The deployment to Curse is over. Whatever we were sent down south to do has been done. I think Wibla sent us down there to keep us out of trouble while he was off in Singapore for a stretch. Anyway, the mission was declared “accomplished.” I managed to get a couple of kills while we were down there camping gates.and playing at ~elite PvP~. My alt even got his first kill mail. Meanwhile, our coalition friends a couple systems over managed to chase TEST out of null sec and into factional warfare. So we were done, it was time to head home.
And I was all set.
I had my new Archon ready to take the cyno chain down to Curse, pick up my ships (and maybe Potshot’s as well, if I had room) and fly them all back up to Deklein.
Unfortunately, I had not been paying attention. When we deployed to Curse, the cyno chain only went one direction. People flew their carriers down, loaded with ships, and parked them. They did not fly them back up to the relative safety of Deklein it seems. Which meant that, when the time came to come back home, the cyno chain was only going to be lit in the order to bring people back north.
My Archon was not going to be any help at all. Next deployment I guess.
But I still wanted to extract some of my ships from our deployment, so it looked like I was going to have to do it the hard way. Again.
I was also bringing out the same ships I brought in, neither of which activated their guns even once during the deployment. I had my alt in a Manticore stealth bomber scouting ahead.
And I had my Eagle heavy assault cruiser following on behind.
Fortunately, at around 03:00 EVE time on a week night, things are relatively quiet. Only the most die hard Europeans are still up and online and even those with day jobs on the East coast of the United States are hitting their limits. I managed to exit Curse and get into the quiet pipe through the Great Wildlands without seeing another ship.
That was about the point that I remember that I forgot to install a jump clone back in XX9-WV. Again. I only left a single Harpy behind, but it is nice to have a jump clone in places like that should you need to travel. I don’t think I have the standings to install a jump clone in Angel Cartel stations. It was just that I did not even think about doing it, which happens to me all too often. Fortunately, my alt has made a couple of trip into Curse so has a jump clone still down there should we need to head south again. Or if I feel the burning need to try and fly that lone Harpy out.
As with Curse, the pipe through the Great Wildlands was pretty quiet. I ran into a couple of systems where there were one or two people in local which, in a stretch of systems that has absolutely no stations, meant they were up to something. But they were not camping the gates. So aside from a guy who was either following me or traveling the same route (there aren’t a lot of other places to go once you are in the pipe, hence the term “pipe”) things were clear. And I never saw the follower, I just noted that he kept popping into local just about the time I was jumping out of each system.
Things moved quickly until I hit the last null sec system on the route. That is always the system that gets camped, the transition point from low sec to null. In this case it was 7Q-8Z2, which the past 24 hour kill stats show tends to be hotter than most of the systems on the way to it. And, sure enough, I warped the Manticore to the out gate and found a set of six bubbles about 60km off the gate arrayed to catch people attempting to warp to zero. The looked like they were spread out to catch people trying to bounce off celestials even.
There were only two people in system and nobody was visible on grid around the gate so, with my follower still coming up, I decided to just warp the Eagle into the bubble blockade straight on and then turn on the microwarp drive and head for the gate ASAP.
I don’t know if the bubbles were left over from a more serious camp or if the pair in system decided that they weren’t up to a heavy assault cruiser, but nobody showed up. Aside from uncloaking my alt’s stealth bomber by flying too close, the run to the gate went quietly and I jumped out of the land of bubbles and into low sec space. From there I was only two systems out from high sec. Nobody was present in the low sec systems, so I didn’t even have to worry about crashing gates and warping past anybody.
Then it was time for the 38 jumps to Onnamon through high sec space. That took time and was mildly stressful. I got used to local being full of strangers who I could accept were not there specifically to blow me up. But I swear that at every other gate there was some doofus just sitting there doing nothing, and seeing a ship on a gate in your overview sets off a trained panic response. I swear, I ask myself every time I go back to high sec, “Did I used to live like that? Just hanging on a gate at a destination, probably after AFK autopiloting across space?”
I am sure I did, but my habits have changed and I see space through different eyes now. Long strange trip and all that.
Finally I made it to Black Rise where I could at least assume people were ready to shoot me. But the factional warfare people seemed to be invested in their own missions. I only saw one person on a gate before I managed to slip into low sec again, and he warped off, probably as paranoid as I was.
Then in null sec I was back on the jump bridge network and home in Deklein in a few more jumps. Home again, home again. It is sort of like EverQuest back in the day, running from Qeynos to Freeport or Butcherblock. It took all evening, I didn’t really gain anything besides a change of location, but it still felt like an accomplishment.
Now it is just the waiting period for the next thing to happen. In the post Fountain/Delve time, various members of the CFC have moved around. LAWN is down Delve now. The SpaceMonkey’s Alliance has moved out of Banch and taken up positions in Pure Blind astride the route into the Sisters of EVE owned bit of null sec, which might prove an interesting place to be when Rubicon drops and people want blueprints for those new ships.
TNT likewise holds some sovereignty in Pure Blind along another route into Sisters of EVE space, so I expect we might be camping that when November 19th rolls around and Rubicon goes live.
And the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere has expanded to include some systems way down in Period Basis, bringing the total number of rental systems available up to 87. The current count shows there are about 50 corporations renting at this time, so clearly renting from Goons isn’t a barrier for some.
Otherwise we are in something of a quiet period I imagine while the bright minds in the coalition plan for the changes that Rubicon brings.
Time perhaps to make a bit of ISK and train some new skills.
Or I could spend some time trying to care about why people were upset (or were not upset) about what SOMERblink was (or wasn’t) doing, how CCP was clearly (or not at all) implicated in it, and how CCP eventually responded. Given I cannot even find the strength to tie links to each of those statements, despite knowing where they are, I am not sure I can get there. Anyway, CCP took action, are we done yet?