Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Twenty-one

"In the battle of life, it is not the critic who counts; nor the one who points out how the strong person stumbled, or where the doer of a deed could have done better.

The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
 -Theodore Roosevelt
The clock clicked over to 2000(eve time), Sunday, March 20th.

TXW-EL, Syndicate

A mass of battleships undocked from the station, forming a small cloud of reps and DPS.  In their number were three Megathron Navy Issue class battleships, and one Machariel.

Course was set for PF-346 and the fleet, comms chatter quiet.  Despite the size of the fleet it moved quickly, searching for a valid target.  Initially the target of the OP was called unavailable and the fleet reversed course, heading for S-U8A4, where talk of a fight was brewing.

A single jump out a similar sized HAC and Battle Cruiser gang loitered on the gate, hurriedly falling back when intel of the approaching Battle Ship gang reached them from their scouts in the outlying systems.

They fell back into the waiting arms of comrades in S-U8A4, numbering just above one hundred in system while the Battle Ship fleet pressed towards them.

A scout arrived ahead of the Battle Ships, jumping in to gage the situation, the hostile fleet was reported to be moving to range.  The order, however suicidal, was given.  The gate pulsed 20 times, sending every ship into harms way, for what would be the last time.

Rote Kapelle pilots and crews grimaced, surveying the field, already knowing that most of them would not leave the field alive.  But without chance is there ever glory?  This was the time to prove our rhetoric, or in dying open the eyes of those who fought us.  Ships uncloaked, heading for a regrouping point to focus repairs, comms staying clear to call out primaries, secondaries.  More hostiles landed on the field.  A third party in stealth bombers, darting into the battle, removed the drones from the field.  Their bombs, however powerful, were few enough to be unable to significantly damage the valiant Battleships.

The Rote Kapelle fleet engaged, taking down targets in range, but slowly each one succumbed to the firepower laid against it.  The order to disengage rang heavily through the fleet, many ships too heavily engaged in the fighting to pull back now.  On the other side of the gate hostile tacklers formed, preventing any Battle Ships from escaping intact.  The overall result was poor, devastating.  Not even the fleeing were spared.

The scattered remnants of those crews mourn the loss of their brethren, at the same time thirsty for revenge.  Next time, next time they will inflict more damage, next time they will not fall without their enemies falling first.  Next time it would be different.  Even in defeat glory can be found, earned, skills sharpened and battle praised.  In this space, this universe there was no time to hide, scared of losing.  Only time to kill or be killed.


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