Getting home

17th March 2011 – 5.49 pm

Fin's getting closer to returning home. A puppet has found our new static wormhole, jumped in to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system, and even resolved an exit to high-sec empire space. All we need to do now is get the Orca industrial command ship through the C3, which may not be straightforward if anyone gets in the way. Even if the locals in the C3 are not active there may still be trouble. After all, it was high-sec tourists that prevented Fin's safe return from a fuel run in the first place.

The class 3 system we're hoping to travel through may not be sleepy, either. An Iteron hauler was noticed jumping from high-sec in to w-space on the puppet's exit, although he could do nothing about it. In the hopes of finding a squishy target, and getting Fin home, of course, I launch my Manticore stealth bomber to take a quick shufti around the C3. On jumping in I immediately see on my directional scanner a Hurricane and two Drakes, which look to be active one way or another. A jet-can is on d-scan too, but it seems unlikely that these three battlecruisers are all harvesting gas, so maybe they have only just started Sleeper combat.

I sweep d-scan around to look for the ships. The anomalies here have already been bookmarked by the puppet, and I picked up copies from our shared can, but the battlecruisers aren't in any of them. The ships are at a bookmarked location, though, the exit wormhole to high-sec. Perhaps this system has attracted tourists too, and a refresh of d-scan sees a Broadsword accompanying the battlecruisers. This is no Sleeper combat fleet, the presence of the heavy interdictor is to trap pilots and their pods.

Setting up camp with a HIC on a wormhole leading to high-sec empire space is an odd choice. Anyone jumping in can simply jump right back out again, without any real threat. The only way this fleet will trap any ships effectively would be if the HIC's warp bubble pulls up short any ship warping to the wormhole. I explore the C3 and find the local tower, making a note of the corporation, then warp to the wormhole. Sure enough, I get dragged in to the Broadsword's bubble, but it is a simple matter to back off safely when in a cloaked ship like my stealth bomber. Unsurprisingly, the pilots in the fleet do not belong to the local corporation, and the tower is out of d-scan range of the wormhole, making the bubble potentially deadly.

I continue backing away from the wormhole, and the fleet, and make a new bookmark a good distance away, which should let me warp here without getting caught in the bubble. Now to work out what to do. I consider bringing my Widow black ops ship in, to warp it to my safe bookmark near the wormhole and cloak, just to see what the fleet will do. But Fin's not happy with that idea, preferring to let the pilots get bored and wander off on their own, and she has a point. Moreover, if the fleet sees my Widow and guess where I came from they could easily move their operation to catch me going home, which will only trap me in the C3 and doesn't improve Fin's chances of getting home. Instead, I simply monitor the fleet's activity, as Fin brings the Orca through empire space, jump by jump closer to home.

The hostile fleet has either been here for a while or they get bored quickly. It doesn't take long for the battlecruisers and heavy interdictor to warp away from the exit to high-sec, seeing from d-scan that they warp to a K162 coming from class 5 w-space. I follow behind them, at range, not making it to the wormhole before they leave the system. I see no point in following behind them, as I would rather they continue to think that there is no activity in the w-space constellation, warping home to get a support ship for the Orca. Rather than refit the stealth bomber I swap in to my Buzzard covert operations boat and bring its fitted webber on-line, heading back to the C3 in order to help Fin's Orca when she arrives.

The C3 continues to look empty, and warping to the exit wormhole to high-sec sees no ships. I maintain a little distance for now, in case the fleet returns, but all I see is a shuttle appear on d-scan, bearing the name of the Broadsword pilot. 'I do not understand this tactic', quips Fin. The shuttle drops out of warp at the wormhole and jumps to empire space, the pilot perhaps going to collect a ship and preferring travel in a shuttle to a bare pod, which seems like the best evidence that his fleet has disbanded for the time being. It seems that Fin will have a smooth journey through the C3 to get home after all.

We aren't going to take any chances getting the Orca home safely. Rather than warp directly to the wormhole, Fin gets within d-scan range and checks that there are no ships on the high-sec side of the connection first. There's a little moment when neither of us knows what kind of ship an infiltrator is—it's actually a drone—but soon enough Fin's Orca is jumping in to the C3. I push my Buzzard closer to the wormhole and decloak in preparation and, when the Orca appears, lock on to Fin's ship and activate the web.

Reducing the maximum velocity of the ship with a web only reduces the current velocity if the current velocity is greater than the new maximum. Otherwise, the current velocity merely becomes a significantly higher percentage of the maximum velocity. And as a ship enters warp when it is aligned and reaches three-quarters the maximum velocity, timing the webbing of a ship right slingshots it in to warp much quicker than it could achieve normally, particularly if the ship is a lumbering mass like the Orca. Fin zooms away from the wormhole towards our K162, and I follow behind, having aligned myself whilst webbing. We both jump and I slingshot the Orca towards our tower, getting us back safely with no ships seen during the short w-space trip. 'It feels so good to be home.'

  1. 3 Responses to “Getting home”

  2. Whew, I made it!

    I was starting to get worried there!

    By Kename Fin on Mar 18, 2011

  3. I just had to stop shooting ships, and here you are!

    By pjharvey on Mar 18, 2011

  4. Was holding onto my chair there when you were jumping trough!

    By Lokna Rohgar on Mar 18, 2011

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