07 April 2009

The Turtle Beats the Rabbits

Past few days have been for the most part uneventful. I think the most entertainment I had was flying my cov-ops 30 jumps through 0.0 to meet up with a corp mate. He was wanting to get his Dominix class battleship out of the w-system...but the only exit they were finding was deep in AAA territory. So I hopped in the trusty frigate, Dare U2 Blink, and headed out. It was around 65 jumps from my nearest clone and again, roughly 30 of that through nullsec. I had no problems getting to him and fortunately, most of the trip was quiet. We really had no confrontations up until the last system, HED-GP. This is the last 0.0 system in the Catch region before you jump straight into high security space in the Khanid region. As expected, it was a very busy, and very heavily camped system.

My corpmate however was already feeling a bit frisky. He was bored out of his mind in the w-system and really wanted out so it had been either pod himself, make a suicide run through nullsec in his battleship, or chance the possibility of actually making it all the way to empire with me scouting. Given he'd almost gone with one of the first two choices, he didn't really care too much if he lost his ship. And then again, he was given the nickname "Leroy" by the corp directors....

Anyway...jumping into HED, I initially saw a Crow interceptor as well as a Rook on my overview. Fortunately, the bubble nearby was set up to snare anybody that escaped the camp at the high sec gate, so I was well out of its reach. I shoved the ships engines into gear and hit the cloak before aligning to a planet and punching the warp to 0 button. Not the smartest thing I realize but I was in a jump clone, in a ship I'd bought with full expectation of losing and little care for my own life. As I exited warp at the planet, I was a tad shocked to see I'd landed right at the edge of another warp bubble. These guys certainly weren't playing any games! It's fortunate my cloak held, because it was only a second after I exited warp, the crow exited about 4km off my starboard. Seems I'd aligned perhaps a bit too soon and given away my direction. Ah well. I burned away from the bubble and warped back to the safe spot I'd created immediately after entering warp from the gate.

From this point, it became a waiting game. For some time, my corp mate sat in the emptiness of space at his own safe spot a short distance away from the gate in the other system. In the meantime, I spammed the scanner, keeping an eye on any ships coming and going at the gate from my side. The system was fairly small so it hadn't taken me long to realize the situation we were in.

Sitting at the gate to high sec were about 20 interceptors and a handful of slightly heavier hitters. This was going to be difficult. Trying to get a battleship through the gate and into warp before the interceptors could arrive and lock him down....oye vay! The timing had to be just right. Believe it or not that moment came when I believe someone else somehow got past their camp and they'd all rushed to the gate I was sitting near to, hoping to catch their prey. Whether they killed it or not I don't know or if that wasn't the case, why they'd come rushing to the gate in the first place I just don't know. Either way, they all lingered at the gate for a bit before they finally one by one went back to their original camp. At this point, all I could pick up on my own scanner was the Rook and one interceptor towards the direction of the gate. This time, I decided to move in for a closer look and warped in to the gate at 100km cloaked. Surprisingly, all that was actually there was the rook! The interceptor must be sitting just off grid somewhere....but it appeared to be just the window we needed.

Quickly, I punched the comm button and ordered my mate into action. "Go! Now! Now! Now," I nearly screamed into the comm, knowing this might be his best chance. Within moments he was jumping in, immediately breaking gate cloak to align for a warp out. Of course, only a moment after his arrival, the interceptor appeared but he was too far and too late. Before it could get a scram on him, my mate was in warp, his ship disappearing into the distance. The interceptor immediately gave chase and I don't know how my corp mate did it but after going to a planet himself, he was able to turn his ship about and get back into warp barely half a second before the interceptor landed at his location.

So with nerves still on fire, I took a moment to calm myself and him as well before making my way to the exit gate for part two. It seemed luck was still on our side though. Amongst all the wreckage the interceptor wolf pack had created (and believe me there was a lot of it), not a single warp bubble was still in place. To top it all off, the pack of interceptors had moved off for some reason or other, leaving the entire gate clear! Once again, I urged my companion into warp and within moments he landed at the gate, quickly activating it and with a poof of light, he was free.

So....strike one up for good scouting on my part, good reaction time on my battleship flying corp mate, a little bit of luck or.... well...possibly just some horrible AAA interceptor pilots.