Killing the help that kills the connection

3rd October 2012 – 5.09 pm

I arrive to see the tell-tale sign of an unopened wormhole. A single bookmark points to our static connection, and without its paired K162 also bookmarked I feel safe in clustering my scanning probes around the location, where I indeed resolve the wormhole in the same place. Fin comes on-line as I do this, confirming that she didn't visit the wormhole, and as the only other signature in the system is a magnetometric site it looks like a good time to take advantage of our isolation and clear a couple of anomalies in our home w-space system.

We still don't have a Revelation dreadnought, even though plans are progressing nicely, so we jump in to a Tengu strategic cruiser each to tackle the Sleepers. We don't get far, though. Mid-way through the first anomaly a core scanning probe appears on our directional scanners. We notice the probe at the same time, and each send our ships back to the safety of the tower's force field. Whoever is in our system can't be a particularly good scout, as they wouldn't need a scanning probe to find our ships in a basic anomaly, or they failed to explore the system fully before launching probes. Or maybe they saw us and just didn't care, not having the ships or numbers required to engage us, and are probably happy just to interrupt what we were doing.

Fin and I swap our Sleeper strategic cruisers for scanning ones, and warp out to cloak and hide. I disappear to the edge of the system, launch my own scanning probes, and see the new signature that no doubt signals a K162 connecting to our system. As our presence is likely to be known already I don't bother disguising my intentions too much, resolving the signature quickly and recalling my probes. Fin warps to our static wormhole in an attempt to intercept the scout, for reconnaissance only, and I go to the new wormhole, a K162 from class 5 w-space.

Thinking the scout has headed through our static connection already I jump to C5a to see what's there. Nothing on the wormhole, nothing within d-scan range. The J-number looks familiar, and this time it should, as I was only here a couple of days ago—yesterspaceday—when we collapsed the wormhole and I got isolated in C3a. But my notes let me warp directly to the tower, where I see a piloted Megathron battleship doing little. I doubt this is the scout, though. We should probably collapse the wormhole to this system. 'Collapse both of them again?', asks Fin, and I get an irrational spike of anxiety. Yes, I'm sure it will be fine.

I jump back home and warp to the tower, where I see Fin's Orca heading out to the C5 K162. I board the second industrial command ship and point it in the other direction, knowing that I will be polarised to the C5 connection, and we each make a first pair of jumps to collapse the wormholes. We cross paths to make the second pair of jumps, and on her return Fin sees a Helios covert operations enter the home system from C3a. The Helios cannot help but spot her Orca on the wormhole, but I move away from the C5 K162 and cloak before it gets to me. In fact, it takes a couple of minutes for the Helios to make its way to the K162 and return to C5a.

Okay, let's finish the K162 first. The scout is home, the Orca's been spotted, but the wormhole is close to being collapsed. We should isolate ourselves as soon as we can. Fin swaps her Orca for a Widow black ops ship and warps to the K162, where I am counting down the polarisation timer. The plan is the usual one, where the Orca jumps first, the Widow follows and returns, and the Orca comes back last to kill the connection. And, as with most of our plans, it goes a bit wrong after the first step.

I jump in to C5a to see the Megathron now sitting on the wormhole. This could be bad. Even worse, it jumps through the wormhole to our home system. Now, the battleship itself isn't a particular threat, but the extra mass through the wormhole ruins our calculations. Thankfully Fin hasn't jumped the Widow through yet, or we would be in big trouble, and now we have little option but for me to jump back and have the wormhole do what it will. I pulse the reheat, adding mass to the ship, and return home.

The Megathron has its own troubles. Maybe it was coming to try to catch a lone Orca, or its pilot just wanted to screw up our mass calculations. I doubt it expected to jump through the wormhole to see a Widow waiting for it. On top of that, its added mass to the wormhole combined with my jump home was the final push the connection needed. The wormhole collapses, and now the Megathron is not only in combat with a Widow but also has no way home. Mission accomplished, and with little more the Orca can do here but explode, I turn the whale towards our tower and warp out, Fin easily managing to keep the battleship's focus.

Back at the tower I swap the industrial ship for a Legion strategic cruiser, returning to where the K162 used to be and helping Fin bring down the Megathron. The battleship hasn't warped clear, which Fin finds a little surprising, as the Widow isn't equipped with a warp disruptor. It's possible the pilot doesn't realise this and only assumes he is pointed because that's what generally happens. Or it could be that, despite a scout recently scanning through our system, he has nowhere else to go.

I add my Legion's weapons to the brawl, pointing the Megathron in case he realises he's not stopped from leaving after all, and give what little assistance Fin's torpedoes need in shredding the rest of the battleship's armour and hull. The Megathron explodes and the pod warps clear, but he doesn't exit the system. The pilot asked for a ransom before we destroyed his ship, but ransoms are tricky beasts to negotiate. Besides, I'm here for the explosions. Even so, our luckless pilot has a point, because without a wormhole to jump through easily he couldn't really have used a negotiation to buy himself time to count down a polarisation timer.

We could catch the pod if we wanted, but that relies on him actually knowing the way out of the constellation. Trying to scan for a self-destructing pod would accomplish nothing, and if he can exit w-space he would have done so by now. We lose nothing in negotiating in this case. All the pilot wants is a way out of w-space so that he doesn't need to deal with the hassle of a new clone, and we are happy to receive a generous donation to our Revelation fund. I'm not going to ask what the pilot has implanted in his head for it to be worth a 400 Miskie ransom, but if he thinks it's worth it then I am not going to argue.

I'm also not about to dishonour a ransom. Fin confirms that the ISK has been paid in to her account, so I swap back to my cloaky Loki, get myself to C3a, and scan. Fifteen signatures could present a time sink for finding the system's exit to low-sec, but when you're lucky enough to get a Megathron thrown at your Widow, have the wormhole collapse to prevent it fleeing, and then be paid handsomely for the kill, I shouldn't be surprised that the first signature I resolve is the static connection. I invite the pod pilot in to our fleet, Fin guides him to our wormhole, and he warps to me to exit to low-sec. Job's a good 'un.

Now, where were we? Right, collapsing the static connection—which an Orca and wormhole-collapsing heavy interdictor achieve with some measure of precision—and engaging Sleepers. Our little diversion cost us some time, but the first anomaly remains as we left it, wrecks intact. We return in Tengus, pop the final Sleepers, and clean up in a pair of Noctis salvagers. We make about 100 Miskies from the anomaly, but, as always, it's the interruption that is more memorable. At least this time it was an interruption in our favour, and our awareness combined with a fair bit of luck gave us another highly entertaining adventure.

  1. 4 Responses to “Killing the help that kills the connection”

  2. Lol good kill very bad timing on the part of the megathron pilot. Sounds like you had all the luck that night :-)

    By smokey on Oct 4, 2012

  3. Yeah, we made out like bandits!

    By pjharvey on Oct 4, 2012

  4. Nice catch. Even if you guys was not fishing at the time...

    "as the Widow isn't equipped with a warp disruptor."

    You are not really worthy of that kill, you know that right? :)

    By Ashimat on Oct 5, 2012

  5. Oh, definitely. The scan resolution of a Widow fitted with a cloak barely makes it worthwhile adding a point. And, in this case, I suppose the Megathron had nowhere to go.

    By pjharvey on Oct 5, 2012

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