The Merry Misadventures of John Wilkes Bluetooth – Part 1: Holing Up

Savvy Kneel 2020-03-23

Header Art By Quendan Comari

As I mentioned here, I’m a newish capsuleer who had to go win Eve for awhile back in 2018 due to RL circumstances, and who is now returning to the game. My favorite part of Eve has always been sharing the stories of my various adventures (or misadventures) here on INN, and since my main was locked up in Delve while I was waiting for my reapplication to Karmafleet to process so I could undock without getting blown up, I decided to bounce around hi-sec on the mostly-inactive alt I’d created and left sitting up there for close to two years.

My alt goes by the name John Wilkes Bluetooth (ironically, a much better handle than my main, who sports a moniker ported over from PUBG for some reason because I suck at naming things). In returning to the world of the low-skill Alpha, I set several goals and arbitrary rules for my alt’s adventures:

  1. Johnny W. was going to have all of his adventures as an Alpha – I wouldn’t PLEX until my main was available again.
  2. He’d stick to hi-sec, or at least not stray far from it, so as to be ready if the call came in to migrate down to Delve.
  3. He’d learn something new. In this case, I settled on exploration – always something of an enigma during my previous life in New Eden.
  4. Until my corp situation resolved itself and my main was free again, young Johnny was going to do it all on his own dime without any subsidies or skill injectors from my somewhat more well-heeled main.

I undocked and set off to find an exploration career agent and start running scanning missions. After a few hours I had a free Heron, so I cribbed a low-skill exploration fit from the BRAVE Dojo (sans cloak, because Alpha) and a two-day, starter exploration skill plan from E-Uni, and started scanning stuff.

As it turns out, scanning stuff in hi-sec is quite boring. Due to player density, there simply weren’t any relic or data sites available (at least, none that I was quick enough to find before someone else did). I was getting in good practice scanning, but I also wanted to practice hacking, and there was nothing to be hacked.

What I did find, though, was a lot of wormholes. Since I was sitting in a fit worth less than $2 million ISK, I amended Rule #2 above to include some quick day-trips into low-class W-space. Prior to this I’d been inside a wormhole precisely once, when I traversed Thera in-fleet with a ball of bees on our way to somewhere-or-other to find something-or-other (and probably shoot it).

This time, since I couldn’t cloak up, I knew I would almost certainly need a new Heron in short order. But I was out to learn something new – and wormholes were definitely new. Since my fit had all the offensive capability of a pod, I was looking for C1-C3 pirate relic and data sites. The first usable WH I scanned down was a small one with just a single signature. I scanned it down, discovered it was a combat site, and jumped back to hi-sec.

The second WH I tried had lots of signatures, and more importantly, nothing on D-scan. I jumped in and started setting up set up safes . . .

. . . and realized I’d forgotten to bookmark my exit.

“Welp, guess I’ll have to scan it down from this side, too.”

I found it, bookmarked it, and then started scanning other signatures, when . . . success! I found my first pirate relic site. I warped in, checked D-scan to make sure I was still alone, started hacking . . . and promptly blew up the first two cans with failed hacks. A D-Scan check showed that I was now sharing the hole with an Imicus, who had his own probes out. I figured he was there for the same reason I was, so I went for a third can, which resulted in another explosion. Clearly I needed to upgrade my hacking skills before this was going to work. Since the Imicus was now on-grid, I let him have the site (what was left of it) and bugged out.

Dropping back down to Hi-sec, I decided to run a couple of combat career missions to hit the day’s login goal of 5 rat kills – which came with 25,000 SP and would get me up to Hacking III. After doing the point-click-boom thing for a bit, I was ready to jump back into another wormhole.

I poked around a couple of systems until I found a quiet one with a suitable hole that hadn’t been well-traveled. I jumped in and found myself in another hole with lots of sigs. This one, though, clearly looked occupied as there were a handful of player-owned structures in-system. No ships showed up on D-Scan, though, so I jumped off the hole (remembering to bookmark it this time), created safes, and dropped probes.

Since D-scan showed nothing moving, I scanned down several signatures. Two of them turned out to be Wormholes leading into “dangerous space.” Another was a WH leading off to somewhere in low-sec. Next came a couple gas sites, followed by another WH to somewhere else in low-class W-space. I bookmarked that one to look at later, and kept scanning.

Now there was a Kikimora on D-Scan. When he dropped Sisters probes I figured he wasn’t interested in hunting, but I bounced around to a couple different safes just to make it a bit more interesting if he was. Eventually I wound up back at the exit to the other low-class wormhole. I thought about jumping through and letting the Kikimora have this hole, but right then he showed up on grid with me and jumped through himself. “Guess I’ll stay.” I thought to myself, and jumped back to a safe to continue scanning.

The sisters probes were still out. I figured the Kikimora had just left his pricey probes behind (particularly when he reappeared briefly on D-Scan and then disappeared again along with the probes), but I’ve since learned that probes automatically return to your hold when you jump through, meaning I should have known that I must still have been sharing the hole with something a bit . . . cloakier.

As it turned out, I was.

I scanned down a few combat sites, watched on D-Scan as the Kikimora hopped back in and back out, and practiced getting better and faster at scanning. Finally, I found a pirate data site and jumped in. I blew up the first can and started on the second. However, in the process I forgot that I’d set my ship to orbit the first can (which was no longer there), and I failed the hack as my ship veered off on some random vector and got too far away for the scanner to function.

On my second attempt, though, I finally executed a successful hack, which yielded loot worth just shy of 2 million ISK – pennies in New Eden terms, but roughly equal to what I had banked back in hi-sec. Getting ready to start on a third can, I gave D-scan a quick check . . . and promptly ran through the five stages of grief in very rapid succession.

  • First came Denial, as in: “Wait a minute, that Stratios wasn’t on D-Scan 30 seconds ago!”
  • Then came Anger: “I was finally making some headway, and now I have to bug out.”
  • Followed by Bargaining, as I mashed buttons trying to warp out to a safe: “Ok, he’s on grid now, maybe he’s just here to run the site and won’t actually kill me.”
  • Which quickly turned to Depression: “Yep, he is definitely killing me.”
  • Culminating in Acceptance: “Just pop me quickly so I can wake up back in hi-sec and buy another Heron.”

He did, and I did. Now to re-ship, dive back into W-space, and see where the winds of New Eden carry John Wilkes Bluetooth next.

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