Claiming the victory

3rd April 2012 – 5.44 pm

I don't think I thought through my suicide run thoroughly enough. Oh sure, I was confident I had a good chance of evading the waiting fleet, I knew there was a connection to high-sec empire space available if I got in to trouble, and I specifically checked that our wallet could easily afford a replacement ship. That's all true. What I forgot about was the actual hassle involved with having to buy a replacement ship. There are no stations with market facilities in w-space and although I could go out to high-sec to buy one now, I would rather not be caught by the same fleet when bringing the replacement Tengu home. Losing one strategic cruiser to a camp is unfortunate. To lose two would be careless.

But looking in our hangar makes me realise I kinda do really want my covert scanning Tengu back. I don't appear to have a Buzzard covert operations boat of my own in the hangar any more, and I'm not sure I want to go back to scanning in one anyway. I really should make use of the connection to high-sec whilst we've got it, but that relies on the hostile fleet abandoning their hunt. They have my Tengu, so they're probably content, but I don't want to give them another target. So despite preferring to scout in a stealth bomber, and as I don't have my own Buzzard here, I borrow a cov-ops from Fin. Jumping in to a stealth bomber and warping out of the tower would probably send the wrong vibes to the hostile fleet.

I know where the fleet was and where it came from, so I take Fin's Buzzard and monitor their movements. My poor, poor Tengu has already been claimed as their own, but most of the fleet remains clustered around where it was, maybe ten kilometres from our static wormhole. Not for long, though. The ships turn and warp away, heading back to their class 5 w-space system, which has a wormhole connecting in to our home system today. I sit and watch the wormhole for a while, keeping my directional scanner active too, and there is minimal activity now. I think I'll go to high-sec and get my new Tengu.

I dump the Buzzard at our tower and ponder what I should travel in. I could take a simple frigate, or a shuttle, but in the end I plump for my pod. I don't think there's much point in wrapping myself up in a ship. If my pod can't get clear there's no point losing a ship to find out. Besides, if I thought I couldn't get my pod to high-sec safely I wouldn't be making this trip in the first place. Even so, there is a sliver of doubt in my mind. I haven't seen much activity, and there weren't any warp bubbles deployed, so I suppose I'm just a little on edge. I warp to the wormhole and jump to the class 3 w-space system with a touch of trepidation, happy to see it clear on the other side. I warp across the C3 and exit to high-sec without issue.

Getting myself to Jita is straightforward, if dull. There are a few large systems to cross, which takes its time, but there is no danger here. Once in the Forge I start buying my replacement ship, based on the saved fitting of the one I just lost. The faction micro warp drive is available and offered at a reasonable price, which is handy, but I had forgotten just how expensive my covert Tengu is. The corporation wallet doesn't dip too low but it's still a loss I perhaps should have avoided. Then again, ISK is there to be spent, and I certainly got a chunk of excitement out of losing my ship. My only concern now is getting home.

Returning to the high-sec system with the K162 from C3a is as straightforward as travelling to Jita. Getting home from here could be awkward. There are no hostile pilots in the system, as evidenced by the transparent local communication channel, and I can jump in to C3a without threat, as I can always jump right back out again if I see trouble. But warping to our home K162 and jumping through is a rather more opaque proposition. I could use some eyes in the home system. So it's good that I have Constance to call on.

I wake up Constance from her hiding place and get her to reconnoitre our home system. The corporate bookmarks makes this wonderfully simple. She warps to the K162 from the class 5 system to see it gone, which is good news. No doubt they collapsed their wormhole to look for iskies in another system, which almost certainly means they've left no ships behind. Constance warps across to our static wormhole to see it still there, still in its half-mass state, and clear of ships. That doesn't mean its clear of ships, of course, but with the C5 K162 gone it probably is. I know I can evade a cloaky ambusher anyway. It's nice to see we're not dealing with incessant campers, at least.

Happy to think that all is clear, I jump back to w-space, reconnoitre the wormhole home from a distance, and, seeing it clear, jump through. I thank Constance for her valuable contribution and let her hide again. I have made it home, safely, in a covert scanning Tengu. Even if the corporate wallet would disagree, I think I can call this a victory! I knew I could get past that fleet, one way or another.

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