Introducing the salvaging Damnation

14th June 2010 – 5.08 pm

It's all quiet, I go out scanning alone. My exploration to find activity starts slowly when jumping through the static connection fails owing to the exit wormhole stabilising, a sure indication that no one is in the system on the other side. I have visited this C4 system before, almost four months ago, and it was unoccupied then just as it is unoccupied now, and devoid of activity. There are a bunch of anomalies showing up on the scan results but only a few signatures, the static wormhole appearing soon enough and leading in to a C3. This wormhole is also stabilising, which at least makes my jump safe.

There is a tower and some ships visible on the directional scanner. The ships must surely be unpiloted and at the tower, because of the indications that the system is unvisited recently, and using d-scan to find the tower shows this to be the case. A couple of medium warp bubbles protect the tower from intrusion, but no objects are scattered around to also decloak anyone. I move away from the bubble that catches me and make a bookmark for convenient later visits. The ships at the tower are unthreatening, just a Caracal cruiser, Buzzard covert operations boat, and Heron frigate. I warp away to launch probes and scan, finding a K162 wormhole coming in to the C3 from low-sec empire space, and the static connection that also connects to low-sec space. My exploration ends for now, the system remains quiet, and I head home to rest for a while.

Taking a look around later shows no change in the situation. The connecting systems are still quiet and the same three ships are at the tower in the class 3 system. At least now we have enough capsuleers to make a suitable fleet to engage Sleepers. Our neighbouring C4 holds a magnetar phenomenon, its bonus to damage promising to help speed up combat. I am one of only two Guardian pilots available and so I find myself back in the logistics ship, alongside a pilot out in her second operation in one. We warp out and clear the first anomaly smoothly, her first experience in a Guardian and expertise at piloting clearly helping to keep the fleet from disintegrating around us.

Another capsuleer arrives at our tower and volunteers to salvage behind us. Missing the bookmarks to the anomalies the salvager warps to our location, in a second cleared anomaly, so he can make a bookmark here and let the squad leader warp him to the previously cleared site. The salvager now able to continue alone, a fleet warp command is given to send us on to the next anomaly, except we find ourselves in a previously cleared site. The squad leader tries again, warping the fleet onwards. But a mis-communication means the salvager, who we accidentally met with, doesn't cancel this command and follows us in warp. This gives us some concern, as his salvaging destroyer unlikely to withstand a volley of Sleeper fire. It is lucky that we are instead warped back to the second cleared anomaly instead of one still full of Sleepers. Maybe there are only two anomalies in the system and we have multiple bookmarks to each. But our squad leader tries again and, third time lucky, we continue shooting Sleepers.

Meanwhile, Fin turns up to offer even more fleet options. Her choice is to refit my Damnation a little and bring it in to our current anomaly, piloting it until the Sleepers are destroyed before swapping with me, Guardian for Damnation. I now have fitted three armoured warfare links, two salvager modules and two tractor beams, with the now no longer needed ballistic control systems swapped for an expanded cargohold and capacitor power relay. The reheat is changed for a micro-warp drive for extra speed, but the Damnation still has a five kilometre turning radius. My refitted ship is now capable of providing significant boosts to the logistic ships whilst salvaging the wrecks as we progress, all with a cap-stable fit and over 100,000 effective hit-points. I may have no launchers, but the field command ship doesn't really deal damage effectively. It does, however, excels in the support role. I just may need to finally train my salvaging skill a little more, having been reliant on fitted rigs to salvage the largest wrecks so far.

A total of nine anomalies are cleared with little fuss and no hostile interruptions. The fleet runs smoothly and I enjoy pootling around in the Damnation looting and salvaging, almost oblivious to the combat around me, particularly as Sleeper ships do not appear on my salvaging overview. A seventy-five million ISK profit each is a good result for the evening. One final check of the C3 shows no change in activity, with the same unpiloted ships at the tower. I return home to rest.

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