Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Zephyr Among Sleepers

It's a day off from work, so I have extra time today.  This is good, because it is a day for boring old PI.  Most days, doing PI means a few minutes sitting safe in my POS force field while restarting extractors.  But not today: today is the one day per week when I have to go out to planets to put and take planet goo.  So it takes a while, and there is risk.  My task is complicated by the fact that there is a new wormhole into my system.  So I go check it out.  It's to a C5 system.  A quick recon shows nobody home.  Our static is deep into end of life, with about an hour left.  I should be safe doing PI so long as I watch the C5 hole.  So I watch it.

I get some PI done for an alt, and have one more character to go.  I am about to log him when -- thanks to the overly generous information from the discovery scanner introduced in Odyssey -- I notice there is a new signature in my system.  Uh oh.  This probably means a new wormhole.  It might be a new gas site or a relic/data site.  But these things respawn much less often than wormholes do.  I log my main instead of the alt I was about to, to check it out.  I jump in Artemis, my hunting Tengu, just in case.  I warp out and fire probes to scan.

It's a wormhole.  I warp to it.  K162 as expected, to C1 or C2 or C3.  I jump through.  C2.  I ping dscan.  There is a tower.  I see an Anathema, but no probes.  I loiter near the hole hoping that he will come this way, but no.  He disappears.  I see a Hawk for a while, then it disappears too.

Just about this point, real life intervenes.  I will be busy for a while, so I return to my system and get in a Buzzard covert ops to sit watching the C2 wormhole.  (I don't want to be on their side in case they decide to pop it.)  

Eventually I have a free half hour, and return to the computer.  I reenter C2a.  A new dscan... and I see wrecks.  Sleeper wrecks.  And a battlecruiser and assault frigate wreck, too.  Where are they?  I spin around dscan, pointing at each anomaly in the hopes that they are in one of them.  And in fact, they are.  I warp in at 100 for a look.  Will a salvager come?  Probably not.  Nothing on dscan.

I land on grid.  There are the wrecks, all right.  A bunch of sleeper frigate wrecks, two sleeper cruiser wrecks.  There are also three live sleeper cruisers here.  The assault frig has not been looted, at least not fully looted.  I think about trying to loot, but my Buzzard won't take more than a second of sleeper attention.  I also consider trying to finish the site myself and salvage.  But there is the matter of the locals -- this Drake died somehow.  And also my time, which there is not much of.  I need to be cooking dinner in 15 minutes.

Then I remember something and smile.  Recently I bought a Zephyr for just such an occasion.  (Thanks to Penny for this idea.)  Zephyrs are a limited edition shuttle, given out to players when CCP introduced wspace, to try to get players in to look around.  But some still exist, and they are useful still because of their special property: sleepers ignore them.  I am eager to try it out.  So I bookmark the assault frigate wreck, warp back home, and go digging around in our hangar for the Zephyr.  This takes a minute, but I eventually find it and jump in.  I name it "Drake" to be confusing, and head back.

As I warp to the wormhole, I notice that the Zephyr has a probe launcher.  Huh?  How'd that get there?  I thought I had to buy one separately, but evidently not. I know I carried the Zephyr packaged before flying it up to wspace.   I am not sure what is up with that.  Anyway, no turning around now.

I warp to the wreck, and start looting.  As advertised, the sleepers ignore me.  Nice.  Hmm, first problem: the Zephyr is in fact a shuttle, and as a shuttle it has 10m^3 of cargo space.  So I can only grab small stuff from the wreck.  I take 8 scan probes and load my launcher -- why not?  Then I pick a Damage Control II as the best of the loot.  And I grab some small T2 ammo.  Then I head over and grab all the blue loot from the sleeper wrecks.  Since they are frigates and cruisers, and basic, this is worth very little.  But it all fits -- blue loot is very small, 0.1 m^3 per item.

I warp back home.  Two million ISK scored!  (Dr. Evil would approve.)  My time here is up.  Back to real life.  I'll check back in later on.

What happened there, in C2a, when I was absent?  I will never know.  My guess is that someone was ninja ratting in a PVE Drake, when the system's owners noticed.  They jumped him with a small fleet, two or three ships, including that assault frigate.  It got killed either by the Drake, or the sleepers, or both.  But the Drake died too.  The locals know how worthless basic sleeper loot is -- remember that they have a C4 static -- and did not even bother to finish and loot the site.

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