This is going to be one of those "lesson learned" posts about wormhole space. There will be lots of second guessing and head banging. I'll get the nasty part of it out of the way to begin; we just lost a Tengu, a Legion, and a Noctis, plus all three pods.
So on to the why. We had poked around in our static C3 and found the inhabitants asleep, but with a Chimera on scan, and a few jumps 6 hours previous. I normally wouldn't mess with a wormhole with a semi-active DOTLAN and a carrier on scan, but I wanted to let our Tengu pilot try out his new fit on C3s, not to mention see how my better fit Legions could take them as well. So off we went!
We had a member in a Helios scan down the entire system, and only our connection and the high sec connection were found. We also scanned down our C2 system before we left, found nothing beyond what should have been there. So now we had the Helios sit on the high sec hole, while our cloaked Noctis would sit at our C2 connection while we were running sites. I thought that this was sufficient, and, in a normal case, it would have been on par with good security measures.
So we ran a few sites and were progressing on through a fourth when the C2 connection pulses. I called activation and warped the fleet over to a near moon. A Pilgrim uncloaked, I got the name and corp. Here's where I made a mistake. No one followed the Pilgrim through, so I assumed he was alone. It's a decent assumption to make. What I really should have done was immediately check his kills. If I had, as Fernando did later, I would have found that he had taken part in some kills an hour earlier as part of a fleet. That surely would have influenced my decisions to follow.
But since I didn't, I assumed this was a solo Pilgrim that had come out of a new K162 in our home. I was, at least, partly right. But, you know what, let's not assume he's alone. We sent the Helios pilot back through to our C2 and found.....nothing. Nothing on scan and nothing at the hole.
Alright, it's probably a solo Pilgrim then, we all concurred. It's getting late, we've got enough loot for now, we decided to head home. I fleet warped us to the hole, uncloaked the Noctis and burned it over to the hole, and we jumped. On the C2 side we found a Devoter.
Where did that come from? The Helios pilot started yelling, more ships, more ships, a Sleipnir, Machariel, Loki.....
Final enemy fleet composition was:
Machariel; Tengu; Sleipnir; Loki; Nemesis; Devoter; Devoter; Pilgrim; Hurricane
I called for a jump back to the C3, knowing we would be stuck there, but we didn't have a prayer of answering all of this firepower. We jumped....to find yet another Devoter. When we jumped to the C2, they had uncloaked and jumped a Devoter. Now both sides of the wormhole were bubbled. Great.
At this point, I'll say this was a well executed gank. It was done with great precision and they were very patient, and it paid off for them.
So we were in a bubble, with an enemy fleet coming after us. "ALIGN AND BURN!" I yelled, turning on all my modules and aligning for the quickest planet I could just click on before the rest of the enemy fleet started applying DPS and webs.
We managed to get all four ships out of the bubble. The Tengu was pointed, and went down first, because it bore the brunt of the fleet's firepower. The Legion was also pointed and collapsed into a burning ball of plasma next. However, both my Legion and the Noctis managed to get clear and warp away from the trap. Both other pods also warped away.
Here's where my actual mistakes are made. I called for a logoff. Everyone logoff. I attempted logoffski.
I had other choices, I could have warped the fleet around planet to planet til they either caught us or grew bored, the catching us part being highly likely with their numbers. I should have warped the Noctis to a moon and cloaked him. He would have been safe. I should have gotten the static high sec bookmark from the Helios pilot and warped the fleet there. Hell, I could have warped us there to begin with and it all never would have went down, but honestly, I saw a Pilgrim.
Of course, they scanned down the pods and the Noctis and blew them away. Only my Legion escaped. I have tried to gain more experience in PvP in my time here in WH space, but obviously not enough of it. It came down to what choices do I have, and it was a very short list.
I made the choices, so we'll be paying the price. All in all it's probably near a 3 bil loss, including ships and implants. We hadn't had a loss like this for a long time, I guess it was time to pay the piper. It'll take us quite a while to recover from based on our pilot count and activity levels.
But if you can't take it, you can't live here.