Supplies, skills, and a stealth bomber

28th September 2011 – 5.54 pm

My cloaking device is playing up again. I move away from the K162 in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system and supposedly am cloaked, but I can still see my ship. And, for giggles, the universe has me run over the now-invisible cosmic signature for the wormhole and remove all doubt that anyone paying attention can see me. Luckily, the only ship in the system is a Badger hauler floating unpiloted inside the local tower's shields, so my bumbling around for a minute or so has gone unwitnessed. My incompetence is safe, I can keep it to myself so that no one will ever find out.

Of course, the only ship here being an empty ship makes hunting rather more awkward, and as I am still all alone I am not inclined to shoot Sleepers. It takes a bit too long by myself to be worthwhile. The Badger isn't the only presence in this C3, though, as there is a flight or two of ECM drones somewhere around. I resolve the position of the drones, warp in, and approach carefully in case it's a trap, but end up simply scooping them in to my cargo hold for later use. They could come in handy. I keep my scanning probes whizzing around the system to resolve two wormholes too.

The first connection I visit is a K162 from class 6 w-space, which if it weren't deadly enough already the wormhole is also reaching the end of its natural lifetime and critically unstable. The only way it would look less attractive to jump through would be if the wormhole had teeth. I warp to the second wormhole I resolve to see a much more benign sight, a static exit to high-sec empire space, and one that is super-stable. Maybe the C6 dwellers killed the previous one, and their own static connection, running logistics through a convenient link to high-sec.

The new exit to high-sec dumps me out to Lonetrek, cosy Caldari space, and although the system is a dead end I am a mere four hops from Jita, the most bustling system in the galaxy. I scan the system, almost as a reflex, and find no signatures. But maybe that's okay, it gives me impetus to visit the trade hub to buy some fuel, keeping our tower nicely stocked. And the C3, even though occupied by pilots red to our corporation, is inactive enough to encourage me to eschew my usual choice of Crane to pilot its larger partner, the Bustard transport ship.

Fitted for cargo, and stuffed with giant secure containers, the Bustard can carry around five times as much as the Crane. I can make a single, relatively safe trip to bring back far more fuel than even several trips in the Crane, even if it means rejigging my calculations a little. And so I do, taking the Bustard to Jita, cramming every type of required fuel in to the cans, and bringing it all back safely. I even make a short diversion to sell some of Sleeper loot, so that our wallet doesn't run out of iskies. The dead end system leading to the C3 is populated but no one seems to care to scan for the wormhole, and the C3 itself remains quiet. Quiet enough to make a second run to Jita.

I don't go out for more fuel, but rather to get a replacement ship. We've had a few accidents recently which has left us with a single Manticore in our hangar, reducing our options for combined bombing runs somewhat. I'm heading out to get a new stealth bomber that Fin can use. Great idea, Penny! Buying and fitting a ship identical to one in service should be straightforward, but the shortsighted changes to the fittings service throws a spanner in the works. I can no longer save my fittings with abandon every time I make a tweak, now that we are limited to only fifty fittings each, so have to be picky as to what to keep and what to assume or remember. My saved Manticore fitting looks okay, but it's not quite right. I have to look up what the current fitting is when I get to Jita, so I don't create a ship sub-optimal for our use.

I'm not quite sure what restricting the number of saved fittings achieves. The amount of data required per fitting can't be big, and there are far more types of ships than saved slots, and each ship can have more than one type of fitting, particularly strategic cruisers. Having to save the file externally and pick-and-choose what I have loaded at any one time is remarkably fiddly and prone to error. I am discouraged from saving tweaks to my fittings as I make them because of this, which ends up meaning I don't save the final result, out of habit rather than forgetfulness. This is why my preferred Manticore fit is not currently saved for easy reference.

Niggles aside, I buy and fit a Manticore for Fin and bring it home safely. I need to board my own ship to see what specific propulsion module I have fitted so that I don't run out of CPU or powergrid, swap back to Fin's new ship to make the change, then save the fitting so that it is current, remembering to delete the old fitting so that I don't run out of slots, before stowing the Manticore for later use. Fiddly.

To make up for mucking around with fittings I made another diversion when in high-sec and bought a couple of new skill books, so that I can eventually pilot a new ship and forget its fittings too. I inject the skills and train them to a minimal level before reverting to the long pre-requisite skill. I still have maybe six weeks before I am adequately prepared just to plant my pod in the ship, but I have my eyes on the goal. And after a night of simple but successful logistics I settle down at the tower and get some rest.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.