Ty’s gotten it into his head to pick up a Proteus-class strategic cruiser. Though the ship is pricey, his reasoning is atypically sound; he does a lot of the scanning and scouting in the corp, he’s most likely to make first contact with some enemy ship, and while his cheetah can disrupt a target’s engines, its single autocannon isn’t likely to put an end to much of anything before reinforcements arrive or he runs out of ammunition. On the other hand, a properly configured Proteus can scan quite adequately, warp around while cloaked for covert recon, ignore some of the more annoying traps that lurk around enemy towers, protect itself with a very tough tank, and (while not the heaviest hitting configuration of the highly versatile ship) pack more than enough punch to ruin the day of many ships it might stumble upon in its travels.
He’s been debating the purchase for a couple days, weighing the pros and cons of a Proteus-class versus a Loki-class cruiser, as he can fly both, but while the Loki looks like a lot of fun in less sneaky configurations, when it comes to scouting around and mugging the unwary, the Proteus seems to have the clear advantage.
He’s off to highsec for some shopping, exiting the wormhole alongside Gor and Wil, who are running out to pick up battleships more appropriate to the task of Customs Office bashing — perhaps unnecessary, as we only have three of the structures left to destroy, but as they already have appropriate ships readily available, there’s not reason not to take advantage of the … convenient exit?
Actually, the exit doesn’t look that convenient after all, as once again we’re connected to high security empire space via a series of extremely high traffic low security systems, each one boasting roaming packs of pirates and taunting me with the impenetrable logic of their gate gun AIs and their tendency to follow each other really closely on Facebook. All it takes is one of them switching their relationship with you to “It’s Complicated”, and your whole day is ruined.
Still, thanks to a bit of misdirection and sashaying around like a wanton hussy to draw their attention, we’re able to distract the enemy pirates and give Gor and Wil enough of a window to slip a couple battleship through.
Meanwhile, Ty has scurried on home with his shiny new ship and decides to have himself a scan whilst pondering what to name the thing (always the most difficult decision). It looks like we have an incoming wormhole in addition to the persistent connections to lowsec and class-two wormhole space, so he hops through to find himself in a well-tended, fairly active-looking class one wormhole system with one tower on scan. Sweeping the d-scan around helps him find the tower fairly quickly, as there are few moons around which such a structure could be anchored in the first place, and soon enough he’s in warp.
… and landing right in a warp disruption bubble outside the tower.
It seems almost too convenient, but Ty finds himself in a situation for which this Proteus configuration was specifically designed, no more than 30 minutes after bringing it home — the disruption bubble is quite small, and the Proteus lands with quite a lot of momentum, thanks to the 1600 millimeter armor plates Ty’s bolted on. The ship coasts well inside the bubble, decloaking when it comes too close to the central device that actually generates the bubble.
Now visible, the ship becomes Target #1 for the nearby tower, and the guns open fire, but thanks to the modules Ty fitted (and to Gor for talking him OUT of one and INTO another), Ty can simply warp away, ignoring the effects of the bubble, then cloak up and return at an angle that will keep him out of trouble.
Once back in range, Ty spots a familiar name on overview and announces to the rest of the corp that the tower’s owned by none other than the Germans with whom we once shared a wormhole. (Though obviously this new tower doesn’t care much about our generally friendly past.) As the default diplomatic… umm… person, Ty opens a hailing frequency with our old contacts to say hello and make sure we aren’t going to get in each other’s way for the rest of the evening — the pilots in the Home System have some Customs Office bashing to do, and it would be nice if we didn’t have to worry about being jumped by former allies.
The pilot (possibly the only one in the system, as it’s a medium-sized tower with a fairly bare bones layout) is entirely willing to leave our system alone provided we do the same (not much temptation there, as he obviously keeps a tidy house), and Ty waves and heads back home.
Once back at the tower, he reluctantly reships into something bashier, and the fleet assembles for another round of Bullet Time Urban Renewal. There’s some discussion about what to name the Proteus, especially since Ty’s already used “That There Ship” for his Maelstrom, but it’s CB who provides the obvious answer: what else are you going to name a strangely-hued ship with nigh-magical powers and a quiet demeanor that you have to do a lot of studying to understand?