"Untangling the mystery of the Sleepers", our little expeditionary alliance has had an extremely action-packed week. In addition to several PvP encounters with roaming gangs, there's been a POS siege, a system invasion and a lot of drama. At the end of it all, I'm left with a renewed sense of awe for the unique experiences EVE Online can deliver if you're just willing to seek them out and actively involve yourself. At times I can truly immerse myself in EVE and feel like I'm taking an actor's part in a kind of intergalactic play scene, an experience I've never come close to in any other MMO. Taking part in these events is almost like being painted into an illustrative chapter of some historic record. In this article, I hope to solidify that record and share a glimpse of what it's like to immerse yourself in this part of EVE.
What follows is a storytold account of Total Comfort alliance's deadly week in the Sleeper's den.
Our home in Sleeper space is a class 5 system with a Wolf Rayet star and fiery red skies all around. Fourth Circle corporation named the system "Greater Avarice" (or GA for short) after Dante's fourth circle of hell, a name that seemed appropriate for a system deep in Sleeper territory. Before taking up residence, a survey of the system was conducted which showed another corporation had already moved in and installed a control tower. The enemy POS was something of a ghost town, the only signs of life being two people logging in for a few minutes over the course of an entire month. The decision was made to set up our own POS in the system and keep a close watch on our would-be adversaries.
After a month of sitting by and almost no activity from the enemy POS, we began "Operation use-it-or-lose-it" and attacked the control tower. A few of the corporation's pilots suddenly came out of the woodwork and began evacuating as many ships and items as they could to safety. It was agreed that a counter-attack against us was unlikely to succeed as they had very few active pilots. To make matters worse for them, they had set the defenses up incorrectly on their control tower and the guns weren't shooting back at us. The siege ended in our favour and for our troubles we got a few hundred million's worth of free ships and mountains of modules, materials and ammunition. It was a clear victory but I worried about the possibility that they could scan entrances for their soldiers and launch an attack on us. After all, revenge is a strong motivator.
I awoke one morning soon after to a message on MSN from a corp-mate. "Shit hits the fan.", he said, "3 carriers in GA". Three carrier class capital ships and at least four battleships were spotted in our system and I feared they were here for revenge. I panicked, logging in and wondering how such a group had gotten into the system overnight when wormholes big enough to fit capital ships through are a rare occurrence there. After a few minutes online and collecting intel, it became apparent that the carriers were not affiliated with the POS we'd killed. The situation quickly calmed with the revelation that carriers and battleships alone were no match for our heavily ECM-loaded POS. Perhaps it wasn't an invasion after all.
Our pilots informed me that the hostiles had not yet come within scan range of our permanent bases in the system and so were likely completely unaware of them. The convoy of ships appeared to be a nomadic wormhole expedition force intent on attacking the Sleepers in our system. It's rare that our system gets wormholes big enough to fit even one carrier through, let alone three of them and a squad of battleships. They had come from an incoming nullsec wormhole that collapsed after the convoy entered, leaving them stranded in our system and cut off from normal space. And unfortunately for them, we're very possessive of our little star system.
Read on to page 2 to find out about "Operation Bastard" and how the tables turned on our would-be invaders.