Starting to get settled

27th November 2010 – 3.12 pm

One day in and we've already been attacked. Two defences have been incapacitated and the tower itself has been tested, although only the shields were damaged and the system's pulsar phenomenon makes them stronger. Setting up a few external defences without guns first in place turns out to be a minor lapse in judgement, one we won't make again. The attack is also now hours old and, although it probably wasn't a good idea to leave the system before, we can now explore, to find the K162 wormhole that brought our attackers as well as looking for an exit we can use to bring in more guns and ships.

The two wormholes in our system are found, and I bookmark the static connection to the class 3 system without jumping through. I am more keen to trace back through the K162, coming from a C3 itself, to see what kind of threat remains to our presence in w-space. I jump in to the system to see an active tower and a dozen or so ships on my directional scanner, and I start looking for them. The tower is easy enough to find, as are all the ships, as they sit unpiloted inside the tower's shields. But I notice a Raven battleship on d-scan that isn't at the tower, but only briefly before it vanishes from my passive scanner. I also notice that the owners of this tower are not members of the same corporation as the pilot who shot our tower.

The Raven has gone but a Buzzard covert operations boat appears on d-scan, and stays there a while. I try to locate him, and think I have his position around a moon, but he is in empty space. I wouldn't think a Buzzard would need to find a safe spot to avoid detection, so I launch probes to see if there is another wormhole in the system. My d-scan location narrowed down the ship's position sufficiently to get a good hit on a wormhole immediately, which resolves to be the system's static connection, exiting to high-sec empire space. And as I bookmark its location, and note that it is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, the wormhole flares. An Armageddon and three Dominix battleships appear, the squad warping away as one.

I am concerned about the appearance of such powerful ships here, particularly after the earlier attack on our tower. I haven't got my bearings quite yet and don't know if the ships warped off towards the wormhole leading homewards, but warping there myself doesn't see any ships nor the wormhole flaring. Fin reports no activity in the home system, which is a relief, but I don't know where the ships have gone. I continue scanning and find what I had hoped, a second wormhole, coming in from a class 4 system. It looks like the ships seen here have only been making use of the exit to empire space. And with the activity explained Fin decides to do the same, taking her Crane transport ship out of the aging wormhole to collect some assets. I head in the other direction, back across our home system and through its static wormhole.

Our neighbouring C3 has an on-line tower for a change. Although there are no ships or pilots to be seen there are plenty of signatures present in the system, enough to make me wonder if I really have missed being mostly self-reliant, as I resolve and ignore a whole lot of rocks and gas. I finally find a wormhole, and it is again an exit to low-sec empire space. The exit system is inconvenient, naturally, being close to more low-sec and some null-sec, and quite far from where my ships sit docked. I turn around and jump back in to w-space, where I wait for Fin to return, leaving the recovery of my ships for another day.

But maybe in waiting I'm being lazy. I have some time and there are plenty of ships to bring back, I could at least make the journey once. So I leave my Buzzard at the tower and take my bare pod out to empire space, auto-pilot programmed with the route to the high-sec system where my ships are, and I start making the jumps. It takes a while but I get there, where I board my Widow black ops ship, which I think should be able to get through the two low-sec hops with its ability to cloak, and head straight back again. The journey for me is uneventful, although the wormhole Fin used has died and she needs to rendezvous with me to get back home. The two exit systems are only seven jumps apart, which isn't too much of a diversion.

I am also rethinking my idea that the Widow alone will be safe from attacks. The ship may be able to cloak but it is still a battleship and takes a while to align, as well as there being a small window when entering warp where a ship can lock on and disrupt my engines as the cloak drops. The large hull will make locking times short as well, and a quick boat will even be able to intercept and 'bump' me, breaking my cloak before I am even aligned. Of course, this is only if there is anyone waiting, and the low-sec systems seemed quiet when I passed through them on the way out.

As we have met up for me to share the bookmarks of the route inwards, Fin kindly volunteers to take her more agile and stealthy Crane in to low-sec first, to scout ahead for me. Luckily, the systems remain clear, although Fin mentions a 'red' ship decloaks at a gate when seeing my Widow warp away. But he is avoided and we both make it back in to w-space and home safely. And almost forty jumps is enough for me today, so I get settled in my Widow and get some rest, as a few guns are put in place around the tower.

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