must have heard the warp drives of the hostile fleet even before the attack commenced, and the claxon sounded. Glepp walked slowly over to the water chiller and collected a small glass, and drew herself a half glass of water from the chiller and took a sip.
Deran was stood pensively looking out of the opaque observation glass from Kamela V toward the planet adjacent to the station. He was a tall and smartly dressed capsuleer, of medium to large build, with long flowing dark hair that landed just above the nape of his neck. He was staring into the middle distance of the planet outside, his eyes darted quickly and followed the dust clouds that drifted gracefully around the shimmering command centres and processors, as the planetside winds causing the vapour trails to ebb and flow around the structures. The planet was littered with structures now – collecting precious ores and minerals from the barren and acrid landscape adjacent to Kamela. Momentarily his gaze was broken with the sharp brilliant white flash of a ship dropping out of warp adjacent to the station docking field – it could have been an Iteron II or a Badger, he couldn’t quite make it out 100%. For a split second, it reminded Deran of that horrible hauling job in Jita he had around 3 years ago, and he felt blessed that he was out of that role now.
Deran turned to the lighting console, reached forward, and scrolled a dial. He and turned and faced into the semi-darkening room and walked over to the table and reached forward to the air conditioning display, depressed a button or two, initiating a cool draft of air to descend into the room. He turned and said casually to Loon and Glepp “The Kourmonen POS is under attack.”
Glepp laughed, and stood silent and looked perplexed for a moment. She turned to Deran and Loon and paused. Her expression changed to one of excitement – “Well that was to be expected – what have they got?”
Loon reached forward and dragged his finger across the console and paused momentarily; he looked a touch confused, “Well… It’s a fleet of sorts – nothing major – and nothing of concern – the POS will be dropping for a fight during Alpha Squadron.”
Glepp smiled “Excellent! Perfect! Just what I was hoping for.”
The POS was due to come out of reinforcement during Alpha watch.
By now Glepp, Deran and Loon had congregated around the ship hangar assets display and were talking animatedly. It was looking well stocked and healthy – Eomar had done a fine job in organising the logistics chain again. As they scrolled through the available ships, Glepp muttered to Deran and Loon – “we need to go heavy” – it was music to Loons ears.
An hour or so had elapsed since the claxon had sounded, and the number of pilots had swollen from just Keacte to around a dozen in the break out area. Gizz, Roigon, Itko, Alistone, Carver, ElvisLives, Dibbles, and Wulf were all talking amongst themselves. They all appeared calm, and with more surely arriving in the next few minutes before the 10:30am briefing, it looked to be a solid turnout so soon after the claxon had sounded.
The meeting was with the Amarrian Diplomat that had briefed the pilots the week before and would surely be littered with the usual diplo-speak that Keacte abhorred. Keacte had nothing against ‘diplomats’ on the whole. On the contrary – he admired their balanced attitude to peacekeeping and harmony. However on Keactes previous encounter with this particular Amarrian Diplo, Keacte had taken an immediate disliking to him. He had a smug arrogance about him – and gave off an air of “I’m better than you, and I’m not sure we need your help” – this was something that Keacte disliked. Everyone is born equal in New Eden – but it seemed that some people were above the rest of the New Eden populous. He was Amarr after all – so by birthright he ‘was’ better. He was true Amarrian. Proud. Condescending. Arrogant. Rude. He wore the clothes of an Emperor, but wore the attitude of a commoner. Keacte had to bite his lip on a number of occasions previously, something which he resented in the days afterwards. The Amarrians needed Agony, more than Agony needed them. But you would not have thought it from his general attitude toward some of the pilots.
The next few days were going to be quite simple – it all boiled down to combat, and combat alone. One thing was for sure, the next few days were not going to be easy.
The Diplomat arrived at the facility close to 09:15am, and went through the usual security checks as he entered Sector 4. He had been into the station facility a number of times, but security was tightened after a number of recent outings of spies amidst their ranks and within the Amarr Militia. Upon entering the facility, he was greeted by Loon, Deran and the War Council. However, it was not the same diplo? He had obviously not been reposted to Agony. Keacte thought to himself, that this could be down to one of two things – he may have asked for a transfer, or Deran or Loon may have asked for him to be transferred – Keacte was not sure. Either way, this pleased Keacte.
The new diplo was a short, stocky Amarrian man – he wore civilian clothes but had a military air about him. This in itself was good news. Keacte had thought that Agony needed someone from the Amarr that understood combat.
With 10:30am fast approaching, and with the number of pilots attending having swollen well into the double figures, Loon called for order in the Debrief facility and the Diplomat cleared his throat and started.
He introduced himself, and spoke of his time in the Militia and as a defence pilot having flown in various regions including Curse. Keacte was right – this guy was good news. The Diplomat expressed his sincerest pleasure that Agony had moved their forward base into Kourmonen. He explained that it had allowed Agony to gather a vast intel catalogue on the Minmatar hostile fleets, their composition and numbers, and thus enabling the Amarr Militia to plan more effectively to push the Minmatar Militia out of Kourmonen once and for all. Kourmonen was currently the Minmatar staging system and the presence of Agony had put the Minmatar Militia on edge. They knew Agony Unleashed and their presence working alongside the Amarr caused deepest concern. The Diplomat went on to explain that the Minmatar Militia had attacked the Agony POS to remove the Agony presence form Kourmonen and remove the risk of Agony pilots from gathering intel. However this was in fact an exercise in futility, as of course Agony had already effectively gathered the necessary intel in the weeks before.
Loon took over from the Diplo after around 45minutes or so, and was soon accompanied by Glepp and Itkovian Beddict. Itko was a rising star amongst the ranks of Agony, and had made a very good impression during his short time in Agony. He was a young but sharp pilot – he had cut his teeth in interceptors in his early days in Agony, but was wise beyond his years. In the short time since he joined Agony, he had garnered much respect from his peers. Glepp called for silence, and shortly after she and Itko confirmed the POS defence fleet for the Battle of Kourmonen would be armour battleships with guardian support.
Keacte sat forward in his seat and listened for the next hour as Glepp and Itko confirmed the battle plan. If Keacte had received 100m isk for every time that he smiled during the next hour, he would have been a billionaire by lunch. It was obvious that much thought and planning had been invested into this, and he sensed that there was a bigger picture to this than that of the defence of a lowly small POS.
The scene for the Battle of Kourmonen was set.