What follows is a cautionary tale that I want to impart to my remaining two readers. It is a tale that starts with hubris, goes through stages of boredom, distraction and inattention and ends with a dead ship. My dead ship.
But lets start at the beginning, a typical night in our small wormhole corporation had started with copious amount of scanning, Teamspeak banter and much hilarity. The map is broad and wide and as usual has nobody in it. Well, except for a group that is sitting in their force field (yes, POS-es are still a thing in WH space). Its a nice C2 with a high sec static and we try to coerce our hosts into doing something, anything by baiting with a harmless Imicus hacking their sites. No dice, the locals are not moving and our Imicus pilot is pulling 80mil ISK out of the site. Opp success? Anyway, we are not going anywhere with this baiting tactic and more exotic measures to provoke a reaction are being considered, including rolling holes, shooting the POCO or the POS, running their sites etc. The majority of our corp is based in the UK and I have to tap out for a bit for real life things.
When I come back, predictably nobody is left and I am bored. I already put in 2h of scanning and scouting this night, evidently nothing is happening and I decide to just do a quick tour of our static C5 connection to see what is happening. As usual, I take my scouting Proteus forward and my alt in his Stratios. The headset is off, am chatting with the wife and am thoroughly distracted.
The C5 is predictably empty and I casually scan down the connecting C4. Also empty. I linger for a bit and then decide to call it a night. Its late, my mind is some real-life things and my heart is not in it. I transverse the C5 and jump the Proteus back to our home hole, the Stratios is a few seconds warp behind.
And this is where things went wrong. The Stratios is still in the C5 but lands in empty space. No wormhole. How weird? Did I warp to the wrong bookmark? No, checks out. Where is the hole? I just jumped my Proteus through it. What is going on? Well, I had forgotten that our team had “critted” the C5 connection and in my distracted, blase and slightly arrogant state, had jumped both my cruisers out. It did not collapse. Now I jump the heavy Proteus back in and it died. The Stratios lands in the place where the hole used to be, he doesn’t have a probe launcher fitted but should have one in the cargo hold. I am hoping I didn’t forget to pack a Mobile Depot. I check. Yes he has one. Phew.
With my distracted brain, I totally forget about my Proteus who is after all “home” and hence “safe”. Right? Wrong.
Looking at my second screen with the Proteus pilot, I see him tackled by an Astero. Where did he come from? Where is the Wormhole (I still didn’t get it). Is this a corp mate of mine? Total confusion on my part. The Astero orbits me at the perfect distance and has his drones on me but he doesn’t worry me too much, I have tons of tank. I fish out the Hammerheads and start shooting while I finally get my stuff together and at least cloak my stranded Stratios. If the WH still existed, I’d jump the ‘Strat in now and web the crap out of this pesky frigate. But the Proteus does not have a Web and the Astero easily outruns my Hammers. Ok, lets try Hobgoblins. They should be fast enough. I am dipping into 2/3 shield. On an armor tanker, this is trivial but the Astero is not alone, they never are. I have maybe 2 minutes before his team arrives. My hobgoblins land and do damage, not enough but a little. The Astero now starts shooting my drones. This is a good idea, I shall do the same. One of his drones explodes and we both pull our respective sets back in. Now what? I can’t outrun a frigate (not even with overheating the MWD), I can’t reach him and he can’t kill me. To make this worse, its blaster Proteus and I have no long-range ammunition in the hold. Nothing, I have Void, Null and some antimatter. No “Tungsten” or anything that can touch this Astero. Ok, back to drones then. Vespa EC-600, ECM drones, I have 2, maybe I get a lucky break. Nope, Astero shoots one of them and leaves the other circling. His team mates arrive and it doesn’t matter anymore. Two Sleipnirs and a Gila land on me and start firing. All of them are ranged and my blasters are ineffectual. The Proteus at the best of times has very little DPS and now his drone damage is truly pathetic. I burn out the MWD by trying some fancy manual maneuvers, interestingly, the opposition didn’t bring neuts, webs or a bubble. What I though was a bubble is in fact one of the command ships boosting – I assume speed. I can’t hit for crap and am getting seriously low in armor. I align to something and wait for the boat to explode. It does and I warp off.
GF are exchanged and I am thoroughly confused with myself. The level of inattention, total lack of situational awareness and laissez faire is “not me”. While I suck at the actual PvP, I am pretty good at WH intel and maneuvering, I tend to be super cautious and very much on-top of things. This Proteus loss was entirely out of character for me.
It just reminded me that EVE in general and Wormhole life specifically do not allow for mistakes. One false move, one casual jump and moment of distraction can be the end of the ship. EVE is unforgiving, cruel, harsh and I love every minute of it.
So, shoutout to the opposing team to stay classy, well done, Purzelinchen, solid tackle, well deserved kill.
May we meet again.
RIP – my sweet Proteus, I had grown used to you…