And how I will travel.
As I mentioned in my “wait, where am I” new year’s post about EVE Online, I left things strewn about space after the last deployment. And, with a new deployment promised for this week, I figured I had better get myself together.
Oddly, the new deployment, which was slated as a general admission operation, was going to use the same ships and fits as the Reavers, right down to mobile depots and cloaks and such. But it was not going to be a Reaver op.
Still, that made things handy. I had a couple of Reaver fit ships, I just had to get them to the jump off point for the operation. The not-so-handy part was where they were. The ship I wanted to fly, a Basilisk logistics cruiser, was way down in the southwest corner of Amarr space, not too far from a jump gate to HED-GP, while the staging point was back up in Deklein. And I didn’t even have a jump clone in the system where the ship was, because we ended the deployment down there by flying Crucifiers back home as part of a potential DBRB trap that didn’t quite work out.
So I had some flying to do.
And, yes, I could have just bought a new ship. But I am not exactly overflowing with ISK, being pretty lazy on the income front for the last year or so, and the Basilisk down in Amarr space was still insured. Waste not, want not, and all that. So the evening before the deployment I set out to get my Basilisk back home, because there is no minute like the last minute.
The first step was to get jump to the clone nearest the ship. I was up in YAO and the nearest clone was one jump out of Amarr in Bhizheba. I have sufficient standing with the Amarr Navy to install jump clones with them in stations that have medical facilities, and Bhizheba is the nearest such facility to the trade hub of Amarr itself.
I jumped there, bought the cheapest shuttle in the station, a Minmatar model, and flew down to Badivefi, where the Basilisk was docked, a quick 19 jump run.
Once there I repackaged the shuttle and listed it on the market for more than I paid for it (and it sold in a couple of hours) and boarded the Basilisk, making sure it was fit for travel, which includes having a cloak, for the journey back to Deklein. The most direct route back to YA0-XJ is 47 jumps, and pretty much avoids low sec, making the transition to null sec at EC-P8R.
Unfortunately, that is kind of a hot location. Always a lot of camps, and then the route goes through NPC null in Pure Blind, where lots of not-blue strangers wander about. That is a bad part of town and you are likely to get mugged.
I chose instead to use my old standby route and slip into Cloud Ring via Black Rise, a 33 jump journey that would get me into null sec, but leave me a long way from my destination. However, it would put me on the jump bridge route between Deklein and Fountain. I could take just two jump bridges and land just four jumps from YA0-XJ. Granted, I would have to wait out the jump timer before I could use the second jump bridge, a 10 minute count down, but I had my cloak so I could just disappear for a bit and go do something else while that problem took care of itself.
The journey itself was uneventful. The usual Marmite camp in Niarja was looking for fatter targets than I, and while low sec Black Rise is always full of people, they are usually off doing Factional Warfare stuff and have almost no interest in somebody just passing through. Entering Cloud Ring I found myself pretty much alone. It is kind of a “fly over” region in CFC space, or so it seems to me, so I used the first jump bridge, traveled to the second, cloaked up for a bit, then used it, landing back amongst the blue where I was able to dock up in YA0-XJ without incident. I had a bit of jump fatigue, but that would wear off soon enough.
The next evening I got on a little bit before the form-up and took gates from YA0 to the start system, QPO-WI. I joined the fleet, led by Lazarus Telraven, as soon as it went up. I got in the logi channel and then the cap chain channel, where Arrendis was running the show, so we were in good hands on that front. Our ball of Ishtars and Basilisks and assorted other support ships eventually undocked, and the first thing we did was fly back to YA0.
This has happened before. Sometimes I wonder why I leave the system.
From there we headed west, following approximately the wagon trail to Fountain. Our final destination had not been given for operational security reasons and every time somebody asked on coms, a new objective was named. Fountain, Delve, Stain, Catch, Thera, and Providence were all mentioned at various times as we plodded through space, one full fleet of 255 plus a second fleet with another 30 or so traveling along.
Things were, of course, slow. Travel ops are slow, pushing 280 people through jump gates causes time dilation to kick in, and the FC is hooked into the intel channel and talking to his scouts about the route ahead, so isn’t always sending us to the next system right away. Plus Laz was also streaming and trying to get a covops past the Marmite camp in Amarr or some such.
We stumbled along for a while, going maybe 20 or so jumps before we were finally pulled up short and told to warp to an individual. We had reached our wormhole. This was how we were going to get across space, closer to our eventual destination.
There seemed to be a question as to whether all 280 of us would make it through the wormhole before it collapsed. The logi went through first, so in we went. And on the other side we found ourselves in Thera!
I was actually pretty excited about this. Thera was the new special wormhole space that was added with the Rhea expansion. Maybe Thera was our destination? Maybe we were going to set up shop in here for a while a shoot things. That seemed like something new and different.
And then we warped to the exit hole. We were just passing through Thera on our way elsewhere. But at least I had been there for a visit, even if I only saw the stations on my overview.
We passed through the exit wormhole, logi first again, and it went critical as the final ships passed through, and found ourselves in Wicked Creek. There was a hostile, bubbles were deployed, not much happened. Par for the course.
From there we continued the slow gate crawl from one destination to another. At one point Laz got some intel that the way ahead was camped so wanted us to stop a few jumps shy of the original destination he had broadcast. However, there were two potential paths to where we were headed, and the in-game route finder changed its mind on which path we should take, so that those who set the destination to the new broadcast got one route while those who kept the original destination and just planned to stop at the broadcasted system were set to travel another route. This meant stopping everything for a while as Laz tried to get us all back in the same location.
Meanwhile, the discussion on coms had turned to exactly what equipment a eunuch has left after he becomes a eunuch. The no chatter channel, where you can only hear the fleet commander, was starting to sound like a good idea, but I stayed on the main coms because Baby Lemba was doing voices again, which I find funny, but which isn’t always conducive to coms discipline. And then Laz lost another covops while trying to get us organized and I thought his head was going to fall off. I had the stream up so I could see the look on his face.
Eventually this was sorted out and we were able to move forward. We hit no camp and eventually arrived at our destination, which was XS-K1O. We are bunking with The Initiative, which owns the system. That is just three gates from B-R5RB, site of the giant titan battle almost a year ago and not too far from where we were based in Immensea last year at this time. I still have a Dominix in B-R5RB and a couple more ships in AF0-V5, our old staging system.
I tried to put all my travels this week on the influence map, but the arrows got a bit confusing. If I haven’t been to the four corners of New Eden, I have certainly been beyond the four corners of empire space. And I am not sure how I would even draw the two hour trip from Deklein to Immensea. Two hours is about par for the course for such things, unless it turns into a trail of tears.
And that is where we are set up. There is a write up over at Crossing Zebras about the situation in the area, which is both confused and very Russian. There is also a write up over at The Mittani which includes our staging system, so I am not violating operation security by mentioning it. And my Basilisk made it down there in one piece.
We are down there to get fights or, if no fights come up, help tear down Northern Coalition’s rental empire. So far, fights are not happening, so it is structure shoots.
We don’t want the space, we just don’t want NC to have it any more. We will see what happens this weekend as we start setting timers.
Now should I nip over and pick up my long lost Dominix, or just leave it in B-R5RB where it had its big moment? Meanwhile, I am still more than 20 jumps away from all those ships I left in Curse back in