Back to where I belong

16th September 2009 – 5.05 pm

Building my second Drake from the BPC is straightforwards, and I am soon smashing a bottle of champagne across the bow of A Matter of Brevity. Although I have a fair journey ahead of me to install the battlecruiser in a more convenient system, at least it is a journey I only need to make once. Thereafter, I can pilot the much faster Crane between systems, choosing the closest Drake to each wormhole as they open.

Trundle, trundle, trundle through space I go. Or, rather, my auto-pilot goes, as I load Guitar Hero in my pod and become my drumming legend alter-ego for the half-hour trip. Time passes quickly enough and I dock in to the corporation's headquarters, satisfied that the plan is coming together nicely. All that's left is to find out the system of the current wormhole entrance and head there to join in with the Sleeper destruction derby. I ask for the location in the corporation channel. 'Haaj... Let me check.'

'If you say 'Haajinen' I'll bite your nose off', I spit back. I haven't just spent the past day manufacturing and fitting a Drake, then piloting it across several regions, only to be told that a wormhole has opened up in the system of my Lai Dai mission base, a system I describe as being in the 'middle of nowhere', and one I am now thirty jumps from after purposely trying to make myself more available.

'It is Haajinen.' I'm liable not to believe him, being the same chap who sabotages my Crane invention attempts by stealing datacores from installed jobs, or by sneaking his pet ferrets in to my laboratory to gnaw holes in the blueprints. But he is also oblivious enough most of the time that he could be telling the truth. Even if he is lying, the worst that happens is I end up back at my mission base with my primary Drake, so I leave A Matter of Brevity behind and start the long journey back.

Of course, having piloted the Drake down to corporation HQ means I don't have my fast Crane to fly back, but a pod is still quicker than a battlecruiser. A bit more drumming practice later and I am most of the way to Haajinen. I have the good sense to stop off and pick up my Crane from my manufacturing base, which also lets me buy replacement gang warfare links, missing from the tower after the theft, before getting back to Haajinen and Non-sentient Ship.

I fit the warfare link to my Drake and hit vacuum. Joining the fleet lets a colleague guide me to the wormhole, which we both jump through. I warp to another member of the fleet, ship systems warning me of the perimeter outpost I am entering, activate the warfare link once out of warp and start locking on to Sleeper targets. I'm back!

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