Meeting the new neighbours

5th May 2010 – 5.50 pm

We have visitors. There are two K162 wormholes in our system, both coming from class 5 w-space systems, both systems having potentially dangerous capsuleers. One system seems rather more of a threat than the other, as they are actively sending people through our system. So far, they have not engaged us directly and only moved ships through, but that may be because we are being cautious enough not to present ourselves as targets. Our scan man relays his intelligence so far, with the intriguing information that one pilot has lost two Proteus strategic cruisers to Sleepers aggressively protecting their gas. The Tech III wrecks remain unlooted in the ladar site, there for over an hour now, and our scan man wonders if he can sneak a Zephyr under the Sleepers' noses to steal anything interesting that can be crammed in to the small hold.

The Onyx that comes and sits on the K162 of the wormhole, in our system, makes our scan man rethink his survivability in the Zephyr, but sadly he has already gone in to the system to reconnoitre the wrecks. He will wake up as a new clone if he tries to come back. In my cloaked Buzzard I warp to the wormhole, bouncing off the Onyx's bubble and moving carefully away, to confirm his presence and affiliation with the corporation in the C5. Our experience tells us that, as defenders, to repel intruders we need to fight away from the wormhole. If we fight on top of the wormhole and get warp-disrupted our only escape is through the wormhole, away from home, but if we fight at range from the wormhole the intruders either need to close the range by flying towards us, away from their escape route, or jump through the wormhole to hand our defence the victory.

I try to encourage a small fleet of long-range ships to try to force the Onyx back through the wormhole, allowing our pilot to return safely. But before we can warp in safely I need to test how the warp bubble works. I know that if I try to warp to the wormhole the bubble will pull me in to it, even if I aim to drop out of warp at range. I reason that this behaviour occurs because my ship's systems are using a point inside the bubble as reference, and the warp bubble interferes with the calculations. But if I make a bookmark of an arbitrary point at some distance outside of the warp bubble I reason that I should be able to warp to that point without the bubble affecting me. I have moved my ship away from the Onyx on the wormhole and made a bookmark at a point suitably far away. Warping away and then back to that bookmark drops me on the spot within the normal tolerance, the warp bubble having no effect. We can drop a fleet at range from the Onyx and shoot it until he retreats. But our trapped scan man isn't keen on this idea for some reason. Instead, he logs off in the hostile system and hopes to be able to return in a little while. Shortly afterwards, the Onyx jumps back through the wormhole. The hostile pilot must have had some intelligence on our own pilot.

With no one now to shoot, my other colleague disappears for a while, leaving me alone. It looks like it's time to take my Buzzard out for a tour of the local systems. I ignore the two class 5 systems leading in to our own, heading through our static wormhole instead. Our neighbouring system has two towers and all the ships in the system are parked inside the shields of one or the other. A Mammoth hauler is seen briefly on the directional-scanner, but checking the high-sec exits shows no activity. A colleague turns up and wants to make a trip to high-sec to buy something new, happy to see that we have options for heading to empire space today. He spies possibly the same Mammoth I did and calls for assistance before quickly telling me not to bother. The Mammoth's guards of a Sacrilege heavy assault ship and Curse recon ship quickly reduce the Arazu to twisted metal, but at least our pilot gets his pod away cleanly. Our C5 travellers are clearly organised and running a tight operation. There is not much for me to do but continue scanning.

Jumping in to a class 1 w-space system looks to offer targets more at our level of experience and numbers. The system is occupied and I find a Harbinger battlecruiser and Jaguar assault ship in the tower's shields. The Harbinger warps away, the Jaguar follows, and there soon appear Sleeper wrecks on d-scan. My Buzzard locates them in an anomaly easily enough, not even needing to use probes. I grab a bookmark from a wreck, but it looks like they will be moving around to engage the rest of the Sleeper ships so an attack will need to be quick and agile. My Arazu-less colleague has a Lachesis ready to fly, and I return to the tower to swap in to my trusty, can't-fly-anything-else-threatening Onyx heavy interdictor. The journey back is quick and efficient, jumping in to the class 1 and warping to the bookmark cleanly, but the ships are gone, leaving only Sleepers. It is uncommon to leave a site half-finished and d-scan shows that both ships are still present in the system and not destroyed, so they probably were aware of our threat. Perhaps we weren't quite as quick or stealthy as we supposed.

We jump out of the C1 and sit on the other side of the wormhole for considering our options. Our scan man comes back, his Zephyr quietly piloted out of the hostile C5, and he happily comes in his Cheetah to spy on the C1 inhabitants, to see if they return to their unfinished Sleeper anomaly. But nothing happens, so we return to our tower. At least we don't bump in to the convoy of ships moving between the C5 and high-sec, getting all ships back to the tower safely being a good result.

  1. 2 Responses to “Meeting the new neighbours”

  2. Still enjoying your writing. The daily struggle in unknown space. Your blog's really motivated me to join a WH corp. Did my first op ever last night and it was a C6... I was totally carried by the rest of the fleet, but it was fun.

    Looking forward to finishing covert ops training in 4 days, then I can upgrade from my Imicus and get down to all the sneaking around you write about.

    I posted a comment on CrazyKinux's latest blog pack update suggesting TigerEars for inclusion.

    By Stark on May 5, 2010

  3. Thank you for the compliment. I'm happy to see someone else venturing out to enjoy w-space, but couldn't you have joined a more vulnerable corporation in a C2?

    Sneaking around is the best part, and not just because it gives you something to do when no one else is around. Swapping from scanning boat to stealth bomber is wicked fun.

    Thanks for helping publicise my journal too, it's most appreciated.

    By pjharvey on May 7, 2010

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