Although after action reports vary in content and clarity, it is now clear that yesterday’s events were no ordinary day in Metropolis. What began as a routine patrol of the warzone developed into a race against time and threatened the lives of the brave capsules that did their duty on this day.
At 1900 hours, a small fleet undocked in the system of Auner, with the course set for the neighboring region of The Bleak Lands. The Kamela system had been the center of recent conflict, and the Minmatar militia was finally ready to claim victory.
The journey took the small fleet through a number of systems, and there was an eerie quietness about the warzone this evening. Scouts continued to investigate the systems ahead, while the fleet slowly made its way south. On a few occasions Minmatar complexes was investigated, but the long warp travels were uneventful so far. Things was about to change.
In the system of Kourmonen a brief communication from one of the scouts indicated a large enemy force. The main fleet was one system behind, but was sitting on the jump gate. The scout, who was flying in a Loki class strategic cruiser, now reported that the enemy fleet had landed on the gate, and was aware that he was there – still in his cloak from jumping the same gate. The enemy fleet immediately scrambled to get close enough to decloak the Loki. Mistakes were made in the chaos, and light missiles swarmed the Loki before it could recloak and warp off. The brave fleet commander immediately called for a rescue mission and the fleet jumped into the escalating chaos. The result was devastating. The Loki was the first to burst into flames, but Hurricanes, Atrons, Ishkurs and Breachers soon followed. The enemy fleet was vastly superior and their battlecruisers melted the hulls in a matter of seconds. The loss of the ships and their crews, was regretful, but this was however not the true danger of this encounter. A far more deadly threat was introduced to the capsulers that was present in Kourmonen this evening.
What was later identified as a very potent neurotoxin had found its way into the neural pathways of the brave capsulers on this battlefield. It is still unknown how the enemy force was able to deliver this agent, but its effect became alarmingly clear in the hours to come. What began as slight disorientation and failing discipline among the fleet members, soon became far worse, and the full effects have not all been properly documented yet.
After a short reship, the fleet was on its way again. Unaware of the micro toxins in their neural pathways they headed for the Kemala system to aid in the takeover of the system, and do their bit to claim victory. The fight was intense and the enemy relentlessly tried to break the allied barrage of the infrastructure hub. At one point enemy capital ships landed on the field and broke the allied defenses. The attack was quickly reinitiated and progress was fast.
Deeply buried in the minds of our capsulers the neuro toxins were now altering the very core of what normally constitutes rational thinking and quick decision making.
It was later agreed that the first sign of loss of mental cohesion was the fleet commander’s sudden obsession with an enemy group of Ferox class battlecruisers that patrolled the vicinity. Vague objections ware heard over the coms, but none of the fleet members was able to articulate any meaningful augment at the time. The order was given to attack, and the fleet members that actually registered the command, dived into the fight. The fleet, now mainly flying in Algos class destroyers, was wiped of the field.
In the meantime, the infrastructure hub was destroyed and victory was claimed. However, the effects of the neurotoxins were accelerating. Line members from allied fleets pointed this out over coms, and a decision was made to retreat to assess the situation. The effects were still increasing and the coordination and mental capacity of the fleet was deteriorating rapidly. The order was giving to return to Auner. The exact way this happened is still unclear, but the capsulers somehow found themselves in the Astrahus citadel in Auner.
A massive investigation into the origin of this neurotoxin now began with the help of unaffected capsulers that, at the time of the dreadful encounter in Kourmonen, was deployed elsewhere.
Coms chatter and distant intelligence all pointed towards Pandemic Legion, and their recent experiments to fit Heavy Interdiction cruisers with biological weaponry. One Onyx class ship was identified as the origin, and it had to be found.
The solution was simple. Kill the Onyx. However, the state of the fleet members was now so critical that even the simplest decisions was close to impossible. It was a race against the clock.
Radio logs exists where, once disciplined and intelligent pilots, fight over coms over which ships to use. What made things worse was that the fleet commander seemed to be the most affected of the fleet members. In the middle of the chaos and fighting, the fleet commander made the decision to use Rattlesnake class battleships and set out to hunt the Onyx. A few of the pilots agued loudly over that decision, some thought it was the best idea ever, but most had at this point gone into a state of apathy. This however, didn’t matter since the fleet commander had already boarded his jump freighter and was on route from the trade hub in Jita, with the ships.
More trouble arrived when the Rattlesnakes was prepared for battle. In the heat of the argument critical modules was forgotten, and ammunition was not considered absolutely necessary. Information on how exactly the Rattlesnakes was made ready, is lost. There was however a discussion that ended up with the conclusion: No ships should have low slots, so we won’t fly with those modules. If the Rattlesnakes were eventually fitted with low slot modules, is unknown at this point.
At roughly 0045 hours, the fleet undocked.
The course was once again set for Kourmonen. It was later agreed upon that just finding the Bleak Lands region was (considering the state of the fleet), one of the biggest feats in modern aviation history. Thanks to the fleet commander, who was somehow able to muster a yet unseen level of concentration Kourmonen was now only one jump away.
From here there is only very sparse information, since most logs are destroyed or the involved parties simply doesn’t remember. It is however clear that the Onyx was brought down in the face of overwhelming odds, and a cure for the neuro toxin was found. Surprising to most specialists involved in the aftermath, the most effective remedy turned out to be apple juice and sleep.
Fly safe 😀