So much for my not expecting to find anything. Mick takes a better look around the class 5 system in today's w-space constellation and gets a second interesting signature, a K162 coming in from deadly class 6 w-space. He saw a Broadsword heavy interdictor sitting on the wormhole but it's gone now, which is good, as I could make use of that connection for my picture library. But although the HIC is not to be seen the battleships coming and going would indicate the C6 occupants are looking to collapse the wormhole. I warp across to the C5 and see that the wormhole is still healthily above half its mass allowance, and I feel safe enough in my Buzzard covert operations boat to jump in to the C6 for a quick picture taking opportunity.
That's a curious circumstance. The wormhole drops to half-mass when I jump through to the C6, which isn't impossible for my frigate hull to trigger but it seems unlikely. Even so, I only need to take a couple of quick pictures whilst my session change cloak holds and jump back again, and all will be well. The Loki strategic cruiser lurking nearby doesn't even faze me, as there is nothing he can do as long as I don't break the session change cloak. Snap, snap, I get a couple of pictures to represent this class of wormhole leading from C6 to C5 w-space and, with the session change timer expired, am safe to head back. I break my cloak and jump through the, er, I jump through... Oh. The wormhole's not there.
It looks like the wormhole is there, but my nav-comp is telling me it isn't. I try again to jump out of the C6, but now the wormhole really isn't there. And as the newly appeared Revelation swallows up my external view I begin to make sense of what is happening. My Buzzard didn't destabilise the wormhole, the dreadnought jumping out did, we just happened to transit at the same time, making only the single flare. The Revelation jumped home before me, only interested in collapsing the wormhole and not taking pretty pictures, so although an after-image of the wormhole glowed for a few seconds there was no exit in the C5 for me to pass through. I'm isolated.
I'm isolated and careering towards a dreadnought. My normal procedure for jumping back through a wormhole is to approach it, which breaks the cloak, and jump. I've not really worked out what to do when the wormhole collapses the very moment I am trying to jump, and I would hope for a lower-pressure situation in which to work it out. When I couldn't jump this time I at least had the presence of mind to re-activate my cloak, but my movement has pushed me closer to the returned Revelation, close enough to break my cloak again. I now have several ships breathing down my neck, no escape route, and no cloak. The Loki has me targeted and is disrupting my warp engines, and if not being able to warp or cloak is bad enough he has also started shooting me, the cad.
I regain my composure, impressively so, if I say so myself, and stop floundering like a fish out of water. I point my Buzzard towards a celestial object, align towards it, and hit the reheat. My shields are dropping but I'm pulling away from the strategic cruiser, and the dreadnought and whatever else is around me are barely scratching my defences. I'm out to eighteen kilometres, nineteen kilometres, easily outpacing any pursuers and seconds away from being able to warp to safety, all the time spamming the 'warp' button to get me out of there the moment I'm clear. But it only takes one well-placed volley to disintegrate my armour and hull in an instant, and my pod is thrown in to space. The locals didn't even need that Dramiel frigate to keep me from escaping, it dropping out of warp moments before the explosion.
My pod gets clear. I was aligned and still hitting 'warp'. But I don't have much option now. The locals realise this as much as I do, asking 'what are you going to do now in your pod?' Die, I suppose, I reply, setting the self-destruct option. I have no means for exiting this system, or w-space in general, and waiting for rescue could take a week of sitting around doing nothing. I have a clone waiting to be woken up, I may as well make use of it, preferring the saving in time over the ISK cost in replacement implants. And that's when I get an offer I find perversely attractive.
I'm dead anyway, I'd rather go out in style. And there can't be many more stupefying deaths than being podded solely by a Revelation. I'm game. I warp to the chosen planet and am a little offended that the locals drop the Broadsword on me first, but he is sent away again soon enough to leave just me and the Revelation. I try to do what damage I can in my pod, which turns out to be none, and I feel the force of a full broadside from a dreadnought's lasers on my pod. It's quite invigorating, but perhaps only worth experiencing the one time.
My new clone—me, I suppose—has some shopping to do. First for another clone, and second for a shuttle, because for some reason I no longer have a pod. I didn't realise this when I binned the Ibis rookie frigate, apparently not the worthless piece of scrap I usually take it for. I can't get the couple of jumps to Jita without a pod or a ship, and I don't have either. I buy the cheapest shuttle I can, which is a few hundred percent above the market price to sting capsuleers like me, causing Fin to put the seller on a 'kill on sight' list. But once in my shuttle I have a new pod, and I get to Jita, buy new implants to make me smart again, and look for a new Buzzard. We have spare ships at the tower but those are for w-space accident and recovery, and as I have the convenience of being at the market it makes sense to take a complete new ship back with me.
It's not long before I am zooming through empire space again, and my earlier scanning found and bookmarked the exit from our neigbouring C3, giving me an immediate route home. And once home, we form a fleet to make back some of the ISK my misfortune lost us this evening. One anomaly in the C3 is cleared, with my Golem marauder and Mick and Fin in Tengus, then back for a magnetometric site in our C4 pulsar home, where I join the other two in a third Tengu configured for remote repair. Not entirely sure of our capability, we first head to a standard anomaly we're confident of completing, and obliterate the Sleepers soundly enough to then warp directly to the magnetometric site and clear that without any concerns too.
Fin and I get to use our Noctis salvagers again, for the first time in a while. My Golem has closed down that little avenue of pleasure, although the marauder has undeniably made collecting loot safer. I've almost forgotten how to pilot a Noctis, though, and it takes me a few wrecks to get back in to the swing of salvaging in one. But soon enough all the wrecks are looted and salvaged, and Mick has recovered the artefacts from the magnetometric site, and we're counting our profit. Totting up the goodies from each site, we bring back around four hundred million iskies of Sleeper loot, which covers my costs and gives us more to bank. All in all, it's been quite an evening.