Collapsing a wormhole as a trap

14th July 2010 – 5.29 pm

Only two bookmarks greet me when I look inside our shared canister. Both bookmarks point to wormholes, both in our system. We have our usual static connection heading out to a class 4 w-space system and an incoming wormhole, also from a class 4 system. There are no other wormholes in the system connecting in to our own and no real activity, so I go to help our scan man who is scanning the unoccupied C4 beyond our static wormhole. As we resolve the signature for a wormhole an Anathema jumps through from our system and warps off. The pilot is from the system connecting to our own.

On seeing the covert operations boat head away from his home my thoughts naturally turn to snaring him and popping his ship. Maybe there is something wrong with me. I go back to our tower and swap my Buzzard cov-ops for the Malediction interceptor. My colleagues have a parallel plan to collapse the incoming wormhole to leave us in relative peace, which should also irritate the Anathema pilot one way or another. One of our pilots prepares the Orca industrial command ship, its mass best-suited to destabilise the wormhole, and all other pilots available board combat ships to protect the Orca.

Despite wanting to see if we can catch the Anathema the first task for our fleet is to ensure our Orca returns home safely after its first pair of jumps. We sit our ships on the K162 of the inbound wormhole, in our system, ready to assault any capsuleer seeing the Orca and looking for an easy target. It looks like someone indeed sees the Orca jump but they don't move to attack, instead recalling the Anathema pilot from wherever he went. We still have eyes in our neighbouring class 4 system and the Anathema scout is seen heading back our way.

The fleet moves to our system's static wormhole. The Onyx heavy interdictor inflates its warp bubble and I get my interceptor's systems hot. Without warning the Anathema appears on my overview. Not having heard or seen the wormhole flare I am not as keenly ready as usual and, although I don't expect to lock the ship as it cloaks, my attempt to intercept and decloak the ship fails. I am told he has jumped back through the wormhole, which seems possible but unlikely. I imagine the capsuleer is more keen to get back home, through a wormhole currently being collapsed, than risk polarising his hull. Never the less, we continue to loiter on the wormhole, waiting.

The Anathema returns, but at over a hundred kilometres from the wormhole. He must have stayed in the system, cloaked and crawled away from the Onyx's warp bubble. I was too slow again. But now I fire up my engines, almost taunted by the Anathema's distance, and speed to try to intercept. Needless to say, the cov-ops boat warps away easily enough, even though I race towards him at 5 km/s. The Anathema is spotted jumping through the inbound wormhole, making it home. Now we concentrate on collapsing the wormhole, returning the fleet to the K162 to protect the Orca.

We have a little trouble pushing the wormhole to be critically unstable, but a couple of trips with battleships finally destabilises the wormhole enough. The Orca then makes its last jump home, the wormhole imploding as it does. Our system is once again more predictable as a dead end and we take the opportunity to cull some Sleepers from adjacent systems. We have our neighbouring C4 system and another C4 connecting to that, both with a few anomalies to plunder.

The Sleeper combat starts in the farther of the two C4 systems with a standard fleet, along with a salvaging Myrmidon battlecruiser. Three anomalies are cleared with only minor panicking from the Raven battleship pilot, as Sleeper battleship damage carves deeply in to his armour, but the Guardian logistic ships repair the damage soon enough. The Maelstrom with us isn't quite as lucky, suffering 1% structure damage as four Sleeper battleships punch through its armour, but a combination of heavy repairs and the Scorpion battleship's ECM being overheated for extra jamming power gets us through the scrape. Five anomalies are cleared, looted, and salvaged by the end of the evening, and my wallet is a healthy hundred million ISK fatter as I prepare to sleep.

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