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Orakkus sat down among the new Caldari recruits.  While certainly not a legend, Orakkus had been around.  Flying for the Northern Coalition, CVA, and others.  He had been a commanding officer in a well known null-sec corporation for many years and several of his public views were considered priority reads for new pilots.  So when Orakkus appeared on the docket for the ongoing war between the Gallente and Caldari, it stirred some attention.  Especially since he was fighting for the Caldari.  “I heard you boys had a rough day.”, he said after polishing off some illegal Gallente sours.

“Rough, doesn’t even cut it.”, said one.  The pilot, Jarron, had just joined looking for adventure and excitement.  What he got was a swarm of drones that quickly liberated him from his brand new Condor.  Orakkus had seen the new pilot’s fit and was surprised only by how long it took for the ship to die.  Another pilot, Sheila, echoed a similar response.  She was upset that Concord hadn’t gone after a Gallente ceptor pilot who managed to sneak into Caldari’s high security systems.. and relieve her of her ship as well.  As she went on to describe her ‘sweet’ setup, it was clear that the ship probably wouldn’t have survived a snow storm, much less a honed, combat-ready faction pilot.

“Well then, let me tell you how my day went..”  Orakkus stretched, called over another drink, and began his tale.  “Yesterday, me and the Fancy Hats were set up in Black Rise, getting ready to handle the pirates that tend to inhabit our low sec systems.  It was just a few of us, Star, Vorghast, and myself.  Star was flying one of those fancy Amarr Recons, the Pilgrim, while Vorg.. he brought a Minmatar Jaguar.  You know what both of them can do right?”  There were quite a few nods in the room.  The type of nods that indicate they have no idea what those ships can do.  Orakkus continued, “And myself, I brought out one of my Rifters.”  A few looks of distain crossed some faces, but quickly vanished when he stared back at them.

“Now, as you know, the fighting in Black Rise can be pretty fierce.  So we set about going deep into enemy territory, looking for trouble.  And boys.. ahem, and girl, we found it in spades.  You see, we flown through Kinakka, Innia, Martoh, without even seeing a single enemy ship.  Oh, the local comms indicated there were a couple around.. but it looked like it was going to be a dull night.”  Orakkus, drank some more of the sour.  “But then, we jumped into a huge gate camp at Kehjari.  There must have been a dozen ships if there was one.  The new wormhole cruisers, the Tech Threes, were every where.  Tengus, Lokis, Proteus, you name em.  They were everywhere.. and waiting for us to become their snack.”

“Now a Rifter is a might adaptable ship and my Rifter, well, she’s not a fast girl but she’s a tough one.  Built to be as tough as one can get.  We didn’t have a chance to take them all there, but maybe, we might have a chance if we could take them on individually.  I look around to see if I am closely aligned to a stellar body.  The residual jump gate particles that cloak a ship were disapating fast.  I see that I am aligned somewhat to far off asteroid belt.  So, I tell them my plan, and just before my ship shows up on scanners I align and warp off toward the belt.  I check D-scan and half their fleet started to follow me.  Fortunately, I had timed it just right.  Vorg and Star, well Vorg was in a faster ship.. and he aligned to a different point and warped off another direction.  His and my distraction helped for Star to recloak unnoticed by the Gallente pilots.  But we, well.. we were done yet.”

Orakkus checked those watching him.  A few more bodies seem to have gotten closer, and even one or two had pulled up some seats.  “I was smart you see, instead of setting up my watp to land at 0 or 100km from the target, I chose 70km.  Just enough to get me a new line of escape, cuz, let me tell ya.. a Rifter doesn’t normally do well against one of them new cruisers.  As I drop out of warp, I hit my D-scan and align to another far away planet.  Even as I landed, those T3s started to drop around me.  But, Star.. well you see, Star had this crazy plan.  He wanted to show these guys a lesson.. to stop harassing Caldari space.  OUR space.”  A few heads nodded in agreement.  People were starting to pay attention.
“So, he had me warp to a Minor outpost in system.  I give those bad guys enough time to figure out where I am going before I warp out.  It didn’t take long, but I landed right on top of the acceleration gate.  As in RIGHT ON TOP OF IT.  My girl was bouncing around while my repellant shields and the gate’s knocked me back and forth.  Suddenly a few pilots of that Gallente fleet started to land around me.  I was getting right nervous.  My HUD picked up that they started their sensor boosters and were trying to lock me.  I still bouncing, trying desperately to align!  Then, I saw one of the ships go red.. But just at that moment, my Rifter cleared one of the gate’s arms and BAM!, my Rifter was outta there!  Tell you what, I was sweating…”

One of the new pilots spoke up, “What happened next?  Did they follow you in?”

“Ha, well that was part of the brilliance of Star’s plan.  They were in such a hurry for a kill they weren’t paying attention.  That acceleration gate wouldn’t allow them to jump through.  Oh, did that piss them off, let me tell ya.  So, realizing I was out of reach, they gave up after saying a few choice morsels about my mother and her heritage.  However, one wasn’t quite quick enough…”

Orakkus could taste the suspense.

“You see, while I was running around, Star had set himself on a nice little perch just about the acceleration gate, and decloaked just as the last one was trying to leave.  It was an Amarr Legion.. and Star’s Pilgrim.. well, let’s just say that Legion didn’t have much of a tank when it had no power.  Vorg and I warped right on top of him.. and if there is one thing that Minmatar pilots know how to do.. its savage an Amarr ship.  I began my close orbit.. afterburners kicked up to high and both my scram and web caressed that Legion’s hull.  Vorg and my 200mms tore through the armor plate.  His buddies, well, they were still in warp and all they could do was hear him scream as we broke through and broke the spine of his ship and him along with it.”

Smiles and commendations and laughter started to fill the room.

“Oh, but Star.. Star, he wasn’t done yet.  And Vorg.. well Vorg had gotten some serious bloodlust.  We wanted more Gallente blood.  And well, Star had another plan.  This time, Star wanted to be the bait.  And sure enough, they were still willing to dance with us.  So, Star jumps to within 50km of the gate camp, right?  He uncloaks and starts to turn away.  Oh, that Proteus, well he is as quick as a sin viper and has him tackled.. but just barely.  Star kicks in his microwarp drive and pulls outside his range, warping off to a far off asteroid belt.  This time though, only a couple follow.  They landed at the belt, a Loki and a Proteus and sure enough, there is Star at the far end, bouncing around inside the belt.”

“Oh, they were quick to get on an easy kill, and they drove as fast as they could through that asteroid belt to get to Star.”  Orakkus paused and took another drink of the sour while surveying the room.  He had everyone’s attention now.  “What they didn’t realize, was that Star wasn’t actually in the belt.  He was just a hair outside of it.  When they were deep into the belt, Star warped off toward a far away gate.  Or at least, that is how it looked.  See Star’s done this before, here.. and he had all these bookmarks everywhere.. including some inside the belt.  That Proteus got out of the belt and was off, but that Loki had gotten itself tangled up good.  And Vorg and myself landed square on top of him, with Star landing just outside of the belt.. giving the Loki fits as his cap disappeared.  The local rats helped too and that Loki was finished quickly.  And just in time too.  The rest of the Gallente fleet landed just in time to see us three warp off and their buddy blown to space dust.”

Shiela laughed, “I can imagine what their FC was doing.. I bet he was screaming up a storm.  Two Tech threes down to a Recon and two frigs.  HA!  Oh, I bet he was quite unhappy.”  Several others nodded in agreement and bellowed, “Huah!  Caldari Prime!  Huah!”

“Ah folks, but that’s not all.  My CEO, Corelin, got wind of the fun we were having.. and he decided to join us as well.  He brought his Thrasher, a ship that is as mean as the come.”  Quite a few heads nodded in agreement.  Their war with the Gallente also meant war with Minmatar proper, and the Thrasher class Destroyers had clearly made its mark on the new recruits.  “Now with four of us in system, they started to get nervous.  We tried to bait them, but they stuck to that gate like an infant girl sticking to her mama’s teat.  Still, you could feel that they wanted revenge.  And that is why Corelin, who took over for Star, wasn’t so keen that one of their Tech 3 ships had suddenly, and inexcusably, appeared by itself at one of the belts.”

“A trap!”, said a guy in the corner.

“Oh yes.. but sometimes, it’s fun to spring a trap.  So we warp to the belt.. and there it is.. one lonely Tengu.  Vorg still wanted blood and Corelin, well, he wanted some action too.  So we engage the Tengu.  Ah, but that Tengu.. it had a trick up its sleeve..”  He heard the room go quiet.  “And just as we got within scram range, all of a sudden our HUDs light up with warning lights, screaming to us about..” Orakkus paused and drank.  “About the Cyno that had just been activated.”  One of the newer pilots whistled.

“And out of that cyno came out a huge Thanatos carrier, its shield reflecting the blazing sun as the fields reinforced its defenses.  Even before it began to lock us, fighters started pouring out of its hanger, and just as I started to align out, my long range directional scanner showed the rest of the fleet heading our direction.  Even for as clever as we were, we wouldn’t win this.”  Orakkus finished his drink.. while the barmaid filled it quickly as she had been standing by, also entraped by story.

“But it turns out, the Gallente fleet wasn’t the only one with a Cyno.”  a large grin appeared on his face, “So did Corelin, and he lit his off.. and just as quickly, five carriers and two dreads jump into our space.  The Naglfar and the Phoenix lay siege to the Thanatos.  The five carriers unleashed wave after wave of fighters against the Tech Three cruisers.  It also turned out that while the Gallente fleet was playing with us, Corelin had staged a fleet just on the otherside of the system gate.  Broadswords and Onyxes landed with us and locked that carrier down while a fleet of short range battleships and their support tore into the Gallente fleet.  In the end, it was a complete rout and… OUR system still stands!”

With that, loud cheers and celebrations filled the bar, and even the barkeep got into it and ordered a free round of drinks for everyone.  Patriotic songs were sung from end to end as everyone patted themselves on the back, talking about the great victory.  Orakkus quietly left the table and walked over the corner of the bar.  Corelin was there looking at him, drinking a spiked green liquid.

“Orakkus”, he said.  “You sure can make orbiting complexes sound more interesting than it actually is..”

“Yep”, Orakkus said and smiled.