Life in a Wormhole: Two Pods Escape #eveonline

There are wrecks in the home system when I log in, indicating violence in which I sadly had no part, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be amused by it; the handful of sleeper wrecks surrounding the shattered hull of a Drake-class battlecruiser indicate some highsec pilot thought he was ready to take on Sleepers and learned otherwise. Always nice to start the weekend with a chuckle.

Gor and I finish off the last of the Sleepers in the half-complete site and loot the wrecks. As we’re wrapping up, a capsuleer escape pod magically appears somewhere in the system and warps to a Buzzard covert ops ship (from the same corporation) that just jumped into the system via our wormhole connection to high security space. Unlike the Buzzard, the escape pod isn’t generally good for wormhole exploration, so there’s some question about how it got there in the first place, quickly answered when we notice the pilot was the same the Drake wreck that Gor is currently melting down for spare parts.

That leaves us wondering how we missed the pod for the last half hour. We may sometimes be remiss on d-scan, but that’s excessive even for us. After some pondering, we’re able to piece together a likely series of events: Drake pilot hops into his first wormhole for a little early morning sleeper shooting. Drake pilot gets blown up like a punk. Drake pilot flees the sleepers in his escape pod, but realizes he totally forgot to bookmark the exit from the system and, since his scanning rig just exploded along with the rest of the ship, he has no way to leave. He logs out, either before or after calling one of his corpmates for help. Said corpmate (or, more likely, an alt) flies to the origin system in highsec, locates the wormhole, jumps in, and tells the pod pilot to log in and flee to his waiting arms. Music swells. Credits roll. The end.

This seems the most likely scenario, which we’ve worked out while shooting yet another Sleeper site, and we share it with CB, who logged in response to my email mentioning the potential killing of a Buzzard.

Since everyone’s around, and the topic’s been left to percolate for a few days, we reopen discussions about joining a more wormhole-oriented alliance while Berke and Ty collapse the old wormhole to prevent the ex-Drake pilot from coming back with friends. Gor was fairly lukewarm about the topic early on, but in the last week he’s had time to hang out on the alliance’s public channel and has grown quite favorable toward the move. I already was, and CB is (to be honest) still feeling sick and frankly can’t be arsed to muster much of an opinion one way or the other. With two in favor and one apathetic, we decide to join the alliance.

This, as I’ve mentioned, is going to require a move, and since we currently have a fresh, strong exit to a system relatively near Gor’s massive freighter (and with a whole Saturday staring us in the face), now seems like a good time to get started. CB and Ty jump into Iteron-class haulers of various sizes and go for the low-hanging fruit: grabbing all the spare fittings and ammunition we have stored in the tower for our first trip out.

“I don’t have the location of the new wormhole,” CB comments as I warp to the WH and jump out to empire space. “Is it in the lending library?”

“Ugh. No, I forgot,” I mutter. “I’ll jump back in and you can just warp to me.” I match actions to words and jump back into the home system. “Okay, warp.”

“On my way.”

I nod, and turn to jump back through the wormhole, but in my early-morning brain-fog I’ve forgotten about wormhole polarization effects; having jumped through the wormhole twice in quick succession, my “secondary coils” (whatever those are) are now polarized, and prevent me from jumping again for another four minutes.

No worries, I think, and set my ship to an easy orbit of the wormhole at a five-kilometer range, flipping on the cheap-but-useful cloaking device that I’ve put on the ship for exactly this type of situation.

The problem is, there’s very little I can do about dumb luck, no matter how well I plan the fittings of my ship.

About ten seconds after cloaking and going into orbit, my ship decloaks. The reason is immediately apparent — there’s a Purifier-class stealth bomber sitting in space, directly in front of me, completely stationary.

I mention that last part because my first thought was that the purifier pilot had deduced the path of my orbit and sent his ship on fly-by to purposely decloak me, but that doesn’t seem to be the case — the fact that he’s stationary seems to indicate that… well, that I hit him. Accidentally. Sheer, random, bad luck.

The pilot doesn’t seem to be one to pass up a good opportunity, however, and immediately locks me and disrupts my warp engines. I can’t warp away, and I’ve got three minutes before I can get through the wormhole again, so the best I can hope for is the chance to provide a good distraction.

“Jump through the wormhole right when you land,” I tell CB. “Ignore the explosions; they won’t last long.”

“Copy.”

My Iteron’s shields last long enough for CB to get out unmolested, and I warp my escape pod away as Wil’s Prophecy-class battlecruiser lands on-grid and forces the bomber to cloak and flee.

Not the most auspicious beginning to the day. CB is in highsec with a load of parts for Gor’s freighter and disinclined to return, and my load is mostly space dust as is the best means I have to move stuff out of the system.

Worse, it seems I have a sudden, pressing engagement that I’d sort of… forgotten about, so I have to make my apologies and take off. I can only hope my misadventure doesn’t set the tone for the whole move; if I were a superstitious sort, I’d be worried: I’ve managed to lose a ship right when we left our old alliance and again as soon as we decide to join the new one.

I’d be more inclined to see it as some kind of omen if I couldn’t clearly connect both losses to a series of stupid errors on my part.

I have a sneaking suspicion I'm still making some fundamental piloting mistakes.

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