Maiden Voyage

After training for the better part of a month, yesterday I completed my pilot qualifications to fly a cloaky transport ship, the Viator. I’ve been without implants in my main clone in Deklein, so I’ve been sitting in my empire jump clone and running missions for faction with certain corps.

But Saturday Ginta mentioned that he was going to make a run into Jita, so I jumped back to Deklein, grabbed a rookie ship and followed him through. We went the low-sec route (through the system where I lost my laden hauler, sniff), with very little trouble.

I had already bought my implants and so they were ready for me in Nonni. I could fly a Viator by then, so I went into Jita and bought it, along with a Covert Ops Cloaking Device II. But I had to wait until yesterday morning to fit it.

Of course, there were a few distractions, it being a holiday weekend in the US. But after dinner, I jumped in the ship, determined to fly it back to TNT’s home space in 0.0.

I flew it through a few highsec systems, just to get the hang of how the cloak worked. There were a few surprises for me. I may be 3 million years old, but in EVE I’m still a noob.

The Viator will enter warp while cloaked. In fact, it aligns faster while cloaked than Dominix does uncloaked. And it does so very smoothly, not the usual power-drop-and-boost I’m used to. Often I would be in warp before I realized it.

However, I was a bit surprised to find that I could not jump through a gate while cloaked. You all knew that, I’m sure. And you can’t turn the cloak on while you are under the after-jump cloak, either.

So I had to develop an “after jump” routine, that included having my finger poised over F1, select a warp target, activate warp, hit F1 to cloak. I sort of flash any nearby onlookers when I do that, becoming visible for a moment, then cloaking.

With far to little practice on this I set off. Since intel suggested a gatecamp in EC3-PI, I went via the lowsec pipe. What could happen? (other than getting caught at a 93PI-4 gatecamp and ganked, that is.)

Of course, there was a camp in 93PI-4. About 5 neutrals in the system, one at the gate from Saranemi, along with 3 bubbles. Fortunately, I didn’t jump in all that near them, so I picked a planet, picked a distance to warp to, clicked the warp button and mashed F1 like I’d been practicing. As soon as I dropped out of warp, I aligned to another planet and jumped there. Then I aligned and stayed quiet for a while, watching local. Nobody followed me. One of the neuts left the system for a while. When I blue came in to the system and didn’t leave immediately, I figured that was enough distraction and jumped through to G-M4I8.

They had someone on that gate. Lather, rinse, repeat. Don’t jump direct to a gate, that’s an invitation to be bubbled. I didn’t yet know what would happen if I hit a bubble, would I decloak automatically?

I stayed in G-M4 quite a while, I didn’t like the looks of the situation. It was clear by then that the neuts were hunting me, but I didn’t know their resources. My plan was to bore them to death. So I waited a good long time cloaked and then jumped through to R-2R0G and the long pipe back to Deklein. For a time, I got ahead of them. However, I didn’t have a destination set, and I had to pull out a map to look for what a good choice would be.

As it turns out, the jump bridge that we had been using was down. This was in part political. When the SC managed to put the bridge and its tower into reinforced, a call had gone out for people to come and repair it, and the call had not been answered with great enthusiasm, it seems. So rather than pay for SOV in 4ABS8, TCF has decided to leave those bridges down for the time being. Thus I was taking the long road.

So as I paused a bit to look at the map and sort out my route, the neut gang caught up with me and flooded the system. However, they didn’t stay long, I’m not sure why. So I pushed on, thinking I might run into them. A couple more systems along I ran into a gang all right – a blue gang!

Mostly the rest of the trip was uneventful except for my close encounter with a bubble. I don’t recall exactly which system, but once I found myself pulled 80km directly past a gate and to a smallish bubble. And I was decloaked. Fortunately, there was nobody around at the time, but that was a rude surprise. 80k, I had no idea that was possible. I guess this is the “sling bubble” I keep hearing about. I boosted back to the gate, that was a slow jaunt. I guess warping to a planet and back might have been faster, but the bubble mechanics threw me.

Anyway, the trip is successful, I made it back and managed to blast through two anomalies, one with a friendly alliance member and his alt. I’m well set up for PI, I have all the skill books injected and training, and I have a hauler, my new Viator (I named it Edmund Fitzgerald just because), to haul the PI goods around with.

Of course, having success in the same place/situation where I had failure before is what makes this game worth playing. They were hunting me, and this time, they didn’t get me. That puts a smile on my face, big time.

***

Skyforger [LVSKY] is recruiting. Our CEO, Eperor, has designated me Manager and Meclin/Scipia/Gaff Director for the US time zone(s). I typically play in my later evenings and I’m in PDT, living in California. That works out to about 04:00 to 07:00 Eve Time. Sometimes earlier, and odd times. We are interested in both PvP and mining characters. I’m not that much of a PvP player myself, but I’m learning. There are several good alliance FCs that are on during my play time, and some that start a bit earlier.

If you’re interested, drop me an EVE mail, join the LVSKY_REC channel, or just convo me.

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