Lost and found

5th August 2010 – 5.01 pm

The wormhole's dead, long live the wormhole! Our static connection is collapsed after the neighbouring system has been plundered and I arrive in time to help scan the new constellation. The replacement static wormhole is easy to find and jumping through to the class 4 w-space system presents me with an almost-clear return from the directional scanner. Aside from the expected celestial bodies there is also a lone Myrmidon battlecruiser, given the name 'A Gift from KAIRS'. Using d-scan to get a bearing on the ship, the Myrmidon appears to be near the first planet in the system, and warping to the planet shows the ship to be unpiloted. It looks like a gift.

We have a capsuleer available who can pilot a Myrmidon and he comes to collect the abandoned ship. The fitting is reported to be a bit of a pig but that can be altered, and it is still a free battlecruiser. I would normally wonder why Kairs left the ship behind but I'm not really that bothered and get back to scanning. That there are no anomalies in this class 4 system may prompt colleagues to collapse our wormhole again, but I press on anyway. With only a few signatures to resolve I should get the next wormhole soon enough and give myself another system to explore. But instead I find rocks, rocks, a radar site, and a magnetometric site. I have already double-checked that I didn't accidentally pass through a K162 again, so the wormhole must be the final signature in the system.

The last signature is so weak it smells like a C5, and indeed it is. But it is a fresh smell of rose petals, as the wormhole 'has not yet begun its cycle of decay'. I jump through the pristine goodness to be greeted by only a single planet on d-scan. I bookmark the wormhole and warp away to explore the rest of the system. A tower and ships become visible on d-scan, although there are no tower defences. There is a force field, though, so it is not completely abandoned yet. Locating the tower and warping to it finds that it is as defenceless as the scan suggests and a Badger Mark II hauler and Retriever mining barge are in its shields. But I also see from d-scan that a Myrmidon and Apocalypse battleship are elsewhere in the system.

I get a bearing on the two distant combat ships by narrowing the angular resolution of d-scan, finding that both ships are likely at the same spot but not around a celestial body. There are no Sleeper wrecks visible and no other ships appear to suggest that these two are helping to collapse a wormhole. It looks like I may have found two more spare ships to collect. As the ships aren't near a celestial body I will need to launch combat scanning probes to locate their position in space and I warp away from the tower to prepare to scan. But I know that combat probes pick up dozens of signatures in any broad scan and I would rather not have to sift through the results to find what I need, so I spend an extra minute getting a better bearing and range on the ships using d-scan. Now having a good approximate position of the ships I launch combat probes and position them accordingly.

My first scan picks up the Apocalypse quite well and, assuming that both ships are together, I centre my second scan on that point. My scan also finds a wormhole nearby, which will save time after I've found these ships. My second scan gets a solid hit on both the Apocalypse and Myrmidon, and I engage my Buzzard covert operation boat's warp drive to put me within twenty kilometres of the two ships. I recall my combat probes, if only because I want to switch to core scanning probes for looking for wormholes in a minute. Or maybe I won't, as dropping out of warp reveals two very much piloted and active battleships. Luckily, I didn't warp close enough to get decloaked, and the two ships are in a harmless gas mining site. I didn't even think to check for ladar sites.

The ships must have only just started mining, as only now does a jet-can appear, serving as a handy reference to bookmark. My guess is that the Myrmidon is mining gas and the Apocalypse is acting as protection, although neither pilot can be paying too much attention as my ever-so casual use of combat probes apparently went unnoticed. But that works for me, already having signalled to colleagues and allies that I have found targets, and warping my Buzzard homewards. Back at our tower I copy my bookmarks and drop them in to the shared can for others to collect before jumping in to my Onyx heavy interdictor. A colleague gets his Lachesis recon ship ready and a second pilot will follow in a Harbinger battlecruiser.

No one else is answering the call for ships. I am suspecting we'll need to withstand an attack from the Apocalypse but I know that time is of the essence and move the small fleet out anyway. By the time we've jumped in to our neighbouring C4 an allied pilot is volunteering his Drake and as we reach the wormhole to the C5 another colleague appears and wants to join. Fly something that can do damage, I say, and he boards his Ishtar heavy assault ship and heads out, using the copied bookmarks and guiding the allied Drake as he goes. But the spearhead is already in the C5 and warping in to the ladar site.

We drop on top of the two ships and I activate my Onyx's warp bubble, trapping both ships. But it also traps us, the thirty second activation time hopefully not a problem should the Apocalypse start shooting. It doesn't. In fact, it starts to crawl away, tring to move out of the warp bubble. The Myrmidon is our primary target and is quickly popped, the pilot podded for good measure, but as soon as I see the Apocalypse make a break for the edge of the bubble I am following. The warp disruption field generator—the HIC's 'bubble'—affects velocity-boosting modules and even with my reheat engaged the battleship is getting away. But with the Myrmidon destroyed our firepower is switched to the Apocalypse, as well as the Lachesis ship's own warp disruption effects, and the second battleship is popped. Now just outside the bubble, his pod flees.

Looting the wrecks is enlightening. The Apocalypse wasn't protecting the Myrmidon, both ships were mining gas. Our assault was a straightforward gank. But both ships also were fitted with a warp core stabiliser each, making them less susceptible to warp disruption effects, so it was good that I brought my Onyx. It was all over rather more quickly than I expected. And by this time the rest of our fleet has jumped in to the C5 looking for a fight. Even though I wasn't sure what we'd be fighting I feel a little guilty for getting the hopes up of the fleet. That is, until the Nidhoggur carrier appears seventy kilometres away from us and launches its fighters.

  1. 7 Responses to “Lost and found”

  2. Pray that I'm always on my guard and never careless enough to be within light years on the opposite side of your icy paws in WH space :)

    You really scare me lol.

    By Ardent Defender on Aug 5, 2010

  3. What the....! You're leaving us hanging?? What happened with the Carrier??? Curious minds MUST know!! -.-

    By Selina on Aug 5, 2010

  4. What carrier?

    By pjharvey on Aug 5, 2010

  5. "I would normally wonder why Kairs left the ship behind"

    Who kairs?

    By Stabs on Aug 6, 2010

  6. I've only just recovered from reading that, Stabs.

    By pjharvey on Aug 10, 2010

  7. I'm in KAIRS, I presume we lost it during one of our "less successful" wormhole closings.. I don't recall losing any ships in that sort of manner in months though!?

    By Asarus Atreyu on Sep 2, 2010

  8. My journal is lagging a bit behind my adventures, so I probably found the Myrmidon mid-July, if not earlier. At least your explanation gives the reason why the ship was left behind.

    I suppose the unlucky pilot had to commit podicide to get back to k-space.

    By pjharvey on Sep 2, 2010

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.