"So we thought it would be funny" is what someone or a group of someones says right before they do something stupid.
Nightly activities in SUSU (Semper Ubi Sub Ubi) involve rolling our static hole looking for targets or potential conflict. Once a hole is rolled we jump in, and look what we got. If there are no targets on D we resolve the new static hole. Find exits in that hole, repeat the same process. Nothing interesting, we just close that hole and do it again.
We reward our scouts/target finders by giving them any loot received from the pvp activities. You don't find targets, you don't get to keep the loot. That simple.
This particular roll we came across a C6 connected to our static C3. Corpsreaper the one who found the connection, jumps in and hits D-scan. He sees soo many assets that he can't accurately describe them all on Team Speak. He also stated music to a wormhole hunters ears "and we have wrecks on scan". This means potential targets.
Well we got more than we asked for. On scan was something estimated at 4 dreds, about 2 carriers, and a metric fk ton of T3 ships. More ships that we could engage with our meager gang and have any hope of winning or making it out alive for that matter.
Not wanting this opportunity to go to waste, we thought it would be funny to kick a hornets nest.
And here comes the bad idea.
We had the cloaked scout Corpsreaper book mark the wrecks of each of the anoms that had been run, giving us clear warp in targets. Then we all got into frigs and me in a blackbird. My job as blackbird ECM was to jam the remaining sleeper frig that was left up (for farming reasons) and the frigs would burn to the wrecks and we could pocket some quick C6 loot, and have a laugh doing it. The net worth of our entire fleet was about 20 million.
This was a bad idea, both in planning and execution.
Corpsreaper our scout bookmarked all the sites all right but he didn't distinguish the difference between each of the wrecks in the book marking process. So when our frig/cruiser fleet jumped into the C6... all 4 wrecks/site came up the same. He also was nice enough to book mark a site with the ENTIRE capitol fleet with T3s at them. He says in TS, don't warp to 'the top one'.
Heres a tip for those wondering, if you label all the bookmarks the same in corp bookmarks they all show random for anyone viewing them. Everyone went to different spots, with half of us showing up on grid with the entire cap fleet.
Kinda funny... we kept shouting in local "WEEE" or "You didn't see anything!" We all warped to different locations, and started scooping loot. Each sleeper wreck and there were lots, had 20mil worth of blue tags in it. We weren't really there for the money, it was more just the LOLs of it. I made it off with about 40 million (two wrecks) before our scout started saying there was a fleet forming on the hole we just jumped through and our only exit. Some other guys got a bit more but honestly the entire heist took about 30 seconds. Everyone said, its only a matter of time before they put up a warp bubble on the hole out, and we are stuck in here with them.
Everyone was laughing on coms...till our scout stated... "Uhh guys I think they are mad" They brought the fight to us. 4 guardians, 10+ T3s, various tackle frigs, and other random stuff. Their scout dropped probes in our C3 hole connected to our home hole.They found our hole in less than 5 minutes. That whole time, I was telling people in Jim (our home hole) to hurry up and make battle ship/orca passes to reduce the hole, and thus limiting the amount of ships they could bring to us. The attackers were fast and all we got was one orca pass(It takes at least 4 + a battleship or 2) to close the hole. Our scout reported some of their fleet warping to our door, we scrambled to get into combat ships.
In fights were we are outnumbered or out gunned by class of ship, we just engage at range and try to stick to gorrilla tactics. Hit and run style. We brought out a scorpion, blackbird and three tornados.
The fight started with a single proteus on our wormhole in Jim (our wormhole)which we shot and jammed. A legion jumped in, and cloaked up. Fearing a cloaked legion would uncloak next to our sniper ships, we spread out a bit. The enemy fleet cared little for our sniper ships and jumped their entire fleet into our hole. It was just too many targets, all made it out but their primary target was the scorpion. An over heated proteus with what looked like a faction warp disruptor pointed my scorpion from what seemed like 45k. My jams were cycling on their logi and small frigs, but there were too many ships. Dead scorp. The blackbird tried to save me, but he had problems of his own. Dead blackbird .
We took refuge in our POS trying to regroup and form our next move. More of their ships started to come from the C6. We bit off a tad more than we could chew.
A convo invite from one of them opened up on my screen. I didn't save the convo, but it was short and to the point.
TLC pilot: "Do you speak for your corp?"
TLC pilot: "Here is the short of it, the first offer will be cheap, following offers will be more expensive"
TLC pilot: "We will remove you, starting with your POCOs and then your POS if you don't pay us"
Me: "Fair enough"
My corp knew I was in talks with them and was screaming in coms to not pay them a ransom. I have always stated we wanted to keep the POS lean on assets because at any point in wormholes someone can come and remove you with force. My members keep few ships in the wormhole, and I do the same. All our ships are ment to be destroyed. We might have about 3 billion worth of stuff in our wormhole at any particular time. Not the biggest target out there, but it has value.
We did a little checking on the TLC alliance and they had the member base to siege a POS to the point we couldn't even defend well. We checked the kill board record and they do in fact 'remove people' quite regularly. Their threat was valid, and the resulting conflict would be brutal and not fun. Based on the amount of stuff they brought, and how angry they seemed to have gotten by our little "joke" I think they had the conviction for a drawn out conflict. Our 40 man corp vs their 200 member plus C6 funded alliance.
They had the ships, they had the experience, they had the people, and they seemed MAD! Combine that and removal was certain.
Now we were not without our defenses, or options. Mercs are just a bat phone away. They have their prices, but quality and professionalism is always the best with them. They also like a good fight just as much as the next guy. They might even do it for free, if we can get them good warp ins and good kills.
The ISK totals of my POCOs, POS and ships, totaled up in my brain. I explained it to the corp like this, if you want to fight them, I want you all to have some stake in this game. If the corp wide member base wanted to fight them, they are going to need to anti up for the price of new POCOs, and POS/MODS. When I put it in that context, the desire to make a stand for the sake of space honor reduced.
TLC pilot: "Our first offer is 500m"
Me: OK. Money sent.
These guys were letting us off on the cheap. We had pissed in their face and they just asked for a napkin. Hell yes, I would pay that. For 500m, it was worth the joke and the resulting story. If they had asked for more, I might have paid it, but if my money can be better spent on hiring mercs, I'll do that instead. As a ransomer, and having participated in ransoming in my past, there is a fine line with asking too much and having the ransomie simply telling you to get fked and hiring mercs.
The ransom if anything was symbolic and a show that nobody fks with TLC. Which I'm OK with. I get that, they needed to save face. After I sent the money, I asked if they thought what we did was the lest bit funny. He said, yea it was, and that they had people watching us from beginning to end.
If anyone from TLC is ever reading this, I want to say thank you for letting us off with a slap on the wrist. We understand you could have removed out small corp with a brush of your hand just on general principal and we are grateful for the lesson taught.
Till the next time our ships meet in the chain.