Monday, August 25, 2014

A Sidewalk Twenty

It's evening.  I am out exploring in my Manticore.  I've explored out into highsec, straight down from my home system with no branches.  I am not ready to quit yet, and there are five signatures in this system.  I'll scan them down and see if any are wormholes.

As it turns out, all of them are.  In addition to C3a, which I came out of, there are connections to C2a, C3b, C3c, and C1a (though this one is EOL).

I poke into the EOL wormhole first, since it is most time-sensitive.  (I am not much concerned with the wormhole evaporating since (a) I won't be in long unless there is a target, (b) I have a highsec, and (c) it is a C1.)  A quick fly-around shows there is nothing here beyond a tower.  I quickly fly back out.

Next I poke into C2a.  I see probes and a Magnate from the wormhole, and no tower.  This is interesting.  I move off the wormhole and cloak, and attempt to figure out where the Magnate is.  It is evidently out in space somewhere I cannot get at.  I warp around to look for towers, and to launch my own probes out of range of the Magnate.  When I am done with that, I return to the highsec wormhole.  The Magnate has gone.  I warp around again, but it has moved on.  I scan down the system, hoping that it has gone deeper into wspace and may be returning this way.  There are five wormholes, but all but one go known space: two lowsecs, my highsec (one of the statics), a nullsec.

The last wormhole is a second C2, but it is EOL.  I go in for a quick look around, but the Magnate is not here, or at least if it is it is cloaked and not scanning.  OK, I give up on this direction.  I head back out.  As I exit into highsec, there is a Hawk at the wormhole.  I hold gate cloak, and strangely it enters the wormhole without even finding out who and what I am.  But anyway, onward.

I head into C3b for a look around.  Lots of sigs.  This one has no tower and a nullsec exit.  Boring.  Back to highsec.

Now my last chance for action uphill from my highsec exit system.  Into C3a.  This one has an nothing going on, but there is a further wormhole to explore.  It's a C4 system, and in I go.  I scan from the wormhole as I always do.
Something here is off.

Whoa.  Did you see it?  If not look again.

There's a tower with CHA and SMA.  But something's missing.  No force field.  Yes: a bare tower with goodies waiting to be plucked.  Or else... a trap.

There's a good economics joke in this vein.  Two economists are walking down the street, when suddenly the first one points and says, "Hey look.  A $20 bill on the sidewalk."  The second economist says, "Nah, impossible.  If there were, someone would have already picked it up."

I am mindful of the possibility that it is a trap, but this is easily discovered.  I start looking for the tower.  First its planet, which I warp to.  Then it's a matter of picking the right moon.

As I narrow-band dscan for it, I am starting to think of how I might deal with a potentially very large amount of loot.  As we learned last time we sacked a naked tower, there is potential to get a lot of ships.  So, having an Orca can be very nice.  Particularly if there are ships you can't fly.  (I still can't fly the majority of T2 ships.)

I am considering bringing my alt down from Jita in his Orca.  It would be a long trip... but just as I do this, Jayne logs in for his nightly PI.  Now, that is good timing.  Also it turns out Jeedmo, who has been online but very quiet, is active too.  So now we have a decent force of characters to safely pull off moving an Orca in and out of wspace twice.

By this time I have located the tower, and flown to it at 20km.  It is not online (as it must be if it was a trap).  So, yes.  We got ourselves a sidewalk twenty.  Now, time to pick it up.

We get on coms, and I tell them what's up.  I don't want to kill it yet, on the off chance that someone comes by.  Instead I want to get an Orca ready first.  We are going to move down our Orca from our POS in wspace, but then Jayne's alt sees that pesky Hawk down in C2a.  I am not really keen to move an Orca around with it flapping about.  Shall I bring down my Jita alt?

No, says Jayne.  He can just buy a new Orca out in highsec.  Highsec: wow.  It's full of stuff that you can buy.  Jayne finds a nice Orca just three jumps from us at some minor hub, for only about 30m ISK more than Jita price.  We'll take it!  He also buys a modest fitting for it: some stabs, some shield tank, and a cloak.  Then he heads out to us.

Meanwhile, I am scanning down the system to see what other entrances there might be.  (And also to activate all the things -- it is a C4.)  There are no other wormholes.  Well, that's easy.  Jeedmo comes in to picket the C4 entrance.  Jayne is picketing the C3a->hs wormhole with his main.  And his alt has the Orca coming.

Now it is time to kill stuff.  I start with the SMA.
I want lots of ships
Killing it takes a bit more work than I had anticipated: I use more than a full load of Scourge torps.  But it dies soon enough.  I am very disappointed to see an empty wreck.  Nothing dropped.  It turns out to have held only a single Bestower.  (You can't see that in the zkillboard, but I can in game.  The Bestower was T2 fit and carrying six warp disruption batteries, hence the 40m valuation.)

Jayne is ready to come in, so I tell him to do so.  There has got to be something in this corporate hangar array.  Right?
I want lots of loot

I kill it, and sure enough I get something.  Three jetcans.  Hardly a full load, but a quick look shows substantial value.  And it all fits in an Orca.  I bookmark a can.

Jayne enters a minute later and warps to the can.  He grabs it all, turns, and flies right back out.  I go out ahead of him on the offchance someone is there, but we know they aren't.  And they aren't.

Loot.  OK, not $20 worth.
Out in highsec Jayne takes the Orca to a station, and contracts it to my Jita alt.  Job well done.


  1. I am sure that there must be something hard about living in wormhole space. The number of POS that go offline is ... to many