Restocking the hangar

21st January 2012 – 3.37 pm

Glorious leader Fin is ahead of me, sitting outside the tower in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. That makes my scouting easy, as all I have to do is pay attention as Fin tells me about the Devoter heavy interdictor and Dramiel frigate unpiloted in the tower, which itself sits in a system we were in less than a month ago. It's like Siri for my w-space notes. We also know that there is an exit to high-sec empire space to be resolved in the C3, so I go to join Fin to look for it and maybe pick up even more fuel. Good opportunities are occasional, so we need to make the most of each of them and not blithely ignore one under the mistaken impression we'll see another soon.

Ah, I remember this system. Or, rather, the bubbly tower. If I squint a little I can almost see Charlie and his uncle burping away the guilt of defying Willy Wonka amongst all these bubbles. Of course, they'd be dying pretty quickly in the vacuum of space, instead of facing a rather slower but no doubt equally painful death at the dull spinning blades of a ceiling fan, and they couldn't even burp themselves in to warp because this is a different kind of bubble. Hmm, I think I've gone what might be called 'off-message'. So, scanning the C3. Seven anomalies could provide a distraction, but we're looking for the exit wormhole, and twenty-nine signatures looks like we're going to have to work for today's link to empire space.

Fin finds the static wormhole, and pretty quickly too. I wonder if perhaps it's worth squeezing an Orca industrial command ship out and back again, maximising cargo space across one return trip. Fin recalls her probes and heads home to prepare the Orca, after checking that the exit doesn't lead to the perverse clump of high-sec space in Aridia—it doesn't, putting us instead in Genesis—as I continue scanning, hoping not to find any more wormholes today but perhaps a magnetometric site or two we could pillage if we have enough time later.

I find a second wormhole before any magnetometric site, which really wasn't what I was looking for. Any further connections could bring extra pilots through the C3, and to high-sec, who could then ambush our logistics operation. Thankfully, the K162 from class 5 w-space looks as unwanted on the other side as it is here, the connection already critically destabilised to the point of collapse. I don't think we need to worry about a fleet entering. And there are no more wormholes to concern ourselves with, and a single magnetometric site to reward my efforts. Only one, though, the system otherwise full of radar, ladar, and gravimetric sites.

I take my scanning probes out to high-sec to take a look around. The few signatures present in the system look interesting but turn out to be rocks, a Blood Raider Lookout, and more rocks. Stupid high-sec exploration. I consider popping a few Blood Raiders for kicks and giggles but the distance between each pocket of rats is too far for my heavy assault missiles to reach, and I give up without firing a single volley. But it reminds me that we are missing a Drake battlecruiser, and I could make myself useful by buying a replacement. 'Buy two', suggests Fin, which is a good idea if we are going to be throwing them away in the future.

Fin's making her way to Dodixie in a search for cheaper fuel, but I think our finances can afford the perhaps reasonable price of Drakes being sold locally. I dump my scanning boat at our tower and head to the nearest station in high-sec with a couple of Drakes for sale, and start to buy the modules required. I ask Fin if she has a fitting in mind for the Drakes, as I can't remember that of the one we lost. 'Um, archaeology', Fin says. Right, it's coming back to me now. The Drake was hastily refit to analyse artefacts in a magnetometric site, and was blown up by battleships when it got stuck on a Sleeper conduit. I don't suppose I'll be copying that fit for these new ones.

I have a Drake fitting saved, which should be suitable for an all-rounder w-space battlecruiser. I call it up, buy as many modules as are available, am quietly confident that we have the two or three missing modules in our hangar in w-space, and launch the first of the pair as I take Bunny on her maiden voyage. The first Drake is almost fully fitted, a minor detour needed to pick up a rig before returning me home safely. I manage to forget to check our hangar for the extra modules as I strip down to my pod again and go back to assemble, fit, and fly the second Drake, Moose.

Thankfully, I get the half-capable battlecruiser back to w-space to find we have some spare missile launchers to complete the Drake's armament, all without bumping in to any other ship that might wonder why I am being so arrogant to engage with only three launchers firing. Two Drakes bought, fitted, and stored, I board a Falcon recon ship to escort Fin's Orca home through our neighbouring C3, in case of trouble, only to find the massive industrial command ship having sneaked up beside me as I was completing the second Drake's fitting. That's a pretty fast Orca. Even so, scanning, travelling, and buying have taken their toll on the time, and I'd rather lie down than shoot some Sleepers.

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