Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We Steal Some Gas

It's Rubicon eve in EVE.  I log on late.  Jayne and Hiljah are around.  Jayne has scanned down our surrounding systems du jour.  We have a C5 incident, in addition to our static C3.  The C5 is interesting: many anoms (30?  40?), and just six sigs.  Evidently these people are not much for sleeper-killing as a key form of money making.

There are three towers, with a manned Buzzard sitting at one.  And they appear to be Americans: one tower is named CostCo.  A look on dotlan shows activity about 48-42 hours ago.  So, perhaps American west coast.  So we are not too keen to do anything substantial.  However, Jayne points out that the guy is aligned to his tower.  This probably means he's been sitting there a while.

I ask about C3.  It's not particularly interesting.  It attaches to a C3b, which is evidently Russian owned, and there are some sites.  But now that we have gotten used to C4 sites, C3 anoms just don't have the same allure.  And also it's a bit late to run sites.  If it was 8:00 PM, that's what we'd do.

I decide that given the time constraints, we should scan down the C5 hoping for one of the two best gas sites.  So Hiljah and I go in there and scan it down.  One sig is their static wormhole, which connects them to us.  That's easily ignored.  I get the four sigs in the middle while Hiljah is busy on the outer one.  (Gotta work on the in-game and/or out-of-game skills!)  Anyway, I find two gas sites, but they are relatively low value ones.  Not worth the risk.  (I instantiate them both, as I have started doing for all gas and rocks in whatever system I find them in.  I figure that although it's obvious that C5 sites are constrained to only appear in C5s, it may well be that gas and rock sites that I find anywhere in wspace may be able to come to us, assuming they are the sort that ever appear in C4.)  I also find two relic sites.  Or maybe data; whatever.  No luck for me.

Hiljah finds a good gas site: a Vital Core Reservoir.  OK, let's consider running it.  On the one hand, we'd be quite exposed.  And the inhabitants have someone there, that Buzzard.  On the other hand, the Buzzard is apparently inactive.  He has reacted to our probes.  Also, the Reservoir is out of his dscan range (though the entrance wormhole is not).  And finally: ISK.  Nice gas.  And since we don't have that much time anyway, and we are not going to bring in combat ships to kill the gas guardian sleepers, the time we have works with the 20 minutes or so before the guardians appear.  I decide to go for it.  Jayne is not interested and logs off for the night.

Before we do anything, I have an alt that I will be using whose medical clone needs to be upgraded.  He's in a Heron ready to go.  So, out to C3a and then lowsec.  A medical station is one jump away.  Nobody is in the first system except me.  One guy in the second; I never see him.  I upgrade the clone and get back into wspace.

While I am gone the Buzzard in C5 logs out.  That's nice for us.  Everyone into a Venture!

Now we are ready to go.  Three characters will be sucking gas.  We plan our opsec: Hiljah already has an alt on the tower; he will dscan the inner system.   Any of us at the gas can dscan the outer planet; that will be my job.  We discuss a few contingencies.  In particular I worry that the C5 guys will notice us and put a bubble up at the wormhole.  In that case... well, what do we do?  We go to a safespot and log out.  Try to get back later on and sneak back home.  If they close the hole?  Well, our Ventures have probe launchers.  Everyone clear?  Clear.  Let's go.

The actual op runs easily.  We warp to the wormhole and transition, and hold cloak.  I send in one of my alt with a microwarp to make sure the sleepers have not already been triggered.  They have not.  He zooms over to the C540 cloud and calls for the other two guys to warp to him.  They come in; we all mine gas.  Dscan, dscan, dscan.  Nothing (dscan) appears.  Dscan, dscan, dscan.  Except (dscan) eventually the sleepers, 20 minutes later.  Wake up!  I fleet-warp us out, and we are all a bit richer with ninja'ed gas.

I spend a while yakking on coms, buying stuff Hiljah has produced and moving it to our main tower to be exported.  Then I reship into my exploration Buzzard and head out into lowsec to explore.  Half an hour later, I have 45m in loot from a nice relic site.

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