Monday, July 1, 2013

Stand Your Post, While The Wormhole Burns...

~or, I’m an Anoikis Mercenary… and Business is Good.

(TL;DR: SYJ Alliance Sacks TLCs Executor Corps Fleet Storage Hole to the tune of 500+ Billion ISK lost... This is the story from the point of view of one Starship Captain... There's a video at the bottom of this rather long post.)

Something stirred me awake, I swung my legs out and sat up blinking the RL outta my eyes… I then saw that Secure Corp Comms was blinking… It was my CEO ordering me to reship to a HIC and get my ass down the pipe to Empire.

Huh… ok, a little unusual but, “SARA give me the bridge.” My Exec answers and I order my stealthed Loki to warp to the docking point at our new CSMA (Capitol Ship Maintenance Array) in “Serenity Station” then I ask in Corp Comms, “What’s up?” his terse and cryptic response is, “Secret Op, join fleet and make best time to Hisec, BMs have been transmitted.” Huh…

OK, we dock and I have the crew transfer and prep the Devoter, an Amarr Heavy Interdictor Cruiser, or HIC. We undock and run the pipe to Hisec. On the way I get the system we are to stage from and I am ordered to go to Planet 1 and logoff. We make our way in good time and I stop off in Hek, 3 hops out, to take care of some business.

Much sooner than I expected the FC calls over the Fleet general freak, “Login, login, login.” So we undock and burn hard for the staging system landing in the fleet just minutes before we warp to the system with the Hisec hole leading to the hole we are going to raid.

I still haven’t found out any details except what I can pick up in comms chatter… we have some non allied scouts… not unusual… they seem to be possibly, yes definitely, members of the corp/Alliance who’s hole we are raiding…  they are… damn, yup, they are traitors. They are discussing if they have roles and access to turn off defenses and or offline POSes… Traitors. Damn.

I have never actually worked on an Op with or for insiders before. I consider myself an honorable man. Not E-honor or E-bushido, but actual honor, morals, a code of conduct if you will. Whether at the helm of a starship or at home with my family, I believe in honor and trust and decency. I know New Eden is full of scammers and gankers, spais and corporate thieves...

There is one of them I know personally, and we used to be good friends. He corp thefted and very badly hurt a null corp I used to be in… a corp full of guys I know and think quite highly of… and the ‘thief’, well… he was my mentor back when I was in the old C1.

He introduced us to wormholes… The very first time I jumped through the crazy marble, it was on his command, “Jump, jump!” The very first real kill I ever got, was as his wingman… He taught us all in HBHI the Tao of Holes… the Way of Anoikis… even before I knew that was its name.

He took them for something in the range of well over 50bISK in ISK, BPOs, BPCs, ships, etc. He didn’t take them down, that was not his stated goal, he just wanted to do it because:

(1) he could, it being on his EvE “Bucket List”;
(2) RL needs had significantly reduced his online time and he wanted to be Space Rich so he could ‘afford’ to lose ships and still fly;
(3) and the saddest truth of all, the corp he robbed blind was stagnating… badly.

People were not logging on, losing interest, getting bored… and he felt this would force them to either stand up to it and regroup with a renewed purpose or force them to failscade completely… either way he felt a change needed to be forced on them, believe it or not, because he actually cared… and, as he saw it, this punched all three tickets in one shot.

Well, it made him some lifelong enemies and pissed off, and hurt, some really good people… but, it did shake them up and it did revitalize that corp. They did not failscade but rose to the challenge and are active and involved again… and that fact hurts. I hate traitors and liars and cheats. No matter what ‘verse they’re in. But, dammit all… he was right even if what he did was soooo very gods damned wrong.

So… here I was, warping my ship and crew into a situation where we were going to assist two guys to do the same thing, only without the caring part… they just wanted to set the hole on fire and take the ISK and run. I do not know the details or the background of the who and the why…I realize that they may have good reasons, or just feel they do... and that they may not see themselves as traitors...

But all I knew for sure is that for whatever reasons, they were turning on their CEO, corp and Alliance and we, an Anoikis Merc Alliance who will work for anyone for any reason as long as their ‘coin’ is good… we were going to help them realize their goal… huh.

On the way to the staging system, to be perfectly honest, I struggled for a bit. I was not sure I was OK, on a personal level, with backing this action. I mean, if I help them, does that not paint me with the same brush? No, I would not be a ‘traitor’ to ‘my’ corp or Alliance, quite the reverse there, but I would be ASSISTING and PROFITING from traitors and traitorous acts… and that sorta stuck in my craw a bit…

Then, on comms, “The hole closed.” “What??” said the FC, “Confirm, the Hisec hole has closed.” responded our Alliance scouts, “OK, Fleet regroup in Amarr.” Then to the guys inside the hole, “You need to get us another pipe.”… “Roger.” came the reply… I sighed in relief and ordered a reset of our course and headed, on Autopilot, slowly towards Amarr then I sat back and thought through all of this.

I live in Anoikis. I permanently reside in the deadliest space in all of EVE… Negative Security Space, says so right on the label… The rules there are simple, there are no rules. No CONCORD, no Massive Null Sec Alliances to keep you safer than carebear’s wet dream.

Pure space… clean space… OUR space… space in which right and wrong are determined solely on the basis of firepower and the will and skill to wield it. In Anoikis each man determines his own fate. In this lawless space I live and am happiest.

So why am I troubled by this? It’s the 'insider' thing and that alone. If it was another corp who wanted that hole for their own, I would not hesitate. If it was a corp requesting help because they were being invaded, I would not hesitate. Hell, if it was some random guy who happened to find a hole with some POSes and just wanted to take them down for a price and a cut of the loot… I would not hesitate.

I am an Anoikis Mercenary… I chose this path and I have to face the consequences of that choice and … adjust… my moral compass to guide me in that ‘reality’. Traitors, justified or not, exist, if we dint help them, someone else would… and I can use the ISK. It boiled down to as simple as that.

I cannot account for the actions of others. I know I will never break my trust with my co-Directors, corpmates or Allies, that just aint how I am. But what others do is their business… my business is to profit off of them, and business, as they say, is good. I’m an Anoikis Mercenary… and I like it that way.

Interestingly enough in true HoloV space drama style ‘just’ as I passed over the hump of that particular moral dilemma and long before we arrived in Amarr we get reports that a new hole has been scanned down. And it is even closer than the old one… The FC is pleased “Set course and BURN!” he calls out… and this time, I calmly give the order to do so without reservation. What “I” am doing I do FOR my corp and my Alliance, my conscience is clear and my Lasers are charged.

We reach the new staging system, warp to and group up on the Hisec hole. Scouts do the scouting thing, our FC is as always inna Cloaky Loki and as usual right in the thick of it… He finally orders us in and we run the pipe to the raid hole.

No one in the hole owning corp/Alliance is online… except the insiders of course. I am ordered in with the fleet to the first POS, an Amarr Lrg Tower… We all sit just on the edge of the Force Field and watched as one of the insiders launched every ship from a Capitol SMA… it was… stunning.

I have seen videos of wormhole corps doing this very thing… and I have lived in fear of it for the last 2 years… until we joined SYJ. One, HBHI is small corp and we are a very, very tight group, and the ONLY Directors are me and my sons, and Two, SYJ is a very large Alliance… our homehole has more POSes anchored than any wormhole I have ever seen… this does provide a certain level of ‘security’ in Anoikis… but to watch that cloud of Carriers bloom from that CSMA was simply stunning…

Here I was, taking part the very thing I had feared most in EvE. It’s one thing to have hostiles raid your hole, burn your house and barn, kill your livestock and steal your horses… it’s something completely different and far far worse when a trusted friend or a family member, opens the gate and unbars the front door in the dead of the night then stands aside as the bad men come in…

So, the Op starts for real now. As I am in a HICtor I am, of course, ordered to safeguard the hole. I warp to, then burn until I am at ‘0’ and bubble up… and that was about it for me. That was basically what I did for the next oh so many hours… under GeneralOrder #2… I Stood my Post.

The insider’s offlined all the defense mods on the towers and reset the Passwords, and pulled all the Stront… (why pull out the Stontuim? ‘cause without Stront, a POS does cannot go into reinforced… it just DIES…)

Our Capitol pilots were busy… they had to jump in and warp a capitol ship to a safe, then come back and do it again and again each time scooping and jamming as many ships and as much loot as they could pack into the carriers holds, they grabbed an Obelisk and loaded it to bursting with mods & loot of all kinds… It reached a point where the FC was ordering people to pick and choose loot to grab by value… as there was simply too damn much… and we had MANY Carriers and an Obelisk for the gods sake!!

I spent practically the whole op acting as a doorman… Actually, I played a very important role, similar to scouts and Logi in that I was in a guarding support role, but one without which things can go very very wrong really really fast. I kept the static hole bubbled unless I had a friendly in or outbound.

The point being that my dictor bubble covers 19km (20km at L5 skills) and when you jump a hole you ‘land’ within 15km of the hole, so if we had anyone pop in on us he would land inside my bubble no matter what. And the only ships in New Eden that are unaffected by warp disruption bubbles are T3 Interdictor Nullified Strategic Criusers… so yes, a whole fleet of them would get past me, but it would have taken a large fleet of T3’s to counter us… a very large fleet.

But nearly anything else that might pop in was as good as dead… you see my HICtors are dual bubble and Sebo fit. One bubbler runs in standard mode creating that 19km radius warp bubble centered on my ship… the other is loaded with a point script… and this turns it into an Infinity Long Point.

Both bubble and Infinity Point have +100 strength, they cannot be countered by any number of warp stabs and the Infinity Point has a range of 24km (30km at L5 skills). The Sebo, a Sensor Booster II loaded with a scan res script, means I can lock cruisers and larger ships extremely fast and smaller ships decently fast… So unless you are in a very fast very small and cloaky ship, like a CovOps, your chances are practically zero of getting out of the bubble alive, as long as I am on my game.

And that was my biggest issue during the whole Op. Standing Guard on the hole may be an important job, it may be a specialists job (which I like) but it is a damn boring job no matter who you are…

But I was lucky on this Op unlike many where the Gate Guard doesn’t get any activity, and on most Ops you don’t WANT activity on the hole… it usually means things are going to shit… on this Op it was quite the reverse. We had so much loot that we ended up running the Anoikis version of the Red Ball Express... Once things really got rolling we had a stream of Hvy Indies coming and going for a good part of the Op.

Only once did I get called off the hole to do the ‘dictor thing on an actual target. We had a Hurricane land on but not ‘in’ one of the POSes (due I assume to the PW change) and the FC called me in as they webbed and pointed the ‘Cane… I landed, bubbled up we popped the ‘Cane and the POD was trapped in the bubble. We all pointed and webbed him then send him back to Hisec.

I was told to stick around, JIC… so I fired on a bunch of structures to get in on the KMs until the FC ordered me back to stand my post on the hole as it seemed the ‘Cane was not a presage to any real response.

When word finally leaked out about the Op, there was of course much confusion and such on the targets side in their Comms and chat… they eventually figured out what was happening, and who was involved… and the rage & drama began…

For me, that was the not fun part I ignored. I am not some drooling mindless Goon who wants to ‘ruin YOUR game’ or a wanna-be-bully griefer who gets off on the sophomoric ‘Harvesting Tears’ or someone who in any way feels that making real people upset is somehow ‘fun’ (or that getting upset over losing ‘stuff’ inna ‘game’ is silly, because Loss in Eve can be as real as losing at poker, and people have committed murder IRL over that), but, that is not why I was there. As the man said, “I’m just doing a job. You did something to cause me to be here, look to yourself for the reasons why.”

So the night progresses… I am not too bored as I am constantly on comms and actively working with them as are coming and going… “Bubble down Tur, I’m ready.”… “Bubbles down, warp.”… ”Thanx.”… “Yup, bubbles up.” which keeps my head in the game and I am constantly trying to decipher the chatter on comms  so I can have an idea of what’s happening… chatter which, if you are not on grid, can be a little cryptic.

But, in the end we basically ransacked and burned two Lrg Towers, one Amarr and a Dread Guristas Faction spike.  We hauled out an AMAZING amount of loot and a huge number of ships… then we started rolling the holes to get the Capitols out. Carriers can only jump though C5/6 holes and then ONLY into Losec or Null. So we had some real rage rolling to do…

Thankfully we had stolen more than enough of the ships needed to do it right and we start in… With a bunch of ships off at safes and several Freight Containers anchored in a safe with the Obelisk… we keep the subcaps and the Holy Rollers together, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… scouting and a’ warping to each hole in turn until we find a hole we can push three Carriers out of.

The scouts have to determine where do we come out? If Hisec, ROLL! If Lo or Null, is it any good for our needs to get prize ships safely to market, or possibly back into Bastion, if no, ROLL! If yes and a station is present, they have to get the ships docked ASAP or, if no station setup safes, logoff or a cyno, etc., etc.

And I am still doing my job… Hole Control. I land each time, fly to ‘0’ and watch and wait with my finger on the bubble trigger as ‘twere… and so things went as the night wore on… hole after hole after hole until I woke up... OH CRAP!

Yup, asleep at the trigger… it was damned late and one of the last things I remembered was the FC talking about “…this is the last one, if it’s no good we pick back up tomorrow…”  ZZzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzz… So, I am all alone, the hole we were on is gone, I consider it a safe now and I am out of it, so I BM and safelog for the night...

The next night I am up and ready to log on when ordered to. I check comms, no one says a word about me crashing (I am not sure they even realized I did and this is not the kinda group that will let trollable actions go untrolled…) so it’s back business as usual. Scouts do the scouting thing and we are clear and ordered to log on, There is still a bunch of Carriers that Obelisk and of course, the rest of us, to get out and we need to begin rage rolling again except…

The hole we are on needs to be mass closed but it is an older hole and we are not ‘sure’ of the mass and prefer not to get anyone stuck out unless no other choice. So the FC orders me to unscript the infinity Point, put up both bubbles, jump through then come back bubbles down and ‘hot.’

For them as dunt know it a Warp Disruption Field Generator (bubble genny) onna ‘dictor has one very cool side effect… it reduces your mass by a helluva lot… -80.0%, with the Devoter that takes it from 15,200,000 kg base to 3,040,000 kg with one and running two bubblers (if stacking penalties don’t  apply, I can’t find any data on that…) it may further reduce it to 608,000 kg. Which greatly reduces the chance that your HIC will close the hole when jumping out… then, once landed on the other side, you break jump cloak, turning on your MWD, IE going ‘hot’ (I fit a 10MN Micro Warp Drive II) this increases your mass by an additional 5,000,000 kg boosting mine up to 20,200,000 kg… and jump back through in the hope that you will close the hole…

OK, so I do so and… no joy, great. Now, having jumped through a wormhole twice in under 5 minutes my ship is now polarized… or, is it…

Being polarized means I cannot jump the hole again for 5 minutes… but, and this is weird… if “I” eject into my POD and someone else jumps into my ship… he can bubblejump and come back ‘hot’ no problem, then ‘he’ is polarized… weird huh? I mean according to the warning, my ‘secondary coils’ are polarized… But I did not know my secondary coils were implanted inside ‘ME.

That explains why Scotty always drinks me under the table when there is a work order on the secondary warp coils… and he told me the scars were ‘cause “You were fallin’ down drunk again me boyo!”… liar.   =\

Anyhoo… so the FC has done one out-n-back, no joy… then when my coils are all unpolarized, I do so again, no joy… sheesh… then he goes again and POOF! Yea! Next! Now we start rage rolling in earnest and get a series of sweet holes in very decent locations and push through 3 carriers at a time… Finally we are down to the last carrier, the Obelisk and the subcaps. We find a decent lowsec and the FC and his tactical team do the hole-math and give us our jump orders.

He orders “Plates OFF, plates OFF.” Then the carrier, then subcaps, then the Obi all jump in turn… We all make it out and I, being just that kinda mate, wait at the hole to webwarp first the carrier, then the Obi… garnering a Suspect timer for each kind act.

Great, I can’t dock and my plates are off greatly reducing my effective armor HP. Oh well, I’ll just warp around until I can do… What? There’s a Loki on the other side of the gate? Alone? COOL!! SPAI!! BAIT!! KEEL IT! The FC calls undock, I advise “I am bouncing as I could not dock due to suspect timer from webwarps so my plates are still off.” I join fleet at the station and we all warp to the gate, The FC is ecstatic, “Tur, as you are suspect you are perfect bait!” “Jump the gate and report on the Loki.” Which I do…

Now there are them out there who will see immediately where this is gonna go… and it aint a good warm snuggly place for ol' Tur…

I land and break cloak… the Loki just sits there. I advise such and am told to aggress… I order the DCU2 and SeBo fired up, I engage my Infinity Point and tap his icon… targeting cycles quickly and

“He is Infinity pointed.”
“He is yellow boxing me.”
“He is not red boxing.”

I start taking gate gun fire, and then two RED Condors land on grid and aggress me…

“Taking gate gun fire.”
“Two ships have landed and are aggressing me.”
“I am going into armor.”

The FC orders the fleet to jump and in the same breath orders Logi to lock and rep me. Multiple gate fire, they start landing and purples start popping up all around me…

Now… you have to understand my mind set at this moment to fully appreciate what happened next.

I was in a fight, I had a much larger fleet backing me up, I had Logi pilots who KNOW THEIR STUFF backing me up, the LAST thought on my mind was that I was gonna die. I assumed (remember that word) that reps would land, my armor would bounce up and we would take down one or more of the three ship gang on grid… well, that aint how it went.

The FC calls out “Tur! Deaggress, deaggress, jump back if you can.” “Nope, yer gonna die…” my armor is going down like the Titanic’s last plunge… what? I am not getting reps… why am I not getting reps??? The quickest way to deaggress is to unlock your target, this interrupts all weapon cycle timers and shuts them down… too late… I assplode… and due to the total confusion of dying while my head was in fight not flight mode, I fumbled getting my POD out and … pop, I woke all confused and gooey in our Empire offices in Eglenaert…  crap.

Well… we, or I should say, they, did get some kills, but the KB record is weird, as ‘tis sometimes, and TBH… I wasn’t there so meh.

Anyhoo… so ended one moar Great Wormhole Adventure for me… After all we did and all we stole and all we destroyed… I lost a HIC to being overeager and to sheer ignorance.

(1) Overeager, I should have made it clear that my plates were still OFFLINE, hence I was not the best possible ‘bait’… and get CAP reps and online plates THEN jump and bait or something…

(B) I had absolutely no knowledge that an active ‘dictor bubble, even scripted and acting as a regular if somewhat longer ranged and stronger point interferes with receiving remote reps…

IE you cannot remote rep an active ‘dictor. THAT little tidbit was something I should have known about in advance… go me.  =\


The upshot? Over 500+ billion in ISK was destroyed or looted from The Merchants Trade Consortium [MTCU], Executors of, The Last Chancers Alliance [TLC]...

My ‘dictor loss took place after we had ‘left the building’ and was not related to the raid in any way… we were just taking advantage of being in lowsec and just being the overaggressive little a-holes we normally are… gods bless us, every one!

Battle Summary for J135220

And Sai Talos, He of The Videomastery has put up a ROCKING Vid of the Op...

"If you're going to strip a director's roles and lock him out of his possessions, be sure to know who all of his alts are..."

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=


  1. We we can read about this on TMC soon? Seeing the amount of ISK involved?
    I know a HIC with active bubble can't receive remote reps, I don't know if I would be aware of this when it actually come into play.

    As long as I leave my stuff in a station nobody can ever steal what is mine.
    As long as I leave my stuff in an outpost my access can be taken away.
    As long as I leave my stuff in a wormhole it's there only at the mercy of others.

    1. I know the story is up on Reddit, as for TMC, EN24 et al, I know not though the word 'round the POS was 'people' were talking to 'people'... Me, I'm just a grunt in SYJ, the largest and most active Anoikis Alliance in EvE... and happy as a pig in shite!

      As for the extreme risk... Having it ALL on the line in a POS, I do believe that is one of the reasons we live in Anoikis...Think on it a bit, if we went into space for real... There would be no such thing as CONCORD and NO such thing as an 'indestructible' station anywhere, ever.

      Anoikis, is as close to reality as we can come in this great virtuality... Though, in SYJs case, with over 20 Lrg POSes up in Bastion, the amount of effort required to take us down would be... daunting... to say the least. =]

      But yea, Tur's Tao of Holes #1: "Don't Anchor What You Can't Afford to Lose"

      And I can tell you, the next time I am out in a HIC and I need reps, I WILL NOT forget!!! LOL

  2. You hate in game thieves. How turbulent Eve must leave you at times.

    1. LOL! Yes Sugar... it actually used to, and I went through a it of personal internal dramalamaing over my friend who ripped off my old null corp... but, change is the only constant and, if I may quote myself... =]

      "I am an Anoikis Mercenary... Traitors and scammers, thieves and pirates exist, if we dint help them, someone else would… and I can use the ISK. It boiled down to as simple as that."

      "I cannot account for the actions of others. I know I will never break my trust with my co-Directors, corpmates or Allies, that just aint how I am. But what others do is their business… my business is to profit off of them, and business, as they say, is good. I’m an Anoikis Mercenary… and I like it that way."

      And that is that. It is interesting to me as I have followed your blog... You are an unrepentant pirate, offering unprovoked violence to one and all as the occasion merits and yet... you are a proud and deeply involved Industrialist, with what can only be described as the 'best interests' of your community at heart in building your 'market' in losec... I wonder if, upon occasion, you feel a disparity between the two facets of your game? One wonders home many of the modules you created and sold, and profited thereby, were in the ships you killed today? =]

      I wouldn't say EvE leaves me turbulent so much as DEEPLY involved and inspired and fulfilled.


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