It was late. I mean, really late. For me, 23:00 is late. It was midnight when I logged in and decided to take my main character back into our C4. Nothing wrong with Sisters of EVE questing but 4 missions are more than I can bear. If it isn’t for the ISK, it feels like level grinding in WoW days and those drove me away. No intention to do the same thing in New Eden.
Our corp has a new and neat way to map the constellation and the names of our exits into Carebear (null) and High Sec land. I read the notes and see “Dodixie” – looks like we have an exit right into the center of Gallente space. Its quite a hike from where I parked my clone and Proteus but I am too tired to do anything clever like rolling the hole or looking for WH shortcuts on the way. No, I just hoof it, 22 jumps, its not so bad. Few things feel bad after running missions.
As convenient busy high sec access points are, they are also not exactly safe. Entrepreneurial griefers may feel encouraged to leave the station perimeter and set up camp, mostly in blap Tornadoes inside the wormhole. They never stay long since they are impatient but a team like that can put a world of hurt onto my Proteus and hence I decide to log my alt in and have him scout ahead.
Normally, my scouting alt straps on a Falcon but this time I have him in a Buzzard, nothing mean about him, maybe a scram or so but nothing that can shoot. I plop the Buzzard in the wormhole on the High Sec exit and focus my fading attention on jumping my Proteus closer.
Oh? My dazzled brain doesn’t quite register. Someone from Dodixie actually did manage to scan the hole down and sets up camp. Its a Devoter, the Amarr version of a Heavy Interdictor or “Bubble” boat as it is commonly known. He does what it says on the tin, blows his bubble and sits there.
Now thats a tad unusual. Anyone jumping into the hole will see the bubble and just jump back out. Thats it. Anyone jumping from somewhere in the wormhole to the High Sec hole will find himself inside the bubble – at the center of which is the desired wormhole. So, neither method will catch anything. I am smelling noob. 15 jumps on my Proteus. Or so. I can’t keep count.
The Devoter motors away from the hole and at 20km installs a warp disruption bubble. Not the one he blows from his ship, no, the one you anchor. Now we are getting somewhere. Thats a stop bubble and he is trying to…
I am not sure, actually. The bubble is perfectly in-line with the sun. So, he is hoping that a hapless victim jumps into the wormhole, warps to the sun and gets caught in the bubble. Thats not how it works matey. With the bubble this close, you just can’t enter warp. Or he has in fact aligned it with one of the many (and unscanned) holes in this system and waits for someone to get caught. He cloaks up. Good man. He must have a normal cloak, this means, his targeting speed is that of a Battleship. A well known side effect….
Proteus is getting closer. My brain is swimming. I had a rough day at work, a shitty commute and ran a LvL 4 mission. Enough to dissolve my desire to play.
The Devoter decloaks and motors back to the hole. Oh, come on, dont give up, little friend, I am almost there. Well, he cloaks, by the hole. Then decloaks. Motors back to the warp bubble and un-anchors it. Did I mention that highsec griefers with ambitions to be badass WH dwellers don’t have any patience? Well, we got us a specifically fidgety one.
A few jumps out. I am racing now. But if I jump in and he tackles me, either of us can always jump back to safety. Fights on high sec holes are not satisfying. But hey, I take what I can get.
I am in system, warping to the hole. I land at my customary distance, am cloaked and catch my breath. My scout inside the hole sees the Devoter decloak and jump out of the hole. Damn it! He cant have seen me, I was cloaked all the time. Stupid coincidence. He appears in Dodixie and sits on the hole. I wait, lets see what he does.
A Venture lands on grid and without any fussing jumps past the Devoter into the hole. Some balls. Or he is allied with him. Possible but it looked like a different corp. No matter. The Devoter turns around and jumps back into the hole.
Does he know that he is polarized now? 4 minutes, friend, you can’t get out again.
My scout reports that he blows his bubble, trying to catch the Venture. He doesn’t know that the nimble frigate has already warped off. I cant let this bubble go wasted and jump my Proteus in. He is on grid, 5km, I decloak, fire up the systems, target him and engage. A Heavy Interdictor is a mightily tough nut to crack for a cloaky T3 (my DPS aint great) but see, I can jump out any time. He can not for another 3 minutes or so.
Scram, guns. The scram is kinda superfluous, we are fighting in his own bubble. But its good form, I have plenty of cap and he may get weird ideas. I aim true and try to bump him away from the hole but it ain’t working. Not sure whats with the mass of a bubbly Devoter but he is not moving an inch. I could try to lure him away, pretend that I am scared and want to get out of the bubble. If I do that, my blasters will lose efficiency and I dont think he will follow me. He is more scared of me, than I am of him.
And he shoots back! He hurts us! My shield is gone and he starts edging into my armor. Ok, ok, enough of that bumping attempt, I get some transversal and I launch some ECM drones. I had good experience with these little beasts, their ability to break target lock can be disorienting and annoying. Just what I want.
His shield is melting nicely and I am heading into his armor. Of which he seem to have a lot. I shoot and shoot, overheat my blasters and realize that I am not going to get anywhere fast. Screw the ECM drones, I have a flight of Warrior II, I need all the DPS I can get. I am redlining my blasters and hammer on this guy with all my crew can muster.
If only my alt was in his Bomber – damn it. Some time ago, I gave up on Cov Ops frigates and used Bombers as only scouts. Not sure why I am in this legacy boat but this is where I need a few salvos of torpedoes but all I could throw and this guy are sisters core (not even combat!) probes. Talk about useless, geez.
But I am winning. His armor is giving up, he is clearly losing it. I am fine, getting to a comfortable 50% armor and I can always jump out. This is as safe as sex with a 95 year old Tibetan nun. And about as exciting. There is no elegance in this fight. We sit at zero km range and blasting away at each other like battleships of yesteryear. He is clearly sweating bullets now, that was not the way he intended the gank to be. He really wanted to catch some juicy fuel or PI hauler on his way back from Dodixy. Instead he got himself polarized with a Proteus on grid.
I am getting there. Not much armor left, friend, you are mine, and mine alone. And your capsule shall be mine as well, your frozen corps will ornament my my mantlepiece.
When he jumps.
Back to high sec. His polarization timer has expired.
Grrrr. I have words for this in other languages that I don’t want to repeat here. He was so close….
But hey, it was a nice drive-by engagement, I learned a bit (should have not bothered with the ECM drones at all but gone for 100% spank and always fly the scout in a Bomber) and I am sure he thinks twice before he jumps back into a hole without intel. Fun evening but long, my head is about to hit the keyboard but I steer it toward the pillow instead.