Life in a Wormhole: Too Speedy for Your Own Good #eveonline

We’ve seen no sign of the enemy cruisers lurking in our system during the entire tengu/noctis mugging, which Bre takes as a good sign that now would be an ideal time to get a little more defensive prep done. Specifically, we’re thinking about that worst-case “what if a massive fleet shows up to attack a tower and some counter-fleet must be mustered?” Bre’s come to the conclusion that in such situations her options are a bit limited, mostly because of the choices she’s made with her training plans up to this point.

Specifically, she’s deeply specialized in frigate-sized ships, and can competently fly all of the tech 1 and tech 2 frigate hulls in New Eden, up to and including proper tech 2 tanking, weaponry, and module options for each race’s ships. Basically, if it’s small, she can fly it pretty well.

However, beyond the realm of frigates, her experience becomes more than a little thready. She’s got a bit of training in cruisers, and a bit more in battlecruisers (so she can field a ubiquitous Drake to help with Sleeper shooting), but when it comes time for a fleet vs. fleet brawl, especially one where a Drake isn’t recommended, her list of options (like her preferred ships) is small.

But one of our Alliance mates has suggested that we might be well-served by having an armor-plated Scorpion-class battleship around to support larger fleets that may or may not need to form, and the idea appeals to Bre; the Scorpion isn’t much of a heavy-hitter, but its strengths complement hers well. Her missile support skills are solid, and her Electronics Countermeasures skills (thanks to the time she’s spent in a Kitsune frigate) are quite solid.

Also, it’s a pretty cool looking ship.

She’s been quietly training to fly the actual ship for a few days now, and it seems like a good time to go get it. The exit from our system into low-sec isn’t horribly located, but Bre’s looking for something a little more convenient, and quickly scans the exit to our Class 2 wormhole in the hopes that it might have a nice, friendly high-sec exit. She’s lucky, and it does; the fat and happy connection is one of the easiest signatures in the new system to locate and resolve, and in under five minutes she’s sitting twenty kilometers off the wormhole, cloaked up in her Buzzard covert-ops ship, watching a lone Harbinger battlecruiser sitting on the exit.

The harbinger seems like a common wormhole daytripper, based on his combat history, and Bre imagines he’s just popped his head in to look around. There’s a well-defended tower within range of the wormhole, however (a tower Bre’s in too much of a hurry to go check out right now), and it looks like the Harby doesn’t want to risk his ship under the noses of the inhabitants — he jumps through the wormhole and out to known space while Bre watches, which is all the encouragement she needs to creep down to the hole and jump through herself.

Once out in high-sec, she doesn’t warp off, because her goal is to go out and retrieve a new ship; to do that, she needs to leave the Buzzard behind at our tower and race out to a market in her naked pod — the only reason she’s come this far out is to get a bookmark for the far side of the wormhole so that it’s easier to bring the Scorpion back later.

Oddly, there’s no sign of the Harbinger, either immediately adjacent to the wormhole or even in the local comms channel for the system. That’s a bit odd, but Bre’s in a rush and doesn’t give it any further thought. As soon as she can, she bookmarks the exit and jumps back through the wormhole to head back to the tower to prep for a streaking run to market.

The locals have other ideas.

Bre arrives back in the wormhole system to find herself within the warp disruption field of a Devoter Heavy Interdictor who, along with a Talos battlecruiser and Nemesis stealth bomber, are waiting for her return alongside that very same Harbinger she’d spotted earlier — obviously not a daytripper, but a new member of the corporation that calls this system home. It appears that the ship jumped back into the wormhole system at the same moment Bre was jumping out.

It’s a fairly fearsome foursome arrayed against her, but even caught inside a warp disruption field and surrounded by a double handful of angry little drones waiting for her to shed her session change cloak, it’s not a problem; she can just jump back out into —

Oh. Well, crap. Bre was in such a rush that she jumped back and forth through the wormhole very quickly, polarizing her secondary coils in a way the prevents her from reentering the wormhole for at least four minutes, which in this situation might as well be four years.

Still, it’s not the end of the world. It’s incredibly hard to target a cloak-capable ship in the split second between when it sheds its session-change cloak and activates its covert-ops cloaking module. Bre won’t be able to warp away, but with the cloak active she still has a very good chance of being able to weave her way out of the range of the warp disruption field and slip away. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s pretty much the only choice she has at this point, so she makes her move.

First, the decloak, with her ship clearly and obviously setting course toward the center of the system, then activate the cloak, make an abrupt course change, and hope that she can get clear while the enemy ships swarm over her presumed loca–

Why didn’t she cloak?

Fate (and her own hurry), has decreed the Bre’s not getting away today: although a burst of speed from the microwarpdrive got her moving quickly, she came through the wormhole FAR too close to the anomaly itself — it’s so close to her that proximity prevents her from cloaking her ship once she starts moving. It’s only an extra second between that and the point at which she can cloak up, but a second is all it takes — the larger ships (and — far more deadly to her small ship — the angry combat drones) shred the frail scout frigate in flash, leaving her in her escape pod and still almost a dozen kilometers from the edge of the warp disruption bubble. Her pod crumples more quickly than the Buzzard, and a few seconds later Bre wakes up in a clone vat out in known space.

“Son of a…”

“What? What just happened?”

“Well… the good news is, I’m going to be able to put together that Scorpion RIGHT away.”


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