Saturday, May 9, 2015

Shallow in EVE


I managed to find a buyer for my system.  Part of that is the rock-bottom prices I was offering for it and its contents.  I think a big part was luck.  In any case, thank you Stabs for the suggestion to post on the forums... that's where the buyer came from.

The buyer -- call him Vlad -- is Russian.  We quickly agreed on the general parameters of the deal: he wanted all the stuff I was selling, and the price was right.  OK.  I gave him the "trust me" option, or using an escrow service.  He chose the latter.  I went with CAPLF WH Sales -- ingame channel with that name -- and got an immediate response from Lucius Arcturus, their main guy.  Great.  Emailed him, ccing buyer.  Got it all set up in a few minutes.  A few hours later, escrow was set up and we were ready to start.

Then the work.  First I scanned out late at my night, hoping to get in Vlad in his early morning.  That did not happen, but I gave him the chain in email by specifying the signature tags.  (Took me a while to think of doing that.)  He got himself in using this information, and safed up.

In the morning (mine that is), Vlad was on and so I set my forcefield password to let him shelter in my small POS.  Then I put the large POS he was buying, and some fuel, in one of my Iterons and handed it over.  He flew off and onlined it.  I took over a few loads of basic POS defenses and such so that he would not be vulnerable, and an POS storage, then I logged off to work.

Over the next day we pinged back and forth.  Vlad would empty out Iterons full of stuff into his storage, then leave the Iterons out in his forcefield where I could grab them.  I'd grab them, fly back to my POS, load up, then fly back and eject.  We never overlapped in time again.


Tonight I am almost out.  I am done with handing stuff over.  I have only a Manticore and an Iteron V left in my POS bubble, which is completely empty otherwise.  The Iteron V is there to carry out the last bits of stuff, most particularly the POS itself.   I can't take down the POS yet because I need to protect the Manticore.  I need to find a way out before I can proceed.  Scanning time.

I scan out my system.  Or really Vlad's system now.  The C5 is EOL still there from this morning.  So, I am headed out through C4b.  It has dual statics, C3 and C5.  The C3 has a good chance to be useful.  Unfortunately, there are 19 sigs.  Also lots of an anoms.  It looks like an abandoned system, but dscan shows a live tower.  Huh.  Well, at least they don't appear to be very active.  Nothing to worry about.

I set to work scanning.  Most of the sites are gas and quickly ignored.  I find the C5 but I don't instantiate it.  No need for that unless the C3 does not pan out.  The second to last sig I scan is the C3.  Go figure.  I complete the scanning (gas), then warp to the C3 and jump into C3a.

Tripwire show that C3a has a lowsec static.  This is not ideal, but good enough for my purposes.  Also it has only 8 sigs, which should be reasonably fast to scan.  I set to scanning.

The lowsec static has a bubble anchored on it.  Strange; I have not seen anyone at a tower.  I'll have to blow up the bubble if I try to get out this way.  But I've also found a K162 to C2, so I'll put off checking lowsec until I go that way.  C2s which connect to C3s tend to have highsec statics.  I finish scanning, then warp to the K162 and jump into C2a.

C2a has a lot of towers on scan.  Mostly small Caldari.  They appear to have the system moon locked.  Also there is one ship on scan, but it's a Nidhoggur.  There are planets out of scan range.  Normally I'd warp around to look, but in this case I am not hunting.  So I fire probes at the wormhole, then cloak.  The system has only two sigs, which must be its statics.  I am at the O477; the other wormhole will be a B274 to highsec.  Yay.  I find it in two scans.  It's in dscan range, so it's safe to warp over.  I land on grid, bookmark it, then head out into highsec.

I appear in Seitam, which is in Amarr space.  There's one station in system.  (Stations!  Weird!)  I warp to it and dock.   Then I ditch my Manticore and head back upstream in my pod.  I have no trouble on the way, but I do see some new ships in C2a and probes in C3a.  Ugh.  Likely I was seen, and a pod moving up or down a chain is an good sign that there will be more traffic.  Well, I'll be boring for a while back home.


Back home.  I warp to my POS, then jump in the waiting Iteron V.  I offline the tower and then cloak about 3000m from it.  Can I offline it cloaked?  Yes.  It takes 15 minutes to offline a small tower.  I wait.  Actually I play games on my phone.

20 minutes later, I remember about EVE being in a parlous state.  So I uncloak and scoop the tower, then I warp to a safespot and cloak again.  Now I am done here, except getting out.  C2 may be hot since they probably saw the pod, so I'll go do other things for a while.

An hour later.  Time to head out.  I warp to the wormhole out.  Goodbye, J213139.  Then into C4b, and on to C3a.  No probes here now.

I jump into the last system, C2a.  Uh oh.  There's a ship at the wormhole.  Frigate.  Ares.  What is that?  Uh... assault frig?  Not sure.  At least it's not a Sabre.  If he cannot bubble, exactly what he is does not really matter.  He can cross jump as well as I can, even if I can get back to the wormhole.  And the fact that he's here at all suggests eyes on the other side.  So, forward.  I order a warp to the highsec wormhole.  I uncloak, and of course the Ares locks me up.  Warp disrupted.  Uh oh.  My shields start to drop, though my buffer is decent.  Two new enemies uncloak; a Purifier and something else.  Not good. 

Good try.
I start to think about ejecting before a bubble shows up.  I mouse over my ship, about to command it.  Then... voom.  I warp.

Ah yes, I have triple warp core stabs.  Saved me.  (Bring a bubble, guys.)  I drop onto the highsec, and the Ares is there ahead of me.  But he cannot stop me.  I jump, and I am out.

One of them follows me out.  I wait around to see who it is.  The Purifier.  Eventually he uncloaks and we just look at each other.  I align to the local station (Stations!  Weird!).  But I don't leave.  Instead I say "Nice try!" in local.  (Local!  Weird!)  I don't know if he sees it.  I wait, kind of hoping for some reply.  But eventually he locks me up, and I realize that I have 400m in stuff on board.  It is doubtful that he has a cargo scanner... and doubtful beyond that that he will go for it in highsec.  But why take chances?  I warp.

I am out.  Really truly out, for the first time in over a year.


There's more work to do.  I head for Amarr, which is five jumps away.  Carrying 400m in an Iteron V would be too risky in some places, but this is almost all 0.8 and above, and it's past primetime EU hours.  Should be fine.   I make it.  I contract all the stuff to my Jita alt, then grab a shuttle and head back to the station where I cached my Manticore. 

Five jumps later.  I get in my Manti, which feels safe and good.  Then I put the shuttle on the market for a large markup, and exit the station.  I'll go back into wspace and...

No, I won't.

I don't have anything to do.  Nowhere to be.  Nowhere to go.

What's next?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

C4 for sale

As I previously mentioned, I have been in the process of wrapping up my occupancy of the C4 system, J213139, in which I have been living for the last year and a half.  It's been a good run.

J213139 is a great system for a medium sized wormhole corp.  It's got good PI, which is a great income source in wspace.  It's a pulsar system, meaning it gives a huge boost to shields and capacitor.  This makes running local sites a lot easier than normal if you are using a shield tank.  (We used several fleet comps over the years, finally settling on Rattlesnakes after they got their huge buff in summer '14.)  J213139 also has a great moon for siting a tower at, if you want to make a devilish tower trap, which I did.  I don't know, but I'd guess my tower is among the most prolific killers in wspace.  Finally, C4 systems are pretty good to hunt from, due to their dual statics.  With its C4 static, there are always at least six system within two jumps; usually there are considerably more due to incoming K162s.

Why am I leaving?  Well, in part due to gaining a second static in Hyperion.  This made it much harder to close up our system for running sites.  It would not be a problem for most corps to close an extra wormhole, but I have just a few guys.  It becomes tiresome, cutting into our already limited time in our corp nights.  On the upside, we did get access to C5s, and started running sites there.  Great ISK in that, much better than running C4s.

Another factor was my corp mates drifting away from the game.  It has been gradual, but by now I am the only one of us that is very active.  But that process started a year ago, and it did not cause any problem because I was still actively hunting every night.  I did not really realize it then, but as a side effect of hunting I was always finding enough good highsec connections reasonably close to my Jita alt, that I could keep my tower supplied all by myself.   However, over the past six months I have started to tire of hunting in wspace, so I started hunting less.  And that meant that I found fewer connections, making it hard to run in and out with supplies.  Then maintaining my tower (and hence occupancy of my system) became a chore.

When EVE becomes a chore, you should stop doing what you're doing.  It's a game and supposed to be fun.

Anyway, all that is just an explanation of why I am leaving.  I am not quitting the game, at least not now.  And therefore I am not about to abandon my tower and leave its contents for the vultures.  Rather I am trying to extract all the value from it, leaving with as much as I can.

I've been slowly moving stuff out for two months.  I took down and exported my reaction tower.  By this point my mates and I have flown out all the ships of substantial value, and we've moved out almost all of our considerable collection of crap other than a dwindling supply of PI goods.  So, we're ready to leave just about any time.  I am finishing up the PI in a few days.

If you are interested in a nice C4 system, please let me know via email, in or out of game.  (My gmail address is in the upper right of this blog.)  I want to sell, at minimum, the six POCOs we have constructed in the system.  These I will sell you at the build cost of their components.  The system location itself is free if you'll buy the POCOs.  I have a large Minmatar POS with a full complement of POS parts.  I'd be happy to sell that to you at cost.  In addition we have a Chimera and a Moros, currently with full parts on them.  These we will strip and insurance-fraud if I cannot sell them.  I will sell you either or both hulls at a cost halfway between their normal kspace value and their insurance fraud value.  The parts I will sell at Jita prices, since I can get them out.  Finally, we have an assortment of cheap ships (gas mining Ventures, a few rock miners that we barely used, Epithals and Iteron Vs).  These I'll also throw in for free if you buy the POCOs.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hat Trick

I have not been feeling like writing, and not playing as much EVE as I have in times past.  So that's what's up with the lack of posting.  I am in the process of winding down my occupancy of the C4 I am in.  The logistics have become unfun.

But enough of that.  The thing that broke through my writing torpor today was a nice little kill.  My system had many connecting wormholes, and I wanted to get my Jita alt in with a few last PI goods to pump into my pipeline.  My system had an unusually high number of connections: its normal static C4 and C5, but also three other C5s connecting via K162s.  Thus I had been scouring nearby systems for exits in my trusty Manticore.  I found only a single lowsec exit, not near to Jita.  Oh well.  I tried.  After that I had returned home, and was just sitting around in my system, watching a wormhole just in case someone came in.   I was in the room, playing other games.  But occasionally I'd come back to sit at EVE, tweak prices on my Jita alt, and with Von check a dscan, and look at the probe scanner to see if there were any new wormholes.

At one point I returned and dscanned and what's that?  Probes!  The guy came in a different wormhole, but I figured maybe I could still ambush him at my tower's decloak trap.  So I warped back there.  I landed on grid and barely had time to rotate my camera to face the bubble, when -- bingo! -- an Astero appeared in my trap.  Astero vs bomber in most places is a win for the Astero.  But any ship on grid with me at my tower, and I will win that fight.  Go time!  

I uncloaked, and got all systems on, locking the unlucky Astero up.  I even hit her with a round of torps before she was evaporated by my tower's guns.  Unluckily for her, her pod was cleanly in the bubble.  So I terminated her -- the tower won't do that -- and returned her to highsec the fast way.

It turns out she was pretty new in EVE, so I opened a chat, told her about tower traps and how to avoid them, and we had a nice little chat.  She had some questions about stealth bombers.  I hope I helped.  Anyway, one question was what can one hunt in a bomber in wspace?  I listed some ships, but as a part of that I refreshed my corp's killboard at zkillboard, to remind myself of what I had killed recently.

That's when I noticed that not only had my tower killed once today, it had killed three times!  (Others are this and this.)  Yow!  My tower is a better EVE player than I am this month.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Relic of Failure

Friday night.  It's US timezone, which tends to be less active.  But I have time, and I am hoping to find something interesting.  I am out in my Manticore, looking for whatever EVE has to show me tonight. 

I jump into C4b.  Dscan from the wormhole is not boring: there is a tractor unit on scan.  There's also a mobile depot, but that is not that unusual.  Nor can a depot pay; even if there was something in it, a depot has a reinforcement mode which has a longer timer than most wormholes.  So, they are hard to kill in wspace.  Few try.  (Occasionally I scan them down and reinforce them, hoping someone else will come along two days later to finish the job.)

But the tractor... that can only mean one thing.  Someone is or was running sites.  If they left for some reason, I can kill the tractor and take whatever is in it.

I move off to orbit the wormhole at 30km, hitting microwarp and cloaking.  Now I set to work trying to find the tractor unit.  If it is old enough, it may be out in space somewhere that I cannot get to with normal scanning.  In that case, I'll have to scan it down with combat probes.  But it may be in an existing site.  It might also be in a sig site, which I can get to in my Manticore, but I'll combat scan for it anyway.

Normally I am faster.  But eventually I get a generally right direction, enough to see an anom which both the tractor and depot appear to be in together.  I confirm it with a five degree dscan.  Yes, they're in an Integrated Terminus.  I warp over for a look.

I land in the site, and I can see that it was being run.  The first two waves of sleepers are gone; the third wave (somewhat reduced) is here.  It's a Sleepless Safeguard -- a nasty ship, which warp scrambles -- along with three of its normal six escort frigates.
What happened here?
The Safeguard makes me start to suspect what happened here: someone got in over his head.  He was running the site and had to bail.  Or indeed, perhaps he could not bail because of the Safeguard, and got himself killed.  But there's no evidence I can see other than the tractor and the depot.  There are no wrecks; whatever happened here, happened at least two hours ago.  The evidence will be locked up in the tractor.

So, it's another tractor problem.  I've encountered this sort of thing before.  How do I kill a tractor unit and then loot it, under the nose of a Sleeper battleship which warp scrambles? 

I have run these sites before, with just me and my alt in Rattlesnakes.  I could do that here.  But I am not too keen to put that much ISK at risk in a completely unscouted system.  Also I ran a Terminus in my home system, which is a pulsar.  (This gives huge capacitor.)  This system -- I check -- has no effect. 

Another thing I might do is hit the site in my site-running Tengu.  This wave does 614 DPS according to eve-survival; that will be reduced a bit by the Tengu's smallish sig and by the lack of three of the frigs.  So I could try that.  But my Tengu relies on shield boosting, and I don't know if I can stay cap stable in here with the Safeguarding nossing me.  Probably not.  Nope, bad idea.

My rattlesnakes have microjumpdrives on them.  These are handy for several things.  But I think they will work here.  Sleepers don't actually warp scramble; they warp disrupt.  Or such has been my observation before.  So microjumpdrives should work.  I think.  I am not totally sure that sleepers don't scramble... about 90% sure... is that enough to risk 500m ISK?

I decide not.  What else can I do?

I recall that CCP recently created medium microjumpdrives, and I recall that we have a PVP Drake.  Let me look at it... aha.  I board it.  It does indeed have a microjumpdrive.  OK, I know it cannot stand up that long against the Safeguard.  But then again, it should not need to.  It should kill the tractor in about a minute, I think.  It has a bit more DPS than my bomber.  Then I can scoop it and go.  Assuming the Safeguard does disrupt, not scramble.  The whole thing should be fast enough that observers won't be able to gank me.

It's a plan.  I tweak the fit to remove the webber (not needed here) and put on a EM ward II.  A bit more hardness does not hurt.  Then I warp to C4b, cross, and warp to the site.

I decide to warp in at 10km, thinking I can slide past the tractor unit as I shoot it so that I can time turning around to be aligned to my wormhole.  The plan is to pop the tractor just as I come back past it, so I can grab and go.

I land on grid.  Then I target the tractor, and open up. 
Shooting the tractor.

My assault missiles crash into the tractor.  I move towards it, and I launch my drones -- warriors -- for extra DPS.  I creep toward the tractor.  I kind of forgot how slow these things are.

The sleepers notice me, and come zooming up.  The frigates web me.  Oops.  I forgot about that too.  I am not sure I can get there in time.  The tractor unit goes into structure, and I am still 8000m from it.  I am taking serious shield damage.  Down to 1/2.

Now the Safeguard is close enough and I hear the sound of warp disruption.  The die is cast: either I can escape or not, according to whether or not this is disruption or scrambling.  We'll see.

The tractor pops, and I am still not close enough to loot it.  I align out to a planet, shields down to 33%.  I hear the low shield warning as I activate the microjumpdrive.  It activates; indeed the warp disruption from the Safeguard was disruption, not scrambling. 
Escaping warp disruption.

Swoosh!  I am now 100km away, well outside of the range of the Safeguard's warp disruption.   I warp to the planet at 100km. 

I can't go back immediately, not with my shields at 25% and the sleepers where I want to be.  Also I need time for my microwarpdrive to cycle.  So I warp to this system's outer planet, making a safespot as I get close.  Then I warp back to the safespot and sit a while.  There's nothing alarming on scan, neither ships nor probes.

After a few minutes, my shields recover to 80% or so.  It's enough.  I warp to the site, this time directly to the tractor's location. 

I land on grid, and open the tractor wreck.  Ah, loot.  Not really very much, but loot all the same.  The sleepers lock me, and warp disrupt me, and start pounding as I grab the loot, then align to the wormhole home.  Then I microjump again, and immediately warp out. 
Exhibit A in my murder investigation.

As I finish warping home, I look at the loot and the killmail for hints as to what happened.  There are several kinds of fittings in the loot, so evidently someone lost his ship in that site.  There are armor parts.  There's a laser and crystals, and drones.  This suggests that the guy was flying a Stratios.  Ouch!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I've been low activity in EVE lately.  A lot of this has to do with other games occupying my time -- Clash of Clans, Star Wars Commander, and Castle Clash.  But it also has to do with luck.  I've had a good run of luck in having my system zip itself up.  When I am zipped, I hate to waste it.  Instead, I head out into our local anoms for some carebearing.

Last night was an example.  I've had five gas sites in my system for a while, which I have carefully not touched.  Most scouts coming through don't seem to instantiate sites, so the sites tend to persist until I want them.  Several of these gas sites had been there for a week.

Yesterday morning, I had three connections.  My two statics, and a connection from a C4 with a lot of towers.  These people were fairly busy yesterday.  But then they popped their own wormhole in the afternoon, leaving my static C4 in EOL.  So I knew I had just my two connections.  By the time I logged in last night for real playing, my static C4 had self-terminated, leaving only my C5.

The C5 system, I knew from yesterday's fruitless roam, was unoccupied.  So the chance of getting traffic from it is slight.  My system is very likely half-zipped.  I'll picket the C5 wormhole, while I do stuff in my system.

First, I trigger all my gas sites except one.  I do not think I will have time to slurp them all.  Then I wait for 20 minutes for the sleepers to come.  (I get off an attack or two in Clash of Clans.)

A bit later I get Von into his Rattlesnake and kill the four gas sites.  Two of them are Ordinary Perimeter Reservoirs -- the site with sentries.  Bouncers and precision cruise missiles deal with these nicely.  Then on to two Bountiful Frontier Reservoirs.  Gardes and precision cruise missiles kill the cruiser rats, then a Gecko kills the frigates.  (Yes, Geckos can track frigates.  690 DPS.  Sometimes they one-shot them.  Go figure.)

After the sites are killed, I warp back home to switch into a Coercer to salvage.  The sentry sites don't have anything, of course.  But each of the other two sites has about 40m in salvage and blue loot.   Good pay for the amount of time it takes.

Next I have some PI to do.  Von is first, but all my PI characters (three of them, on two accounts) need to do it.  So I get into an Epithal, and start making the rounds.  Each planet gets about 50000 units of P1 goods; this is enough for about two weeks of operations.  Each planet produces a complementary P1 good, and a P2 good.  The P1s sometimes get carried on to a complentary planet.  Those which don't, and the P2 goods, go back to my tower.

Ordinarily when I do PI, I do it in an insecure system.  Each time I warp out from my tower, I blind a hunter by warping to a safespot inline with a planet I am not going to.  But I skip that tonight, speeding the process.  Nobody uncloaks and kills me.

Von watches the wormhole for a while as Otto does his PI.  Then I swap again, and log off Von for his PI and gas sucking alt.  The alt does PI first.  Then on to the gas sucking.  He has perfect gassing skills, and an implant.  So he sets to work.

This is work for him, maybe, but not for me.  I have nothing to do for hours now, except listening for the wormhole noise on my picket, and strobing the discovery scanner every 10 or 20 minutes to check for new wormholes.  I dutifully do this, minus the occasional break for coffee and bathroom.  No wormholes connect.  Evidently nobody sneaks in while I am completely AFK.  I do see a new combat anom appear.  I watch as the sites go down one by one.  Every half hour I have to warp back to my reaction tower to dump the gas.

The C5 connection goes EOL, and I am tempted to use my picket to help mine.  But I leave him there just in case.  (I explore through EOL wormholes.  Others might too.)  Also, I want to know when the C5 goes away, because I would like to enter C5a when I am done for the night and check it out.

Hours later, it's time for bed.  I've tapped out three of the sites and a bit of the fourth.  80m in sleeper loot, and 100+m more in gas.  The C5 wormhole is still alive.

When you read a blog like this, it's easy to get the notion that EVE is really interesting all the time.  But I only write the good parts.  I write about the one percent moments, and some of the boring stuff that sets them up.  I rarely write about the 99% when that's all there is.  But it's there, and like everyone else, that's what I spend most of the time doing.  Scanning.  Safe PVE.  Gassing.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Signal Cartel

Via Nosy, I found out that Mynxee has started a new corp for explorers, Signal Cartel:
Signal Cartel is a corp designed from the ground up for peaceful explorers. We are based in Thera... Dedicated to the highest ideals of exploration, our corp culture is one of wanderlust, camaraderie, helpfulness, respectful behavior, and peaceful intent. We seek to provide our members with a friendly, nurturing home that includes great benefits and opportunities for learning, fun, and profit.
Mynxee, for you relative newcomers is a respected EVE blogger (now found blogging at Outlaw Insouciant) and notorious pirate PVPer from times past.  Everyone I've read seems to love her, at almost Sugar levels of intensity.  She's a good bet for a mentor and CEO.

Signal Cartel is not for me -- its corp rules forbid initiating PVP.  (I hunt.)  But it is exactly the sort of corp I would have liked to join when I started.  I know there are some explorers reading this, so maybe it's for you.

Meanwhile, I'll be setting Signal Cartel blue to my corp.  Since their principles forbid shooting me, I won't shoot them.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jab and Riposte

It's corp night again.  Last night I prepared C5a for us, should it prove worthy.  By going in a day in advance, I can instantiate all the 16-hour wormholes that may be sitting around there uninstantiated, and get them to go away.  So I don't have to pop them to be safe.  But of course, new wormholes can pop up all day long, and there's nothing I can do about it.

I have to check for new wormholes, and I might as well do it now, before my corpmates show up.  Actually I am only expecting Jayne tonight.  But last night I found the best gas site in the game, an Instrumental Core Reservoir, in C5a.  If it's still there today, which is highly likely, then we'll run it.  We can be in, kill the sleepers, and out probably before anyone can scan us down.  So that's my plan.  I warp to the wormhole C4a->C5a, and jump.

Plans change.  In this case, I see a full set of Sister's core probes, as well as two Ventures.  There is no live tower on scan from here (in fact I know from last night that there is no live tower in the system).  So the two Ventures are out in space somewhere.  Almost certainly gassing in the Core Reservoir, right?  A single narrow-band dscan confirms it. 

I am in my normal Manticore fit, unable to tackle a Venture.  So I need to refit to my fit with two scramblers.  Where can I do that?  I could go back home to do it, but that means two more uncloaks at the wormhole.  It also means five minutes of polarization.  Not a good option.  This system is rather small.  The furthest planet is an outer planet about 14 AU out.  That's almost far enough... fortunately, last night I scanned down a wormhole that is near that planet, and about two AU further away.  I think that is far enough to be off dscan.

I warp to the wormhole near the outer planet, making a safespot when I get close.  Then I turn around and warp to that safespot.  From it, I cannot see much on dscan.  It will do.  Of course I have no idea whose probes those are; it might be one of the Ventures scanning, or it might be some other ship.  If it is another ship, there's some chance it will come out here and dscan.  But at least I can hope that the pilot is probing and isn't dscanning actively.

I launch my mobile depot, then orbit it at 2500 cloaked while I wait for it to online.  Dscanning shows nothing during this time.  When the depot onlines, I get in close and uncloak, and refit.  Then I grab everything, and warp to the gas site at 100km.

As I warp over, I am considering my options.  Jayne should be online any minute now, and I might hasten that.  We got a similar setup last week, him dropping on them in a Sabre so we got pods.  But before I do that, I want to get on site and see what's happening there.

I land in the site.  I came in from the side, so I am not worried about being decloaked by the gas.  And indeed, the large cloud of C320 is entirely gone.  Both Ventures are there, now sucking at the small cloud, the C540.  This is bad.  A single Venture can suck up one of these small clouds in less time than it takes for sleepers to come, which is 20 minutes.  Two can suck it in 10 minutes.  I don't know how long they have been at it.  But probably they won't be on site for more than a few more minutes.

There's no time for Jayne.   I have to get in there pronto.  I bookmark the gas cloud, then warp to the sun (which is close) to bounce.  As I warp, I am trying to recall how large the C540 cloud is.  I think it's about 15km in radius, but I am not sure of that.  20km would probably be safe, but maybe not.  I decide to warp to 30km.  I land, then reverse and warp back at 30km.

I land near the cloud, about 18km from it.  A quick check shows one Venture is orbiting away from me, but the second is coming more or less towards me.  I move downward to meet it.  Once I get close enough, I uncloak and get to work.  The Venture's pilot tries to escape me, but with my microwarp I can catch him even though he is slightly faster.  Gradually my rockets do the job.  Boom.  He warps his pod promptly.

I scoop the loot from the wreck, which is not much.  There is a nice chunk of gas there, C320.  I want that.  But before anything else, I move off the wreck and cloak.

Combat done.  I start to ease back and notice the things again.  Dscan is clear.  The gas cloud is gone!  They must have sucked the last little bit of it as I was attacking them.  Talk about lucky timing!  A single minute later attacking, and I'd have missed them entirely.

I want that gas.  Not only is it worth 36m or whatever, it's the prize of battle.  The enemy may want it too.  But I am here and he's not.  I know where the bomber is, and he does not.  I quickly log on my alt Otto.  As he logs on, I bookmark the wreck and check dscan.  Nothing there.  I figure that the enemy may come back with force, but it's unlikely at short notice that they'll come with anything that will stop a Venture.  Even if they do bring a bubbler, I can see it coming on dscan.  And a Venture is worth the risk.  Otto takes one of my corp's Ventures, then warps over to the C5 wormhole.  Then he warps to the wreck bookmark, grabs the gas, and warps back home.  Ah, loot.

As I am sitting congratulating myself, I am still scanning.  I see a Venture.  Ah.  Perhaps they had the same thought as I did: come back in a worthless Venture to try to secure the loot.  Sure enough, a Venture lands on grid, but not at the wreck.  It's at the site's bookmark, about 20km from me.  The wreck is empty, so I figure the new Venture will leave.  Still, I move towards it in the hope that it dallies.  It moves, but not as I would expect, back where it came from.  Rather, towards the wreck.  That's odd... but it helps me close the range quickly.  Can he not see the wreck is empty?  No time to think about that.  I am in range, and I uncloak and open up.
Lightning strikes twice.
This one seems to go faster than the first.  Boom.  Again the pod warps in time.  Still, yay me!

A Sabre is on grid.  Crap, baited like an idiot!  Boo me!  The Sabre lands about 4km from me and fires a bubble.

I instinctively hit the microwarp and cloak.  And luckily for me, I am moving away from the wreck and far enough from it to cloak.  It's up to the Sabre now, to get to where I was going.  I know that even though I see me cloak immediately, he gets to see me for another 10 seconds or so.  So I just keep going straight, which is more or less to the edge of the bubble.  He starts moving towards me.

Now I juke and head directly to the edge, hoping to warp before he uncloaks me.  He gets about 8km from me, and fires another bubble.  Dammit.
Might have died here.
But then I get a break, and he changes direction, or maybe my juke worked.  (Hard to see what is happening in 3d.)  I make it to the edge of the bubble, and out.  He's 15km away; I am safe.  He fires a third bubble, but not near me now.  I keep moving out for a while just to watch.  Shortly he microwarps out of his bubbles and warps off.

Lessons here?  Well, there was nothing the first Venture could have done, other than be dscanning like a maniac and abort at the first sign of me as I crossed the wormhole.  I had scanned the site down last night, so he had no chance to see me probing for him.  Also, Ventures don't expect to get pinned by bombers.  So I cannot fault him at all.

One lesson comes from the fits on those Ventures.  Neither is excellent.  The second Venture should have had a warp scrambler or disruptor; if it had, my fate would have been sealed.  Both Ventures should have had a medium shield.  This would have given them more than double the hitpoints, doubling the time it would take me to kill them.  That also probably would have made the difference in the second fight, because had the Venture still been alive when the Sabre landed on grid its lock could have prevented my cloaking.  Note that both Ventures have empty slots.  You don't need a high-meta shield either; a simple Subordinate Screen Stabilizer costs about 15000 ISK.  Similarly, Ventures should have damage controls in the low.  That also increases hitpoints considerably.  (The fit I use for gas mining is found in my post How to Mine Gas Fairly Safely in Wspace.)

The main lesson is my own mistake.  Don't double dip.  If it seems too good to be true, as it was to have the second Venture go for the wreck in spite of the wreck being clearly empty, leave off.  It's true that I got the kill and I got away.  But I got it only because his fit was bad, presumably because he was rushed in making it.  I risked far more than he did.  If he lost, he lost a Venture worth a half million ISK.  Big deal.  If I lost, I lost not only a 40m bomber but a 100m pod too, and I'd be back out in known space with no known way back home.  I'd have to scan out with Otto.  Probably take 30 jumps across highsec.  Serious inconvenience.  Big loss.