Keeping safe by making friends

19th July 2010 – 5.33 pm

I take my Manticore our for an optimistic roam. The local w-space systems didn't look terribly active earlier but at the moment neither does the home system, and there is little else to do. I jump my stealth bomber in to the nieghbouring class 4 system to find nothing of interest. But maybe someone finds me, as a conversation request pops up. I don't recognise the capsuleer but getting his public information shows him to be a member of the corporation occupying this system. That can hardly be a coincidence.

I accept the conversation request and get a friendly greeting, sending one back myself. The capsuleer says he knows I'm from a class 4 system and just wants a bit of information about Sleeper escalations. I see no harm in answering his question but am curious to find out how he knows that I live in a class 4 w-space system. The obvious answer is implied when he notes I am piloting a Manticore, he must be watching the wormhole connecting our two systems. That's a shame, I thought maybe I had a fan.

My new acquaintance may be friendly but I wonder how inexperienced he is. I warp to his tower, which I bookmarked earlier, then back to the K162 wormhole coming from our home system. Landing a hundred kilometres from the wormhole I crawl cloaked on a direct approach vector. If this fellow is a little green it is quite possible my ship will bump in to his and decloak us both. My intention, of course, is to shoot him but already I am feeling guilty about trying this. We are still chatting and he is quite friendly. It seems that he just wants to keep his system as safe as possible, asking if there are any other wormholes connecting in to our home system that could draw ships in to his. Luckily, he isn't careless, as I draw close to the wormhole without having decloaked him, and I don't need to decide whether to shoot or not.

I warp off to take a look at the class 1 system next along the route. A colleague boards a Bestower hauler to head out to empire space and get fuel for our tower. I have kept him informed about the friendly capsuleer and we both believe him to be sincere and so not a threat. The Bestower jumps through our static wormhole and is noticed. 'Nice Bestower', I am told. It's bait, I reply, don't shoot it.

The C1 is just as quiet as the C4 appears, no ships on scan and nothing at the tower. The high-sec exit wormhole is stable and the Bestower gets out safely to stock up on fuel. I return to the C4 and loiter around our K162. I don't expect any trouble, as we even get unsolicited permission to clear some of the anomalies in the C4 if we so wish, this chap being more of a miner anyway. But I don't want any surprises, and neither does my colleague.

The class 4 system remains quiet. I return to the high-sec exit to help my colleague speed back through w-space, having fitted a web module to reduce the Bestower's time to enter warp. I am approaching the wormhole, to get within range of the webber, as it flares. I ask if that's my colleague jumping back but 'no', he replies, 'I'm one jump out.' A transport ship decloaks and aligns before warping away, piloted by the same friendly capsuleer I've been chatting with. I don't remark what a nice Viator he has, though. I wait for my colleague to jump in to the C1 and help him warp back to the tower, which we reach safely.

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