The Providence region is one of the most densely populated regions in Null Security space, and boasts the greatest amount of outposts. Thus, its inhabitants are well versed in the laying and upgrading of outposts. The scheduled operation to increase the upgrade slots for the Amarrian outpost in XHQ-7V seemed no different than the countless others done in the past.
As usual, Providence Bloc forces kept a tight lip on the operation, locking down the system with mobile warp disruptors, Interceptors and Interdictors, as well as having a fleet on standby to intercept any hostile forces. The Pedestal Upgrade Platform, nicknamed "Egg" due to its shape, was deployed an hour before the scheduled daily server maintenance and slowly filled with the needed materials. It seemed as though this would be another boring, unexciting operation, yet things ended quite differently than expected.
Disaster stroke in the final hauling run. With a last load of materials en route to fill the Egg and the scheduled downtime approaching fast, the Freighter pilot experienced connection issues and disconnected from the game. Before the pilot could log back in and transfer the last batch of materials, the server went down for its routine maintenance.
Once it was back online, it turned out to have created a bug concerning the Egg. The materials stored in it prior to the scheduled downtime vanished, and trying to add the last batch did nothing to trigger its conversion into an upgrade slot, nor could it now be un-anchored and scooped back in. To their despair, the pilots of Yulai Federation found that their upgrade had been lost to the whims of the Tranquility server.
At this point, Providence Bloc attempted to turn a positive from a negative, and use the Egg as a magnate for hostiles, hoping to bait an enemy fleet or two. For this, they prepared a Zealot Heavy Assault Cruiser fleet of forty pilots and waited patiently for prey to bite. However, their bait turned out to be too successful, as it attracted the attention of Pandemic Legion.
Two squadrons of Motherships descended upon the system and proceeded the engulf the Egg in a cloud of drones. Unable to counter this display of force, Providence Bloc resorted to using the opportunity to practice bombing runs upon the drone cloud. Several Stealth Bombers though, were unlucky enough to get caught by the Motherships and quickly dispatched.
Besides the odd bombing run, no incidents were recorded except a lone Drake Battlecruiser who seemed intent on challenging the Pandemic Legion force head on. It showed a display of bravery rarely seen in EVE Online, before being dispatched as well by the now amused pilots of Pandemic Legion.
After half an hour from their initial appearance in the system, Pandemic Legion forces destroyed the Egg and exited without further incident.
View of the Pandemic Legion fleet and the Egg from the outpost
The estimated loss of the Egg and the components is valued at ten billion ISK, however no kill mail was generated (A known issue with such structures). Regardless, it seems members of Providence Bloc took the loss in good spirit. Hopefully, their next upgrade operation will go more smoothly.
Special thanks to Rufus Britton, of Globaltech Industries, Yulai Federation Alliance for supplying the details of the event.