Weirdos from another w-space system

23rd September 2013 – 5.29 pm

Let's see if I can find someone to stalk. Space has seemed pretty quiet of late. There's no one in the home system, of course; that would be too easy. I'll try next door. Resolving our static wormhole and jumping to the class 3 w-space system has nothing and no one immediately obvious, with my directional scanner being clear from the K162, and prospects are not looking good with only one planet of thirteen in range. I launch probes, perform a blanket scan of the system, and warp away to explore.

My probes reveal five anomalies, four signatures, and two ships, the ships being a Damnation command ship, empty, and Navy Issue Hurricane battlecruiser, also empty, floating inside a tower in the same position around the outermost planet as from fourteen months ago. My notes also point to the system holding a static exit to high-sec, so with no activity and no pilots I suppose I'm looking for that.

Gas, gas, high-sec wormhole. I don't have much option, and warping to the wormhole gives me even less. The static connection is at the end of its life, and even though it may last another couple of hours it could also implode in the next minute. I'll be leaving it alone and instead forcing our own wormhole to collapse. It's not an exciting task, but it is occasionally necessary.

Jumping home changes my plans, though. The frustratingly opaque discovery scanner makes w-space life far too easy in being able to spot a couple of new signatures without my having to do anything, and although that makes w-space inherently safer it also makes it significantly more boring. Where's the fun if you never jump in to an Orca industrial command ship and warp to a wormhole not knowing that a new connection has unexpectedly appeared in the last five minutes and a scout is already planning your expensive demise?

I hold on the wormhole and see an Orca blip on d-scan, which is curious. It seems that whoever is connecting to our system doesn't want to and is killing their wormhole already, given that the ship doesn't warp its way across the system. I should probably find the wormhole while I still can. I warp to a safe spot out of range of the new signatures, annoyingly highlighted for me already, and launch probes to resolve the two new signatures. One is a pocket of gas, the other a K162 from class 5 w-space, already destabilised to half mass.

What to do. Sit and watch for now, I suppose. I expect more ships to appear and the wormhole to close, but depending on what is pushed through maybe I can give chase to a particularly vulnerable polarised ship, or, if rather unlikely, a ship that gets isolated when the wormhole dies. So I sit and watch. And watch and wait. And wait a bit more. Polarisation effects must have worn off by now, so what are the pilots doing? Do they want the wormhole or not? Should I look inside? Are they expecting me? Ah, the wormhole finally crackles with a ship's transit.

Using Tengus to collapse a wormhole is not normal

A Tengu appears in our home system and jumps back to C5a. That's weird. The wormhole crackles a second time, and two more of the strategic cruisers make the round trip. This is an odd way to collapse a wormhole. A third jump sees another Tengu, and after that are even more. What kind of amateurs throw strategic cruisers through a wormhole trying to kill it? Surely they have the skills to pilot bigger ships, they live in a C5 system so must have bigger ships, and they definitely have an Orca available. Even if they feel the Orca is a fat target, they clearly have enough active pilots and ships to protect it. This is simply bizarre.

The wormhole drops to a critically destabilised level at last, but only with Tengus coming and going. Weirdos. I'm left waiting and watching again, wondering if they'll finish off the wormhole, but it seems they won't. But even the critical wormhole is left in a shoddy state, frankly. The fleet made sure it became critically unstable but left it immediately afterwards. Even capsuleers with limited knowledge of wormholes would know that you could sneak a battleship both ways through that connection safely. My Loki strategic cruiser is in no danger of killing the wormhole and isolating me. I'm going to take a look.

No one waits for me on the wormhole. No one I can see, at least. The system itself is alive with ships, though, as d-scan shows me. Eight Tengus, a Legion strategic cruiser, Nidhoggur carrier, Archon carrier, and Moros dreadnought are all somewhere, as are combat scanning probes for some reason, and lots of Sleeper wrecks. It seems the corporation wanted some security in their system in order to make some ISK, but apparently they didn't know how to do that.

If the locals consider their wormhole to be secure in this only-just critical state I hope to show them how wrong they can be. Sadly, not only is the fleet engaging Sleepers outside of one of the standard anomalies, found using the, well, no longer the on-board scanner, but immediately shown to me by the distasteful discovery scanner, but whatever site the fleet is in is central enough to the small system that I won't be able to get out of d-scan range in order to launch probes. And I imagine the combat scanner probes would pick up my Loki when decloaked to launch my own probes. Maybe I should credit the fleet with some sense.

Magnate warps to the critically destabilised wormhole

It doesn't look like I can do much in this system after all. Even a Magnate frigate that warps to the wormhole and drops short cloaks before I can decide if I want to try to catch it. The best I can do is decloak and be as obvious an intruder as possible, hoping to disrupt the Sleeper operation. Whether it works or not I can't tell, although the combat probes converge pretty quickly on to my position. Yeah, I'm on the wormhole you didn't kill, numbnuts.

And with that I jump back home, the wormhole predictably not dying, and no one following me. At least this diversion saved me from having to collapse our wormhole. Then again, I would have done it properly. Maybe if I had been noticed and a scout sent to watch me the pilots from C5a could have learnt something.

  1. 3 Responses to “Weirdos from another w-space system”

  2. I've been with some groups that preferred to push their static to crit rather than crash it. The problem is these guy were doing it wrong. You don't stop when it goes crit you push a HIC or 2 through it.

    For extra points leave a hole crashing HIC cloaked alt by the hole, and anchor a bubble.. If you hear the hole activate you put up your bubble and jump through, put on the BS afterburner, and jump back. If you are quick you'll trap someone on your side in the bubble. If things go badly or you are slow your hic could end up on the wrong side of the hole.

    By Surloc on Sep 23, 2013

  3. That's one of the most odd things I've ever heard of... I bet they saw your probes and knew you were coming so they dropped the orca for that fail-tengu fleet (the questions I have...).

    By Dredastttarm on Sep 24, 2013

  4. It was pretty bizarre to me. Sure, leave it crit, that's cool, but they left as soon as it dropped to critical levels. They could easily have pushed something else through there safely to actually create a threatening wormhole. Sure, someone coming to the wormhole won't notice the difference, but as you say, Surloc, it doesn't really harm anyone to take a look. What you want to encourage is a healthy distrust of critical wormholes if you're hoping one will keep you safe from intrusion.

    Using all the Tengus was decidedly odd too, if only because it took so many more pilots longer to drop the wormhole's mass, which could have been shortcut with something more massive. They could have thrown an orca or three through the connection to have the same effect, safely, and without having your T3 fleet polarised. Had anyone been watching with a fleet, we could easily have interrupted and engaged on their side without much danger to ourselves. And, because of this, using an Orca would have been safer. Have some damned fool chase the whale and run in to an unpolarised T3 fleet.

    In conclusion: weird.

    By pjharvey on Sep 24, 2013

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