Raking in the Sleeper ISK

20th May 2012 – 3.37 pm

A bookmark to an unopened wormhole awaits me today, as I cloak on the edge of our home w-space system. What else waits for me remains to be seen. As much as I'd like to jump ahead and look for targets to stalk I've spent enough time in w-space to know that circumstances can change at any moment. It may not matter for my plan to roam cloaked through the constellation, but it would be good to know if there are any new connections opened in to the system before I go on my way.

I launch probes and blanket the home system, revealing two signatures I can't account for. They're not exciting or troublesome, though, just a pair of new sites holding rocks and gas, which should mean the unopened wormhole remains that way. But not for much longer, as my scanning gives me the green light to explore. However, before I get my ship pointed towards the wormhole my glorious leader makes a reappearance. Wicked Fin tempts me to mine some rocks, which I am able to resist despite her silver tongue, but our isolated system presents us with another good opportunity to make some iskies from the indigenous population.

Our static wormhole remains unvisited and unopened. We swap covert Tengu strategic cruisers for rather more overt ones, bristling with missile launchers and ballistic control systems, and warp off to engage Sleepers in what should be relatively safe conditions. We've done this only recently, so get in to a decent groove in the first site. Even so, a well-practiced act can still go awry. Almost at the end of the first anomaly, Fin takes an unscheduled break, leaving me alone with a pair of Sleeper battleships.

I wouldn't normally worry about being alone in w-space, but in this case the modules that are repairing my Tengu's shields, and ultimately keeping me intact, are on Fin's ship. With her gone, I am relying solely on the shields' passive recharge rate to keep them healthy, which is pretty minimal. Well, I say that, but there are tricks that can mitigate damage, which can be equivalent to repairing a greater amount of damage in some situations. For a start, the first battleship is almost destroyed, so I chip away at its hull until it explodes, which drops the damage I'm taking by half. That's not really mitigating damage as much as directly removing the threat.

But by now holding a tight orbit around the remaining battleship I can reduce its gun damage to almost nothing, as it can't track me too well at this range, and its missile damage to manageable levels, as my speed is kept high. It's not long before Fin returns, warping in to rejoin me in the anomaly. What shield damage I've taken is repaired and the final battleship, taking double the number of hits now, pops to clear the first site. Onwards!

The second site holds no surprises for us, but the third moves us back in to the bloom of doom. So much blueness, it burns! And it looks to be burning Fin's shields as well, which is troublesome, her white turning to red with little my remote shield repair module can do about it. Ah, I see the problem. Our speed is low, my reheat isn't on, so we are taking full damage from this nasty second wave of Sleepers. Thanks, bloom of doom, for obscuring the activation light. I get the reheat working and—zoom—we're away.

Three anomalies are cleared, we're still alive, and d-scan remains clear. All looks good to salvage. We break out the Noctes and start sweeping loot in to our holds, although I'm not quite expecting the haul of salvage that we recovered last time. Sure enough, it doesn't look like we're getting it either, as I bring back a paltry handful of the expensive melted nanoribbons in my hold. Fin, however, hits the jackpot, and our combined loot is exactly what we salvaged from our previous outing. Safely bringing home four hundred million ISK in profit from three sites is an excellent result for the evening.

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