The Wormhole Logistics

I recently joined Fatal Ascension, Clan Shadow Wolf, to be exact, and apparently nobody scans in FA. That's a bit of a tangent, and I'll probably write about that later, or maybe I won't, it might not be worth a blog post. Anyway, since Fountain is out fairly far from hisec, wormholes that lead to or near hisec are very helpful. Ones that go through C5/6s are really nice, because you can put freighters through them. Because of these factors, I've been looking for wormholes more than I did in Providence. Providence is right next to hisec, so logistics is much easier, and faster.

In my corp, KwarK, who is apparently mildly space-famous, said to let him know if I found any wormholes that lead to hisec, especially ones you can put freighters through. So I was scanning out a C5 one day and came across a hisec hole. Cool. I poked KwarK in corp and he said he was going to load up some freighters to move through said hole. I noticed that the mass on the hisec hole was below 50%, and I told him that. I said that he could put two freighters through at maximum. So he loaded up two freighters and enlisted the help of another corpmate to web him into warp. The actual wormhole chain was Nullsec->C5a->C5b->Hisec. So there were two points of danger, jumping into C5a from hisec, and into C5b, which is what the webber was for.

I was scouting the second wormhole, because there were ships on scan that weren't at a POS, and I wanted to know what they were doing. The first wormhole was totally clear as far as I could see. After a bit of d-scanning around I finally located the hostiles in C5b, they were on a nullsec exit of their hole in T3s and some other assorted ships, I believe there was about 6 or so in total. This wasn't a huge deal, since they were off scan from the C5a entrance, it probably wouldn't be hard to get the freighters into warp from that wormhole to the hisec hole, and after that things would be fine.

Freighters, ready to jump in.
After about half an hour or so of KwarK apparently furiously multiboxing and managing to lose a few frigates (not quite sure how that happened) he was ready to move out. He moved his freighters to the system with the wormhole entrance and jumped into C5a, after which he was webbed into warp to C5b. No trouble so far. At this point, a mistake was made. I was expecting him to leave one freighter on the C5a->C5b hole and warp one to the hisec hole and jump through, making sure it didn't collapse after one freighter. My mistake was not saying this directly. KwarK didn't keep one freighter in C5a, though. He jumped both freighters through and got them into warp. By the time I asked for clarification on how many freighters were in warp, well, they were already in warp.

Freighters warp extremely slowly. Apparently there were some active people d-scanning (they are wormholers, after all.) They saw the freighters warping, and deduced where they were headed: their hisec hole. By the time the freighters landed the residents of the wormhole already had a hictor on the hole with a bubble up. Obviously, as the freighters entered warp before the bubble was put up, the freighters landed at 0 on the hisec hole. KwarK issued the jump commands to his freighters, and I was praying that there was enough mass left on the hole to get them both out. One freighter jumped through, which we knew was a certainty. Then, as EVE's servers can be a bit slow at times, we sat there for probably 20 seconds waiting to see if the second freighter was able to get through the wormhole. Then KwarK said the fateful words, the wormhole closed, with his most expensive freighter sitting in a hostile wormhole in a bubble. He tried to get the residents to ransom the freighter, but they were having none of it and blew it up, along with his pod. Down a 15 bil freighter.

Sad day.
I felt partly responsible, as I was the one who found the wormhole chain originally, but I took away a lot from the entire thing. Firstly, when you're dealing with a wormhole with people in it, you have to be extra careful about things. Secondly, and this ties into the first somewhat, if you are dealing with a wormhole that might collapse after the first ship, do not send both freighters to the hole at the same time. We should have left one behind, then waited to see if the wormhole collapsed after the first ship, and also if the locals noticed what we were doing. Had we left a freighter in C5a, as soon as I saw the locals landing on the hisec hole I would have had KwarK get his second freighter out and back into null, hopefully escaping anything the locals would have thrown at us. Third, KwarK didn't jump his most expensive freighter first, which was a grave mistake. One freighter was guaranteed to get through, and it absolutely should have been the most expensive one. Minimize possible losses where ever possible.

While I was thinking about the entire encounter a thought came to me. They put everyone they had onto the hisec hole, but was that just on the chance that it would collapse, or we would do something wrong? Or did they already know how much mass had passed through the wormhole? If they already knew exactly how much mass could pass correctly and that the first freighter would collapse the hole, I am extremely impressed with that FC. If he did realize that as quickly as the calls had to have been made he deserves the kills he gets. Although, I find it considerably more likely that they saw freighters warping and were like, they're going here, everybody go there too and try to catch them! I doubt, although it is possible, that they knew how much mass the hole could still sustain and factored that into their response.


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