Oracles for two

27th January 2012 – 5.55 pm

Home is empty, without even a glorious leader in sight. A new signature tries to keep me company but I don't want to waste time shooting rocks. Let's see what else is out there in w-space today. A single canister is visible on my directional scanner in our neighbouring class 3 system, with my notes from eight months ago suggesting a tower may be further afield. I launch probes and warp to the tower's listed position, finding it still there and orangified. It would be impressive to face the Drake battlecruiser, Abaddon battleship, Megathron battleship, Rifter frigate, Nemesis stealth bomber, and pair of Imicus frigates, if any of them held pilots, but no one's home.

My notes also tell me this C3 has a static exit to high-sec, which could be useful. We've been lucky recently with some good connections. Then again, with two more wormholes amongst the six anomalies and five signatures here we may not want to risk a logistics run with some vulnerable ships. Along with resolving the exit to high-sec empire space, I find the signature NIL to be a K162 from null-sec k-space, which is so close, w-space overseers, but still wrong, and an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space, sadly reaching the end of its natural lifetime.

I pop out to high-sec, appearing in the cosy-sounding Bleak Lands, looking to be far from anywhere, before returning to C3a and poking my nose through the dying wormhole to C3b. I see an off-line tower and nothing else, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system as I warp away to look for occupation manually. I find a tower with an Orca inside its shields, but the industrial command ship, the only ship my combat probes detect in the system, is unpiloted. There's nothing for me here to risk a circuitous trip home, so I jump back to C3 and out through the K162 from null-sec.

There's no one else in this null-sec system in the Querious region, so I launch probes and scan for more connections. Two extra signatures could be promising, but I resolve only two sites called Independence and Radiance, which are suitably cryptic names. I consider hopping across to high-sec to scan there, but my glorious leader has arrived and is planning a trek to Amarr for a new toy or two. I'm game. I head home, ditch my scanning boat, and warp pod-nekkid towards Domain.

The ships we are buying today are the new Oracle battlecruisers, a little late to the party but we're not really that hip anyway. And we're buying Amarr because the Caldari ship uses guns, and we can't use guns. Of course, the Oracle uses lasers, which are guns, but we kind of know how to use them because of tentative plans to fit in to a Revelation dreadnought. And we know a bit about projectile weapons because of equally tentative plans to sit in Loki strategic cruisers. But hybrid guns are a mystery. And so we buy and assemble yet another giant robot head that is typical of Amarrian engineering.

I name my Oracle the Almighty Tallest Purple, which has to be shortened to Tallest Purple because of futuristic naming restrictions on spaceships, and fit it with guns and upgrades according to Fin's wisdom. I know nothing of gunboats, this probably being my first proper one, and we head back home with some relatively cheap, low-mass damage machines. I get to the high-sec system holding the wormhole with Fin three jumps behind, which she thinks is 'situation normal'. I think she plans it, personally, letting me be her canary for danger.

Jumping in to w-space has the C3 remain clear, at least from any obvious signs of ships, which lets me warp to the nearest customs office to give my new boat a test-firing. Yep, the lasers work, that's a good sign. I'm only scratching the customs office, though, despite the quite impressive damage I seem to be inflicting. If we want to wreak any havoc on customs offices we'll need a few more of these ships and plenty of time on our hands. But for a test-fire a barn door is as good as anything, and I am happy to be shooting in a new ship for the first time in ages.