Returning to a cold embrace

24th February 2014 – 5.15 pm

Relics, gas, and a second wormhole. Which will give me the most excitement? Call it a hunch, but I'll try the K162 from class 5 w-space over the gas. Ah crap, I was right, but I wasn't really expecting to see a fleet waiting for me. Two Legion strategic cruisers, a Proteus strategic cruiser, a Tengu strategic cruiser, and an Onyx heavy interdictor are all lurking on the wormhole, the wormhole whose locus I'm less than two kilometres from.

Fleet waiting on a wormhole in C5 w-space

I have a minute or so to consider my options. I could bail out, head back home, and hope to get clear. But I rarely like that option, as it forces polarisation effects on myself and gives me a single chance to evade capture. I also feel that fleets kinda expect people to run, and are focussed on the wormhole themselves. It's probably best to try to get clear on this side and wait, either for polarisation to end or longer, for the fleet to get bored.

My preferred method for moving away from a wormhole is to select it on my overview and use the option to 'keep at distance', where the distance is significantly greater than any escape attempt needs to be. My choice is sixty-five kilometres. This has the advantage of pushing my ship directly away from the wormhole and thus minimising the distance needed to cover before my cloak can be activated. The disadvantage is that I'm generally not aimed towards a celestial object I can warp to. But I'm okay with that, as jinking after cloaking is desirable anyway.

So I move, pulsing my micro warp drive, and—yes, I manage to cloak my Loki strategic cruiser, having covered 800 metres without being targeted. Nothing too agile is on the wormhole with me, so I am in the clear, but, again as a precaution, and as a third Legion drops on to the wormhole, I warp away. And I warp back at range, letting me keep an eye on the wormhole and any movements.

Evading the fleet on the wormhole

The fleet sits and waits on the wormhole. I sit and wait far from the wormhole, and I check my directional scanner. Four towers are in range, plus a couple of extra ships, nothing especially interesting, particularly as they already appear to have enough. Or maybe they don't. I got away, after all. Of course, that's assuming they're actively waiting for me, and it's awfully coincidental that they were formed on the wormhole a minute after I came on-line. Still, even if they aren't after me in particular, I don't know many fleets that would ignore a secondary target.

There are no jumps so far, just circling, waiting. At this point I would normally warp away to launch probes, but the idiot scanner shows me just the one signature, just the one way to go. I probably have a wait on my hands. And in warps a second Proteus, because six strategic cruisers and a HIC sometimes just aren't enough. Mind you, one warps away from the wormhole. The same one? I dunno, I'm not paying that much attention.

A Legion leaves the grid too, and still I sit 250 km from the wormhole, waiting for my opportunity to leave. Someone's got to get bored at some point, and I've got nothing better to do. I've been in similar positions before too, so I'm not exactly worried. I'll just spend the night here if it comes to it, and that would give me an obvious start to an adventure tomorrow.

Do I really have a free way home?

Hello, I'm told I have a free route home. Do I really, Mr Proteus? I would like to believe you, but the fleet loitering on the wormhole is still not a welcoming sign. Then again, spying the wormhole crackle with a transit—from this distance that's quite impressive, even if I say so myself—and seeing a Viator transport jump through suggests that the fleet are merely waiting for a colleague or two to come home safely. Maybe I do have a free path home.

Viator returns to class 5 w-space

The waiting fleet is now down to two Legions and a Proteus. It seems like a good time to test the Proteus's promise. I warp in close, get a clear path to the wormhole, approach, and jump. Done. No problems. No one follows, nothing waits for me on the other side, and I move and cloak easily enough. And with me out of the system and their Viator returned, the C5 fleet starts collapsing the wormhole, just as Aii arrives. I give him a sitrep as big ships are pushed through the wormhole, and what's this? It's the glorious return of Fin!

Massive ships start crashing their connection to our system

I finish my sitrep and welcome Fin back to w-space, but apparently our timings are a bit off. I finish explaining my daring escape from the C5, embellishing it rather so that it comes across more of an escape and less a simple, unthreatened jump through a wormhole, as Fin decloaks near the K162 to engage an Orca industrial command ship being used to crash the wormhole. It seems the staggered arrivals of my colleagues means Fin missed the part of my sitrep where I mentioned the waiting fleet and its composition.

Fin caught by the fleet I avoided

Of course, the Orca isn't by itself. As soon as Fin's Loki appears so does the support fleet. Fin is tackled, webbed, trapped. More ships jump through to start applying damage, and two HICs appear to ensure Fin's pod doesn't get away either. Fin had the right idea, just the wrong time. I also would have made it much clearer that attacking would be a bad option had I an inkling that Fin was considering doing so. Sometimes circumstances get the better of you. So it is that Fin's Loki gets the crap blown out of it, and her pod is ripped apart to send my glorious leader back to a clone vat in empire space, minutes after her return to w-space. Um, welcome back, Fin?

  1. 5 Responses to “Returning to a cold embrace”

  2. Interesting to see that your way of handling a situation on a hole is just like mine. Either we are on to something or both equally stoopid.

    As for Fins misfortune: a good tip is to always report threats first, changes second and what has happened last.

    Good enjoyable post this. :D

    By Akely on Feb 24, 2014

  3. excuse me for saying so, but that was comedy gold!

    By pt on Feb 24, 2014

  4. Had some laughs while reading it :)

    By Namestnik on Feb 25, 2014

  5. Always a pleasure to provide some entertainment.

    Akely, if we're both using similar wormhole tactics, I'm going to assume it means we're on to something.

    Reporting threats first is a solid idea. My confusion came mostly from two pilots logging on so close together in time. That's my excuse, anyway.

    By pjharvey on Feb 25, 2014

  6. That is a normal tactic.
    The best is to sit in front of them cloaked and wait with an cup of coffee.

    By Kira Hhallas on Feb 26, 2014

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