As both regular readers of this blog surely know by now, our little Academy (Broken Wheel Mercantile and Trading, BWMT) makes its humble living inside a C2 Wormhole where the PvE is meager but the opportunity for pewpew is a-plenty. Unlike our distant cousins in their C6 fortresses who seemingly have coalitions with half of their neighbors and gentlemen’s agreements with the other half, we don’t have Blue standing for anyone. If we see it in space, we either kill it or we run away.
So, the other night, our team is sniffing around in our C2 neighbor, the locals seem to be doing “something”. We are not quite sure what is going on but like sharks drawn to a drop of blood, our guys accumulate in and around the wormhole leading to them. I happen to be in my cloaky Tengu which I only pull from its crate when I know my team is with me. C2 life does not allow ISK generation to make this my primary boat.
Our neighbors seem to not know that we are there and a lonely Venture sets out to suck gas. These things are frighteningly efficient and I don’t have much time to set up the probes, so I hurry up with my probes, 100% in second pass but he was no dummy and when I arrive I can just about make out its tail-lights as he warps back to the safety of his blue bubble.
Now the game is up, he knows we are here and as it is standard practice, some Core Scanner Probes appear, clearly looking for our hole. Looks like they are trying to work out where we came from. Grade “F” for situational awareness.
By sitting close to our hole and reducing the range of our D-scanner, its easy to find out when they have a positive lock but to our confusion, we have not figured out what type of ship is doing the scanning. After the Venture warped away, a brief shuffle of ships / pods followed indicating that there are 2 active characters in this hole, one of them in a hauler, the other, we are not quite sure.
It takes forever for the probes to come close, to a point where my cloaked up friends demand to be allowed to speak in local channel and give scanning tips – we are an academy after all. But we are all disciplined and eager to see what kind of ship the opposing team flies. Is it a Heron? A Tengu? A Helios? Maybe a Bomber? Something shiny?
Yes, a Mammoth hauler warps straight from their POS to the Wormhole we are idly (and cloaked) circling at 100km range. Then cloaks up. I would give the pilot a “C” for good effort, putting “eyes” onto an identified Wormhole is in principle a good idea. But a Mammoth is clearly the wrong ship for the job. It can’t fly cloaked, its darn big and anything that runs over it will decloak it and lastly, it has no chance of escaping.
So, what’s next? My team is eager to do something, roll the hole, anything but I feel we owe it to the gods of WH space to try to separate Pod from Mammoth and – if at all possible – assist the Pilot with a much needed trip to his cloning vat. We bring everyone in and start a casual stroll in uncloaked ships between the wormhole into the direction of their POS.
Well, “casual” – Skip is going 2400 m/s in his interceptor and is making me dizzy with his buzzing sound. Me, I prefer a gentle and methodical race-track pattern, to and -fro the 100km mark into the direction of their POS.
We idly muse that the poor pilot surely by now has filled his pants but we may just miss him. Space is big, yes, its a slow hauler but my recollection of his last position may just be 15km out – to decloak him, I need to be within 2.5km. Its quite possible that we will never find him – I have evaded similar situations before in an Iteron so I am under no illusion that we may have to go home empty-handed.
And then my little Tengu slows down as it hits a bump in the road – I literally ran over the Hauler which decloaks and frantically tries to fire up something. Not gonna happen. I lock the Mammoth and put my point on him and hug him close in brotherly love.
Well, we now try to call in the team so everyone shares the inevitable killmail.
Skip, I think, lets a missile fly from his interceptor – it scratches its tank but Skip – like all good cats playing with a mouse – stops short of actually doing real damage. A little blood is fine but a dead rodent ain’t no fun.
After about 30 seconds, the Mammoth pilot ejects and warps clear to his POS. We sit there with his ship locked and are rather dumbstruck. We did not see this coming and wonder what will happen next. Was this all a big trap? Will the universe collapse. Nah.
Well, now what. We have a perfectly intact (no thanks to Skip!) Mammoth floating with possible tasty cargo (or maybe nothing). Problem is, none of us can fly this thing. Wild schemes are plotted – convo the owner, ransom it back to him etc. But its late, I am tired and I want to go home and sleep. So missiles it is and we make short work out of this ship looting the cargo and getting back.
This week’s Wormhole Lesson – Use the right ship for the job, haulers make lousy scanner platforms…