Everyone's here already, but I'm told our neighbouring system is boring. The class 3 w-space system has four anomalies, one ladar gas harvesting site, and a static exit to low-sec empire space. There is a tower, too, but no activity. Sounds okay to me, we can make some iskies to replenish our wallets after the recent losses. We all have strategic cruisers we can use. I have my Tengu, Mick can use missing Mak's Loki, and Fin can pilot Riyu's Tengu. At least, she can once she works out its fitting.
Loki and Tengu jump in to the C3 to start the evening's Sleeper combat, Fin following in behind when comfortable, and we settle in to a comfortable groove. Fin and I have been fighting C3 Sleepers for a while and the anomalies are quite familiar, and adding a third pilot makes each site pass more quickly. Before we know it all four anomalies are behind us with only wrecks left in them, and not wrecks of our own ships this time. It's time to salvage.
Only Fin and I are able to salvage, as our niche skill training has seen us fit all our salvaging ships, Noctes and destroyers alike, with Tech II salvager modules, which Mick cannot use. But that's okay, his Loki can be used to guard us as we sweep up. We're not expecting trouble, but few capsuleers do. We whizz through the sites, collecting loot and salvage, and return home safely with a healthy two hundred and twenty million iskies in profit. Now we can collapse our static wormhole and start again.
Collapsing our wormhole is straightforward this time, Orca industrial command ship and Widow black ops ship combining with the incidental passage of the strategic cruisers and Noctis salvagers to cause the connection to disappear with no additional nudging. The home system is scanned, the new wormhole resolved, and we are jumping in to another class 3 w-space system. And this time there is activity, not because there is a tower and ships visible on the directional scanner, but because of the Sleeper wrecks I can see.
The tower here is easy to find, it being anchored to the sole moon around one of the planets, and warping there lets me quickly tell that there are two active pilots. A Drake battlecruiser and Hyperion battleship are on d-scan but not local to the tower, making them busy fighting Sleepers. I start a passive scan and see five anomalies nearby, one of which looks to have the two ships in it. I warp in at range, narrowly missing a rather large rock, to see the Hyperion shooting Sleepers but the Drake gone. He's back at the tower, it seems, switching to a Raven battleship before rejoining the Hyperion.
I don't see the Raven come back to the anomaly, as I am already warping homewards, fresh wreck bookmark in my nav-comp, as Fin readies her Legion stragetic cruiser. The Legion is one of our pair, and I board the second when I get back to the tower, getting ready to disturb the capsuleers' combat with some of our own. We are both well aware of the loss of two strategic cruisers within the past couple of days, but we are ready to jump right back in and risk it again. The Raven is called the primary target and we warp to our static wormhole in preparation for the strike.
Fin holds on the wormhole and I jump in, checking d-scan to confirm the ships are still in the anomaly before fully committing. The Hyperion is there, the Raven pilot is not. One battleship is enough of a target and I call Fin in, at which point I warp us both to the Hyperion's position. Systems are hot, temperatures are rising, our Legions are about to get their first proper fight. But dropping out of warp only sees Sleepers, the Hyperion gone from the anomaly too. Whether he saw us coming or is swapping ships again isn't clear. We hold for a while, hoping the Raven is warping back in and can't stop, but no one comes.
There may be no capsuleers here but the Sleepers have taken exception to our interruption, incoming fire forcing us out of the anomaly for self-preservation. It is also a good indicator that perhaps we have compromised the tank on the Legion a little too much if we are expecting to fight other capsuleers amongst Sleepers, as the w-space denizens seem to pick on newcomers more often than not. At least we learn this in what turns out to be a benign test, and can harden our systems for future use.
Back at the K162 leading home we don't jump out, merely loiter and keep an eye on d-scan. The two pilots clearly have noticed our presence and are not returning to the anomaly. Nor are they changing ships, either to meet our strategic cruisers or scan for the connection. We may as well finish what they started. Fin holds on the wormhole and I jump home, stowing the Legion to board my Tengu, getting back to the C3 as Fin jumps home to do the same. Warping in to the anomaly sees it despawned, though, for whatever reason, leaving nothing but wrecks. And the two pilots appear to have given up on home defence and simply logged off.
Instead of her Tengu Fin first brings a Cormorant destroyer to loot and salvage the wrecks the locals have left behind. Mick comes in to scan, finding an extra anomaly, leaving five active in the system now, and a ladar site to accompany the static wormhole. We were looking for more to do and, despite missing the juicier targets, we now have more to do. Rather than be satisified with the remains of this one anomaly, and with the local pilots gone, there are five more anomalies for us to profit on.
Back in to a Loki and two Tengu configuration we bounce from anomaly to anomaly, leaving smouldering Sleeper wrecks in our wake. The anomalies are more varied in this C3 than the two pairs in the previous, and we get the joy of having a single frigate web, scram, and neutralise our ships, whilst being the trigger of the first wave in a Solar Cell. But it's a minor inconvenience, at least as long as we aren't interrupted, and we are quick enough to sweep through all five anomalies, leaving the locals with nothing for their return.
Salvaging the C3 is again a simple affair with two Noctes. We feel safe enough bringing them in, not seeing any kind of resistance from the locals in the form of cloaked ships or any new pilots. Mick even stops guarding us and tries to refit one of our stolen destroyers with recovered salvager modules, being able to scrape together a suitable ship to help with the odd anomaly. A further three hundred and fifty million ISK is brought home, putting our total for the evening above half-a-billion ISK. That should help pay for some replacement ships.
We are becoming a little menace, in our own way. I remember being equally intimidated when powerful or skill-intensive ships intruded in to our old w-space homes looking for a fight, and the time was when I would hide in the shields and hope they went away. It never occurred to me back then that putting up a struggle may actually turn the tables, although little by little we overcame our carebear tendencies to grow more experienced and daring. It's good to notice the changes too, the path we've taken and hurdles overcome. Remembering who we once were helps cope with the losses, as much as celebrate the wins.