In which I continue the tradition of blogging all my podkills…because it’s so much more entertaining than talking about running that anomaly.
About a week ago, I don’t recall exactly when, intel suggested that there was a break in the red gatecamp in EC-P8R. Since I had a bunch of stuff saved up for sale, and since I needed to buy some modules for my new Dominix, I gathered stuff up in my Iteron III, and rushed down to Torrinos.
Setting all the sell orders and buying up the stuff consumed most of the evening. By the time I was thinking of heading back to Deklein, intel showed the gatecamp in EC-P8R was back.
Then commenced a very frustrating week. I would log in, check intel, find EC- impossible for my clunky freighter, and log off. I spent a couple nights in Essence and Sinq Laison, using my jump clone there to run missions and my research agent.
And then back to the waiting game. If you are knowledgeable about the region (Lonetrek), you know there’s another way through, a long pipe of lowsec regions ending in 93PI-4 via Saranen. But the usual way to get there goes through a bottleneck lowsec system called Aunenen. Aunenen is frequently camped, so I stuffed shuttle into Prosperity (my Itty 3) and docked in Nonni to switch to the shuttle and check it out.
No such luck for me. Aunenen is awash with reds, sometimes dozens, sometimes hundreds. Either they don’t bother with my shuttle, or its too fast for them. I repeat this several times, and then I hear via intel that it’s a forward base for Atlas, which is part of the Southern Coalition if I’m not mistaken and a war enemy for us.
So that’s not really going to be an option for me.
I spend a few more evenings logging on, sitting around reading forums and waiting for any sign that someone will come and clear the gatecamp. Nada.
Staring at the map, I see a way around Aunenen. Through some lowsec systems in Black Rise. I get close and check it out with my shuttle. It looks clear, so I approach the gate. Bad news, there’s someone sitting at the gate on my (highsec) side. I think for a bit then fly off, look at the clock and wait ten minutes. After all, I’m sure I look juicy.
When I come back, there are TWENTY ships sitting at the gate. They are neutral, but still, not a good idea to take that jump.
So I dock up and log out. That was Saturday. Adding to my annoyance, Singularity was down, so I couldn’t go play there either.
So Sunday morning I logged in and found things very quiet when I scouted with my shuttle. The passage through Black Rise went off without a hitch. And so then I started down the pipe to Saranen. Whenever possible, I would warp to a system near the next gate, and use directional to check for anyone there. This probably isn’t necessary, but I really don’t want to jump through a gate if there’s someone sitting there, I’m too much of a sitting duck while aligning.
It’s going pretty well, and I get to Saranen. It’s more populated than the rest of the pipe, and there’s a mix of reds and blues there, plus a few neuts. This is where I made my first, and second mistake.
There had been no mention of 93PI-8 on the intel channel. Not ever. So what’s the likelyhood of a camp there? If I had been smart, I would have asked on the intel channel. I didn’t. Also, I could have docked up and scouted in my shuttle. Again, I didn’t. This was early in the morning for me, about 8:00 AM and a Mother’s Day breakfast was on the slate for the day. Maybe that contributed to my impatience, but I more or less cried “Banzai!”, warped to the gate, and jumped through.
As soon as the new system loaded, I realized the error of my ways. There were two bubble generators at the gate, but turned off. There were maybe a dozen reds in the system, and no blues. There was a Dramiel at the gate, but pretty far from me. I probably had a shot to get a warp off. But to where. I expected to hit bubbles if I warped directly to the next gate. So a planet.
The warp got off successfully. I consider logging off, but I’m worried that they might have enough time to scan me and pop me. Certainly the Dramiel knew where I warped to, though since I warped to 100km, he won’t warp in on top of me if I have even a tiny bit of luck.
Then there’s my cloak. Did I mention that I have a cloak fitted? That’s because, embarrassingly, I didn’t use it. Hit the cloak the moment the warp ends, and its likely that I survive. Of course, I’ll be trapped in the system, but there’s always a shot. But I didn’t do that, which is my third, and most fatal, mistake.
What I did was start an align to the next gate. Best I can tell, I did it because that’s what I’d been doing in the runup to this encounter. Of course, it didn’t work. The Dramiel caught me and scrammed me, and others showed up quickly.
I thought I had a shot because of other fittings, an ECM burst. Frankly, if I’d had two, I might have got away. Because it really seemed to give them fits. It took them much longer than it ought to have to pop me. I actually regenned some shield at one point.
I think they must have popped a bubble on me, because I had no shot to leave when the ship exploded. And they tried to open a convo on me. I closed it, and they podded me. I assume it was ransom. However, I don’t pay ransoms. Furthermore, podding me, , while expensive, wasn’t that expensive, since the implants I use are pretty cheap. But it also had a desirable effect. Which leads me to the Good News.
I’m back in Deklein! Now I can actually play the game rather than sitting around in the station waiting for a gate camp to clear.