Some might question the wisdom of having a scrap in low-sec to determine a corp's leadership but it definitely shouts bravado and style.
The defending champion Seismic Stan was down to his last two ships, but had a clear advantage over his rival in being sober this time. That said, Greenbeard the challenger and former leader and founder of Freebooters still had four ships to play with.
In attendance was yours truly to report on the event. And a popular event it was! Not only were a few regulars from the Old Pond Pub invited along as spectators, but many uninvited guests also dropped by to witness the fight. Or were they just trying to kill us? Well possibly so, but they held their fire and were there to see the match unfold, and that makes them an audience. A psychotic and dangerous audience to be sure, but an audience!
And the fight was on.
Well actually, the fight wasn't on. Greenbeard had spent the previous week carefully selecting and fitting his remaining ships but after a heavy day of drinking found that the details of his carefully laid plans now eluded him. Meanwhile, in a show of true sportsmanship Stan was evening the playing field by hitting the booze himself while shouting “get on with it,” over the communication channels.
Finally Greenbeard undocked loaded with ammo. With luck, it may even have been the right ammo. The two rivals squared off and warped onto the field. Greenbeard in his victorious Rifter from the previous round, while Stan arrived in a Vexor, a frigate killer if there ever was one. I had spoken with Stan previously in the week and had a good idea at what that baby was packing. Let me tell you, that Vexor was pumped to eat Rifter for breakfast.
But the Rifter proved it's worth and didn't go down easy. Greenbeard skilfully targeted the Vexor's flight of drones forcing Stan to recall and relaunch them through out the fight, and by the time that Rifter exploded it had significantly damaged Stan's defences.
Greenbeard swiftly returned in another Rifter and once more engaged that nightmare of all pirate frigates. It was another victory for Stan, but by no means an easy one, and again not without cost. The Vexor was into half armour, and would have to remain on field to face Greenbeard's first cruiser.
Fortunately for Stan, his rival was about to make what would prove to be a fatal error.
Warping onto the field in a classic Minmatar cruiser Greenbeard returned with a deadly Rupture. However he confessed over the comm channel that he had forgotten to load something very important into it's cargo-hold. What could it be? Rum? Boosters? Exotic dancers? It certainly wasn't ammo, because that Rupture made quick work of the already damaged Vexor in a swift engagement, and barely took a scratch.
It was last stand time for Stan. He was down to his final ship. Even if he managed to beat that Rupture, Greenbeard still had another cruiser remaining. What would he bring to the fight? I knew Stan had spent a week training up to fly a Vexor and that normally he was a dedicated Caldari pilot and highly skilled in the use of missiles, so I had a strong suspicion on what his final choice would be.
Stan warped in at long range in a Caldari Caracal. In the ensuing battle Greenbeard's previous error became apparent. He had neglected to load capacitor charges into his cruisers cargo hold. Unable to close to auto-cannon range with the Caldari cruiser the Rupture was steadily pounded by long range missile barrages and inevitably fell.
This was it. Both combatants were now down to their final ships. But before we could discover what Greenbeard's final choice would be, the proceedings were suddenly interrupted!
Long Jack (He be long, and he be Jack, and he be flying an covert ops.) reported that combat probes were in the vicinity. It seemed the secret location of the duel was no longer secret, and members of T-Wrecks a nefarious band of pirates were suspected to be inbound.
We adjourned to safety.
At least most of us did. Unfortunately in a tragic accident Sevrida, an invited guest to the proceedings and frequenter of the Old Pond Pub, was targeted by the sentry guns of the Freebooter's POS. Thankfully her escape capsule emerged unscathed and she was able to witness the remainder of the event.
Meanwhile the Freebooters had been having words with another regular of the Old Pond, none other than Sar'duakar who was a T-Wrecks member himself. Proving themselves to be honourable foes, the T-Wrecks agreed to lay off, and the duel resumed.
Greenbeard's final choice turned out to be another Minmatar classic. He returned in a swift and agile Stabber, a cruiser very capable of running down a long range Caracal. While warping in at 100km Stan would have use very inch of his initial range to wear his opponent down.
The final fight was on. Whoever won this bout was leader of the Freebooters!
The Stabber closed in, but swift as it was, it's microwarp-drive boosted signature meant that Stan's missiles were hitting hard, and by the time Greenbeard had achieved auto-cannon range he was already into half armour.
The Caracal and Stabber locked horns at close range, and auto-cannons swiftly torn through the Caracal's shields, but to no avail. Stan suddenly activated shield and capicator boosters, and steadily kept up the missile barrage. The Stabber already badly damaged swiftly went into structure and exploded.
Stan had won! Though a younger and less experienced pilot that his rival, he had conquered by force of arms and retained his position as CEO. Congratulations were given as Stan gloated over the vanquished Greenbeard. With blood pumping with the joy of battle, the victor offered to fight with any new takers, even going as far as offering combat to Yvella's rather imposing Amarrian battleship.
Well, I couldn't let him do something as foolish as that, and surreptitiously activating my Celeste's afterburner I sneaked into warp scramble range...
I don't care for violence, but sometimes it's necessary for a giggle.