Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prowling Lo-sec

Since the move out, I've come to find that the old standby's, namely missions and mining, have gone out the window for me. I can't BEAR the thought of doing either again, because, well...I want my fix dammit.

Since the wormhole I've become a combat junkie. And while I fully admit this deepening spiral into steaming organs pulping out into empty space and a continual drain on my wallet (with probably very little in the way of influx to that same wallet), I can't bring myself to run missions right now, or suck dirt.

So for the last few days I've been out running around Lo-Sec, trying to get some kills, some combat even. Hell, me being blown up was more appetizing than spinning ships, which was slightly more appetizing than missions or mining. Unfortunately, the only person I managed to find in a killable position was a salvage catalyst out to salvage a Hulk wreck. Everyone one else was either sitting on a gate, in a station, or in a tower. Those that were sitting on a gate were in HACs or drakes. Sure, there was the one rifter, but again, why the hell attack anyone sitting on the gate? If they get in real trouble they just jump and let the gate guns finish you off.

So, I was, and am, quite bored now.

Today on my lo-sec prowl I got so bored I jumped into a NULL sec system, despite a spotter on the gate which I knew would alert the denizens, likely gate camping, on the other side. And indeed a gate camp it was.

It was here reason abandoned me. I'm old enough to combat to love it, but so new that I still panic a bit sometimes. Here, I was being a bit panicky, and warped out to another stargate. Lo and Behold! An interdictor and a Rupture waiting for me! I try to escape, fail miserably, get smashed by said Rupture, a Dramiel, and some other ships which I didn't really bother to pay attention to once I was dead in the water. I was subsequently podded, as you can guess.

On the bright side, I got my adrenaline fix. On the downside I got blown up and didn't kill anyone.

Did I mention my corp was looking for a Null sec area to go to? I have no idea if we're ready or not mentally, but I'd say combat wise, "probably not?" We're a bit of a mismash timezone wise, play time wise, and skill wise, though I'd say most of us have decent mining or industrial skills, and while those are great for a wormhole, Null is definitely more combat oriented. I'm pretty sure we need alot more combat orienting as a corp.

And this is where I actually think Faction War would do us better than Null. Don't get me wrong, the idea of constant war out in Null thrills me, as well as getting to do the Incursion bit. HOWEVER, I'm pretty certain that Faction War will help us out in a number ways better than Null.

1) We get some experience in running with fleets not comprised solely of, say, us.
2) We get to kill regularly, either as part of fleet blobs with assigned rolls, or small hunting squads, again with assigned roles, or solo, also, with the assigned role of "bastard that podded you"
3) If/when we run out of cash, it's no biggie to run back to hi sec and do some missioning/mining to recoup that money. Personally I would like being a bounty hunter more, but probably that won't be likely in the case that I'm out of cash.
4) We don't have to be told "man, your killboard sucks, WE REJECT YOUR APPLICATION!" followed by a big read rubber stamp imprinting "CAREBEAR" all over our foreheads.

Until we join Faction War however, there isn't a great deal for me going on. It's probably all good and well, given that I have two tests this week coming along. I can barely bring myself to study for them though. Bollocks!

I did test something out. Granted, alot of people probably figured this out before I did, but 1v1 Rifter (tech 2 fitted, of course), fit 1 out does fit 2

fit 1: 
hi = 3 150 t2 + 1 small neut II
med = ab + scramble + med shield ext II
low = micro aux power + nano 2  + damage control II

fit 2: 
high = are the same, except the neut is a rocket launcher
med = web ab scram
low = sm armor rep II + damage control 2 + 200mm plate

You don't find that on battleclinic far as I'm aware, and maybe because it's likely only good against frigates. I think everything else would eat this alive with drones or guns or whatever. could still make a half decent tackler, but yup i'm pretty sure it's just a frigate killer. So why not use a destroyer? Speed, cheapness, those things.

Somebody shoot someone! Please!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Returning to Known Space

Day 276:

It's been a bad two days since my last kill, that one Iteron Mark III I snuck in under a swarm of 20 mostly battlecruiser and cruiser sized ships. Since that I time, I managed to get blown up twice, in two different Hounds, and my corporation has taken down its W-Space POS.

On the first Hound loss, we were chasing a shuttle that had come into our space. Some new capsuleer, of course, and he got lost I think since he was asking if there was anyone in the system. Unable to probe him out, I found him using Dscan, but couldn't match his speed while cloaked. The guy had enough sense to fly in any direction at full speed, so I had to decloak and attempted to overtake with an overloaded MWD. Of course, he saw me, and warped away close to planet VII. As it turned out from using directional scan, he had warped into a Sleeper site, and like a fool, I warped to zero on the Sleeper site. I arrived cloaked, warped right by his wreck without realizing I got de-cloaked, and was summarily blown to hell by the Sleepers.

So my corpmate, who was trying to kill him also, warped to me to pod the new guy. Naturally, just as he exits warp IN THE SLEEPER SITE he disconnects, in his Crow. Jebus almighty, talk about Murphy's Law. He reconnects as quickly as possible, launches a few defender missiles while podding the guy, and manages to escape with his ship barely intact.

After this incident, I run out, buy a new Hound, and fit it up. I move into the Class 4 adjoining our system, and go afk while cloak orbiting another Class 4 entrance. I come back in a few minutes to see a Buzzard probably jump through. Like a fool, once I jump through, I orbit the hole at 2500m UNCLOAKED. I see a wormhole transit from the previous system and continue doing what I'm doing. Thus, without fail, a Thorax de-cloaks, I attack while screaming like a little girl running away, and he rips my spine out of my ass, the hard way, with Hobogoblin II's.

Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to warp away, as opposed to trying to make a run for the hole. I made it back to my original system holding a wet blanket and a set of female eyes tatoo'ed on my lower back. I went out and bought another Hound, fitted it up, and declared myself unfit to fly a spaceboat for the rest of the day.

The next day, I log on to find that we're taking down the Tower because the corp has had it with running sites and the lack of PvP (probably that last more the rest I think). By the time I logged on, half the tower was dismantled and most of the ships had been shipped out to Hi-sec. Not everyone managed to get out either, so Moph and maybe Aelith stayed behind to scan people a way out when the time comes, if it comes, say, before these people get blown to hell by new occupants. I doubt that WH will stay unoccupied for very long.

So right now, we're looking for a Null space home, a Null space alliance. We have a tower, with a decent setup, and we don't wanna get smashed by Pandemic Legion at the outset. Hauling all of this through Low sec will suck big balls. I guess ideally we'd want to jump it in, but I'd not want to do that and broadcast our location via cyno. We might end up using cov ops cynos, but still....

Yup, it's been a rough few days. The corp actually almost dismantled itself today over moving to null, because some people REALLY wanted it and some people are reluctant, probably because of a bad experience I think.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 274 : Hunting a pack of predators

After several transits through the Wormhole Space network my home system was currently a part of, I was in a Class one.

"Entering Unknown System: Locus Signature J213653," reported the deep, guttural voice, overflowing with menace. A male voice, without question: female Klingons always sounded a bit too husky for my tastes, and if I was going to do menacing, nothing fit quite like disgruntled male Klingon warrior. I wasn't so geeky as to actually learn Klingon though. On top of that, there wasn't a skill for sale called "Klingon".

It was only a Class one transit, so recovery time was zero. The worst symptom I faced was a gurgling stomach. "Running Directional-scan," reported the AI Klingon. After the briefest of pauses, "Multiple signatures detected." A list of all the signatures flitted through my mind. I moved the report off to my right eyeball while I surveyed open space with the other eye.

As always, I set to orbit the tunnel at 30km, then activated the cloak as quickly as was possible. Manually operating the directional scanner, I quickly tracked down which planet the signatures were at. Most of them were at Planet XI, the rest somewhere else in space. The ones at Planet XI were mostly ships, mainly battlecruisers, Tech 3's, and stealth bombers.

I set course for Planet XI. The warp transit was short, perhaps twenty to thirty seconds total.

Upon arrival, I took another few seconds to directional scan each moon, and found the signatures at moon II. I short warped there in less than 10 seconds.

"Enemy ships detected," reported the Klingon. Clearly I had been watching too much Star Trek, broadcast from Earth some many eons ago. "Cloaking Device active, shields raised. Torpedoes, ready at your command. Phasers are OFFLINE."

'Phasers...I better edit that one out.'

Bringing myself back to bear on the situation in front of me, I took quick stock of where I was in relation to the other ships, then blanched. I hadn't quite been expecting what I was seeing. I turned command over to the Klingon while I assessed the scene before my eyes.

After recovering from too many inputs, I set to move off the beaten warp path. I tracked out behind them to the left until no celestial was in line with the pack and my ship. I made sure to keep my distance, as I still needed to identify a target.


I had failed to identify a viable target.

There were two problems with attacking a battlecruiser: one, all the other ships, and two, any of the battlecruiser's proximity to the other ships.

There were three problems with attacking a stealth bomber: the aforementioned two problems, plus the length of time it would take to torpedo a stealth bomber into dust.

There were four problems with attacking a Strategic Cruiser or the lone Megathron: the aforementioned three problems, plus the fact that they were either Strategic Cruisers or the Battleship.

And finally, there were problems with attacking the Prowler that warped in and out every now and then, resupplying the fleet with ammunition: one, all the other ships, two, the location it warped into being a hornet's nest, and three, the location it warped out to being unknown.

I had managed to identify why that Minmatar Large Tower was going down, however. There were apparently, and quite idiotically, no warp disruptor batteries on the tower, and all the batteries that were there had been completely incapacitated. To top it off, there had been no one controlling the weapons systems to alpha-strike any attacker.

In that time, I had discovered the presence of another Control Tower in that system. It too had the same fatal flaw as the one being destroyed en masse: no warp disruptor batteries. I'd also determined that that system had a permanent link to Hi-Sec space.

I attempted to relax while watching the steady stream of missiles impact the control tower. It seemed that the hunter would have to wait to make his kill.


The Minmatar Large Tower finally went down. A massive shockwave rippled through the fibers of my Hound, threatening to shake it to pieces before finally subsiding. The attacking fleet targeted the Ship Maintenance Array, and I locked my eyes to the scene, wondering what treasures awaited.

The array exploded...and two Iteron Mark III's popped out.

"SERIOUSLY?!!!" I screamed. "UGH! What a waste..."

I had to wait another five minutes before a pod showed up to take the Iterons away. Upon seeing that the fleet was indeed going to try to take the Iterons instead of simply demolishing them, I began maneuvers to get within bombing range.

"I only need to get within 40k..."

I carefully moved about under cloak to get in position as the fleet demolished what was left of the wrecked base.


I finally made it into position five minutes later. Flying a meandering path had been requisite for getting into position. The nearest objects were drones, some 25k away, but the target, the last remaining Iteron Mark III was at 33k, well within bomb range. I made sure to keep one eye, literally, on the overview, to make sure nothing got too close while waiting for the capsuleer hauling the ships away to come back.

As luck had it, the capsuleer returned right about then, but had warped about 10k away from the Iteron Mark III. I waited patiently for the pod to get within 7k of the ship.

'7500...7350...7200...7050,' I counted to myself, de-cloaking and launching the shrapnel bomb immediately at the Iteron. The whole fleet continued shooting at the wreckage of the tower. I warped out as soon as possible.

No one had even attempted to target me. I could tell by how no klaxxons were ringing in my ears. As I transited I cackled with the best of the ancient wizards on ancient earth, nearly insane with laughter. I had gotten away with murder and no one had noticed while I committed it, much less left the scene of the crime.

I imagined the victim's expression must have been one of, "Ummm, where did the Iteron go?" It only set me doubling over with laughter even harder.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 273 - 22:00

I had quickly grown bored of camping the Hi-Sec wormhole.

In search of greener pastures, I got up the gumption to go explore the W-space network as it was at that moment. After talking shortly with two corpmates, I warped off in the direction of the class four wormhole my system always generated. I jumped through immediately upon arrival. The transit wasn't pleasant as space-time folded like so much origami around me, inside me, spitting me back out into normal space after roughly five seconds.

I shivered. It never got any easier. It did unfortunately get worse depending on the type of wormhole one entered. The more mass was allowed to pass through a wormhole, the bigger the distortion, and the bigger the physical effects.

Pulling myself together, I quickly set my ship to orbit the exit at 30km, cloaking as immediately was possible.

"Nothing on D-scan...that's good," I muttered to myself. With nothing in the immediate vicinity, I made a quick tour of the outer planets to verify the zero occupancy of the system. After a few minutes, I had confirmed it. Not a trace of life. An empty wasteland.

With no apparent threat, I de-cloaked and launched my sister's core scanner probes, four out of six of them. I re-cloaked as soon as was feasible, setting about discovering the treasures left in that abandoned system.


I warped to one of the wormhole signatures I had found with my probes. It appeared to lead into Class 1 or Class 2 wormhole space, but my money was on Class 2. I've never found any Class 1 w-spaces connected directly to a Class 4.

Before heading in, I decided to check out the other one. I initiated warp and closed my eyes for the twenty second journey, listening to the relaxing hum of compressed space-time moving about me in my own little tunnel through the universe.

The ship decelerated reluctantly, edging back into normal space-time as I approached the other exit-connection.

"WHOA!! A Class 5!" I exclaimed over the corporate comms. "Hey Moph, I'm gonna go check it out."

"Alright True."

I prepared myself for a rather nasty set of side effects, pushed through the space-time membrane that was the entrance to the next w-space, and did my best to bear with it.


As I exited back into normal space, my stomach wrenched violently. Grotesquely so.

Thankfully, I had programmed a simple AI of myself to make commands for me when I was otherwise incapacitated. My AI clone immediately set to orbit the exit at 30km, cloaking as soon as possible. It wasn't as fast as I could have done it, but considering that I was still hunched over the floor in an almost unnatural position retching my insides inside-out, it was extremely well done.

After half a minute, I finally managed to catch my breath and stop the heaving. Wiping my tears and my mouth, I took slow deep breaths while the ship glided through the new system unseen, hopefully undetected. I paced unsteadily, getting the blood flowing through my body again in a normal fashion, recovering.

"No signatures on directional scan," declared the clone. It was kept up to date with my procedures, my voice, my verbal inflections. I sometimes couldn't tell if I was speaking or it was.

The ship set about using directional scan on the outlying planetary bodies that were beyond directional scan range. I let it, using the time to get myself put back together.


I had discovered few places of interest in that Class 5. A bountiful reservoir, a barren reservoir, two gravimetric disturbances that I had ignored, and yet another wormhole connection. I was hardly surprised by this last; most systems in W-Space opened into another system of some type. I had not yet heard of one that only ever got opened into. And I'd be damned if I was going to sit in a mining barge, never you mind how long it had taken me to break down and train Mining Barge V, in the middle of Class five W-Space sucking down rock, Arkonor, Mercoxit, whatever. Mining is my last resort, and most of the time I favor simply "Logging Out" as opposed to "mining". Sleep was important too. So were a lot of things that, while they didn't pay nearly as handsomely as sucking rocks, sure were a lot more fun or more satisfying, usually both.

"Well Moph, I got us a decent ladar site," I sent over the comms.

"Can we handle the Sleepers?" Moph sent back.

"I don't know. These are the tough ones. I have no idea though if they'll behave like their lesser counterparts and not warp disrupt us...Yeah, we could...I think I'll go check out this Class six attached to this Class five though."

"Alright, I'm still out in Hi-Sec anyways, getting implants," replied Moph.

With that I warped to the Class six entrance and mentally prepared for the journey, one that was sure to be excruciating.


It took a full minute before I was able to do anything other than retch uncontrollably. The AI persona had taken over, of course, doing the same tried and true routine.

"No signatures on directional scan. Checking outer planets." I was just barely recovering when my ship warped in on a sight I'd not seen before. A group of capsuleers were dismantling their tower. The tower was a Serpentis Tower at that! The group was patrolling half vigorously around a set of ships at the interior, gathered around the tower packing itself into a nice little box. According to sensors, it would take another thirty minutes for the tower to finish. I hit d-scan reflexively and noticed something strange.

"Well, that answers that."

I sat there, watching them, blood racing, thrumming with anticipation as I contemplated how the kill would go down. I ran various scenarios in my head to kill the remaining industrial, a Badger Mark II. It was going to be dicey the way things were at the current moment though. A Phoenix, a Caldari dreadnought, was cloaking and uncloaking every now and then. A Loki and a Tengu patrolled the scene. An Orca was there as well, but some had been known to fit to kill attacking ships. The Badger had to be the target.

'But what about all those wrecks?' I wondered.

Doing some quick reasoning, I came to the conclusion that I should check out the other moons around that planet, planet X. I was currently at moon I and recorded the position in the ship computer before launching at moon II.

I arrived to find a very similar scenario. Another tower was being taken down.

I traveled to moon III, and finding nothing, warped to moon 4, the final moon around planet X. It was there that I found what appeared to be a graveyard for shuttles.

I contemplated the situation further, checking moons I and II several times over the next thirty minutes.


The countdown timer was at five minutes for the tower being repackaged at moon I.

The blood boiled under my skin. 'This is it,' I thought excitedly. 'The Badger hasn't blown himself up yet, so he's planning on picking up the tower when it finishes.'

"That badger is MINE," the AI and I snarled. It was good to have someone in on it with me, even if it was only a ghost of myself.

Waiting impatiently, my hands shaking, I checked several times that I was lined up on the target. I cloaked, reciting the commands I would give and when.


As the timer hit one minute, I was practically gnashing my teeth.

The Orca apparently was fitted with a cloaking device, just like the dreadnought, and flickered on and off scan repeatedly. As if the situation wasn't stressful enough, I practically jumped every time the overview flickered.

'40 seconds...'

The Loki still hadn't shown up. I hadn't seen if it warped or cloaked, but it hadn't been flicking in and out on me, so I assumed it was at the other tower. The Orca was currently uncloaked. I was still cloaked, 38km off the badger.

'30 seconds...'

The Dreadnought was still nowhere to be seen, even though I knew it was there.

'20 seconds.'

Immediately I set to approach the badger. I de-cloaked, hit the MWD, then launched the bomb, planning to deactivate the MWD just before the bomb went off. Hopefully that would allow me to get close and warp disrupt the badger if it had been prepped for an ambush.

At 5 seconds the badger exploded in an expanding ball of shrapnel. 'I did it! That Badger's dead!' I immediately veered off and reactivated the cloak, the Orca the only other ship on scan. My ship had not auto targeted, so it seemed that I hadn't even been noticed until I was gone. "You fools were watching that tower just like I was!" I crowed, laughing maniacally. Just to add to the flavor, I raised my arms over my head.

I made my way over to the other tower after watching the Orca scoop the tower, the Loki and Tengu now quite agitated.


It was rather unfortunate, but to be expected, that there were no other kills to be made without most likely losing my life. I watched with glee as the Tengu, Loki, and Orca were extra careful in recovering their other tower, a simple Minmatar Large Control Tower. Definitely not worth dying over.

With that I traversed back into the Class four adjacent to my own Class two, and finally went into the other Class two it was currently connected to. I saw a tower on D-scan, and immediately set about locating it. In the end, I was sitting, cloaked, 70km away from an Amarr Large Control tower, with all the Sleeper Strongholds scanned down and easily accessible. I reclined haughtily with a satisfied smile on my face.

'This could take a while.'

Day 273 : Frustration and Tedium

"Warning: Shield Capacity to 38 percent," chimed the emotionless voice of what sounded like a probably pretty hot babe. Unfortunately, you can only hear the same warning messages from the same hot babe so many times before you can't stand it. Another wave of Sleeper missiles slammed into my shields, blinding me for a second as the energy splashed off of them.

"Warning: Shield Capacity at 36 percent."


"Warning: Shield Capacity to 38 percent," repeated the hot, but extremely annoying babe.

"I can't deal ..."

"Warning: Shield Capacity BSSZZZT!!!" announced the computerized voice.

A smoking hole now occupied the space where the AI's alarm sounds, in the case of low shields, low armor, and hull damage, were stored. It was a very small disk. Was. Now it was a satisfyingly shattered piece of machinery.

"Bitch," I spat. "I'm going to have to change your programming so that you actually have some personality. Maybe I'll make you sound Caldari too while I'm at it. Or Klingon. Whatever. And some new warning messages."

The day had not been going well for me. I had been solo'ing the same Sleeper base for almost two hours now. Granted, it was the hardest class two Radar site known, an Unsecured Transponder Farm, but still, two hours. And since I had to operate autocannons because my artillery skills blew, and because I didn't have Advanced Weapons Upgrades V, and because there probably wasn't power enough anyways to fit even the tech two 650's, I wasted ALOT of bullets. So far, I'd used 6000 bullets, split evenly between Fusion, Phased Plasma, and EMP. The upside was that my ship, Repulse, even in my home class two Wolf-Rayet (which happened to be worst possible system to run my ship setup) had a peak shield recharge of two hundred forty-eight per second.

Of course, that doesn't stop eight cruiser sized sleepers and four frigate sized sleepers from making that look pitiful. I'd already had to warp in and out several times, a few with armor damage, which of course needed repairing. I felt I could maintain my peak recharge rate though at this point, with only four cruisers left. I just wasn't sure I'd have enough bullets to make it through comfortably. It was more of a hope and pray situation that someone didn't come in to gank me, because I would go down faster than a Matari whore's thong when said whore was drugged out of her mind at a Gallente orgy.

I'd seen it happen and knew exactly how fast that was. Some neural processes are slower than that.


30 minutes later, my shields finally had the chance to recharge. To full, mind you, none of that peak recharge stuff. All the Sleepers had finally been destroyed and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The transit back to base was short, but relaxing, and not filled with red bars oscillating between almost dead and kinda dead. My guns weren't constantly sending tiny shock waves through the ship either, a welcome relief. I think if it had gone much longer my back would have been jazzercized to mulch.

Upon arriving at the base, I stored my Hurricane in the Ship Maintenance Array, and boarded the Salvage destroyer I'd fit so long along. Nothing special about it. It was a Thrasher. Two rigged bits of Salvage tackle, three salvagers, three tractor beams, an MWD, a codebreaker, and an analyzer, and some CPU upgrades to accompany my core probe launcher. A decent general purpose looting ship, minus of course all the firepower that has to proceed looting of any sort.

I made my way back to the wreckage.


After thirty minutes, and salvaging something like twenty-five wrecked Sleepers, my biggest loot in terms of salvage were the two Melted Nanoribbons that had come off of the one battleship to appear during that whole ordeal. "Two friggin' nanoribbons...ugh! That barely covers the bullets I had to use to kill all this crap!"

A few new dents made their way into the walls of the Thrasher's interior, none of any consequence.

Sullenly, I warped back to base, and upon arrival, stashed the salvage and loot, boarded my trusty Hound, "Kernel Panic!", and went to camp the Hi-sec entrance to the system. I was hoping some idiot would come prowling around for a good time, and I'd pull it out his ass the hard way. I muttered angrily under my breath. Setting the ship to auto-orbit the anomaly at 28 km, I stalked out of the command module to my library of books and picked up the Harry Dresden novel I had been reading the night before.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 272 : A trap well laid

"On the whole, we're a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took all of four people breathing the same air to make the earth too crowded to stand."

I sat comfortably in my open capsule, lodged in the Hound I was flying. It had been a very long day for me: long, tense, and entirely too adrenaline filled how for completely uneventful the day had been. I reclined in my command chair reading the latest Harry Dresden novel. If not for the books I owned, the day would have been a total waste to that point.

When I had woken up from my slumber, I had kept the ship's stealth systems active, and everything else but the most basic of life support systems and internal lighting inactive. I'd groggily taken care of the basic necessities, such as using the facilities, cleaning up, and getting dressed. Once all of that was taken care of, I activated the ship from "Logged out" to "Logged in". Immediately, as was always the annoying case, there was a glitch in the software subroutines that forced every Covert Ops Cloaking Device to deactivate when the "Log" mode changed, and as always I immediately reactivated it, showing my ship to the rest of space for less than a second.

That was more than enough time for some paranoid raider on D-scan to pick me up. Thankfully, it hadn't happened yet, and I felt my chances were nearly a hundred percent that I hadn't been detected for several reasons.

On top of being cloaked, I always made sure to change "Log" modes where no one else was about. Unlike most of my corporation, I was enjoying the secluded and stealthy life. I had several "safe spots" sprinkled throughout this W-Space system we occupied, and logged at the ones where absolutely nothing came up on D-scan. Not ships, planets, moon, celestials...anything. In combination with the cloaking field I employed for my ship, it was an almost absolute surety that I'd never be detected by raiders whenever I changed logging modes.

The unfortunate side effect of this, in W-Space no less, that fewer raids happened in W-Space than I had been lead to believe. Those were the benefits, but there were also the downsides.

Just as I was getting into the novel, some noise came in over the comm line. I kept it active in case of situations like this. "True, I'm on my way back to the hole."

I snapped back to attention as I lazily orbited the Hi-Sec exit from that system, cloaked of course, at 25km. I didn't particularly like or dislike guard duty, but it allowed me to do several other things while helping my corp and giving me the opportunity for combat. "Roger that Ranger, how many jumps out are you?"

"Three," replied Ranger. As usual, transmissions from Hi-Sec to W-space came in garbled and distorted, but usually intelligible thanks to some handy filters on the audio bands.

I settled back into my command chair, no need to get all fidgety just yet. Picking my book back up with a huff of annoyance that never made it out over the audio, I continued reading. My sensors kept attuned to the exit wormhole, configured to transmit visual and audio signals as a virtualizations of wormhole distortion via transit.

Naturally, just as I settled in, I heard the telltale signs of Wormhole activity. "Ranger, did you just enter the system?"


"Roger." I paused, watching the spatial distortion intently. After a few seconds, a Purifier appeared briefly, re-cloaking almost immediately, and undoubtedly warping away immediately as well. An evil smile crept onto my face.

"Purifier. Stealth Bomber. Cloaked immediately and warped out. Probably thinks he got in unnoticed," I transmitted.

"Gotcha, coming up to the hole." There was a pause as Ranger undoubtedly warped towards the system entrance. "Uhh, there's a manticore here...annnd he warped away."

"Roger that...come on in, no one is going to attack a Megathron sitting on the hole anyways, and they're not likely to come in on seeing it either."

"Will you be watching the hole?"

"Yeah, I will," I replied. "You going to close this hole?"



After an hour of watching Ranger jump back and through the hole with his Megathron, eventually the sheer transited mass collapsed the hole. Luckily, Ranger ended up on the W-space side.

"Guys, I have a proposition," I transmitted over my corp comms. "We have a Sleeper stronghold
I picked up earlier today. Damn robots show up at the weirdest times, but regardless, we have it.
That Purifier from earlier is still in here with us I think. I want you guys to run that Perimeter
Hangar and I'll stay there with you, but cloaked. I want to set up an ambush."

General agreement followed over the comms.  After ten minutes, the fleet leader, 'Ghost', called out to me over the comms. "Ok True, we're here, warp to us."

"Roger, warping at 30." I settled back as I sent the warp command via my implants to the ship AI. There was a brief gravitational shift as the ship aligned, accelerated, and began compressing the space in front of it to travel faster than light. A few short seconds later, I emerged back into normal space-flight mode, hovering 30km above my colleagues. I carefully maneuvered my Hound to where I thought my compatriots would eventually arrive while dealing with the newly awakened Sleepers, and then set myself to be above them by 10 kilometers so that their proximity wouldn't interfere with the cloak, a field roughly spherical and 2500 meters in diameter.

I watched rather intently for any signs of enemy activity while they completed the site. Eventually, they did.

"Leaving for salvager," called Ranger. Inside of a minute, he returned with the salvage Catalyst we had set up for corp use, and quickly salvaged anything and everything possible from the shattered Sleeper hulls.

With only a few wrecks left to go, the suspected ambushers revealed themselves. A Manticore and a Purifier decloaked, lobbing bombs towards the salvage catalyst.

As the bombs sped towards their target, Ranger had already begun warping out, leaving the area of effect as the bombs exploded.

Unfortunately, Ghost was hit with the full force of two EM bombs, one from a Purifier and one from a Manticore. The Purifier and Manticore turned to warp out as Ghost starting warping away. Before either Stealth Bomber had managed to warp out, however, a third Stealth Bomber uncloaked, also an enemy, who targeted Moph and began launching torpedoes at the last remaining Drake on the field.

I brought my ship around towards the new Hound, de-cloaked, and warp disrupted him in an instant. I maneuvered closer, making sure remote sensor dampeners wouldn't disrupt my lock, and launched two sets of Bane torpedoes at our catch. Moph, when he finally managed to lock onto the Hound, began hitting him with seven sets of Heavy Missiles.

The target was down within twenty seconds. I was too close to be sensor-damped, no matter how much the enemy tried to squirm away. When the ship blew up, I immediately targeted and warp disrupted the enemy pilot's pod. "Moph, we need to hurry and kill him, my cap is almost gone," I called out. I jammed the launch buttons as often as possible, trying to get the torpedoes to fire faster as I saw my capacitor reservoir dwindle to nothing.

Eventually the cap ran out, and the warp disruptor deactivated. The enemy escaped immediately, pod damaged, but intact.

"Ranger, come on back. We blew up his ship. We didn't manage to get his pod, but I don't think they're coming back," I transmitted. With that, I moved away from the wreckage and re-cloaked, secretly hoping that the enemy would come back so that I could blow up all their remaining ships.

They did not return however.