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The Book of Patches: Chapter 6

Moving Forward

    The time has come for The Black Company to make it’s presence more widely known. Sure, we’re known throughout our battlefield of S1 as ‘the bastards who took down a Vindicator with frigates’ and ‘nothing more than guerilla warfare specialists’, but someone has taken notice to our skills. We’ve received a contract, my first mercenary contract with the Company. No longer shall I fly around in a war patrol hoping for War Targets to destroy.

    As is Company custom, the client is never revealed to anyone lower than the Top Brass. Personally, I don’t give a damn who the client is or what I have to do to accomplish what he or she wants. I wanted to get  into this business for the money. Upon enlisting with The Black Company, I found I wanted much more than just ISK. Everything I’ve ever wanted from a mercenary company has been fulfilled infinte-fold by The Black Company. Brotherhood, success in battle, money and the feeling of having a purpose.

    It seems our client has a privateer corporation declaring war on them. From the information that I have gathered by reading the OPORD, the client mainly sticks to Hi-Sec. My thought is that he is part of an industrial corporation. Regardless, he has hired The Black Company for two days to get this privateer corporation off his back. The privateer corporation goes by the name of Beat the Retreat. The primary target is Derout. There were secondary targets, but our primary concern was the CEO, Derout.

    I was working in the Medical Bay as Supply Division went out with a few members of Infantry Division to set up logistics at the FOB, known to us mooks as Shiv. Rumor had it that we brought a handful of cruisers and an Orca, and it was up to the Brothers attending to bring a spider tanked Punisher or Rifter.

    I woke up on the morning of the job at 0300; it was going to be a long flight from S1 to Shiv. I hopped in my shiny new Punisher and took off towards Shiv. It was a bitch of a flight. I must have smoked at least two packs of cigarettes on the way and I was damn glad to have a spare carton with me.

    Upon arrival to the FOB, I noticed the Captain in station along with Gordon, Tiger and Laotzu. We shot the shit for a little bit while waiting for anyone else to show. At the start of the contract time, we were the only ones on deck so we flew off towards the destination system of Nourvukainen.

    We headed out and split into two teams watching the two known targets’ stations that friendly Locator Agents identified for us. It was a long, slow wait and eventually around 2030 Deroute jacked into his clone. The Captain had us move over to cover his location, with myself  on the station in Nourvukainen.

    We waited another 20 minutes or so when I reported that the target was gone from system.

    “What do you mean, ‘he’s gone?'” The Captain asked me.

    “He’s not in local channel Cap’, I don’t know what the fuck happened.”

    “Were you watching the station? Did you see him undock? Is there something wrong with your overveiw settings and you just didn’t pick up his signature?”

    So many questions. The Captain was on edge I think. “Cap’, my overview settings are fine. I can see each and every ship undocking and docking from where I am.”

    “Well if that’s the case Virg’, the only possibility was that he clone jumped out to try and evade us, or that we were watching the wrong station somehow, but I find that unlikely.”

    Davion pointed out that he had a Locator Agent right in Nourvukainen and he went and used it, giving an instant result of Derout being one  jump away. He jump cloned one jump away to lose us perhaps? I found that a tad bit ridiculous. Regardless, we moved in to watch his station in Iidoken.

    Another thirty minutes moved by; very slowly I might add. Davion switched with me on observation duty because I wanted a little break to sit back and have a smoke, or seven. After what must have been another 30 minutes with Davion on deck, the Captain told davion to dock and make sure Deroute was still docked up, avoiding us. I guess paranoia from the last disappearance made the Captain a bit nervous.

    Either way, just as Davion docked, he reported that Deroute undocked in an Arbitrator – being one of a handful of ships that could threaten our strategy – and he was gone. We had a huge scramble to find him but no avail, Davion went back to Nourvukainen, one jump away and tried to use a Locator. The Locator said Deroute was in Sarekuwa, so the Captain moved there while the rest of the fleet covered other exit points and Derout once again disappeared. The next agent Davion used was a higher level Locator Agent, restricted to Regional only locations, and he said he couldn’t find Deroute – indicating he had jumped regions. Using deductive logic, we found the first regional jump from Sarekuwa, moved there and jumped into the  Halaima Solar System.

    I  found Deroute sitting on the station and the Captain had most of the fleet waiting in Sarekuwa on the Halaima gate. I spotted the bastard off station, but the Caldari stations are huge. Therefore, if we engaged Deroute, he would just dock-up.

    The Captain gave me the order to aggress Deroute and the rest of the fleet attempted to line up with a celestial to warp in, but it gut bungled due to the general bad luck we’d been having all day, and the fleet landed 100km from him, versus  the 2km we wanted.

    It was a bit of a hassle and I was trying to get him to attack me, but no luck. A few different tactics were attempted, since we already exposed our hands to get him off station, but the bastard had no balls. The Captain wasn’t about to get into a station game idiocy, or expose our firepower or tactics to him until he knew Deroute was committed.

    He ended up redocking. We cleared the system and the Captain had a friend outside of the Company watching him docked in station, waiting for him to undock and leave. It eventually happened, but he warped to one of the two gates that we weren’t watching.

    The Captain had presumed at that point, that Deroute had another friendly watching us – and had everyone check for suspicious neutral activity – but High Sec empire is fucking chaotic hell for these kinds of situations.

    Anyways, we moved into the next system of Sankkassen, which only had three exits. We maneuvered to cover the exits while we tried to find which station he was in – and set one person outside to watch it while the Captain had his friend move in.

    After about thirty minutes of the Captain’s friend watching, Deroute undocked, and we also discovered he had a third capsuleer join his corp that we didn’t have listed. There were two Arbitrators now.

    He seemed to get cocky at that point and warped right to one of the location stargates we were camping. Immediately, the Captain formed the fleet up. Deroute began engaging us with two drone boats; ten drones with bonuses equaling about fifteen drones-worth of firepower. However, without some more firepower I don’t think we could’ve held even with our spider tanks.

    The Captain had to force a few fall backs through the gate while the target awaited aggression counters and pursued and jumped back through. We did this about 4-5 times. Skinny was on the way with a Stabber cruiser for both damage and psychological impact, but he was two jumps out when the Arbitrators decided playing games with us on the gate wasn’t going to work, unfortunately. They redocked at the same station yet again.

    This settled into the next few hours of him doing nothing except poking his head out a few times, and we decided to break out the virtual cards and play some Tonk together through our consoles. It was a bit late and we were sorting the Tonk game out still when we found Deroute ‘disappear’ again- the contact list had bugged for all of us it seemed, and he was actually not jacked into his clone. 

    Anyways the evening wrapped up with us in Tonk, and a good time to be had. A lot of waiting, but we were having fun and I was smoking my cigarettes with a purpose. It seemed to help me win the hands of Tonk, or so it seemed. After Deroute had disappeared, we decided to call it and return in two days to complete the contract.

    The next contracted day started off much like the first. After hours upon hours of waiting for this fucker, we finally managed to catch him at a gate. The details have escaped me, so I won’t go into much description here.

    The total count of members on deck for this engagement were (in order of rank): The Captain, the Lieutenant, the First Sergeant, Annalist Mocker, Veteran Laotzu, myself, Brother Davion, Recruit Ian and Recruit Gordon. The engagement went south fast; we lost the Stabbers almost immediately and the spider tanked Punishers did not last long against the enemy Myrmidon. Everyone had lost their ship and had retreated back to the Lieutenant’s Orca to reship at a safe spot.

    Once we had reshipped, we went back to the battleground of the first fight and were suprised that he stuck around the area. The first engagement had knocked him down to structure, so the second fight didn’t last long. The Captain was yelling accross the CommsNet.

    “Get his pod! I want his corpse served on a silver fucking platter!”

    We had tried, but before any of us could lock the fucker, he had managed to warp out and dock up. We spent the rest of the night playing Tonk on our consoles and watching the station he was docked at. It got rather uneventful and before we knew it, the operation was over. The next day was spent moving all of our assets back to S1.


    Skinny walked into the cantina in a rather smug manner. It took all of two seconds for everyone in the cantina to figure out why he was so proud. He had received his Combat Pilot Certification Wings. They were quite an honor to receive, no doubt. His wings symbolized his completion of the Combat Pilot Certification Program and allowed him to fly tech two frigates and tech one cruisers, with the proper training of them, of course. First Sergeant Kingzmen followed behind Skinny, brandishing his wings as well. We all drank to their honor and I secretly despised them for completing the course before me.

    Within the next few days I took my exam, proctored by First Sergeant himself, and I received my wings. Yes, we wore those shiny pieces of metal proudly. We made sure to remind all the new Recruits and Brothers who had yet to complete the CPCT, that they should get to finishing it. The more members we had complete the CPCT, the more contracts we would see.

    The next few weeks were rather uneventful, for the most part. We had two new Recruits enter our hallowed halls: Bull Eramix and Sodimm. They seemed like good guys and I think they fit in well. There were other happenings as well; Walter hoarding tons of Whatnot in his locker, with Davion following suit. Apparently, the password to Davion’s locker was ‘Patchesmom’. Bastard. Among other things, we ran combat patrols and were planning an expedition into null-security space.

    Despite all the goings on, there was something that blew them out of the water in comparison. Davion Falcon, my good friend and fellow Brother was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. When I caught wind of the news, I was quite happy for him; he fit the bill perfectly, no doubt. However, I felt a small pang of regret. I was trying my hardest to secure that billet and when I heard Davion got it, I was a little depressed, yes. However, after I sat down and thought about everything I had given to the Company and everything I had gotten back, I was content. Sure, I could use more, but one only gets out of the Company what one puts into it.

    My achievements weren’t exactly few and far between, by a longshot. I racked up quite a few kills on patrols, earned my Combat Wings, earned The Black Company Service Medal, advanced to the rank of Brother, was being considered for quite an important job, completed a contract, made several good friends and Brothers, had excellent leadership that I could go to with anything, succesfully flew my first tech two interceptor in battle, was helping disseminate information about various ships and their fittings to the Company, was creating a Company NetCast for the entertainment of my fellow Brothers, and was looking at getting two new awards (provided I put in the required effort, and then some). After thinking about all that, yes, I was quite happy where I was at this moment in the Company. But there’s always room for improvement. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m destined for greatness and dammit, I’m going to do great things Of, By and For the Company.

One Response to “The Book of Patches: Chapter 6”

  1. Laotzu says:

    Good read there TG. You forget Deroute getting pissy and bringing out the Dominix before he decided he didn’t want to lose that too.

    And one for you: Kachow!

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