We had a nullsec into Malpais, and had gone around for a little roam. Just a couple jumps out though, our scout saw a mining fleet – complete with Rorqual – out in space. In a site, not a belt – so they’d have to be scanned down. Naturally, being a wormhole corp, we have lots of scan alts. However, and rather predictably, as soon as the probes appeared on d-scan the Rorqual and its fleet relocated into a POS. Miners do tend to be very sensitive about probes when there are neutrals in system.
We bookmarked the site and instead decided to roam around another nullsec connection we had into Immensea – with decidedly mixed results. As we came back though, an interceptor pilot decided to pop out into the Malpais nullsec and check out that site, see if they’d come back. Astonishingly enough, they had, and he tackled the Rorqual. As soon as our DPS started landing, the pilot ejected – whether to save an expensive pod or out of fear that his corp might kick him for a silly loss, we don’t know.
After a lively discussion about whether we should kill it anyway, it turned out one of our fleet members had a Rorqual- and jump-capable pilot. He headed out, grabbed the Rorqual and logged off at a safe. A curiously expensive Crow turned up, and then exploded. An Atron landed and lit a cyno, and brought a Thanatos into the grav site. Initially we popped the cyno and started shooting the Thanatos. However, as we were taking down the thanny’s shield, an NC. Loki lit up a covert cyno near a gate and a few blackops battleships started jumped through, one or two at a time. Our fleet warped off to deal with these first, with one tackler staying behind to hold the Thanatos. However, they turned out to be bait – and soon something like 20 new blackops battleships joined them. Our fleet warped off, except for one, tackled by the Loki, and scattered to make safe spots around the system.
With the fleets now AUs apart, the smack talk started in local. They evidently thought we’d killed the Rorqual, and we kept mum about the fact that it was actually logged off in system. All that was left was to wait them to get bored and leave so we could extract our fleet (plus our new toy). We lit up a cyno to get the Rorqual to the wormhole – the cyno Loki was in system and I’m rather hoping he warped to it and got to watch our new Rorqual come through – and we then escorted it through the chain of wormholes back home.
And that’s the best kind of Rorqual. A free one. On the other hand, dead Rorquals are a very close second.