Stopping only to pick up and fit a new configuration for my Drake, as well as some warp stabilisers on the sensible suggestion from a colleague, I find myself on the border of low-sec space, heading back to w-space. My cloaked escort helps me get through the couple of low-sec systems without any threat and I am soon jumping through the wormhole to 'our' w-space system. It is good to be back and I am quite looking forwards to seeing how my new Drake set-up will work. I hope there are plenty of sleepers ready to be woken in to an agitated state. Indeed, it seems that a suitable site has been scanned and found already. My escort changes ships in to a Ferox battlecruiser, I change my fitting to replace the warp core stabilisers and install a remote shield repairer in a high slot for my Caldari companion, and we head off for adventure and profit.
Warping in to the scanned area we encounter a fairly standard perimeter site, with sleeper frigates and cruisers patrolling to repel intruders. The first wave poses little bother but when a battleship turns up with some more cruisers we warp out to take a little time to let our shields replenish. Warping back in creates a problem when a large and quite ugly rock gets in the way. Luckily, my on-board collision avoidance systems are working. I get pushed away violently from the rock and begin to re-engage the sleepers. My colleague isn't quite so lucky, however, as her Ferox snags on an outcropping. It seems more of an embarrassing annoyance than a hindrance until we want to warp out again owing to heavy incoming fire.
My Drake gets away cleanly and the shields get a chance to recharge nice and quickly with nothing draining them, but the Ferox is still stuck. Hearing this, I turn the Drake around to get back in to the sleeper site and provide covering fire, but the Drake is not particularly agile and I return to see a Ferox wreck and my colleague's pod floating alongside. The ugly rock is a harsh mistress. The pod warps back to the POS and with only my battlecruiser left to engage a sleeper battleship and two cruisers I turn tail and warp back out to a planet, at least to let my shields recharge further.
I am asked if I can at least get to the wreck of the Ferox to recover the cargo. I am happy to do this but mention that my hold is mostly full of missiles and will be unlikely to be able to carry much. I give it a go anyway and warp back in, a dozen kilometres away from the wreck. As I push through the profound emptiness of space that my battlecruiser manages to make feel like treacle, a smaller ship warps in and uses a tractor beam to pull the wreck towards it, my colleague wisely having commandeered a salvaging destroyer to recover what she can. However, the sleepers don't much like this and start shooting on the destroyer, so I lock-on and light up all my launchers to provide a more threatening target for them to focus on.
My diversionary tactics work and I am soon under fire from all three ships. Despite the battleship being the largest source of damage it will also take much longer to destroy compared to the cruisers. My experience tells me to reduce the number of sources of damage as quickly as possible, so I concentrate all my damage on one of the cruisers. The wrecked Ferox is salvaged and the destroyer safely warps away but as my shield is holding and the cruiser is almost destroyed my bravado, and curiosity about my capabilities, holds me to the battle. I bombard the second cruiser with missiles as my shield continues to deplete, not so quickly to present a significant threat but enough so that I align my ship to a planet in case I need to warp away in haste.
The second cruiser is destroyed, leaving only the battleship. I feel confident now and reload my launchers for a full onslaught on the remaining sleeper ship. I am bolstered by my shields not only holding but now steadily recharging under quite heavy fire from the battleship, my new fitting clearly working well. I change my ship's alignment from the planet and towards the battleship, closing the distance between us in the hopes of being able to use my drones to increase my DPS a little. But drones are not needed, as once the armour of the sleeper battleship is depleted its hull is rapidly ripped apart and the sleeper perimeter site is cleared.
All that remains is to clean up after ourselves, for which I jump in to salvaging destroyer to retrieve all the cargo from and salvage the sleeper wrecks. I am quite happy with the new tank on the Drake, as it took an awful lot of damage without failing and with much less management needed because of its entirely passive nature. The three-and-a-half million ISK or so that the shield amplifiers cost is ISK well spent. My only problem now is working out what to do with the spare capacitor charge the Drake has, all 99% of it. It seems like such a waste.