Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans and spectators of recent events in this country, may your turkeys be tasty and political dinner conversation mostly non-violent. And for the EVE players, may your beer be cold and your evenings be mostly violent.
My corp mate Storm and I had our turkey shoot already last night. As usual, I log in just about when our EU team started drooling into their keyboards and generally is no use to anyone. I double check the connections to our home – C4 wormhole, and decide to poke around in the neighborhood while chatting to Storm. He is wrestling with his EVE clients which randomly drop him to a totally black screen. I have my two characters out in our neighbor C3, there is a Fortizar (!) and nothing else but I have a hunch that someone is around. Hard to describe but I do sometimes get this “feeling” after jumping into a Wormhole that not all is as quiet as it looks. Irrational, weird, I know but more often than not, I am right so take that for what its worth.
Anyway, I see that a few new signatures have spawned since the last time my EU friends scanned down the system and I decide to throw out some probes and check this out. Its a big system and I am distracted so things take me a little longer. I am nearly done when all of a sudden a new signature pops up, immediately followed by set of Sister’s Core probes, not mine.
Oh. Generally that means someone opened into the hole I am in and I park my probes way out of D-scan range, just hanging loose whats going on. To use the waiting time, I make tactical bookmarks at the two hacking sites and warp-in bookmarks for each site as well. Storm has beaten his clients into submission and logs in, I advise him to just sit in our hole next door in a Flycatcher or something, not much point being more specific without any real intel.
And so I wait. And wait. I am bored. My bladder is full. My glass is empty. Yawn
I lose patience, solve my liquids problems and drop my probes on the new signature. To nobody’s surprise, its a Wormhole but weirdly enough its a “outgoing” hole, i.e. one with a a real number. Not a K162 that spawns as an exit. This is very odd.
I jump in to see, its a C2 and immediately hear a hole activation behind me. I have no idea what jumped but I break the hole timer and bring my Proteus into orbit. A Buzzard appears briefly before warping off toward a Citadel. Ok, so we now know who scanned? But how did then hole spawn in then first place?
Quick round of intel, yes, someone is in the Citadel and I park myself at a comfortable spot to see what will be happening. This guy knows I am here of course but he may still do something stupid.
Talking about stupid. My other character is still in the C3, keeping an eye on Dscan. Remember my irrational feeling that someone is active in this hole? Never really got over it. D-scan all of a sudden shows me an Orca. Holy crap, where did he come from?
D-scan then shows me an Astero with the same naming structure and before I can react, the little ship jumps into the newly found C2. My Proteus is not at the hole but I can now see a set of core probes, evidently the Astero is scanning down his new connection. In the meantime, the Orca disappears and changes into a Prowler, the cloaky transport boat much liked by Wormholers. This sounds suspiciously like a supply run is about to start with the Astero scouting / scanning ahead and I inform Storm that there may well be action for his Flycatcher. He just about gets himself sorted just when the Prowler changes back into an Orca. Aha, something is about to happen and I get my Proteus back to the hole, tight orbit and wait cloaked. On the other side is my Alt in a Stratios and while I am really crap at multiboxing I need both sides covered. Orcas have recently been buffed significantly and engaging them is no joke.
We wait. I have both sides of the hole covered, Storm is still holding in our hole with a Flycatcher. Ideally we want him as close as possible but I am paranoid about warning people off, no idea where the scouts are. I use the D-scan slider to see if the Orca is getting closer since we had not identified the POS he would sit on. If I leave my post by the hole, I may lose my chance to tackle him.
Finally, the Orca clearly is moving toward me, lands with a fat splat on the hole, orients itself a little and jumps. Nothing else on scan but again, its a big system. For all I know, there could be more now in their Fortiza, or a dozen cloaked guys hanging around the hole. On the exit side, I decloak my Proteus, overheat the tackle and get Hammerheads out.
Nothing happens. The Orca is holding cloak. Either he is soiling his pants or he is calling in friends. I hope for the first and plan for the second, D-scan spamming. The Orca decloaks, I tackle and my Hammerheads are on him like flies on a turd. Moment of truth. To get into scram range (and yes, btw, the Proteus has a Faction Scram with 3 points), I need to be close, really close. If the Orca is indeed bait, it will have tackle, neuts / NOS and nasty drones. But no surprises. My shots hit hard and well and the Hammers are doing their job also. We are both slowboating back to the hole, realistically, his only chance is to jump back (and hence polarizing himself) hoping I can’t tackle before he warps his big ass off. Unlikely but if he sits on this side, I’ll just plink him down slowly.
During all this, Storm undocked and raced his Flycatcher to my alt on the other side of the hole. He lands just as the Orca jumps back, Storm blows bubbles and the Orca (none of us) are going anywhere. My Stratios decloaks and adds to the damage with a set of Hammerheads but mostly with tackle just in case the bubble goes down. I also have neuts on the Stratios and I suck him dry not just on principle (because I can) but also because I still fear a trap. Its getting less likely but as the German Saying goes “Teufel ist ein Eichhoernchen“, i.e. bad things can happen at any time to the unprepared.
The three of us now hammer on this damn industrial ship and the shields are slowly, slowly evaporating. I run out of cap on both of my boats a few times and have to use the injectors to bring myself up. This distracts me and too late I realize that our friend has launched combat drones and is engaging Storm’s Flycatcher. We now have firm tackle with my two ships and technically we don’t need the bubble anymore, so Storm tries to run away but Warriors are fast beasts and in the end just win. Neither Storm nor I really care, a Flycatcher is an awesome trade for an Orca, Storm’s capsule swims free from his wreck and warps off to our hole to reship. In the meantime, the Orca directs his Warrior drones on my Proteus, futile probably but I don’t want to take the chance and so I pull in my Hammerheads, launch Hobgoblins and kill the Warriors. I forgot how big an Orca’s drone bay is but when he launches a second set of Warrior Is, I know he doesn’t have anything better and I hold my damage, waiting for Storm to return.
Storm comes back in his Stratios, we open up and kill the Industrial. I knew there would be a new explosion animation but I wasn’t quite ready for the massive flash that happened next. Zoomed in, my screen turned “white” and featureless. Cool in a way and likely what an explosion like this would really look like but it did startle me quite a bit.
“Good fights” are exchanged in local and for once I don’t feel so bad about it, the Orca pilot is not a new character and likely rich from his WH life. Given the recent buffs that Orcas received and the ever-present danger of traps, tackling him was not exactly free of risk, only hindsight showed us that he was basically defenseless. If this had been a trap, this could have gone very, very differently and both Storm and I were ready to deal with that (and possibly lose our ships). But this Turkey didn’t have any claws.
And with this, a Happy Thanksgiving Capsuleers!