Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feythabolis Evacuation: Day Three

Sleeping in a pod is second nature to a capsuleer. It's actually more comfortable than many beds I've been in over the years. Feyth is just as empty when I log in - two other pilots tonight, but nobody's talking. First scan reveals no wormholes, so I take out the Battleship and unload a few rounds into the local Angels. It makes me feel better, but a neutral pilot appeared in system, so I docked back up, switched out to my Helios, and started the search again. First two systems are a bust. For all the time I spent scanning wormholes in empire, I could find one in practically every system. Here, when I really could use one, I go system after system without finding one.

Rumor has it there's an alternative way out coming - but it's 18 jumps through questionable territory, before waiting and trusting our former enemies to not shoot us. Not once but 5 times - after all each ship needs to move. I don't trust that, and corp leadership agrees - don't trust them. I keep scanning, now I have a new neut. Two systems left in this constellation to scan. Lots of great anomalies and signatures, but not one wormhole. Finally - a hit. First wormhole and it's only 5 systems out from the station. As I get set to warp in, local bump. +1. +2. I scan. Cheetah, Malediction. Red.Overlord. Hmmm. I recall my probes and watch directional. Minutes pass. Finally, local is empty. Now, to see if there is a road home...

I enter the wormhole, which has bizarre effects on my systems. Capacitor is drained below 50% just entering system. There's a shining silver quasar at the heart of the system. I bookmark the "entrance" and drop my probes. I've dropped over 30 probes tonight, according to the scanner. Lots of signals. I immediately filter out the Anomalies, focusing on the signatures. First one is a grav site. Second is a wormhole. Third is radar site. Fourth and fifth - two more wormholes. As I'm working through these signatures a corpmate reports that SWBV is no longer showing Dead Terrorist claim on the system or the station. Looks like we are trying to buy our way out. I'd rather they have to grind through this just like we did. Teach them the pain we experienced, day after day, station after station, system after system, structure after structure...

I know I may lose docking rights to the station where my ships are, so the race is on. I start checking the wormholes. First goes to nullsec - Scalding Pass. No love there in xXDeathXx space. Second goes to Cloud Ring... Promising and close to an empire exit, 5 jumps to an NPC station. Third goes to another WH. Back in the original WH. Launch the probes again, hoping for more luck. My wife is interested in EVE for the first time ever, as I explain what I'm doing she has only one question: How long is a wormhole there? Less than a day and she knows I won't be in bed anytime soon. Dangit. Should have scanned all the signatures the first time, gotta filter out the successes by memory now. More radar sites. One more WH - leads to Kavlevala Expanse. That's not helpful. Clock is ticking, but at least we still have docking rights. Well, here goes nothing. I head back to the station to board my recon. Get it out first, if I can. I load it up with as much as I can, filling it with modules, ammo and loot.

After the last few weeks, 4 jumps through familiar (but hostile) nullsec doesn't bother me at all. Neutrals in system - check. Gate camps on the empire exit - check. Hop safes, scan gates, no bubbles. What kind of nullsec gate camp doesn't anchor bubbles? I jump through F7C-H0 into Alsavoinon. Losec. Safer but scarier here - everyone is neutral and I know as a former losec resident that gate camps can tank the guns. I fly careful, checking my gates before arrival, and finally I'm free. One recon, docked safely in empire HiSec. I verify my medical clone is in SWBV, undock in my pod, and start the self destruct timer. I did the math. Even paying to upgrade my clone, I come out way ahead getting that recon out. If I'm lucky twice, and get the HAC out, anything else is icing on the cake. I hear the final countdown, the pod cracks open, cold space surrounds me...

... and I wake up in SWBV. Make sure I pay to keep my clone updated. That's always painful. I board the AHAC fit Deimos, verify the guns and scripts are loaded, fill the hold with ammo, and set destination back to the WH system. It's still quiet out here, but it looks like R.O.L. will have the station and system in the next few hours. Not sure I'll be back for any other ships, so I bid farewell to my trusty interceptor. She's survived way too long, and it hurts to just leave her deep in 0.0 but I have to focus on the valuable (and most likely to succeed) ships on this evacuation. Back I head. Both WH are stable (still) - maybe I'll try for a third run and get the inty out after I dock up the Deimos. I jump into Cloud Ring, and the system is empty. It's empty until the inbound gate to F7C-H0. Fatal Ascension. I don't know them. There's a single Vagabond on the gate here. I'm guessing that means the camp in F7C-H0 has grown, since they have an out-of-system scout now. I weigh my options. The Vaga is a mean ship. However, I'm fit with rails and a buffer tank - if it comes to a fight I might have a chance. I warp to the gate, land at 0 (he's 2500 off me) and jump through. Strangely, there is no-one on the other side. I look for the nearest celestial to my directional - a moon. Less than ideal, knowing my luck I'll land on a tower, but I align and activate my warp drive. The Vagabond has decloaked, and is targeting me. It's a race between my align and his target - I'm sure he's called his friends and he's got a point. I watch my acceleration gauge as I reach top speed to activate warp - and I'm out.

I hop from the moon (landed just out of range of a POS) to a safe not far from the out gate. I scan the gate. Hmm. Two Sleipnirs, a Malediction, Stabber, two Vagabonds (including my friend from the other gate) - and four anchored bubbles. Well, the AHAC is an afterburner fit. Top speed is maybe 500k/sec. Not exactly a bubble evasion ship, and the buffer tank won't survive the damage that camp can do. So, I call it a night, shut down all systems, and log. I'm taking a couple days off to rest. I'll be back late this weekend, and will decide what to do then. But it looks like (fingers crossed) I might have most of the valuable stuff out.

Good Night, EVE. Keep the nightlight on - The Dead Terrorists are coming back from the deep south, and we want explosions...

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