Back down the rabbit hole

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A short while ago (okay, exactly two years and seven months ago) I made a post about my first ventures in wormhole space. It was quite the adventure for a pilot who'd only ever ventured out of high-sec once (with disastrous consequences, I might add). Sadly it was to be a short-lived trip into the unknown as my corp at the time went under not long afterwards, and eventually my time in EVE soon dwindled into nothing. But, fear not, for I have ventured back down the rabbit hole... and here's the story.

Now, at this point I'm going to point out that I'm not always the most pro-active player in a social sense. That's not to say that I don't enjoy talking to people - it's actually one of the things I enjoy most about the game - but sometimes I'm not paying attention or I'm not feeling very sociable or, if it's someone I don't know, I might even be downright shy. So when I decided to say hello to a fellow in alliance chat (which I never usually talk in), I hadn't expected it to consist of more than the following:

Alliance chat fellow > o/
Maurice McPhee > o/ alliance chat fellow

But, to my great surprise, we actually struck up a conversation, which went something like this:

Alliance chat fellow > Oh no, all the grav sites in our wormhole have been popped. Do you want to come and mine them before they disappear?
Maurice McPhee > Yes.

Okay, so I didn't transcribe the whole thing, but the above is essentially how it went. Except I wasn't really as cool about it. In fact I was positively uncool about it and spent much time fretting and panicking and asking 'but what if everything explodes?'. But eventually, I like totally said yes.

So I hopped into an Ibis and made my way the 12 or so jumps to pick up some bookmarks from friendly alliance chat fellow, which led me to the wormhole entrance. They're quite pretty really, aren't they? Anyway, I jumped in thoroughly expecting a barrage of death and mean things on the other side, but it was actually quite serene. I had a couple of systems to hop through and ended up in friendly alliance chat fellow's 'home' system - a C4 with a static C4, if that means anything to anyone.

An important point I somehow missed from the conversation above is that I was here totally alone. Friendly alliance chat fellow had to go away so I was to be mining by myself. However, this was okay as nobody really goes to C4s and wormholes are actually quite safe when compared to stepping out of your front door or driving a car, right?

So, safely at the POS, I stopped to get my bearings and found an empty mining ship. I hopped in a Retriever - I figured as it's likely to explode anyway then it's better to explode something cheap, even if it does mean a little less reward in terms of isk. Everything seemed to be going fine as I prepare to warp to the field to chew some tasty high-end rocks, although something seems to be missing...

Uh oh. Friendly alliance chat fellow has forgotten to give me the bookmarks to the grav sites. And poor Maurice doesn't have any scanning skills. This could be somewhat awkward. I assume at this point that I'm clearly being stupid and the bookmarks will be stored conveniently in one of the hangars or arrays or whatever the hell else they have at this POS. After systematically checking each and every structure or floating-in-space-thingy that might be able to store anything, I'm stumped. I'm in a wormhole with no scanning skills and the only bookmark I have is the one that leads back out the way I just came in. This trip down the rabbit hole is looking slightly uneventful.

BUT WAIT. Seriously, just wait a minute, it's about to get slightly less uneventful.

An alliance mate arrives! I haven't talked to this one in alliance chat so I can't say whether he's friendly or not, but I already talked to one stranger today so why not try two? I strike up a conversation, which goes something like this:

Maurice McPhee > o/
Second stranger I've spoken to today > o/
Maurice McPhee > Do you have bookmarks for the grav sites?
Second stranger I've spoken to today > Yes.
Maurice McPhee > Can I have them?
Second stranger I've spoken to today > Yes.

Sorry, I know that whittled on for six lines of dialogue, but I didn't want to miss anything vital out like I did earlier on. Essentially I followed him to the grav site and we mined and mined and hit the d-scan about eight million times and then mined a bit more. It was all quite uneventful actually. But like, the good kind of uneventful where I don't die.

During this period of blissful uneventfulness I decided to read a few guides about how not to die in wormholes and all of that sort of thing (especially this page over at K162space, which is a very good blog, might I add. It also links to Islands Among The Stars by ArcDragon, which is pretty much all you might need to know about wormholes, probably). I realised I was actually quite enjoying my time in the wormhole and started to believe that my doom might not be quite so impending after all.

I took a little break to eat food and then decided to get back to the mining. The wormhole was filling up (with other friendly alliance people, thankfully) and everything was just dandy. Though apparently a Buzzard - which I later discovered is a type of ship in EVE - had been here earlier poking his nose around. We decided to continue our little mining expedition, but d-scan was being pinged more fiercely than ever. We had eyes on the entrance to the wormhole as well, so there was no possible chance of exploding, right?

Well, at approximately 7, 154 units of Hedbergite a lot of things happened all at once. It went something like this:

7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.5 seconds > 'wormhole activation!'
7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.76 seconds > d-scan shows ships that sound mean like Killathron and Damnation and Buzzard... okay, Buzzard isn't as scary, but whatever.
7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.94 seconds > Warp to POS.
7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.95 seconds > No, seriously, warp to POS.
7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.955 seconds > OMG SERIOUSLY WARP TO POS WARP TO POS WARP TO - oh, okay I'm warping to the POS.
7,154 units of Hedbergite + 0.9555 seconds > Killathron, Damnation and SCARY BUZZARD arrive at the grav site, just in time to catch the exhaust fumes (yeah, do they exist in space?) from our Retrievers.

Now, all of that probably happened in a bit more than 0.4555 seconds, but it felt pretty snappy at the time. I hadn't actually realised how close we'd come to total annihilation until strangers two, three and four told me the full extent of what happened, but yeah, turns out these angry-sounding ships had wanted us dead. Us? Peaceful miners just trying to make a living? But WHY?

Anyway, we waited a little while and then finished off our little mining expedition. It was all rather exciting. And now that I've finished rocking back and forth in my chair and clutching pictures of my loved ones, I think I might do it all over again.



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