Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

DAY 2

Hmmm, only one entry/exit within the last 24 hours, I thought to myself. That told me one of two things. Either someone within the alliance had found the wormhole, and had come to scout it out to give our pilots a better understanding of what type of force would be needed to eliminate the present Sleeper threat (*EDITOR’S NOTE WIDE AWAKE). Or someone with less than pleasant intentions had scanned down this system in the hopes of finding and engaging me. If option one proved to be accurate, it would be wise for me to remain in this system a while longer to give our fleet time to arrive. Should option two prove to be accurate, I was none too worried hidden behind the far side of a planet, my Wolf class frigate masked from all scans.

Too much thinking. Not enough drinking.

I spent the better part of the next twelve hours enjoying some rowdy downtime with my crew.

DAY 3

More than enough time had passed to make it clear to me that the alliance leadership had deemed this threat unsubstantial and was not sending in support. I could accept that, and realized my time in wormhole space was finished for the time being.

I slowly exited planetary orbit and aligned to the bookmarked wormhole entry point I had used to get here.

A few minutes later, my ship decelerated at the coordinates. Only one problem, the wormhole had collapsed. Well, I shouldn’t really say problem as I could simply launch more probes and find a new exit. Oh hell. Only one problem, the launcher was out of probes.

What the hell had I been doing while drunk?

I quickly tried to reconnect with any existing probes in the system. Surely I didn’t just leave them out there? Probes were programmed to auto-destruct after several hours; a security measure to avoid them being captured and analyzed by enemies.

Maybe, just maybe, I would get lucky.

The scan reported no probes within range. Even if I accessed the navigational logs to see where I may have roamed while drunk, by the time I covered all that space, the probes would surely have self-destructed. Remember kiddies, there’s always time to be a noob.

Getting practical, I evaluated my options:

  1. I could broadcast in local asking for help. While humiliating, it would be better than …
  2. Self-destruct, destroying my ship, my crew, myself (I had worked so hard on this body too), my +5 implants

In a worst case scenario, choosing option one might result in option two, so I went with option one.

“This is retired Matar Colonel Roc Wieler requesting egress assistance to any capsuleers in this system. I’ve lost my probes and am stranded. Will pay handsomely for assistance without aggression.”

Maybe, just maybe, I would get lucky.

I waited for a few hours without receiving a single reply.

After detaching myself from my capsule and cleaning up, I spoke with the crew, my voice heavy and filled with regret. I valued their service, but rather than watch them die slowly as our supplies and oxygen ran out, there was more honour in a quick death; a death without pain.

They were a small group for this size of ship, but their loss would be remembered just the same.

“Sir? Please forgive me, but why not just load more probes from the bay?”

Because I didn’t feel like enough of a noob already, my face flushed red with embarassment, though my crew may have thought it was anger. Then I smiled.

“Why not?” I repeated. “Because I’m an idiot. That’s why not!”

I laughed at myself then, since everyone else undoubtedly was in their minds, and while directing crew members to reload the probe launcher, I entered my pod and endured the connection process once again.

It didn’t take long to narrow the scan matrix on the map overlay, and I found us an exit wormhole. It was a breath of relief.

Shortly thereafter, I sat at the wormhole, viewing it through my ship’s exterior drone cams, hesitating.

This wormhole could lead anywhere, I thought, knowing that this class 2 wormhole system really wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. Still, staying wasn’t a smart option. But what if the alliance is coming and you just need to wait? I hated the nagging doubts in my mind.

No, we would enter the wormhole.

Maybe, just maybe, I would get lucky.

As soon the ship reverted to real space, I had Aura relay me all the information on our current location. The good news was that we were back in Empire space. The bad news was that we were in a low security Amarr Empire system twenty-four jumps from Dal. Lovely.

To be honest, the trip home was mostly uneventful. Well, there was the gate camping pirates that had their squads spread across 14 connected systems, and me initially discovering this as I warped to a gate with large smartbombs going off… that was fun, if you call losing your shields and half your armour in one second fun.

There was even the shoutout from one of the pirates in the public local comm channel, “OMG! It’s THE Roc Wieler!” I’m not sure if it was meant as a public acknowledgement from a fan, or if it was meant as a declaration to any in system to attack me, but my ship and crew made it through unscathed. Sarum Prime, Amarr Prime, systems I had hoped to never see again. I did have a little fun passing through there as well:

AMARR PRIME LOCAL CHANNEL
Roc Wieler: “You’re sure this biochemical weapon will only wipeout the Amarr, right?”
Roc Wieler: “Sorry, wrong channel.”
… moments later …
Random Amarr Pilot: “Yeah, THAT isn’t terrifying.”

Once docked up back in Dal, I made sure to treat my crew to a nice dinner, and awarded them extended leave time. I also made them swear none would ever hear about my noob moments. To this day, it’s never gotten back to me, so I assume they’ve kept their word.

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5 responses to “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

  1. My boys in Udianoor reported your passing through to me. They noted you skimmed through one of our camps =) they were most distressed that I was not with them so I could welcome you to the area properly…and I was very sorry to have missed you =( Do come back by soon and enjoy a proper Mayhem. welcome! Perhaps we could find a nice quiet little station while you reship *giggles

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