Buying a ship and leaving it docked

12th April 2012 – 5.29 pm

I need a new stealth bomber after recklessly losing it to obvious bait. Um, I mean, heroically protecting the home system from invaders intent on stealing gas that we were never going to harvest anyway. Buying a new Manticore shouldn't be a chore, though. All I have to do is hit the local trade hub, dock, and spend a couple of minutes draining our corporate wallet. Oh, wait, I'm in w-space, where nothing is ever easy and we have no market hubs or space stations. I suppose I'll be scanning.

Before I take my covert Tengu strategic cruiser out on a suicide run I'll check to see what the hostile fleet is up to now. I'm pretty sure I mentioned I only lost my Manticore a few minutes ago, to a fleet prepared to catch my Tengu and pod, and that they are still in the home system. I warp to my monitoring point in the fated ladar site to see the bait Moa cruiser continue to harvest gas—dangerous buggers sometimes, these industrialists—and a Hurricane battlecruiser pluck what few modules survived the explosion from my Manticore wreck. The other ships aren't here, but my directional scanner shows them still to be in the system.

I warp to the K162 from class 5 w-space that brought the fleet here, dropping nicely short to see the Sabre interdictor and Armageddon battleship, shortly followed by the looting Hurricane. As I watch, the Hurricane jumps back to his system, then the Sabre jumps back, then the Armageddon. A few minutes pass and the Helios covert operations boat appears and jumps to the C5. By my reckoning, that leaves the Moa and Manticore in the system, although the hostile stealth bomber could have returned home when I was looking in the other direction. I think it's time to scan.

I already have the location of our static wormhole, but everything beyond that remains unexplored. I send my Tengu to the C247 connection, with the Manticore appearing on and off d-scan, ordering a full stop when the ship appears in front of me at the wormhole. He jumps to the C3, and I foolishly follow a little too soon. Not soon enough to try to engage, or get caught, but soon enough to give away my position. Silly Penny, I expect I'll be coming home to a warm reception. Still, I'm here now, I may as well take a look around.

A tower and Onyx heavy interdictor are visible on d-scan in this C3, which could be a bad sign but for the Onyx turning out to be unpiloted inside the tower's force field. Apart from a wandering Manticore the system looks clear, so I launch probes and scan. A blanket scan of the system reveals no anomalies but ten signatures, and I whittle them down quickly enough to find a static exit to low-sec empire space and a K162 from class 2 w-space. Poking my totally cute nose in to the C2 sees nothing in range of d-scan from the wormhole, and although exploring the system reveals three towers there is no one apparently home.

Scanning this class 2 system couldn't be much easier, with five anomalies and only two signatures. The signatures will be the two static wormholes, and I passed through one of them to get here, so I only have to resolve one. It takes a JIF to do, the signature identifier guiding me to an exit to high-sec empire space. That's nifty, if it means I could get my replacement Manticore now. Wherever the exit leads, though, the hostile Manticore blips on d-scan as I jump through, so the C5ers probably know about this route too, making it somewhat less secure. But I end up in a system four hops from Dodixie—with cops on the wormhole even—and cannot resist the temptation to bring the replacement ship home within an hour of losing it.

Of course, I could also lose the replacement Manticore within an hour of losing the original, but that's not the point. The point is progress! Rather impetuously, I decide to buy the ship and its fittings now, with the plan to drop off my Tengu back at our tower and return to pick up the stealth bomber in my pod, somehow forgetting that plans involving w-space are as solid as the hard vacuum they're written on. The ship is bought, fittings are bought, and I head home through a clear class 2 and class 3 w-space system, before pausing to take a breath on our K162 and wondering what waits for me on the other side.

What's waiting for me is an Ishkur assault ship, Armageddon battleship and... Damnation command ship? Maybe they know me by reputation and hope to distract me with the spaceship equivalent of ponies, but it won't work. What might work is my appearing under two kilometres from the wormhole, but being a mere hundred metres short is nothing for a pulse of my micro warp drive. I move away, cloak, and check that the now-sweeping ships aren't getting close to me, as a Sabre warps in and inflates a warp bubble, soon joined by an Enyo assault ship. It's getting a little busy here so I warp away—whilst still in the bubble, ha ha!—and bounce back to the wormhole to see what happens next.

Whatever happens next doesn't really matter, I suppose. I'm not getting my replacement Manticore today. Even though the bomber has stealth in its name my pod does not, and I'd have to strip naked at our tower in order to bring the Manticore home, or else strand a different ship in Dodixie. The fleet will see my pod early enough to trap me with the Sabre, so that's no good, and swapping one ship for another isn't a good deal either. And the fleet won't just see my pod on d-scan. They've all moved away from the wormhole and, looking for them, I find them outside our tower. They're not shooting it, instead staying far enough away from our defences for them to remain safe whilst anchoring some warp bubbles presumably to make it difficult for me to get home.

Naturally, I watch this activity somewhat bemused from a safe spot outside of the tower. It's cute that they think I'll warp directly to the tower with a known hostile fleet in the system, that I have no indirect route to the tower via safe spots made in my own home system, that I wouldn't even think of bouncing off a planet or moon, that I am not communicating this to the rest of the corporation, and that they have a quaint notion that the tower is actually our base of operations. I give them props for commitment, setting up drag bubbles between our tower, the wormhole, and another spot I don't care to triangulate, but it's not going to catch me. I'm heading to a dark corner of ours system to go off-line and sleep.

  1. 2 Responses to “Buying a ship and leaving it docked”

  2. Some people would move on after getting a fight, but these guys are persistent aren't they.


    By Zandramus on Apr 13, 2012

  3. They didn't want to give up, that's for sure.

    By pjharvey on Apr 14, 2012

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