Bwah? I think. Are we retreating? Did we lose? Did I miss it?
Nothing like that. It turns out that when the locals logged in and found themselves unable to leave their tower or access any of their gear, they suddenly became very interested in Diplomatic Negotiations.
(Luckily, we had their Teamspeak server password, so it was easy to start a conversation with them.)
So, after a bit of wrangling, the corp essentially paid us to leave them alone, to the tune of 4 billion isk worth of Pilot License Extensions (PLEX).
"One way or the other, they've learned a painful lesson," the fleet commander comments, "and this way we don't have to waste all weekend blowing their tower up. Win-win."
Bre heads out in her stealth bomber and starts barreling through known space toward our current entrance into the home system before it collapses of old age, to see if she can find a different connection that isn't 37 jumps away. Meanwhile, Ty stays with the small battleship fleet that's escorting the Orca in the process of disassembling our staging tower and moving it out of the hole.
Scouts range throughout the low security systems between our exit and the relative security of highsec and, after a bit of wrangling, manage to find us a route that avoids a fairly angry-looking gate camp. We exit the hole in good order.
Meanwhile, Bre has found us a more useful route home, and only (!) an hour later, we can put both the bomber and Typhoon away until they're needed.
Which won't be soon, as our fellows in Walrus are looking to use their unexpected free time to shoot some sleepers. I'm inclined to as well, and join in for four or five sites. They're ready to continue, but I'm ready for a break and... maybe a nap. My toddler copilot got me up kind of early this morning.
"Man... I have spent a LOT on ships in the last week," mutters CB when I log back in. He's been training for Interdictor-class ships, and picking up a couple fun-but-pricey interceptor frigates as they become available.
"Sounds like you need to SHOOT SOME SLEEPERS." I give him the hardest virtual nudge I can, since he still hasn't joined us in our new home, thanks to a serious bout of illness.
"Yeah, yeah... where's the current exit?"
I tell him and, knowing it's not that far away even for a slow-ass ship like the Orca, convince Berke to head that way as well to help CB move all his stuff in one go. It takes a bit of finessing, but between the Orca's ship hangar, CB's Iteron IV hauler, and Ty flying out in his pod to pilot the Dominix battleship back, we make it work and a few hours later CB is up to his elbows in Secure Containers, unpacking stuff from cardboard boxes labeled "Comics", "JPGs of your Mom", "Damsels", and "More Damsels".
I leave him to it and join Bre in a brief but profitable bit of Gas Harvesting -- it's not the most exciting target to shoot, but floating inside a vast gas cloud can be kind of restful, and that's pretty much what I need at the end of a long, long day.