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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shooting the Pipe; Hoping not to Wipeout

I am deep, deep in deadly unknown space. I don't think I knew exactly how deep I'd be until the other night.

My ship came out of stand-down to a system that was busy but not under attack or threat of attack. In fact, it was very quiet. The scouts had gone out and reported back the same. There was nothing alarming.

The scouts also reported two connections leading into Amarr space. Both exit systems were in high-sec. As it was quiet and I still had ships I wanted to bring in, I started down the pipe in a shuttle to retrieve them. You know, I just want to mention at this point that nothing makes you feel so naked as being in an uncloaked ship in Anoikis space. I've gone through two smart bombing gate camps in low-sec, the last in Amamake about a week ago, and I was less nervous. I'm just saying - flying naked in wormhole systems is no fun.

Anyway, the pipe in this case was three wormhole systems long. I've always seen the diagrams Penny uses over on Tiger Ears. I'd always seen them as a lot of trouble waiting to happen. She likes it that way I'm pretty certain. I'm cut from a different cloth. I prefer my transits uneventful. My route out was uneventful and I started my 20 jump high-sec run to retrieve another ship.

When I was a few jumps out from our exit, comms lit up. There had been a Proteus sighting in the home system. It soon became apparent the home system was compromised. That's not so unusual. It's the nature of wormhole space.

The alliance quickly determined there was a new K162 into our home. What was worse, or better depending on how you look at it, the K162 was from an AHARM C6. Questions were asked on comms. Answers were gotten. A plan of action was starting to take shape. Then AHARM began to roll the hole. It seems they weren't up for fun and games that night. For my part I'd kept on heading for the ship I was wanting to fly in. There was not much I could do from high-sec in a shuttle.

When I was a few jumps from my destination, comms crackled again. This time it was a report that the high-sec hole I'd departed from had gone critical and it was on the verge of collapse. I wasn't too worried. We had another entrance. Then the same member reported another wormhole in the pipe had just gone critical. As someone said on comms a minute later, "you're timing tonight is lousy Mabrick."

However, the ship I was bringing back in was my scanning Helios. It could jump a hundred times through a critical wormhole and not collapse it. Nevertheless, I jumped in it fast and headed back least somone else in a larger ship collapsed the holes for me. I'd just gotten back into wormhole space and I sure as hell didn't want to get trapped in high-sec again!

The Helios is a damn fast ship but I still had 20 jumps to make. I felt like I was in a race against time. There was a shorter route of only 14 jumps. I elected not to go through Egghelende for obvious reasons. I got to the beginning of the pipe and the wormhole was still there. I lost no time entering. I was on my way home again.

The second verge of collapse wormhole was also there. Getting through it as quickly as I could, I was soon home free. And, shortly before I got there, AHARM finished collapsing their connection to us. The evening was back to the way it'd started. Nothing much was happening in our neck of the woods. It was about that point I truly understood how deep I was into deadly unknown space. It could have oh so easily have gone the other way.

Fly Careful


  1. Yeah, even simple trips can end up feeling like adventures. Ain't it great?

  2. "It could jump a hundred times through a critical wormhole and not collapse it"

    That's what I thought on that day when I jumped my little Cheetah through a mass-critical C6 which promptly collapsed behind me. Someone must have thought it to be a great practical joke to get that wormhole to a limit where one small frigate without any plates and without any active propulsion module would collapse it.

    It took scanning out a C6->C6->C5->C3->Lowsec route to get anywhere reasonably close to our KSpace entrance. I had found a nullsec exit before, but flying 48 jumps from Paragon Soul didn't sound very enticing.

    I guess what I'm saying is, there are always surprises out there.

    1. And sometimes just breathing on them is enough. At this point, I'll have to admit HBHI has been known to leave wormholes in such a state just for the lulz. And that goes on in my new home as well. Recently we had a Legion pilot jump through our static and it collapsed behind her. In fact, it was the night we ran sites from Monday's post. That capsuleer blood-jumped out rather than face 30+ itchy trigger fingers.

  3. Personally I would have gone through Egg. The 6 jumps shaved would have been worth the risk, plus in a Helios that risk is negligible. Fast, cloaky and no bubbles means you'd probably have been safer travelling through Egg than you would have been through the pipe.

    1. Not that night I'm afraid. There were 36 kills in the last hour: probably a gate camp. Otherwise, I agree with you.


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