'Are we dead yet?' Apparently not, as the K162 in the home system leads to neighbours that are blue to us, and so supposedly allies. But they have seen some Ducks about, which are rather more threatening in space than ponds, and have a scout or two wandering around seeing if they can set up some bait to catch them. Apart from that, Fin's not sure if we have a plan beyond to do what we normally do. 'We could collapse both wormholes', I suggest, which would isolate ourselves from the threat of the ducks and let us actually do what we normally do. And although it would collapse the blues' static connection, it would also give them a new wormhole that would offer better opportunity than simply linking to our dull system.
The motion is carried, and we both jump in to a Widow black ops ship each. The mass already passed through either wormhole is unknown, and the Widows will give us a finer estimation of when the connections destabilise to half-mass, which should help us crash the wormholes without getting isolated. The only problem appears to be with the blues, who aren't too happy with us collapsing the wormholes. That's too bad, as it is our prerogative to keep our w-space system isolated, and although they have free passage when connected to us our relationship doesn't give them any special dispensation to dictate our operations.
Of course, we give them notice of what we are doing, along with time to recall their scouts. We're not unreasonable, and aren't out to ruin their evening. We just want to enjoy ours. So it is a bit awkward when, on one trip with an Orca in to the C4—which looks unchanged from ten months ago, according to a rough look with my directional scanner—I get a conversation request from one of the blues. He tells me not to collapse the wormhole, and after I assure him that we are letting their pilots get home, and that I am working with Fin, he simply closes the channel without acknowledgement.
It seems that the blues aren't brusque to the point of being rude to just me. Fin goes quiet for a couple of minutes at a time, no doubt communicating with these wankers, even once the last of their fleet returns home and we finally get to kill the wormholes. She tells me that their plan was based around having a Falcon recon ship in their fleet and then adding some heavy-hitting ships for damage, but refusing to allow a stealth bomber to join their plan-less attack. The amateurish approach, boorish communications, and general unfriendliness of the blues has tainted our evening. I dread to think what could have come of it had we kept the wormholes open.
We need to put the unpleasant encounter behind us. Rather than explore beyond the new static wormhole—although I scan for and resolve it, to ensure that it is indeed the only new signature—we decide to make some profit from the building anomalies in the home system. We stow our current ships and board Sleeper Tengu strategic cruisers, make sure they are ready, and warp out to take out some frustration on w-space drones.
All goes well, and without drama, until the third anomaly. But the drama is slight and limited to Fin's end, when she accidentally lingers over the launcher controls long enough for the information bubble to appear, which catches her a little off-guard. Thankfully, it isn't actually a ship coming to kill us again, although such short, sharp shocks to the system keep us on our toes and remind us to update d-scan often.
By the end of the third anomaly Fin is affected by another quirk. Without any Sleepers webbing her ship, the Tengu is slowed to a virtual crawl, reduced to under 50 m/s, an order of magnitude slower than normal and enough for her to be dragged out of remote-repair range. It's no fuss for me to turn around and get us back in range, and the incoming Sleeper damage is nothing to be concerned about by this stage, but it is still curious and frustrating. Luckily, clearing three anomalies is my limit tonight, so rather than work out what's happening we warp back to the tower and hope that powering-down the Tengu for the night will see it functioning properly again the next time we use it.
Our Noctis salvagers don't suffer strange effects when sweeping up all the wrecks we created. In fact, the salvaging modules seem to be working quite well, as I reap a good haul from the first site alone, and enough to make me drop it back at the tower before moving to the second site. We may not be at much risk from an ambush, but there's no point carrying 150 Miskies between sites in an industrial ship when in the home system. The other two sites don't recover quite as much in profit, but it is still a good result. And we don't get ambushed, which is also good. We both get home and combine our loot for a decent 350 Miskie profit, which lets us end the evening feeling positive.