Almost ready for anything

28th November 2010 – 3.20 pm

It looks like the class 4 w-space pulsar system we have claimed is going to be ours uncontested. A routine check of my directional scanner shows that the previous occupants' tower has been renamed, now called 'bye bye'. I imagine the loss of so many expensive assets is too much to recover from quickly, and the construction of our tower an unknown threat to them, and they are abandoning the system. That's one less problem to worry about.

With the previous activity I make another full scan of all signatures in the system, noting a couple of changes but mostly the same gravimetric and ladar sites present. The one guaranteed change is the new position of the static wormhole, which I warp to and jump through to start looking for an exit so we can bring more ships in. The neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a Falcon recon ship in the system, although it disappears from my directional scanner within a few seconds. I find a tower, where a pod pilot sets a refinery operational before boarding a Bustard transport ship, and start looking for wormholes. The Bustard warps away from the tower as I scan, giving me hope that there is an exit to high-sec empire space, but I only find one going out to low-sec.

Another class 3 with an exit to low-sec empire space makes me wonder if we'll ever get a decent connection to high-sec, but checking the exit finds it to be nowhere near as bad as previous exits. The system is one of a pair in a low-sec island surrounded by high-sec, and only three hops from a market hub and seven to our high-sec staging system. This may be as good as it gets for a while and I start making plans to bring some of my ships in to our new w-space home. As I consider my options the pilot in the Bustard returns, warping to the wormhole and jumping in to the C3, although he doesn't notice my presence as I am sitting cloaked in my Buzzard covert operations boat. I wait a little while, for the Bustard to warp away on the other side, before jumping back myself. I ditch my ship at the tower and take my pod out to my docked ships.

I am pleased to see no one lurking near the gate linking low-sec to high-sec and the few jumps pass uneventfully. My first ship choice is my Crane, which I have stocked with ammunition and some other modules of particular use, and I take the transport ship back to w-space. Jumping in to the C3 is interesting, though, as a Manticore stealth bomber appears on my overview, along with a bomb. The pilot obviously has waited for a ship to jump in to his sights, seen the wormhole flare, and launched. But I have been educated about the session change cloak and know that it makes a ship impervious to any attempts to damage or decloak it. I am far from worried. Indeed, I even take the time to check my distance from the wormhole, happy to see that I have appeared over four kilometres away from it, easily over the two kilometre limit that means I can activate my cloak as soon as I start to move.

I watch the bomb glide along its path towards me and wait for it to explode to no effect. I then move away from the wormhole and cloak with practiced ease. I don't even wait for the session change timer to end, as I know the Manticore has no chance of catching my Crane. I simply warp to the K162 on my route and jump home with no drama. The stealth bomber watches my ship move and cloak and, almost with a shrug as it realises there is nothing more it can do, cloaks too. It may have been ineffective then but it could present a problem for my less stealthy ships. I don't want to resign to the Manticore's presence, though, as there are plenty more ships I want to get in to w-space and this exit is the best opportunity so far. And Fin gives me an idea.

A second trip out in my pod gets me to my ships, where I board my Malediction interceptor for the trip home. If the Manticore is still waiting for me he won't be getting away. I can close on his ship and disrupt his warp engines before he knows what hit him, and Fin can be called if I need some extra firepower to shoot the message home. But I jump in to the class 3 system without interference, perhaps the Manticore pilot not wanting to waste more bombs. At least the route is clear now, and I head out and in a few more times to get my Tengu strategic cruiser and Curse recon ship home to w-space. But taking my pod out one last time sees the Falcon and Manticore on d-scan, along with seven core scanning probes. Our movements have finally made the neighbours eager to find the source.

Thinking about the utility of the ships I now have in w-space, the ones I have available in high-sec dock to take, and those that Fin has at her command, we jointly decide that my Onyx heavy interdictor will add nicely to our complement of ships. It would help more if I can get it home unmolested. But the Onyx has a heavy buffer tank that can take all kinds of abuse before exploding, and with Fin sitting on the wormhole in our system in my Curse, ready to strike if needed, I don't think the Manticore or Falcon pose any credible threat. And, in fact, I still don't see them as I jump in to the C3 and warp homewards, meeting Fin on the other side of our wormhole.

There are more ships still to collect, but we have brought in a good collection this evening. We also now have a ship maintenance array to store them in, which is rather more useful than the fifth corporate hangar array bought by accident. I blame the names, as a hangar sounds more like somewhere a ship would be stored. At least now we are equipped to fight Sleepers, loot and salvage the wrecks, and engage many minor capsuleer threats or targets. We're settling in nicely.

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