Our Academy is situated in a C2 class space which is often riddled with wormholes like old Swiss cheese. So, on the weekend, we had a C1 connecting to us via K162 which in turn had a static high security hole. I don’t know why people want to live in holes like this as they offer maximum risk (constant influx of bloodthirsty day trippers) and very little reward (worthless sleeper sites). But people do live in it, often in spectacularly defended POS-es to protect themselves against invaders.
Whilst bubbles are pretty, more protection actually comes from the mass limit of the connecting wormholes. To fly in a decent-size invasion fleet will rapidly destroy the hole and mandate repeat scanning, something that an ordinary pirate corp has no patience for.
But C1s are excellent hunting grounds as well, often visited by ninja site runners, miners (who are driven out of high sec space by our friendly Hulkageddon) and PI runners – the sleeper sites may be worthless but the planets are still nullsec-rich. So, we make it a rule to scan C1s down to the last sig, something that often is done quickly as they are farmed so frequently. Not this one… .Over 25 signatures, a dozen anomalies and 4 wormholes connecting.
So, milling around in the hole reveals three 3 towers from 3 different corps – not even from the same alliance. Industrialists, likely with a non-aggression pack. But it gets weirder…..
One of the towers has no forcefield. And its not re-enforced. Means, it ran out of fuel
, then out of Strontium Clathrates (edit, see Orea’s comment) and then just hangs there, ripe for the picking. It takes, oh, 2 seconds to make the decision to engage and I let torpedoes fly against one of the two Ship Maintenance Arrays which are likely to contain the most tasty morsels in this derelict home. My brand new graphics card decides to throw a tantrum but I dare not to reboot it for fear of getting jumped at this rather vulnerable time.
A corp mate joins me and we pound on the structures revealing a score of ships and – yes – an Orca Industrial Command ship and two tasty Battleships, a Gallente Dominix and an Amarr Armageddon. Thankfully also two haulers which serve my corpmate well to quickly empty the shot-up modules and transfer ~300mil ISK worth of stuff from their corp into ours. We like them.
All wormholes have turned end-of-life and we don’t know when. So we race against the time with the salvage operation and we still have an Orca and 2 Battleships. My alt can fly the Orca and I get him in, but none of the holes will allow him to leave, even the very wobbly C3 connection where the locals have (no kidding) 2 carriers, 1 Dreadnought, several Tengu Strategic Cruisers and 14 Sisters Combat Probes out. Getting the Orca through there would have been… well, sporting. But the thought is moot – ain’t gonna fit.
Ok, so what next? We picked the POS clean, we have 2 Battleships and 1 Orca entombed in this silly place and all connections are very, very unstable. Decision is made to contact the most active corp in the system (by Battleclinic records, they racked up a decent number of lossmails recently) and sell them the Orca plus the 2 ships none of us could fly but fit into the Orca itself.
The CEO of the POS never replied but the next day, I manage to catch a guy who lives in that system also and get him into convo.
He > yo
Me > You have received mail wrt an ORca
He > i dont need
Me > that was not your POS, was it?
He > yes thats is not mine
Me > I will have to blow up the Orca – or someone buys it. sure you are not interested?
He > i have orca in that WH
me > its got 2 ships inside
Me > it would be waste to blow it up
Me > the other guys, do they still live in that hole or have they stopped?
He > i dont know
Me > who there is the most active?
He > me
He > lol
Me > in the other corp lol
He > I have not seen anyone recently
Me > ok, I need to go. tomorrow morning I need a decision, make me an offer on the orca and you can have it, ok?
He > maybe anyone not need orca
Me > no problem. Ask people, make me an offer. Tomorrow morning, I blow it up
Me > o/
So, note to self, ransoming only works if the person you are trying to ransom actually wants the things you have. Dastardly tactics are not my strength. I am too nice for this world, I would have given him the Orca for free if he had negotiated. Well, maybe not free.
End of the line. He never gets back to me, neither the original owner. Time to do the most disgusting thing, blow up 700Mil ISK worth of ship.
While I initiate the self destruct, a bunch of Russians come in from high sec, armed to the teeth in cloaked Tengus, Proteus and whatnot and are bubbling up the high security hole. The let combat probes fly and are clearly on the prowl. For a minute, I am tempted to sell them the Orca with some weird story but my Russian is only as good as that from Google Translate and without a chance to get the salvager in, I just blow up the ship, receive 200mil in insurance money and get out of this stupid place.
So, this raid was fun, very profitable but self destruction is not a satisfying end to a beautifully crafted ship like the Orca.