The deployment to Hakonen was declared over earlier this week. GSOL, the logistics masters who make deployments possible, quietly packed up their stuff first to go pave the way back to Delve. Then the official announcement came for caps and subcaps to start heading south for home.
A variety of reasons have come up to explain our return to Delve including Pandemic Horde deploying to attack the region, TEST moving in next door to Hakonen letting the north concentrate on both of us easily, the developing situation in the southwest of null sec, TEST deploying back home, the foreseeable break between TEST and CO2, or the fact that we only planned to hang out for about a month in Hakonen in any case.
Pick whatever narrative or combinations thereof you prefer. Regardless of which you choose, we were told to come home.
My usual plan for moves is to get in the first subcap move op I see, because I rarely find a second one. I wanted to get my Typhoon back to Delve. I traveled light for the trip up to Lonetrek, but then bought ships, including the battleship, so my hangar had filled up. Some of the ships I planned to just have an alt fly to Jita to disassemble and sell on the market, but the Typhoon had suddenly become special, having acquired kill marks in that last capital battle. So I wanted to get that back home.
Of course, I missed that first subcap move op… and a second one, which also appeared to be the last one for USTZ… so I was on my own to get stuff back to Delve.
Normally that would be no big deal. The route back to Delve is mostly through high sec, but I had a couple of problems.
First, having spent time flying the ECM Burst Atron in low sec meant that my security status was bad, having dropped below the -5 threshold. You can read up on security status here, but that meant I would be a flashing outlaw in everybody’s overview and the faction police in high sec would be calling out my name and shooting at me. I wanted to fix that before I flew some ships back south, including the wallowing armor tanked Typhoon.
Fortunately for me, you can fix that. Corrupt CONCORD lets you buy them off by just visiting one of their stations, and there is one just two gates from Hakonen in the system of Jan. You don’t pay them off directly, instead giving them clone soldier tags for which they will wipe all that bad behavior off your record. I am sure they resell those tags again and pocket the ISK. People only join CONCORD for the corruption I am told.
You can buy the tags on the market, and I had a neutral alt in Jita ready to buy some and run them over, but it turned out they are for sale in such abundance in the CONCORD station that the price is cheaper than Jita. So I bought what I needed and was soon a citizen in good standing again.
I repaired my sec status because of the second problem. In order to avoid gate guns and other issues that come from fighting a war in some place other than null sec, there had been a number of cross declarations of war between alliances.
War declarations mean you can freely shoot people from the other side in high sec space, making the run back to Delve, which is mostly through high sec, more risky. I didn’t want to be tackled by somebody with a war dec on us and have the faction police come and finish the job for them. That is what happened on this kill mail. I’m bad enough at PvP without the NPCs coming in to assist.
So, all set, I started out with a couple of small ships, my alt flying a Purifier stealth bomber and Wilhelm flying a Jackdaw destroyer.
The station undock was camped, but we put an Astrahus citadel straight off the undock so you can insta-warp to it upon loading in space before anybody can lock and shoot you. I landed at the citadel, then warped off to the first gate. I opted to avoid the straight, obvious route out off Hakonen through Nalvula and Jan, as both those gates were camped as well at various times. Instead I headed to Oimmo in high sec and then started navigating for home from there. A slightly different path, and two extra gates, but much safer.
The Purifier, warping faster, ended up getting ahead, so I decided to see if he could take a Lucky Clash event site on his own. They were scattered all over New Eden when I started the move.
The Purifier had no problem taking on the one Redtail Shark attacker by warping in at range and pelting him with torpedoes from a distance.
Meanwhile, no war targets had appeared. The thing about wars decs in high sec is that the hostiles tend to just sit in Jita assuming that you’ll go there. That undock is hot if you have a war dec, but I flew past Jita, going through Sobaseki, and through Amarr, the next big trade hub, without any problem at all.
I even had the Jackdaw try its hand at a Lucky Clash site, which it handled without issue.
It was an uneventful journey home, save for a LowSechnaya Sholupen pilot sitting in a smart bombing battleship on one of the gates in Aridia, and he was out of position and only caught the Purifier with a single cycle which did almost no damage. I think he was looting the wreck of a Pandemic Horde interceptor that had passed me along the way. Either way, I was soon home and dry in Delve.
Jumping back to Hakonen with my main, I decided to bring out my Hurricane next. Again, it was easy to warp past the camp on the undock and head out via the bypass into high sec space. The Hurricane, moving more slowly than the last two ships, gave me some time to sight see in a way.
It had been interesting being up in Lonetrek again. All of the battles took place just a few jumps from where I started playing EVE Online. My first “home” system was Hageken and back in 2006 through 2007 I ranged from there, ran my first missions, started mining, and began playing market games. Evidence of the latter still exists in the form of dozens of local stations showing up as having crap of mine stored in them.
So as I flew the slower Hurricane through the region, I looked through the assets list and put things up for sale. A lot of it I listed pretty cheap, but as some of it has been sitting around for a decade, cheap is relative and it is probably better to have a little ISK out of it than to let it sit even longer. It was mostly missiles and expanded cargo holds and warp core stabilizers, all of which I was attempting to collect from mission hubs and sell. There was one ship, a Moa, still sitting in Hageken that was probably the biggest ticket item.
Soon enough though I moved out of Lonetrek and left behind a still unexamined pile of items.
Again I ran into no war targets on my run and, again, I took a moment to run a Lucky Clash site just because.
That was it for the night.
I resumed last night thinking that, after two milk runs, I would just roll the fat Typhoon home, passing through Lonetrek and listing more leftovers for sale. So I jumped back to Hakonen, undocked, and hit the Astrahus again to align out for the same route as before.
The slow moving Typhoon lumbered off into high sec space and meandered from gate as I paid more attention to listing things on the market than anything else. One residual of my days as a trader is that I can list up to 241 items on the market and can do so from many jumps distance.
Eventually I moved out of Lonetrek, but as I did I noticed a war target, first in local, then on my overview. He was in a frigate and so warped ahead of me as the Typhoon struggled to just align.
Now I am not a very aggressive pilot. I see a war target in high sec, I am generally by myself and not on voice coms, so I just attempt to evade and escape. I am not a threat. But this chap was in Mercenary Coalition, a feisty organization, and headed away from home. I wondered if he was on coms telling somebody that a fat target was wandering along by itself waiting to be shot.
Sure enough, as passed out a Niarja through the Madirmilire gate I found a Proteus waiting for me on the other side flown by one CJ Longstreet, the same guy in that kill mail I linked above, on the very same gate. He hit me with a warp scrambler, which meant I couldn’t just use my MJD to jump away. I figured he would surely web me and that I would never make it back to the gate, so I locked him in return and started shooting and neuting him. I also headed for the gate, just in case.
As it turned out he did not have a web fit, or didn’t think to use it, because I was soon at the gate, and safety lay on the other side. Instead, he was neuting me in return, which wasn’t doing very much as he was running a small energy neutralizer and the Typhoon is a passive fit. Meanwhile, I certainly wasn’t going to blow him up as the first chap, the one who spotted me a while back, arrived in an Oneiros to rep him and give him capacitor.
So there I was at the gate. Of course, now I had a weapons timer, a two minute count down before I could jump through, so I stopped firing and watched the clock count down as he slowly chipped away at my layers of armor, hitting me for 300-500 points of damage every attack with his Heavy Electron Blaster IIs.
At one point he figured out what I was up to and stopped shooting, no doubt thinking to follow me through the gate. But then he changed his mind and started shooting again. I am not sure how much that respite helped, but it certainly didn’t hurt. I was closing in on 10% armor when the timer finally ended and I was able to jump through the gate. Hurray for 132K of EHP!
On the far side there were no hostiles. There was, however, a selection of citadels open to the public. So I headed to a nearby Fortizar and tethered up to repair. I was safe for the moment.
Fortunately I have been past war target camps in Niarja. While it is a bottleneck system on the route between Jita and Amarr, once you are in Niarja you have other options. There were a few other routes home for me. So I went to DOTLAN, found a likely looking choice, and headed out again.
I saw one MC pilot in local as I passed through Ashab, something of a bottleneck system as well, but I wasn’t going to or from either of the obvious gates. And so I went through safely, made my way to Aridia and down into Delve, again without issue.
So all my stuff… well, all my important stuff… is back home in Delve. There are a few cheap ships still up in Hakonen like the ECM Burst Atrons that I will let a neutral alt pick up and bring to Jita.
The deployment itself was a success for me, but my criteria isn’t likely to be the default for many people. I saw some big fights, got some good screen shots, got a prestige kill mail, didn’t lose a ship, learned a few new things, got to fly around some old familiar space, and had fun along the way. That is about all I could ask.
Now to see what is going on back at home.