Thursday, January 9, 2014

Boring Some Nullies

It's a moving-stuff night.  Earlier, we rolled our static twice looking for a good system to run sites in, and/or a good way out.  The second time, when we scanned out C4b, it had a C3 static.  That C3 static had a nullsec static, but further scanning showed it had a random K162 coming from highsec.  Since we have a lot of stuff to get in (we are firing up a ground-up level 4 PI goods pyramid), we decided to send out the freighters from Jita.  They've arrived, and now we are prepared to run stuff in.

For operational security, we have placed two scouts into the wormhole chain.  Timmay is watching at the tower in C3; from there he can see on dscan both the highsec wormhole out and the C3/C4 wormhole.  I am watching on the C4 side of the C3/C4 wormhole.

We have some Itty 3s already at our tower.  A couple guys pod out; we have freighted down three extra industrials for this run.  We have 6 characters, total, in our Itty fleet.  (I still think of all Gallente industrials as Iterons, and call them "Itties", and probably always will, unless they change what they look like.)  We assemble the three new ones at the transfer station.  Now we are ready to go.

We all leave the station, and I fleet-warp all six of us to the wormhole.  The scout says all is clear inside, so we enter wspace and hold cloak.  When everyone is in, I fleet-warp us to the C3/C4b wormhole.  We all jump.  Von is the scout in C4b, sitting on the C4/C3 wormhole.  I check my dscan, and it is still clear.  I warp us to the C4b/C4a wormhole.  Here we have no scout inside, since this is the least likely system to have anyone in it.  (We live there.)  Still, when we enter I check the discovery scanner for any new signatures.  We cleaned out our system last night: it should have one ore anom, one combat anom (new since yesterday), and one signature (our static).  It does.  I fleet-warp us to the tower.

Now everyone dumps off goods, and quickly we are ready to head out.  We reverse the what we just did, hopping back out from C4a to C4b to C3 to highsec.  This time is not so safe, though.  Timmay in C3 reports a Rapier on scan.  We get to the highsec wormhole safely, and jump.  Then we warp to the nearby station, and everyone docks.

We each grab a new load of goods.  Once that is done, we all undock and I fleet-warp us to the wormhole.

Timmay is seeing stuff on dscan: Rapier, Crow, Catalyst, Claw, Scythe, Sabre...  Uh oh.  We stop at the wormhole.  Timmay reports a bubble.  (The Sabre.)  We are not getting back into wspace right now, so I fleetwarp us back to the station.  We dock and talk.  Timmay reports that they are sitting on the highsec hole.  They fire another bubble.  We cannot go in.  Their timing was suspiciously good; they may have eyes in our highsec local, and have seen us.  Our plan is to bore them and get them to leave.  So we decide to log off our characters at the station.  With none of us in local, eventually the enemy will get tired of nothing and leave.  Anyway, that is our hope.

So, we all log off our guys in Itties.  Hiljah has real life chores to do, and goes AFK.  The rest of us sit there.  The enemy sits on the wormhole for a minute.  Five minutes.  Then they warp, and come into C4b on grid with me.  And they sit on that wormhole for a while.  Obviously they realize that trapping people on a highsec wormhole is unlikely to get them anything much by way of kills.  We would just back out.  If they caught us here, by contrast, they'd kill us easily.  But of course they won't, since we won't come here, since I am watching.  (This is why you keep eyes on, while doing logistics.)

Jayne bets me that they are from nullsec.  I bet wspace.  I check them; all the same corp.  And... hmm, I was wrong.  They definitely look nullsec.  I warp offgrid to find the local tower.  I want to make sure they are not from here.  I get to the right planet, then dscan the moons and find the right one.  I warp.  The owner is not related to the enemy.  OK, that's good to know.  And we know there is no other way into this system.  So they must be from the C3's nullsec static.

After 10 minutes of watching, they decide to head back into C3.  They go to sit on the highsec again.  I have Tim fly to the two wormholes we had left unexplored.  If it turns out we open a wormhole, perhaps it will bring in a third party who wants a scrap.  (Unlike us.)  Timmay flies to the first wormhole we have not scanned.  It is the nullsec static, as we expected from its low signature.  The enemy must have come from there.  Then Timmay flies to the other wormhole.  It turns out to be another K162 from highsec.  Hmm... maybe they came from here.  Or maybe we can use it, if it happens to come out close to the station we are logged-off in.

I don't really want Tim going out to check, because I want him to keep eyes on the enemy.  And he may get jumped coming back in, and I have more experience with that.  So I tell him to watch the nullsec wormhole.  (He keeps an "eye" on the enemy at the highsec entrance via dscan.)  I enter C3 and warp to the newly found highsec.  I exit.  It comes out in Metropolis, 35 long jumps from the other station.  Well, so much for that idea.

I orbit the wormhole for five minutes just to be safe, letting my polarization abate.  I rename my ship, just in case they are alertly dscanning, so they don't know I am the same guy as left.  Then I enter; nobody is there.  I decide to shake things up a little.  Perhaps just seeing some probes would spook them, or at least get them interested in one of the wormholes other than ours.

So,  then fly to a random moon near the local tower, and deploy probes.  (If they manage to locate me on dscan, they may think I am local.)  I push around probes, verifying all of our previously marked sigs.  Soon I notice that there is sig we did not scan down.  Either we missed it, or it is new.  I scan it: wormhole.  I fly to it at a safe range.  It is a second nullsec.  While I am pondering that, I see the Rapier at it.  Hmm.  It looks like we were wrong: the nullsec Timmay is sitting at is not where they are from.  They are probably from here.

I stay at this wormhole, and tell Timmay to go to the highsec to watch the enemy there.  The enemy remains there, and I finish scanning down the system.  I find one more gas site which Jayne found earlier but did not scan down completely.  I do scan it down and bookmark it.

We are pretty much out of clever ideas.  The only thing left is waiting them out.  Since we want to get to bed, we are starting to think about coming in tomorrow morning.  We know we opened our own static.  It still has 12+ hours of life.  We think we opened the static in C4b.  And we might have opened the one in C3, or might not.  But in any case, there is a second highsec entry that might also last.  So, the chances are  good that a route in will exist tomorrow morning.  This might be what we are going to have to do.

Just as we are about to call it a night, I see an Iteron V on dscan.  Timmay reports it as being on grid with him, having entered the highsec wormhole.  The pilot is the same one as was flying the Crow, earlier.  I am pretty sure this is what we have been waiting for.  Obviously, the enemy are not just waiting for us.  They have been waiting for one of them to do something in highsec, most likely flying to Jita for supplies.  I expect to see them leave.  Sure enough, Tim reports they are warping.  I see them land on grid, and one by one, they exit back out into nullsec.

We don't know if they are coming back.  I tell everyone to log on their guys in the Itties at the station.  While we do that, I tell Tim to get into C4b at the C3/C4.  It is unlikely we will need him there, but we don't need him in C3 any more -- I have eyes on the enemy wormhole.  We get everyone on except Hiljah's guys; he is still AFK.  We will run without him.

We undock and fly to the wormhole.  And in.  Did we miss anyone from the null group?  A cloaky of some kind?  If they are sitting on their side of their null wormhole, and they have cloaked eyes in here, they can get a dictor in and to the C3/C4 wormhole before we get there.  Then they can bubble the other side.

Apparently not.  We warp without incident.  To C4b, then C4a, and our tower.  Whew.  There is more to transport, and though we might send it back, we'd all prefer to get it in and done with.  So we do two more runs before calling it a night.  All of this goes the way it normally does: smoothly, us not seeing a soul.


  1. THIS is why I loved that N110. You have one wormhole to jump. You can safely enter it even if you saw hostiles on dscan. You warp off, if they decloak and bubble/scram before the warp is complete, just jump back highsec. All they can do is anchor a bubble on the exit to grief you, but that still doesn't kill you, just locks you out.