Tower takedown take two

20th February 2011 – 3.49 pm

We're shooting a tower again. And again it is the one in our home system, off-line but resolutely withstanding the harshness of space without an active force field. We made an earlier attempt taking down the tower, but lacked the firepower necessary to blast down the shields augmented by the pulsar phenomenon. This time we think we might. Fin has bought a Raven battleship specifically for the task, and fitted it with siege launchers to blast torpedoes at the tower. The tower's shields have no resistance to kinetic damage, making missile weapons an obvious choice to start with, after which we can swap to laser-fitted battleships, to save ammunition costs.

Fin's been shooting the tower for a while, with a can next to her ship with thousands of extra torpedoes, and I join to help in my Widow black ops ship. I have fewer launchers than Fin's Raven, but my skill training and Tech II launchers are outputing more damage overall, which is impressive, and it is all kinetic damage too. When we get in to our battleships Fin will show me what it means to do damage, I'm sure. That is, if we get in to our battleships. We are certainly making a dent in the shields of the tower, but we are still struggling against the increased recharge rate the pulsar imbues. Even so, we have plenty of ammunition, the evening is ours, and shooting a defenceless tower is quite relaxing.

I'm a little surprised how relaxed I am, in fact. When I was mining gas, in our home system, with an inactive static wormhole, I was really quite nervous about being ambushed. But now, shooting the tower in a much more expensive ship than the gas harvester, I am barely checking d-scan for hostile ships, although I am taking the occasional look. We are much easier to find at the tower, too, not even needing scanning probes to locate us. Maybe I am more relaxed because I can shoot back, even if I will probably still lose my ship, whereas I was a sitting duck when harvesting gas. Or I could simply cloak.

We're not killing this tower. We're doing damage, and chipping away at the shields, and we could even be doing enough to overcome the peak recharge point. But discussions with a colleague lead to calculations, and we will need to be here for maybe another seven hours if it's just the two of us and a puppet. We could perhaps recruit our colleague to help, and maybe a couple of other pilots, but only if we can get an entrance in to our system, which means finding an exit. We've kept our static wormhole closed so far, for security, but now it seems like a good time to open it. I warp back to our tower and swap in to my Buzzard covert operations boat to scan, as Fin continues shooting.

Another new ladar site has spawned. I can't find anything in this mess of a system. One problem is mistaking bookmarked anomalies for mining sites and discarding nearby signatures as already found, thinking that the bookmark pin is for that red dot and not the anomaly that I've disregarded. Maybe I need to stop ignoring the anomalies as my probes reveal them. As it stands, it takes me a while to hunt for the wormhole, ignoring rocks, then gas, then more rocks, some more gas, and so on. Eventually I resolve our static wormhole, letting me push forwards in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

The system number of this C3 looks familiar, and I have indeed been here before. Eight months is a long time to remember a string of six numbers, though, so I suspect I don't actually recall being here before, particularly as it is nondescript. The system was unoccupied when I was last here, and now a tower floats somewhere in the system. There are no ships around, though. Scanning should be quick, as a blanket scan reveals only four signatures along with six anomalies. As we are trying to find a convenient route to our home system for people to join us for once, Fin hopes that the exit does not lead to the Aridia region.

I resolve a wormhole, which is a static exit to low-sec empire space, and a gravimetric and radar site, to accompany the connection home. The exit leads to the Khanid region, one hop to high-sec but distant from our colleague. He's not terribly willing to make the journey if we aren't going to commit the hours to destroying the tower, and I doubt that we will. It looks like our second attempt at removing the old tower is also ending as a learning experience. We need more guns, much more guns, if we are to be successful in any reasonable time frame. Or we just leave the Angel control tower as a piece of modern art in our home.

There is one system of interest quite close to today's exit in Khanid. I apparently parked a Drake battlecruiser of mine nearby, Non-sentient Ship, built and named for Sleeper combat, which must have been an awfully long time ago. I suppose the Drake made it out here during one of our moves, when we dumped ships in empire space whenever a convenient exit appeared. Well, maybe not 'convenient', but certainly 'high-sec'. I'm not sure about dragging a Drake through low-sec, even one jump, as my record with doing so is poor, but judging by the relative location of the ship I probably won't get a better opportunity for recovering it.

Before heading back to w-space I check the stargate my Drake will be using to return. There are quite a few pilots in the system and I don't want to run headlong in to a gate camp if I can easily avoid it, and I am pleased to see the stargate is clear of all ships. I jump back to w-space, drop my Buzzard at the tower, and head to empire space in my pod. The four hops pass quickly and I am soon back in a ship, the Drake feeling familiar yet long-forgotten. It's interesting to look at my old fitting to see how far I've come, although there is not much I can do to improve this Drake. I simply make sure all the modules are on-line and loaded, and rush back to w-space before the low-sec stargate gets crowded.

The jump to low-sec is free from trouble and I warp quickly to the wormhole, after which I feel surprisingly untroubled, despite the drop in security level. The C3 remains quiet, I get home easily, and I return my Drake to a hangar in w-space, where it can be forgotten closer.

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