Exploration ends in Sleeper combat

29th August 2010 – 3.54 pm

I'm waiting for the wormhole to die. The bookmark pointing to it conveniently has a time in its notation and the longevity of wormholes in our home system lets me know when to expect the imminent collapse. I am not morbid enough today to sit and watch the wormhole bite the vacuum, only venturing out once I know for sure that it has gone. A fresh connection waits for me in my Buzzard covert operations boat and I jump through to the class 4 w-space system beyond.

The C4 is unoccupied and a system I visited three months earlier. An initial scan of the system reveals a dozen anomalies and other cosmic signatures besides. This looks like a good system to profit from the Sleepers and I know that corporation and allied pilots have been keen to make plenty of ISK recently. I scan the system a little and find a wormhole anyway. I have most likely found the static connection, judging by the initial strength of the signature, but instead of warping to the wormhole I merely bookmark its signature from the scanning interface to keep the wormhole inactive. An isolated system full of signatures should be welcomed by a fleet looking to make some profit. I jump back to the home system and copy the bookmarks I made, then go off-line to get some eats.

On my return I see that more, deeper scanning has been performed. Without a fleet available there is often little else to do but scan. All that has been found is a string of class 5 w-space systems, exploration only halted when the scout bumps in to a Sabre interdictor with carrier support. But now that I am here there are four pilots available, enough to form a fleet for Sleeper combat. We even have two Guardian logistic ship pilots, one of them unfortunately being me. There is still the option of taking strategic cruisers in to the class 4 system anomalies, but only two of us have the Tech III cruisers and we can't really support two salvagers.

I take one for the fleet and board my Guardian, knowing that if I didn't then one pilot would have to remain inactive. And flying logistics isn't so bad. Besides which, I've been in my Tengu strategic cruiser and Damnation command ship quite frequently of late, so getting back in to the Guardian actually makes for a change of pace. We warp in to the first anomaly and hear the screams of the other Guardian pilot. She's not taking fire but having her retinas burnt. 'Holy crap, the bloom!' she shouts. Yep, I've not been making up the searing radiation emanating from these sites, although she 'thought it was some kind of Mac thing, to be honest.'

We look past the blinding bloom to start destroying the Sleepers, the C4 anomalies fairly straightforward for most of us these days. A Cormorant destroyer salvages behind us, as more capsuleers wake up at the tower and join us to help with our efficiency. Adding a Rook recon ship's ECM in the fleet eases the Guardians' burden considerably, nary having to repair at all as the Sleepers have their targeting systems jammed. Only my light armour maintenance drones are active for most of the combat, just the second wave's four battleships needing me to pay close attention to incoming damage. It's looking like a fairly relaxing afternoon.

Three anomalies are cleared of Sleeper presence, and then of their wrecks, before we head back to our tower to rest. At least, I would if those yapping android dogs in the ventilation ducts would be quiet. Riyu needs to keep them on a tighter leash.

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