Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Zealot, A Vagabond and 2 Drakes walk into a bar ....

So after overseeing a few minor tweaks to my PI operations, I logged into the Low Sec Pipe to see what was going on.  Turns out the "excitement" for the night was a mining operation at least 10 jumps from where my mothballed Hulk was sitting (unfit of course).  Based on this, I decided to undock the scanner and see what fun might be awaiting in our pocket.

The first system offered nothing of excitement, but the second system offered a Z971 wormhole.  So in I went to find a very vast system.  One of those where none of the 4 planets are visible on D-Scan together.  There was a POS at the planet scannable from the wormhole exit, with a Mammoth and Hurricane on scan.  Quickly locate the POS and saw that the Hurricane was active.  Very nice.  

Next planet offered a small, unoccupied POS. 

Warp to the Planet 3 and bingo, a Covetor, mining drones, and a can.  Warp to Planet 4 and find no moons or activity.  A perfect spot to launch probes and setup to scan without being seen (man I do love no local).

The goal was to minimize the time the probes were visible, so set up a 4 AU pattern of combat probes.  Warped them in to Planet 3, got my results, noted the mining barge location (at 86%), and warped them back out. Reconfigured the probes to 2 AU and warped them back in, 100% hit, warped them out.  Perfect.  Warped to the Covetor at 100km and hoped an asteroid would not uncloak me.  Warp took forever, but I landed, didn't decloak and watched as the Covetor continued to mine.

Bookmarked the can right next to the miner and warped back the wormhole to go get a ship with some firepower.  Also called to anyone else in the area that wanted in on the fun.   Too bad they had no idea the "Fun" that awaited them.

So usually I would grab my dual point, cloaky Legion, but it was 24 jumps away. So my PVP Zealot would have to do.  So I warped back to the entrance and the plan came together.  The Zealot would warp in, fly forever in warp, tackle the Covetor, play around with it and see if the Hurricane would come to its rescue.  So I jumped through and warped the Zealot to the bookmark, and about mid warp to the target someone in Comms piped up "Hey, anyone got probes fitted?", silence, and a few uhh's.  Well no biggie, I would kill the Covetor and see what happened.  Then I got within D-Sacn range and saw the Hurricane was now in the belt with the Covetor.  

So I land on grid, start target locking the Covetor and Hurricane.  "Point the cane, and kill the covetor, is the new plan".  Next thing I hear is "Everyone jump and warp to targets", followed quickly by a "oh crap", and "no way".  Yep, the wormhole had collapsed behind us.

The Covetor melts like butter in a microwave, and the other three ships finally land on grid.  The Hurricane starts to go down quickly under the pressure of 4 ships.  The FC quickly makes a plan to lock both pods and see if we can work out a deal for the location of the High Sec Static.  So the Hurricane goes down, and we get both pods locked.  We were quickly hailed in local by the resident and quickly explained our little "predicament".

By this time the public channel in our comms that we are using (along with the mining op) is erupting with laughter at the 3 wormhole vets and one noob who are stuck in w-space with well over a billion isk in ships and implants because they failed to bring any probes.  We figured the combined W-Space experience for the crew was over 5 years (for the record, it was the w-space noob who asked prior to jumping if anyone had probes).  Also, the Security Status of the guys I was with is not the greatest and two of them have been off Concord's Christmas Card list for awhile now.

Now fortunately, for us, the guy found value in letting us out of his hole and not making us spend days shooting at everything we could find until someone else came along and let us out (which we all knew could be awhile). I kind of equate it to opening the window in your car to let the hornet out while you are driving on the Interstate.  Sure you could try to kill him, but its safer to just let him out.

So the ribbing on comms continued and we saw probes on D-Scan so we hoped he was living up to his side of our arrangement, and not just scanning in all his buddies.  After about 15 long minutes, he finally found the High Sec static and we were able to get our 4 ships to the wormhole.

For the other 3 the fun was just beginning, our first intrepid explorer jumped through, found out he was not welcome and quickly docked his Vagabond.  The news was not great, the hole opened into a .8 system, 26 jumps from home, with several .9 systems in the route.  There would be no easy return to home.

So having been the "mastermind" of this adventure, and the only one still with a positive Sec Status, I offered to get the other 3 ships the 26 jumps home.  So the other two pilots docked and off they went too, flashy red, the 26 jumps back home.

So in the end, we got 2 kills, endured a fair share of deserved ribbing, and had a good laugh (after we were all safe back home).

It goes down as one of the more fun nights I have had in awhile, but despite all the fun, next time I will still bring a probing alt with us.

Fly Safe,

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