Our little piece of W-space has been extremely busy lately. Escorting in new pilots, making fuel runs, mining gravity sites and fending off intruders. The latter has kept us especially busy in the last 24 hours.
An old corp-mate of mine from my last corporation was around so I invited him into the corp and the WH operation, he arrives at the last empire jump-gate, to my surprise, in a Dom. This pleased me greatly since we could always use another BattleShip (BS) for closing of wormholes and for fighting when necessary. We're usually very up on our sleeper sites so npc contact is pretty limited right now. We scout him into the WH without issue, although we had a close call with a Covetor and a Dramiel.
The new dweller fits his Dom to help with the mining and proceeds to make tea for himself, unfortunately for him, this is exactly when things begin to heat up around our lowsec connection.
Myself and a pilot close to me are returning from a quick jaunt to empire with a much needed logistics cruiser and a few skill books. As we approach our W-space's entrance my overview lights up, turns out our present entrance is directly between two of IT Alliance's territories, and a few of them fancy some cat and mouse with what few players we have online.
I call out that we've got company, and everyone who's not AFK immediately jumps to safety. The two of us returning take our time to cloak up, align, and get to safety at the POS. Then our newest arrival says what we all dread to see, "Oh shit, I'm dead.." I, hoping he's just saying that in panic, ask him if he's really dead, podded, or still trying to warp out.. Turns out they set onto him like a pack of wild dogs and devoured his Dom whole. Frustrated as anyone would be after arriving to the system and being blown up from self-error, he logs for the night and we kick up the alert level.
D-scan is completely bare, not sure if they were employing Project Poseidon or not, but one thing is for sure, there were a lot of cov-ops in system. The ships that we happened to notice consisted of Enyos Manticores, Hounds, at least one Nemesis and an Oneiros.
Scouts reported enemy ships leaving through the WH so after several minutes we tentatively restart operations. We swap the Covetor for a Retriever, I keep an eye on the WH, and one of our aspiring PvP pilots gets into a Rifter and fits for combat especially for the Hound, which seems to be the invader that most enjoys toying with us, flying in and out, warping in not cloaked even though he had a cov-ops fit.
The operation recommences with our Rifter pilot flying in and out of the Grav site, systematically flying around the system and checking Dscan. The Rifter pilot returns and orbits around the ships and asteroids, my guess is hoping to catch a cloak unawares when suddenly the Hound shows up again and starts to tear the retriever apart.
The Rifter jumps on the Hound but not in time to save the barge. The barge goes up in splashes of molten metal, but now the Rifter has the Hound in his clutches. The Hound zigs and zags trying to shake the Rifter loose, at one point it looked like he almost succeeded but the Rifter pilot adjusts from orbit to approach and the two look not unlike a snake writhing in a fire. After only a minute or so of battle, at least 4 other enemy ships show up on grid to find the Hound burst into flames, the Rifter, already damaged, succumbs to the force of the reinforcements.
We lost a barge, and a frigate, but return to the station with our pride intact, and congratulate our corp member on his first killmail, a very good start to a career that I will watch very closely. He admits that he did mess up towards the end of the fight and thinks if he had his wits about him he could have possibly escaped ship-intact, but the thrill of the hunt and the surge of adrenaline of his first intentional PvP fight fuzzed his thoughts. Now that he's had a taste, I believe he'll show improvement and clearer thinking, despite the yea-haws I heard and expect to hear more of, over the voice chat.
I looked into the killmail too, the Hound pilot was a 2003 player, our Rifter pilot started playing in Dec. 2009, a feat worth mention. We've ordered him new parts for a Rifter and the leader of the alliance is thrilled over the situation, even considering the loses.
Despite the thrills and the pride we find in our pilots, I do hope we don't need to see this much action in the future. A few combat pilots are being flown in from the war though, just as an extra precaution.