Header art by Cryo Huren
Welcome back, dear readers. We now return to the Saga of Delta Sqad as the men of Delta face a new existential threat in the form of their much larger and better-equipped neighbors, Severance. As we shall see, despite being pushed around repeatedly by sturdy gangs of on-meta ships such as Ceberi and Gilas with immense logistics support, the men of Delta prove resilient and resourceful as they are pushed nearly to the limits of their no-not-believin before finding a way to deal with the game of HACs Online that is EVE in 2021. Read on for this account in this third installment of the Saga of Delta Sqad.
The Devil’s Caracals In Good Post Country
One day as we rose with the sun, poured ourselves our morning coffee, and took to the front porch to admire our hard-won countryside, we were alarmed to find a whole bunch of grey-box characters had surrounded our cozy homestead. Brave’s cowpokes had the grey-boxes sure, but these were no Kronos alts– that was for sure: they stood taller by half than any Kronos alt we had ever met and they rode the same stubby Caracals TEST’s men had ridden in Delve. Squinting our eyes and shading them from the rising sun, we looked closer and saw these men were making untoward advances on our hub! Not ones to stand idly by while our cattle were rustled, we quickly clanged the bell and summoned all hands. We saddled some fresh Hurricanes and charged in to face down the interlopers: this wasn’t our first rodeo and we had shot up plenty of stubby Caracals before when we had to.
This time was different. Along with their hideous T2 Caracals, these evil men had obviously used some kind of black magic to give unnatural abilities to Scythes. Of course we had seen Scythes before, but these Scythes were every one of them jet black in color, and their reps were from Hell: our brave Deltas fired salvo after salvo from our 720mm artillery cannons but by their witchcraft our shots all seemed to miss or strike merely the most glancing of blows, and any damage to the Cerberi was quickly repaired. Many bold Hurricanes were slain that day and the ihub was drenched in the blood of Delta Sqad. Thankfully, we Deltas are a resourceful people and while others were dying in Hurricanes and cruisers and whatever expensive things Zungen chose to die in, many other hands dutifully jumped atop some well-rested Griffins and flew bravely into battle, sacrificing wave after wave of noble frigate lives until the by our combined efforts our foes were finally repelled from the hub, which stood un-hacked. Still somewhat in shock at this turn of fortunes, we licked our wounds, made some cheerful posts, and steeled ourselves for the day we were sure Satan’s Caracals would return.
Fortune Favors the Bold
Clearly Delta Sqad had found itself square in the gunsights of some mean-spirited folk. One thing’s for sure: we Deltas enjoy a good fight. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy winnin, but we all agree that it’s generally better to have a fight– even if you lose– than to stand by and do nothin. But these sorcery-Scythes had us wonderin what we were to do. Now, nobody wants to stand around holdin onto their junk while other people have all the fun, but ain’t too many men keen to just throw a bunch of perfectly-good Hurricanes onto the scrap pile for no reason neither. Still, we couldn’t just let these evil men have their way with our hub, so the next time they came around we steeled ourselves again. Good posts were made and their wisdoms consulted, and each of the men made their peace with one another in case the worst should happen. Quake was loaded, and we were generally agreed on one thing: sure, there were plenty of Cerberuses to contend with and a mighty shield-wall of Scimitars, but all Deltas’ fates have surely already been written by the Norns and if this ihub was gonna get hacked it was gonna come at a cost for these rude strangers and their argr T2 sorcery. Our Hurricane riders let out a fearsome battle cry and the warp button was pressed and as we hit that ihub grid artillery cannons were drawn and we were eager for mighty savagery.
But it was not to be! Their courage shaken by our bold and manly charge– and possibly by the sudden appearance of a certain Dutchman* and his gang of Muninn-wielding Berserkers at the banks of our cyno beacon– our attackers were routed: their twisted Caracals and dark-skinned witch-Scythes fled the field, leaving their hackers to their fates. We made short work of them and the wolves and omnivorous prairie dogs of Good Post Country were well-fed that night. There was little hubris in our victory however, as we were sure our enemies would have slain many Hurricanes had their courage held. We looted the field, fashioned a Drake wreck into a scorn-pole and mounted it on our ihub pointed in the general direction of F-N and toasted our victory, but resolved to bolster our defenses since these wily Southerners were sure to learn from their mistakes.
The Cowardice of Severance is Revealed
A great meeting of the most important men of Delta Sqad was convened. Many horns of mead were taken and toasts were made– especially to The Dutchman and his kinsmen whose timely arrival and fearsome martial spirit were held in the highest regard– and an oath was taken that the men of Delta would not rest until Severance had been driven from W6V amidst great humiliation, and all the men of Delta agreed to this. Then Jarl Aritzia spoke: “These men of Severance clearly want to use their cowardly stubby Caracals and impenetrable shield reps to kill men of Delta with impunity. Yet still it appears to me that they are cowards who will run the moment it appears that they might lose ships. I foresee that we can use this insight to our advantage.” The men of Delta Sqad were in agreement about this: if we could overcome their sorcery, we could expose the cowardice of Severance and bring shame upon their house. But how could our small band of bold warriors hope to intimidate the men of Severance when even the mighty Hurricane could barely scratch their shields?
The men of Delta Sqad knew a mighty weapon would be required to emasculate the men of Severance, and resolved to send our Space-Dad to seek the required materials in Delve. Jarl Aritzia boarded his great longship and also had two knorrs filled with many precious Loparite crystals and looted treasures as well as several valuable frozen corpses. When a favorable wind got up he set sail for 1DQ and had an easy crossing. King Mittani still held sway over much of Delve and the region was prosperous despite many attacks by lesser neighboring kings. Many of the best shipwrights built ships there. One of them was called Ratknight, and he was renowned for crafting the finest warships and was frequently patronized by King Mittani himself.
When Jarl Aritzia arrived, he went straight to King Mittani, who greeted him warmly. Aritzia then said to King Mittani, “I must ask you a favor and I need to know immediately: I would like to commission the shipwright Ratknight to craft several fine warships for the men of Delta Sqad. A great many men have been attacking our farmhouses in W6V and something must be done about this as soon as possible. With your leave I will ask Ratknight to do this.” King Mittani responded favorably in this matter, even volunteering to pay many of the costs due to his fond feelings toward the men of Delta Sqad. King Mittani and Jarl Aritzia then parted ways with their friendship stronger than ever before, and Aritzia found Ratknight and spoke to him, and traded some of his Loparite crystals for a small fleet of Tornados: slender warships which were taller by far than Cerberuses and could be fitted with many artillery cannons each of which was almost the same size as a Hurricane itself.
Having secured these warships, Aritzia set off to return to W6V. The winds were again favorable and he had a quick journey, and all the men of Delta Sqad ran to the beach when his ships were sighted and greeted him warmly and helped unload his cargo of Tornados. These ships were fitted with the 1400mm artillery cannons fashioned by the skillful dwarves of Delve and runes of protection were carved on them so that their FC would hopefully remember to press “Warp Fleet,” instead of “Warp to,” at least most of the time. A humble Bellicose was fitted with many target painters which would serve to show the men of Delta which Severance ships were particularly argr and thus cause as much shame as possible to be attracted to them in the form of Republic Fleet Titanium Sabot L. This Bellicose was also painted jet-black with yellow stripes in order to intimidate the men of Severance and hopefully make it invulnerable to weapons much in the same way as Severance’s black Scimitars seemed to be invulnerable.
Climbing Mount Severance
The next time the W6V ihub was vulnerable, all the men of Delta were assembled and Jarl Aritzia handed one of these Tornados to each man, and the men picked them up and admired them and the way they glinted in the sunlight and all agreed that they had never seen such fine weapons before. There was a man called Matteyo who was a man of Delta Sqad known for his bravery and good posting. On this day Matteyo had sent his manservant to spy on Severance’s camp in F-N, and soon word was received that Severance were on their way to W6V and had assembled a large band of men all riding fearsome Flat-nosed Caracals and other T2 cruisers and even jet-black, bewitched Cyclones, and that they had amongst them enough Scimitars that even a HAW-dread would be unable to break their shields. On hearing this, Jarl Aritzia called out and summoned the men of Delta and gave a rousing speech. “Many men of Severance are headed this way in fancy spacecraft,” he said. “The odds are clearly against us, as it seems unlikely that twenty men could stand against such a force. Still, we will fight these men, and I don’t think things will go as well for them as they had planned.” The men of Delta agreed with this and were eager to fight their enemies in spite of the odds, for there was no shortage of self-belief to be found there.
There was a man called Ganthrithor, who rode the fearsome painted Bellicose, and the men of Delta were instructed to always follow the movements of this man with great attention and never to deviate from his movements such that they would always move together as a group, and all the men of Delta agreed this should be done. Then the men of Severance appeared on the battlefield– as they had many times before– looking this way and that in eager anticipation of killing another of Zungen’s capital ships, but none were to be found. Irritated at this lack of free kills and eager to flex on the men of Delta, Severance took their Cerberii and began to assault the ihub. Seeing this, Jarl Aritzia let out a battle-cry and raised the Delta banner, and Ganthrithor led the Tornado pilots of Delta on a charge towards the ihub. The men of Severance were eagerly anticipating another opportunity to slaughter Delta Hurricanes with impunity, but were surprised to see Delta land far from their clutches in their fearsome Saxophones of death. In an instant, the Bellicose turned its target painters against one of the Severance Scimitars, and many spears were thrown from the 1400mm artillery cannons of the Saxophones and hit the Scimitar with such force that they passed clean through it and out the other side– the Scimitar was dead before its wreck hit the ground. Frenzied with much fear and anger, the men of Severance hurled missiles in the direction of the warriors of Delta Sqad, but it was of no use as those bold warriors had already moonwalked away again.
Again and again, Ganthrithor led the men of Delta toward the Severance fleet, and each time Jarl Aritzia named a man to be taken by the Valkyries, and that man was bathed in the warm glow of the Bellicose’s target-painters, and each time that man was dealt his death-blow instantly as if struck by Thor’s hammer itself. Unable to defend themselves from the wrath of Delta Sqad and both completely incapable of accomplishing anything at all and terrified at the prospect of losing ships, the men of Severance fled the field and were routed. They returned with more men and Gilas to attack a certain Raitaru and were emasculated again. Then they brought another Cerberus fleet to shoot one of Zungen’s modest farmhouses, this time even fielding a Revelation-class dreadnought in hopes that they could improve the outcome by spending more money, but were repelled again, leaving their capital ship to die. Each time danger presented itself, the cowardly men of Severance immediately fled. Thus were the men of Severance humiliated and they and their foul sorcery driven from the lands of W6V. Then Jarl Aritzia spoke a verse:
“Boldly came these battle-trees
to the lands of W6V
when Arrdun promised them easy kills.
But their bravado shrinks
each time a Scimitar is deleted.
Not so bold now, these wielders
of stubby Caracals
They flee the field when the winds blow
the smooth tones of jazz
from the mighty Sax of Delta”
So ends the account of the first humiliation of the men of Severance at the hands of Sax-fleet.
*a certain Dutchman: Mr. Vee
(Editor’s Note: The Saga of Delta Sqad is a multi-part epic literary experience chronicling the deeds of a dedicated band of stalwart heroes as they live, fight, and generally act goony in places where the enemy doesn’t want them. If this is your first encounter with the lads of Delta, be sure to read both Part I and Part II, and stay tuned for more!)