Sleepers and rats

4th June 2011 – 3.16 pm

Home, C3, low. The constellation is nice and simple today, and I don't even need to scan it myself. Bookmarks have been left in our shared can and I copy they to my nav-comp, but am told that the class 3 w-space system is boring. I generally like to see for myself, jumping to our neighbouring system to indeed find little of interest. It's my third visit to this system, but the tower has been moved from its previous position and there is no one home at the moment. I exit to low-sec empire space to look for any sign of life but only jump in to an empty system, obvious from the local channel. Even scanning reveals nothing of interest, a solo anomaly and the K162 being the only signatures in the system, and I head home.

A deathly quiet w-space system is perfect for clearing some anomalies, and in this way we're lucky the C3 has some. Fin and Mick board their Tengu strategic cruisers and I my Golem marauder, and we warp out to shoot some Sleepers. We royally romp through the sites, so fast that I can't keep up with all the wrecks appearing. I even manage to pop the wreck of a Sleeper battleship, potentially destroying a few million ISK in salvage, but luckily after I looted it. It's not helping that we're discussing skill training at the same time, and having my misunderstanding of percentages pointed out to me, as typing also slows down salvaging.

All five favoured anomalies are cleared in quick time, my Golem bringing back loot and salvage to the sum of around two hundred and thirty five million ISK. Now we can leave the otherwise dull C3 behind us by collapsing the wormhole and opening up a new connection to explore beyond. The wormhole dies on schedule, all of us in the home system when it does, and Mick makes use of his scanning skills to find the new static link. He jumps through to see a Dominix battleship and Anathema covert operations boat on his directional scanner, but they both turn out to be unpiloted at a local tower. Fin and I have warped to the new wormhole and, hearing that the system is dormant, follow in behind Mick for tag-team scanning.

Three wormholes in the C3 sounds exciting, but they all lead to k-space. The system's static connection exits to low-sec empire space and the other two connections are K162s, one from high-sec and the other from null. I think we can mostly ignore the high-sec connection, as ambushes are notoriously difficult to realise when ships can simply jump back to safety, and we have two less-secure connections to abuse. I exit to low-sec whilst Fin jumps to null-sec, my big prize being an empty system in the Solitude region. Undeterred, I scan and find a new wormhole, but one that is reaching the end of its natural lifetime and not really worth investigating. I also resolve a magnetometric site and a few anomalies, but Fin trumps that with some sanctums in a true -1·0 security system.

We both return home and get our Tengus out of the hangar, looking to reap the rewards of a profitable anomaly in an empty null-sec system. In the couple of minutes it takes to turn around and jump in to the Paragon Soul region a couple of null-sec capsuleers have appeared in the system, making ratting rather less attractive where impressive forces can be mobilised against unknown threats in short time. We wait for the session change timer to end and jump back to w-space, heading low-secwards. We make a pit stop first, swapping out of our expensive Tengus for a Drake battlecruiser for me and Nighthawk command ship for Fin, which will still make short work of low-sec rats without being as big a risk should we get jumped.

Low-sec is indeed rather straightforward, if a different experience altogether from w-space. The magnetometric site is thoroughly disappointing, in offering basic salvage as a reward and containing no rats to shoot, and moving on to the anomalies starts helping us regain a bit of security status we've recently been shedding. The rats pop quickly and before they've even barely scratched our shields, but it is the threat of the other capsuleers that we're concerned about. The system stays mostly quiet but a new face appears in the constantly updated local channel, and he's piloting a Dramiel, a fast frigate perhaps being used as initial tackle for a bigger fleet.

We decide discretion is the better part of valour and bug out of the anomaly whilst the Dramiel is around, but although Fin warps out cleanly I am left wondering why my Drake doesn't go anywhere. It takes a little too long for me to realise the rats have my warp engines disrupted, and I only switch targets to remove that particular threat by the time the Dramiel has left the system again. We get back to popping rats in a second anomaly but when the Dramiel returns again we start to think maybe he's taken an interest in us. This time, we both are able to warp back to the wormhole, which should at least keep us safe until we see scanning probes converging on our position. The Dramiel isn't passing through this time, and rather than wait for him to leave we jump to w-space, happy to have gained some security standing at least, and return home for the night.

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