Mining interrupted by Sleepers

29th January 2010 – 5.23 pm

There are a couple of corporation capsuleers at the w-space tower, but not enough to attack Sleeper sites. One of the pilots is happy to find a gravimetric site and shoot rocks, which is a good plan given the pleasant company. Unfortunately, he cannot use the Tech II mining crystals in the borrowed Hulk, and we are shy of the Tech I versions to refit the exhumer. Instead, he borrows Fido, my Retriever mining barge, as he probably has better mining skills than me, although that's not saying much. Mining drones have better mining skills than me. I instead offer to act as muscle in a Drake in case Sleepers crash our party, which they inevitably do.

Standard rat ship threat management doesn't work in the same way against Sleepers, as they protect their assets as much as engage combat ships. Although I try to divide my launcher fire between the incoming frigates to keep their attention on my battlecruiser, the Sleepers take exception to the Retriever shooting what they consider to be their rocks and change targets. I call a warning, but am not sure if it is heard or not. Mining barges take an age to align for warp, and it can be difficult to detect the hint of one turning. I am glad to see Fido finally fleeing to the tower, thankfully in one piece, where the pilot swaps ships. He comes back with the big guns, a Raven menacingly swooping down to show the Sleepers who is in charge in this system. The frigates don't last much longer.

I ask about Fido's health, as he seemed to be under fire for a while and has all the defences of a mining barge. I suppress a startled squeak when I find out he was knocked down to 81% structure, probably only warping away with seconds to spare. But I can pilot a Guardian. A quick swap of fittings gives my logistics ship a remote hull repair module alongside the standard modules for armour. I fly out of the tower's shields to meet the Retriever, repairing all damage in only a couple of repping cycles, after which Fido heads off to continue mining. I grab a Catalyst and salvage the little profit from the frigates, before shuttling the ore back to the tower in my Crane.

Our colleague, meanwhile, has started scanning for an exit to New Eden, to resupply us with mining crystals and various other fittings we could use. But he stumbles in to a large, unoccupied system rife with signatures to resolve. I leave him to it.

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