Avoiding a Hurricane

11th December 2010 – 3.30 pm

Glorious leader Fin is out scanning, and I go to ride her coat-tails. Our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has the inevitable exit to low-sec empire space, but also present is a K162 wormhole. I divert to explore the other connected system, first noting the tower in the C3 with unpiloted ships sitting inside its shields. The K162 comes from a class 4 system and, according to Fin, a pod was seen going in earlier. I jump through to take a look.

In the C4, a tower is visible on my directional scanner but no ships or activity can be seen. I wonder if this is a bridging system for other pilots and that another K162 is waiting to be found. I launch probes to scan, finding five anomalies and three signatures present, at which point a Falcon recon ship jumps in to the system through the wormhole behind me. Not noticing my cloaked ship, the Falcon warps away to seemingly empty space, all but confirming the existence of another wormhole. I soon resolve the K162, coming from a class 4 system, but the wormhole is reaching the end of its natural lifetime.

I don't pass through the dying connection, instead going back to the C3 and out to low-sec space, where I contract a copy of the bookmarks to our missing Orca pilot. If the systems look quiet we could perhaps get the industrial command ship back in to w-space. But low-sec isn't entirely quiet, a Hurricane battlecruiser lurking on the stargate our Orca pilot will want to use. I'm sure we can do something about him, though, but not in my current choice of ship. I go back to our tower in w-space to formulate a plan along with Fin. On my return I spot a corpse on d-scan in the C3. Judging by the corpse's name it looks like they are his scanning probes also visible on d-scan, and there probably isn't an active scanner. I suppose there is some action in w-space today, which we should at least be wary about.

Our aim is to get the Orca home, not to engage the Hurricane as such. With that in mind, it would be enough to force the battlecruiser to flee, and it doesn't look like we have the ships that could guarantee a quick kill whilst surviving the guns on the stargate. To encourage the Hurricane pilot to move on we need a ship that's big and scary, and I think my Widow black ops ship fits that bill. The other pilot doesn't have to know that I am newly trained and lacking experience, he just has to think he is going to explode. And if my Widow isn't enough of a threat, Fin will bring a Basilisk logistics ship to sit at range and comfortably repair my shields.

The plan is set, we warp out. I jump in to the low-sec system and warp at range to the stargate, planning to cloak immediately upon landing just to increase uncertainty in the Hurricane's pilot, as Fin holds in w-space until required. As it turns out, we just needed to wait a little longer, as the Hurricane is already off the gate when I drop out of warp, although he still appears on d-scan. But the pilot is no longer on local communications, so it looks like he's got bored and logged off. With the gate clear we can try to get the Orca home, and our pilot pushes the big ship out of dock and towards the stargate.

The gate remains clear, as I hold my position in my cloaked Widow to monitor activity, and the Orca jumps through. An interminable time later the Orca warps away, towards the wormhole in to the class 3 w-space system, and I follow. W-space remains quiet, and the Orca gets home unmolested after his earlier expedition in to the unknown.

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