Wormhole skirmish

27th July 2010 – 5.52 pm

There is a storm brewing. A space storm! An allied Onyx heavy interdictor sitting on our home system's static wormhole has just interdicted a Helios covert operations boat from the neighbouring class 4 w-space system, shooting it for good measure. The corporation in the C4 seems to be fairly active and had a few pilots available in the system when I passed through, taking my Manticore stealth bomber to stalk a different target. I suspect this act of solo aggression won't pass unavenged.

I pilot my Manticore back through two wormholes to see what the capsuleers at the tower in the C4 are doing, my ally in the Onyx remaining on our wormhole for now. I created a bookmark to the tower earlier and warp directly to it, arriving to see two capsuleers launching stealth bombers, a Purifier and Hound. The bombers both leave the tower and cloak. It seems likely that they are moving to the wormhole connecting our two systems, no doubt with an intention to launch bombs at the Onyx. I doubt the Onyx will be much troubled by a couple of bombs but I warp to the wormhole myself to at least keep an eye on the situation.

Warping from the C4 occupants' tower I land my Manticore thirty kilometres away from the wormhole. This is a stealth bomber's optimal range and I am initially considering engaging any targets that assault the Onyx and jump back in to this system. But I then consider that my ally will more likely want help in our home system and so I start crawling cloaked towards the wormhole. It isn't too long before I bump in to a Helios, decloaking us both. It is an unfortunate mistake for the Helios pilot not to have moved off the vector between the wormhole and his tower, a mistake that I am about to punish as my Manticore's targeting systems lock on to his cov-ops boat.

My weapon systems are hot, the Helios is locked. Torpedoes launch towards his target-painted boat, its warp engines disrupted and the Helios too far from the wormhole to jump away from harm. I call for the Onyx to jump in to this system so that he can join the fun, which he does. The Helios lasts longer than I thought it would but it explodes in a shower of molten wreckage before too long. The Hound stealth bomber has meanwhile made his presence known, coming to the aid of the Helios by targeting my Manticore and pounding me with torpedoes. I start returning fire, having looted the wreck of the Helios, but my Manticore has already lost its shields and is taking some armour damage. I warp away, out of danger.

With no warp disruption effects on my engines I manage to clear the pocket, reloading my launchers and re-activating my cloaking device. Once more cloaked I am ready to head back to the skirmish on the wormhole, at least to see what is happening. The fight has become interesting, the Navy Issue Megathron brought out of the local tower to shoot at our Onyx. And I am twenty-five kilometres from it. I quickly align, decloak, and launch a bomb at the expensive battleship, locking weapon systems and preparing torpedo tubes. The Megathron pilot likes his ship enough to notice the bomb heading his way and warps out moments before the explosion. I cloak again and crawl through the warp bubble of the allied Onyx and jump in to the home system to get a more appropriate ship.

A colleague shows good timing by arriving in the midst of this combat and he's quickly updated with the state of play. He jumps in to a Lachesis recon ship as I swap the Manticore for my own Onyx and we both warp to our static wormhole and jump through to the neighbouring C4. The Hound seen earlier is pestering our ally's Onyx, along with a couple of Hurricane battlecruisers, but our new Lachesis pilot makes short work of the stealth bomber, reducing him to smouldering metal in seconds. One of the Hurricanes warps off as he sees his new opponents, the other Hurricane not quite as lucky as the Lachesis disrupts his warp engines. We concentrate fire on the snared Hurricane but our ships are designed more for support than firepower, and the Hurricane's shield tank is big enough to resist our meagre assault.

The pilot of the Hurricane is not stupid either. He is moving away from the wormhole, knowing that jumping through would be suicidal and that drawing us away would prevent our own escape. And as it looks like we have the advantage currently it is easy to draw us away from the wormhole. I realise what is happening and urge caution, returning to be relatively close to the wormhole, but our Lachesis pilot is looking for the kill. Our Onyx ally jumps home and I loiter on the wormhole, but the Hurricane and Lachesis are now seventy kilometres away and I fear my colleague could find himself in trouble. Sure enough, a hostile Drake battlecruiser warps in at range from the Hurricane and the second Hurricane returns, and with nowhere to run and little ranged support the situation looks bad for the Lachesis.

Then the wormhole flares behind me. The cavalry arrives! The allied Onyx pilot has swapped in to a Raven battleship and is joined by a colleague in a Harbinger battlecruiser, both ships fitted to fight at long range. The Raven launches missiles, the Harbinger fires its lasers and the Hurricane and Drake reinforcements leave quickly before they become the next target after the Hurricane caught by our Lachesis pilot. The significant firepower now brought to bear causes the Hurricane's shield tank to break quickly, the battlecruiser exploding soon afterwards. The grid goes quiet.

Our Lachesis is able to return to the wormhole easily enough and no more enemy ships warp in to engage. We have destroyed three ships for no losses and successfully protected our wormhole and w-space system. Our adaptibility and the result show how our experience has grown, both from our failures and our victories. Above all, it was an exciting fight!

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