Finding an exit and more

3rd May 2010 – 5.32 pm

It is late and the system is quiet. I am thinking of resting for the night, but our stranded pilot asks nicely of no one in particular if a little time could be spent scanning. I am rather addicted to piloting spaceships and agree to help.

I find our third static wormhole of the day quickly enough, jumping in to an unoccupied system that soon reveals its own static wormhole. The next system is occupied but, apart from a single Drake, looks quiet. I resolve a low-sec exit to New Eden in the system, which at leads leads to empire space. Dropping out of warp, I see the Drake moving towards the wormhole too. He jumps, and I wait. I don't want to jump through too soon and alert him to my presence in the system. When I jump minute or so later I find that the system on the other side is only one hop from high-sec and, conveniently enough, only four jumps from where our stranded pilot popped out earlier. The low-sec system seems quiet enough and my colleague is happy to bring his battleship back in this way, so he starts making the journey.

Whilst waiting cloaked on the wormhole, the pod of the Drake pilot returns and jumps back in to w-space. This is interesting, but I can't catch a pod so pay it little mind. The Heron scanning frigate that jumps in to w-space is more tempting, as I follow it and engage, but he jumps back to low-sec and runs off. My colleague's Megathron turns up soon afterwards and I guide him home through the two w-space systems, noting the Scorpion battleship now on d-scan in the first system. Safely home and with a convenient exit my colleague heads out again to return another battleship that got stuck out in k-space when a different wormhole collapsed behind him a little while back. And although I'm sleepy I want to find out what this other pilot is up to.

I return to the occupied system and warp to the tower, the location of which I made a note of earlier. The capsuleer's pod returns again, the Scorpion no longer to be seen on d-scan, and a Rokh battleship is brought out of the ship array. It turns slowly as if it is aligning to warp, and is gone. I warp to the low-sec exit wormhole to confirm my suspicions, and he does indeed jump through. It looks like this pilot is moving ships out of w-space, and from earlier and combined intelligence he is parking them in a high-sec system. This means he is making at least one jump, which increases his journey time and means I can return to our tower to change to my Onyx heavy interdictor. Maybe I can snare his pod when it hopefully returns again.

My Buzzard is agile and fast, making the two jumps to our home system quick, and returning with the HIC is hardly slow. But even though I am racing a battleship on its way out only a pod is coming back, so I can't be slow. I park my Onyx on the low-sec exit, activate my warp bubble, and wait. With any luck, the capsuleer's pattern will continue, and he isn't selling the ships to pay for a strategic cruiser. The wormhole soon flares and I get my weapon systems hot. The capsuleer sensibly waits for the session change timer to elapse before making a dash back through the wormhole, and I follow the pod to catch it on the other side. What I didn't realise was that warp bubbles are not allowed in low-sec space, even those surrounding a HIC, so my efforts to activate the system fail. The pod can simply warp away, so I am a little surprised that he doesn't. Instead, he opens a conversation.

I am offered fifty million ISK to leave him alone. As I can't stop him from running away I accept the deal immediately, and once the funds turn up in my wallet I jump through the wormhole and return home, honouring the deal. On reflection, the pod pilot probably knew I couldn't get him in low-sec, but that wouldn't stop me sitting on the w-space side of the wormhole and prevent him from returning safely to his tower. It is in his best interests to get rid of me, and throwing ISK at me was the easiest way. I feel a bit dirty, though. I was quite happy to blow up his pod in an act of villainy, but accepting a bribe seems more corrupt than piratical. I still consider it a successful operation, though. I was able to monitor the activity, find the pattern, and get in to a threatening position without being detected. That's good work.

I am only left wondering why he is moving the ships. He didn't appear to have help, so it is unlikely that the tower is being dismantled and moved. It is possible that he is leaving the corporation and moving his assets out, but it seems just as likely that I caught him half-way through an act of subterfuge, stealing the ships he could fly and parking them in a personal hangar. I don't suppose I'll find out.

  1. 3 Responses to “Finding an exit and more”

  2. Seems your journey to the Dark Side is complete, you dastardly pirate.

    By Varakkys on May 4, 2010

  3. Always two there be. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice, arr.

    By pjharvey on May 4, 2010

  4. Yes Master

    By Kename Fin on May 4, 2010

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