The date is June 10. CFC had just commenced its invasion of TEST holdings in Fountain. J5A-IX is a crucial system because of its physical distance from the CFC staging system of B-DBYQ despite being a single (regional) jump away. This makes taking J5A absolutely essential for a Fountain campaign from that angle, since it is the only viable way to gain capital and bridge support for the region. Unknown to CFC, TEST had obtained a few “temp blues” prior to the fight, including Black Legion and The Retirement Club, standing by to titan bridge out of Tamo.
The opening scene entailed a TEST fleet sitting on the J5A-IX infrastructure hub, with Pandemic Legion jumping in a combined Archon and Dominix fleet which was swiftly bombed into dust by an almost hundred-strong pair of bomber wings. The Archons naturally survived, but only around six or eight Dominixes remained to support them. What became of the Archons is unknown. After the initial comedy of the carnage wore off, the fleets present scattered, pinging up to scouts and anchoring up to wait for the next move. All cards were shown at this point, leaving it up to the invaders to decide the next steps of the dance.
Not long passed before the CFC Tengu / Tempest Fleet Issue fleet started to flee system. This was the last seen of the Pandemic Legion fleet, their ships remaining on grid while 401K, BL, and TEST pursuing CFC to the B-D gate. The combined burden of the bombing run and warp orders brought the system down to 10% time dilation, causing the warp to take something around 10 minutes. Before landing, Elo Knight issues the standard “minimize local and turn your brackets off” large fight warning. The jump to B-D took about as long, building up expectation of a monumental brawl.
CFC engaged TEST immediately, leaving the “small” 401K and BL Zealot fleet unmolested. Interdictors did their work deftly, locking down all players on the field. Order is given to anchor on Elo Knight, and the Zealots burn off to engage a CFC Tengu fleet. Temporarily separated from their logistics cruisers, several Tengus go down before they start to catch reps, after which two Scimitars, a few dozen Caracals, and Celestises beyond count are swatted down in exchange for a small handful of Zealots. DBRB’s Tengu manages to skirt the bubble and warp off just after being called, and several more Tengus are melted by pulse lasers before the 401K and BL Zealot fleet begins to catch heavy aggression, being forced off to a ping 200 kilometers below the action, licking its wounds while the frigates looked for a fresh entry point to the conflict raging above.
Before being able to re-engage, CFC ships were noted going to the station, where it was discovered that a CFC carrier pilot had opted to take aggression just a few kilos out of docking range. His tank held well, but not quite well enough. He died before friendly ships could get in range to threaten the Zealots due to some clever defensive bubble placement. A few spare CFC TFIs were killed by the Zealots while aligning, with the call to get out coming shortly after. With the substantial remnants of the CFC fleet out for blood and TEST licking their wounds (since they took the brunt of the aggression), it was time for Black Legion and 401K to leave.
The wake of this fight is impressive, as it showed the universe that the outcome of the TEST-CFC war for Fountain is not a foregone conclusion. CFC took a black eye on its first official invasion night, being savagely beaten back from their most coveted conquest. Today Fountain burns, with Pandemic Legion and Norther Coalition. backing TEST against the invading CFC and making the deployment of capitals hazardous. Black Legion has gone mercenary, parting amicably with 401K and taking out a CFC contract on TEST / PL / NC.. The Goon propaganda has fallen flat, with the Fountain war looking to be neither short nor easy, with no certain victor.