2011-08-20

Life in a Wormhole: What are the Odds? #eveonline

It's been a few days since the Rattlesnake/Orca Debacle of Aught-leven, and things have been quiet around the home system -- not only a lack of violence, but a lack of anything to do violence against -- we're depressingly low on Sleeper sites to hit, and the class1 systems we connect have also been pretty picked over.

In a system with a persistent connection to something other than a class one, this wouldn't be as much of a hindrance as it is, because it doesn't take a tremendous amount of effort to collapse the connection over and over until the random number generator gives you a more attractive destination -- it takes about fifteen minutes and (basically) one pilot per 'reboot'.

The small C1 connection, ironically, is far more hassle to bring down, because it has limits on the size of ship it will admit. Specifically, you can't take a battleship or an Orca through, and those are our two main hole-crashing tools. In fact, the biggest ships it will allow through is a Drake-class battlecruiser -- a fine ship that would need something like fourteen round trips (with a 4-minute break between each) to close the hole.

We *can* crash if we really need to -- Gor, me, Bre, and CB (all in battlecruisers) only need about 3 round trips, plus change -- but most evenings the effort isn't worth it.

So, we don't have much to fight right now.

What we *do* have are extra wormholes. In addition to our static connection to empire space (near Jita - eww), we have an inbound connection from Amarr space (again, eww) and yet another connection from... that's another high-sec connection. Sheesh. Maybe this one will be more useful than the other two.

Useful? Why yes. It is in fact a direct connection to our highsec home system.

I laugh out loud over voice comms, because the odds against our little system randomly connecting to our other little system in the whole of New Eden space is -- if you'll pardon the pun -- astronomical.

The shock doesn't last for long, though -- there too much we can to do to take advantage. It's the perfect opportunity to (finally) take some ships out of the wormhole that we don't really need, and even sneak in a few we'd like to try out; CB and I waste very little time marveling at our good fortune.

Gor returns while we're scurrying about -- back from a two-day trip abroad. While we consolidate our resources, he works quietly in the hangars of our highsec base, saying very little.

Finally, he posts a link to a ship schematic in our corp channel. "Ty, can you take a look at this for wormhole work?"

I peer at the tiny screen, then export the whole thing into my ship building program, because I figure I can't be seeing it right. "That's a Proteus."

"Yes."

"I didn't know you had a Proteus," I comment, trying not to drool over the high-tech strategic cruiser built on reverse-engineered Sleeper technology.

"I have three," Gor replies. "I don't fly them very often."

"So I gathered." I don't comment further on this massive understatement. "You want to bring this in for sleepers?"

"I'm considering," Gor replies. "Just considering. If we can find a build that works."

What neither of us are saying is that this little cruiser -- something that can be configured to do anything from stealth recon, fleet reinforcement, or facemelting combat -- costs, easily, as much as the Rattlesnake that he lost less than a week ago.

It basically looks like this, but even more awesome.


"How's the tank?"

"Well..." I look over the numbers. "Actually, it's kind of terrible."

"It's currently configured to be a blockade runner."

"Gotcha." I tap the screen. "Which subsystems do you have?"

"All of them," Gor says, "Go crazy."

I do so. I've never messed with a strategic cruiser in the Eve Fitting Tool (no point in pining for something I can't fly), and it takes me a bit to get used to the many subsystems available, but once I figure out what goes where...

"Wow. Holy... wow."

"Good?"

"Yeah." I send him the schematics. "Put it together like so."

A few minutes pass. "Done." There's a pause. "Ty, this looks really good."

"Cool."

"CB, are you back from your supply run?"

"Yup. What's up?"

"I want to try out my new ship on some Sleepers."

And that's exactly what we do.

When Gor decides to jump back in the saddle, he doesn't do it by half-steps.
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