Curiosity isolates the Penny

2nd February 2014 – 3.25 pm

Okay, that was a nice ambush, Penny. The home system is safe. Let's scan, find out what we've got today. Clearly there's one other wormhole, but I also find gas, a relic site, and a third wormhole to accompany our static connection. It's initially surprising to find the third wormhole, given how a fleet has just been engaging Sleepers in our system, but that's probably why the fleet only cleared one anomaly before stopping. The wormhole must have opened after they started, soon after I came on-line.

On the one hand, it's good that the wormhole opened. It stopped the fleet in their tracks and saved our anomalies. On the other hand, it limited the amount of loot I was able to steal from the fleet's unescorted salvager. Quite why the Noctis was unescorted when the fleet suspected new activity remains curious, but I'm not complaining.

Checking the two wormholes finds K162s from class 5 and class 3 w-space. The fleet is almost certainly from the class 5 system. For a start, the wormhole from C3b will not be its static connection but a random link, and it's unlikely that a corporation in C3 space would be quite so prepared to take advantage of class 4 w-space anomalies. The C5 K162, in contrast, would be the static wormhole for the system and lead to their natural farming grounds. Moreover, there is a Badger hauler on the K162 from C5a, one allied to the fleet. That's got to be a clue.

Badger sits on K162 from class 5 w-space

What is the Badger doing? Where is it going? Is he making a run to empire space, heading through our static wormhole, braving my Loki strategic cruiser on the loose? That's doubtful. Even though nothing has obviously followed the hauler in to our home, few corporations are so careless to send a vulnerable ship through a system known to be hostile. The Badger warps away, though. Not to another wormhole, but the anomaly of the recent ambush.

Badger acts as bad bait

I'm almost insulted. I follow behind the Badger and see it moving so slowly towards the remaining Sleeper wrecks, tentatively poking at them with a salvaging beam, that the fleet can only think I am a complete idiot with no impulse control. At least send a better-tanked Noctis, maybe a fast destroyer. Better still, a battlecruiser. Any of those would make it look like you actually want the loot. The only way throwing a basic hauler behind a successful ambush could look any more like bait is if they were to send me a mail telling me to please not attack their sole remaining ship they can use to make any ISK in w-space.

Needless to say, I don't go for the Badger. I still think about trying to shoot it on the wormhole, where I could have an escape route, but even that could be dodgy. I don't know what they have waiting for me, and popping an inexpensive ship probably isn't worth expending charges for my ancillary shield booster. Still, if I can get on the other side of the wormhole, it's clear, and I can catch the Badger polarised when I'm not it may be a bit of fun.

Fleet waiting for me to ambush their bait Badger

I warp to the C5 K162 as the Badger does whatever, and poke through to see what's up. Oh, hi guys. Is that your Badger in our system? Two Proteus strategic cruisers, a Devoter heavy interdictor, Harbinger battlecruiser, Navy Issue Armageddon battleship, and Retribution attack frigate are all waiting for me to bite on the bait. Instead, I've come to them willingly. Good one, Penny. Still, better to know than remain ignorant.

Devoter bubbles, Retribution chases

Luckily, I'm far enough from the wormhole to cloak immediately, and far enough from the ships that my jink takes me away from the rushing Retribution in time to complete my warp through the Devoter's now-inflated warp bubble to a distant moon. Updating my directional scanner sees more ships and five towers around, which I don't really care to find right now. I'm more interested in what's happening at the wormhole, and hopefully getting back home.

I return to loiter a safe distance from the wormhole, where ship movements occur. Some ships go out, some ships come back, including the Badger. When battleships start to get thrown through the wormhole for only a few seconds at a time I realise that they are killing the connection, perhaps to try to flush me out, probably just because they have no more use for it. I would normally try to sneak through at some point, but the appearance of a Crow interceptor makes the situation rather more dangerous for me.

Addition of an interceptor stops me trying to sneak home

Better safe in this C5 than a corpse in the home system. I warp away, out of d-scan range of the fleet and towers, and launch probes. It's possible there is another way out of here, although I realise that if there was another wormhole here the pilots may not have been comfortable heading to our system to engage Sleepers in the first place. The two anomalies and three signatures don't give me a warm feeling about sneaking out the back door either. And, with probes launched, I return to see the wormhole for the last time. My way home is gone. Oh well. At least I was right about this being the fleet's home system.

  1. 4 Responses to “Curiosity isolates the Penny”

  2. "I'm not trapped in here with YOU, you're trapped in here with ME..."

    By Bodas on Feb 2, 2014

  3. Heh, if only!

    By pjharvey on Feb 2, 2014

  4. You're crazy. I'd never go through a hot wormhole with a T3. With bait out, you had to expect a fleet there, right?

    By Von Keigai on Feb 3, 2014

  5. Sometimes you just have to see for yourself, however dumb doing so may be.

    By pjharvey on Feb 3, 2014

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