Today at 5:25 am Eve time, the Stratios-class ship Fortuna was finally – after a reign of terror lasting three weeks – destroyed by a hotdrop by members of Theta Squad, primarily from Goonswarm.
Upon its death, the Fortuna had generated 19 killmarks, delivered 24 final blows, participated in 48 kills, and 16 solo kills (once rats were taken off). Those kills represented a total of 7.2 billion isk of damage.
More importantly, it represented more than three weeks behind enemy lines, dodging response gangs, fighting outnumbered, and choosing the right time to strike.
I originally came down to Fade from Venal with that ship, intending to reship into a dictor once I lost it. At the time, I thought I’d be reshipping within the week. But instead, I had a great run of good luck, leading me to actually name it – something I’ve never done before – the Fortuna.
As often happens in Eve, success often breeds complacency. My fit was designed to take on ratters, and while I was able to do that very well, eventually SMA started to recognize my ship and its fit. It’s wholly inappropriate for taking on response gangs – it’s heavily tanked for kinetic damage, and has some moderate – though not tremendous – holes in its resist profile.
But, I started attacking all sorts of ships with it, definitely a larger variety than I should. So when I landed on the E-Z2ZX gate in VRH-H7 and saw a Loki apparently sitting afk, I engaged. I had previously been in E-Z and knew it to be fairly empty, so I felt confident a gang wasn’t hiding on the other side.
In the back of my mind, I knew Goons had deployed hundreds of characters to help bail SMA out of camping TISHU had been inflicting, and had seen Goon carriers in every major ratting system in Fade. When I saw FoxyFoxyFox sitting off the gate, it didn’t register that he didn’t have a flashing red star next ot his name – as SMA and TISHU are at war – indicating that he wasn’t a monkey. SMA seems to have been wholly unable to blops bait during our time here, but Goons certainly have. That he was a Goon should have told me to be more careful.
But instead, I engaged, and watched as his shields melted under my neutralizers and EM drones. To all appearances, he was a scanning loki or link ship that had truly gone afk. I didn’t see any effects on his ship, nor did I see him reacting in any way.
Then, my Stratios rammed into his heavy passive armor tank. My damage dropped from 200 per hit to 20 per hit, and I started to pull range, realizing something was up.
But it was too late. As I pulled away, he locked me and applied his bonused web and a scram, grinding me to a halt as he lit a cyno. The reinforcements were actually slow to enter – they arrived after ten or fifteen seconds, which might have given me time to escape if I’d have kept at range instead of moving in close to apply my neuts. But I had, and I was helpless against the T2 and T3 ships that came in. I tried to attack the Hurricane – the only T1 ship that might be susceptible to my EM drones, but when I saw the reddish glow of a hictor bubble emerge, I realized this was the end.
It was only a matter of time, of course, but many had tried and failed to kill the Fortuna. In the end, it was FoxyFoxyFox of Thunderwaffe that managed the task. Convo’ing him after the kill, he mentioned that he was fighting on an alt when I landed, and noticed me only when he entered armor. But, the fleet was ready and waiting on the other side of the cyno to take advantage of the opportunity.
So, I’ll raise a glass to the destruction of my first named ship, and offer a silent monument to its 19 killmarks. I love the fit, and will definitely purchase another.