Sure enough, Ichi is chortling when I log back into the home system the next day. Apparently, he happened to be around just as Pax sprung his trap for the capsuleers who had been using our system as a freeway out to known space, and got to partake in the ritual destruction of a couple expensive tech2 haulers that bumbled into a warp disruption bubble Pax anchored to catch the laden ships. I congratulate the both of them on the kill, and smother my envy.
I find it always helps to distract myself with shinies, and conveniently that’s an option tonight, as I’ve completed training all relevant skills to a level I feel is mandatory before sullying the cockpit of my new Vagabond heavy assault cruiser, which means I can bring her back home. A quick hop out into low sec space, a short jaunt to our corporate offices, a few minutes to get everything up to spec, and the Girl Genius takes her maiden voyage.
Unfortunately, the vagabond is an inappropriate ship to bring to the stuff we have planned today. Our pilots are going on a null sec roam with another wormhole alliance with whom we somehow manage to maintain cordial relations, and Em and I have decided to tag along. The only problem is, we can’t decide what ships to fly, and end up proposing a half-dozen to each other without coming to any kind of decision.
“I should take the Talos that Gor made me,” I said. “Not much use shooting sleepers, and it’d be a shame to see it gather dust.”
“DUDE,” says Em. “I’ll totally fly one if you do.”
“They’re brand new shiny ships,” I point out. “Everyone and their robot dog is going to be calling them primary target if they see them.”
A few seconds pass.
“All right. Let’s do it.”
We get fit appropriately and head toward the mustering point, admiring our ships’ shiny hulls and the prison-shiv aesthetics of their design.
“These things are going to look so pretty,” I say, “when they explode.”
A few comments are made by the FC and a others at the appearance of shiny new Talos battlecruisers in the fleet, but they’re our ships to lose, and everyone soon forgets we’re even flying anything odd.
It isn’t long before I notice that this roam is quite a bit different than those I’ve been on with Red versus Blue. For one thing, the fleet commander is sober, but more noticeably the ships in this fleet aren’t all fit with a half-dozen sensor boosters so the pilots can lock and destroy a target before anyone else even gets a shot off — which is something of a hallmark of RvB fleets, where I could probably fly my Talos around for most of the night and never fire a single round. However, with this group, not only are Em and I able to lock and fire on most of the targets, the impressive firepower the Talos brings to field means that our opening volleys are just as often the closing volleys (especially in Em’s case, as he has considerably more experience with the Gallente hybrid turret platforms than I do). Many people have called the four new battlecruiser models glass cannons, but some have been emphasizing the “glass” part, and not the “cannon” part, and that’s a pretty major oversight.
In short, Em and I have a pretty good time with the roam, and discover that an excellent defense against getting your shiny ship blown up is to blow up the other guy first.
Meanwhile, back in the system, the pilots not on the roam have been scouting, and locate an abandoned class two wormhole system that really has no business being abandoned — between the persistent connections to high-sec and class four wormhole space and the really fantastic array of resource planets, it’s a real find for any corp that settled there. Honestly, if it weren’t for the Rorqual we’d have to leave behind, I’d almost want to move in myself. (Not *myself*, obviously: I have no intention of leaving either my corp or the other pilots in our home system behind — they’re a resource far more rare than a good system.)
Our resident real estate agent apparently has the same idea I do, and while Berke runs out in his Orca to sell corporate loot and help a new Walrus recruit (Tweed) move his ships in, Bre slips over to the empty system, sets up a tent, and sends a EvEMail to our tried-and-true wormhole broker. She’ll probably spend a few days twiddling her thumbs with nothing to do, but the great resources and connections should make the time worthwhile.