Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest. And she never returned to the home of the three bears.
I’d had a long, hard day at work, and logged into Eve to do a little relaxing prospecting in the C5. I’d logged into my main, finished his planetary interaction, had Teamspeak running, and was chilling in my recliner.
In a wormhole, one quickly learns to “directional scan”, — D-Scan, for short — pretty much constantly while engaged in any activity. While it won’t save you from fleets of cloaky aggressors, it will help you avoid the more overt types of aggression from unfriendly neighbors in W-space.
A drizzle of news came in from the Alliance channel, referencing our out-of-game forum and that the target Class 5 wormhole with a Class 3 static exit had been found. I checked, and sure enough: the target had been called. Supplies were being moved in. Cloaky campers were enroute.
In short, my search had been in vain. It was decided. There was nothing left but to pack up and get the funk out.
So I hauled out the core probe launcher again, checked signatures against known targets, and quickly isolated the Class 6 static exit of my soon-to-be-abandoned anoiki. “I’m getting better at this scanning stuff,” I thought to myself as I quickly ignored known signatures to isolate the possible exits.
Jumped. Scanned. First hole I found was a Class 5 static. Took it.
D-scan. POS on scan. I’m not in a ship that can warp cloaked, as I was trying to keep expenses low on this sojourn into unknown space.
Made a safe spot. Popped probes. Started scanning.
D-scan. Nothing. Checked planet map. Hmm, the wormhole came in very far out from the furthest planet in the system, and it in turn is very far from the center. That doesn’t tell me anything.
Checked Wormnav.It’s exactly the kind of system we’re looking for: a Class 5 with a Class 3 static. But after some brief consultation with the alliance, it became painfully obvious the planetary interaction available in this system would be terrible. It would be no competition for the target system alliance-mates had in mind.
Warped to some planets. Set up a decent off-grid safe. Popped probes. Looked at my sigs. Twenty-three signatures. Wow.
For those who haven’t tried to scan down an enormous number of signatures, done this before, allow me to share a very important tip. With my skills, it takes me an average of about two minutes or so to scan down a signature, including probe-dropping time, cloak-up time, warping to prospective wormholes, etc.. A bit less than that to scan it to the point that I can choose to ignore it if it’s not what I’m looking for.
Even at my best, scanning down over twenty signatures will probably take me well about an hour. That’s depressing. So I cloaked up, went to the kitchen, and made a sandwich.
So here’s the tip. BLTs rock. If you haven’t had a savory bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on whole wheat or rye bread with mayo, mustard, relish, and onions lately, go make one. Right now. You’ll be happier for it. Seriously. I’ll wait.
With any luck, you now have a BLT in your hand while you finish the story. You’re welcome. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
D-scan. I see a couple of industrial ships and a POS. I can’t recall if they were there before… I was kind of in a hurry setting up my safe spot. I got busy scanning the system signatures.
BLT finished — dude, one should not eat that stuff over a computer keyboard! — I scanned down a wormhole. The probable static connection for this system was a Class 3. That gave me a very good chance of getting out to hisec or lowsec instead of nullsec. I licked mustard off my fingers and clicked “warp to 100km”.
D-scan. Caldari Raptor.
D-scan. Raptor. Closer.
D-scan. Closer still.
Here I am in a lousy 6AU/sec tech 1 frigate — equipped with a cloak, but only able to cloak while basically dead in the water — and apparently waiting at my destination is an interceptor which is capable of warp-disrupting me at stupidly long distances, flies incredibly fast, and probably has a fleet to back him up given his ship type.
If someone else surprises you in Eve, solo, and has a ship type and skills which exploit the weaknesses of your ship type, numerous scientific analysis types have concluded that these factors suggest — I’m speaking statistically and objectively here, mind — you’re totally fucked.
While mentally preparing myself for the destruction I was likely to experience, my warp drive turns off and my ship starts spooling down to the 100km-from-hole warp distance I specified. Miraculously, the waiting interceptor is sitting right on the wormhole 97km away! Even his extended warp disruptor range cannot point that far, and I can almost hear his frustration as he lights his microwarpdrive, burning straight at me.
I, of course, bravely manning the capsule within an Amarr Magnate tech 1 scanning frigate, promptly turned my tail and warped right back to my safe spot. Hands shaking, I take my hands off the keyboard.
That was CLOSE!
I, apparently, had no idea how close. It also quickly became apparent how bad my safe spot was. As I prepared to cloak upon landing on-grid at my safe spot, my overview showed an extra ship. For just one second at about 200km, the interceptor was on-grid with me at my safe spot, then was gone.
Apparently my safe spot was — bizarrely — IN-LINE with a celestial object and the wormhole I had scanned down. The interceptor pilot surmised I had run away to a celestial and warped right after me. He had probably had to wait for his microwarpdrive to cycle off, otherwise he’d have passed me while I was still in warp. And had I actually been warping to that celestial object, he’d have been there waiting for me by the time I arrived.
I could almost hear him howling in victory that he passed me, probably thinking I was still in warp. I grinned slightly to myself, eyes crinkling in mirth at the irony. I wasn’t smart, but at least for today I was very, very lucky.
It’s a big universe. Coincidences are bound to happen, right?
I considered three choices:
- Cloak up and wait them out. Meaning I’d be stuck in a C5 for another night. Annoying, but palatable.
- Warp to another safe spot, uncloaked, and watch for their Combat Scanner probes. Once they were close, make a run for the C3 wormhole. While this appealed to my vanity for being so smart, the likelihood they could simply deploy a warp disruption bubble at the C3 hole was simply too great. I didn’t give it more than a moment’s thought.
- Run like hell and hope for the best.
Being the forward-thinking, calm, rational guy I am, I picked Option 3. I warped back to the C3 hole at 0. Clear. Nothing on D-scan. Jumped through. Fearful the interceptor was right behind me, I lit my microwarpdrive to put about 10km between myself and the hole, and cloaked up, slowly drifting away from the hole at about 70 meters per second, sweat staining my armpits, heart rate surging, awaiting my fate.
I realized later, by the way, that I simply could have warped off and scanned my way out. But by force of habit, I “knew” I had to bookmark the wormhole behind me. Just in case. Shows how powerful habits are, I suppose.
The wormhole made its peculiar “glorp” kind of sound, and out popped the interceptor. He sat, waiting. And waiting. For several minutes as I slowly crept away from the wormhole. Then, bizarrely, he simply jumped back to the C5 side of the hole.
And then, in a startling moment of clarity, I suddenly understood why. On my overview a few short kilometers away appeared a majestic Orca. With no guns on my scanning boat, I could do nothing but watch as he slowly trundled a few kilometers back to the C5 hole, and with a massive “GLORP!” sound, jumped through.
And the wormhole swiftly withered away into nothingness behind him. I had, apparently, interrupted a hole-rolling op, and was given the wormhole equivalent of a slammed door with a shouted, “And Stay Out!” for good measure.