Hacking and analysing in the Damnation

30th August 2010 – 5.11 pm

A fleet is formed and heading out. There is a radar site to pillage for profit and I tag along in Hack Hackz Maru, my Damnation command ship refitted with codebreakers. A salvaging destroyer will be following behind us, so I refit my ship to replace the salvaging modules with launchers to add some damage to my configuration but keep the armoured warfare links fitted to increase the effectiveness of the Guardian logistic ships.

In the radar site the Sleepers want to protect their databanks from us raiders but we are ready to take what we want. The Sleepers are engaged as I move towards the databanks, conscious that I have both launchers and codebreakers fitted and needing to be careful as to which module I activate on which target. I have memories of shooting instead of salvaging wrecks.

I hack away at the databanks amongst the destroyed Sleeper ships, getting lots of pretty loot, and the fleet warps away to a second radar site to continue the Sleeper massacre. Our salvager boat warps in to join me in collecting the profit but panics, crying 'augh Sleepers' as he warps out. I am oblivious to the danger and wonder if he's been smoking the crack again. It is only when the rest of the fleet warps in to finish the job they thought was already finished that my limited sanity is confirmed and the salvager's diminished.

There are no Sleepers left in this first radar site, my overview is not lying to me. But they are close. The fleet saw four Sleeper battleships as they warped back in to the radar site, disappearing as they dropped out of warp. Some clever piloting manages to find the Sleepers but we are not quite sure how to get to them. The battleships are both on- and off-grid of the radar site. We can get to within a couple of hundred kilometres from them off-grid but once we enter the radar site's grid the Sleepers disappear. It's quite rum.

The mystery of the Sleeper-duality is, well, maybe not solved but certainly understood, and the hacking and salvaging is able to continue, as is the fleet in the next radar site. An escalation awaits us in the second site, a deserted Talocan cruiser being our prize for surviving. I hack the Sleeper databanks again and all the loot I am recovering is too much for even the cuddly belly of my Damnation to hold, datacores and decryptors almost spilling out. I have to share the goodness with a Guardian pilot in order to continue.

There is also a magnetometric site in this system. I go back to our tower to drop off the loot collected so far and swap the codebreakers for analysers, needed to access the Sleeper artefacts. Hack Hackz Maru becomes the Damnalyser and quick work is made of the Sleepers and their artefacts, everything moving along as expected. Our path of devastation through the class 4 system only leaves venturing in to the adjoining C5 for further profit, which is what we do.

The class 5 system is the first where we will fight Sleepers without a phenomenon boosting our systems but my Damnation and its warfare links will help. The fleet is only planning to enter anomalies and so half of my support module slots become free. I refit my ship to remove the analysers and add ballistic control systems to boost missile damage, a target painter to help against Sleeper frigates, and an ECM module because I have a free slot.

Dropping off the loot and reconfiguring my ship means I turn up to the first anomaly in the class 5 system after the rest of the fleet. I try to be helpful by destroying the last frigate buzzing around like an annoying rat and end up triggering the next wave of Sleepers. Thankfully, the fleet copes just fine or I'd have received bills to replace quite a few ships. There are no other surprises, beyond my Damnation's single ECM module successfully jamming a Sleeper battleship twice.

It is a lot of fun flying my Damnation, hacking, analysing, and jamming, but it is getting late for me. The fleet is going to continue in the class 5 system, confidently taking on more anomalies. Before I get to my bunk I take my salvaging destroyer out to the C5 to sweep the first anomaly clear of wrecks, helping to ensure our profit is recovered. Ending the evening salvaging is like a dream, and now I sleep.

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