Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Battle Passes

My corp is moving.  A week back we found a nice abandoned C4/C4 system to move into.  I planted my one-week "wormhole babysitter" alt there.  Then two days ago, he scanned out and we moved a few of our mains in.

With more time to prepare, we planned our colonization.  We have taken many ships out of our old home.  And we have bought new stuff.  So now we have a large load of stuff ready to move at Jita.  There is a whole new large tower, fuel, some of our ships from the old system, plus structure-grinding Vexors.  Altogether, it is about four Orca loads worth of stuff, plus some extra things that won't fit on Orcas.  This is our minimum kit.  Later we will bring in money-making battleships, heavy PVP ships, etc.

But all that is for the future.  For now, we are just a few us camped out in the system in our covert ops.  We don't even have a mobile depot.  So, today we have been trying to scan our way out.  I have scanned a lot of systems.  But without notable luck.

Orcas are fat targets.  We need to get a highsec access, or lowsec that is not too deep in lowsec (and/or essentially abandoned).  So, many connections to kspace will not do.  I have scanned down several long chains.  Starting at C4a (our new home), one chain goes down the static wormhole and gets to highsec -- but it is a highsec island.  With five systems of lowsec, we are not driving Orcas across.  This one goes C4a->C4b->C2a->hs (Bazadod).  I was very happy to find that C2, and so sad when I found its lack of connection.
keeping them dogies moving

During the day we find five C4s, and I activate everything in all of them.  Three of the systems had over 30 anoms each.  So, when you C4 dwellers get a couple new sites four days from now, you know who to thank. 

A second way out of our home was via a K162, from a C5.  I searched that one but it terminated at C5a.

But there was another C5 off of C4b.  I scanned that one down, and found a long chain that did finally terminate in highsec:  C4a->C4b->C5b->C5c->C3c->C2c->hs (Herila).  Herila is in Amarr space, 13 jumps from Jita.  We are go.

Now I am sitting in C2c, watching.  We have flown up the Orcas and are ready to go in Herila.  But C2c is too active.  I see people coming and going at the tower.  Combat ships, it looks like.  At one point 11 ships mass at the tower.  I have to go AFK for a half hour.  When I come back, all but three are gone.  Did they log off?  I don't know.  They are not running site here.

So what are they doing?  Hard to say.  Jayne comes back online, and traverses down the chain to C3c.  And here he sees ships on dscan: Tengus (which I have not seen), as well as shiptypes that I have.  He sits on the far side of the wormhole to C2c.  He sees ships coming and going.  Is it a fight?  Jayne reports that the wormhole has been destabilized by mass.

I am starting to get nervous.  Maybe they are running sites, but it is unlikely they will care about popping their hole.  Certainly we are not running Orcas through here until we find out what they are doing.  I warp to the wormhole at 50 to watch.

Wormhole noise.  And again.  The locals seem to be coming back through.  Some of them linger at the wormhole, in particular a battleship.  And then it is joined by two Guardians, who get their chain set up.  All three are orbiting the wormhole.  Other ships enter and immediately warp.

This looks like a fight.

Sure enough, after a few minutes, more ships enter, and suddenly drones are being deployed.  One of the new ones is an Armageddon.  I check the wormhole: oh no.  It has gone critical!  The interlopers have their own Guardians.  More ships cross the wormhole, and locals warp on grid.

Jayne can see the other side on dscan, and says nobody is there.  So I decide to go for it.  I bounce off a customs office, then warp straight to the hole.  This is a bit risky: if the "upstream" guys decide to bail and pull out through the wormhole, it will probably pop.  And I will warp right into the middle of a battle with nowhere to go.

I warp to the wormhole.  As I land on grid, drones and fire are all around me.  (Sadly, I did not snap a shot.)   But nothing untoward happens.  I am decloaked by the wormhole and immediately jump.  The other side is clear.  I burn off the wormhole and cloak.  Then I sit at 50 to see what happens.

We have guys outside, in highsec.  Only one Orca can now possibly make it through, but even one would be enough to get a modest tower set up.  So I want to see if the hole does indeed pop.  I am surprised by how long the fight goes.  After several minutes a stabber comes through, but he is from the "home team" -- he lives in C2c.   And then after another minute, an Armageddon comes through, and that transit collapses the wormhole.

Oh well, it was a slim hope.  We will have to find another way in.  Jayne heads back up to our system to explore C5a again, hoping for new connections.

I am going to do the same on the way back up the chain.  I can see the stabber out in space, and dream of having a cloaky Loki to kill him with.  But all I have is my Buzzard.  Oh well.  I scan him down anyway, and warp to 100 to watch him.  His dscan alertness is low.  I see an elite Amarr frigate wreck on dscan; this turns out to be near the wormhole back to C5.  But it is looted, and I cannot salvage it.  So not interesting.  Meanwhile I ignore all the sites that were here at downtime, and quickly scan down just a handful of newer ones.  There is a new wormhole!  But it's the static, duh, which goes to nullsec.  Oh well.  I warp to the wormhole up, wave to the wreck, and backtrack to C5c to re-examine it. 

In C5c, I also find a new wormhole -- but it is to C6.  But as I am warping around the system (it is large), I see something amazing: sleeper wrecks and sentry drones.  Wrecks mean money.  Drones in the same place means I can find them.  Are they co-located?  Dscan says: yes!  So, I deploy combat probes and scan down the drones.  I check to make sure no site is there, and nobody is on scan.  Nope.  I warp in.

making I$K fa$t
I see a lovely site: a despawned sleeper site of some kind, littered with many sleeper wrecks, and all the blue loot is intact.  Whoa.  Could it be a trap?  But then I remember the fight.  I check the tags: yes, the wrecks match the ID of the upstream corp.  Now I have an idea of why they might be here: either the corp was jumped while running sites, or maybe they noticed and dropped everything.  Either way, they abandoned a site that they had cleared but not yet salvaged.  And now, here I am.  They might or might not be coming back, but I expect not, because all of them except one were caught on the wrong side of the wormhole.  So maybe they escaped to highsec, or maybe they got podded.  But either way, they are going to be busy getting back in.

I am going to for it.  First I fly to the Bouncers, and grab them all.  Now the only way to get here is to scan down me, or to have a bookmark.  Next I microwarp to all of the large wrecks, looting them for 15m in blue loot each.  There are six.  Now I eye the frigate and cruiser wrecks and start feeling greedy.

Greedy I am, but also fearful. With 90m on board my tissue-paper ship, plus 5m more in tech II drones, I am feeling exposed.  So I warp offsite, create a safespot, and dump all the loot there.  My mates can get it there if I get killed.

Now back into the site, and I loot it all.  Nobody interferes.  Whew.  I grab my loot and head back upstream.  194m in loot and drones. 

Several more systems searched by both Jayne and me yield nothing.  I search a new long chain off C5a, which peters out yet again.  Sign.  Looks like we must wait another day. 


  1. This is why I love living in a N110 C1. Static = highsec.

  2. Being able to roll the hole will help a bit. Gevlon, you should see what Von would charge for doing a C4 to C4 financial report for you.