21 Apr 2008

Jump Clones and the new staging post

I like Jump Clones. I think the concept is kinda creepy though. To be honest, being a pod pilot is creepy - providing we can make contact with our nominated cloning station, we can't die. We could suffer from mild amnesia and develop some eccentric behaviour depending on the quality of the clone but we could not die. Not in the same mortal sense as others.

So having another clone (or three) scattered around New Eden guarantees my safety now but importantly, it enables me to travel in an instant, to any of my clones without dying first. I could just, well - go to sleep and instantly wake up millions of light years. Some would argue that this is, indeed, dying. The only drawback is that one can not perform a second clone-jump within 24 hours of the first clone-jump. It's due to the immense cost involved in squirting trillions of terabytes of data across space and time as well as the likelihood of some sort of mental trauma.

Am pragmatic enough to understand that jump-clones are a necessity now as I simply can't travel from Gusandall to another location or back in time to respond to ultra-fast engagements, now that Black-Flag has increased her range of operations.

As long as I could park a jump clone in a distant station - I could get there in an instant, though I may not have a ship to fly once there....a major problem as you can see so some equipment move is required.

Thanks to the folks at TRIUMVIRATE and their station in EC8-PR - I managed to get three clones installed and then moved, individually. The first clone moved to location X, the second clone at Gusandall and the third clone at a second secret location.

Last week, I jumped to my first clone and it took me a few minutes to re-orient myself. An employee with a [TRI] badge on his jersey pocket handed me a towel and directed me to a shower facility - just to freshen up.

Flicking open the star map I plotted a course back to Eifer, the long route, taking in only low-sec and 0.0 routes, thus avoiding CONCORD was an eye-watering 67 jumps. I changed the settings and wanted the shortest route possible and it gave me an option of 29 jumps. This was much better but half of the run was through Empire space. The route would take me through Gallente and Caldari space and may even nick a bit of Minmater space as well. 29 jumps. In a shuttle. Through space where, if I lingered, CONCORD would destroy my shuttle. Everyone else, I am KOS too as well.

Sounded fun, now where was my shuttle?

I grabbed a brand-new shuttle and found out that I paid 100,000 isk for it, a nice jump up from the usual 9,000 isk! Undocking out into EC-P8R space, I headed over to the next gate and this one was into high-sec, through Torrinos. My first mistake.

The gate was bubbled and my shuttle sputtered out around a large mobile warp disruptor, pulling me out of warp 45km from the 'safety' of the Torrinos gate. There were ships all around here and I was locked. I had no other choice then to ask for safe passage in local and hope.

I wasn't webbed so I powered around the flickering field of the warp disruptor and hoped no-one would insta-pop me. I was still locked but no warning shots, no red flashing red boxes. Not even a reply. Maybe, the defenders thought I was going to die on the other side. Still, once I got to within gate activation range, I thanked the pilots for not popping me and jumped into Empire, for the first time in over a year.

Here come the warnings.....

CONCORD were not happy with my presence and threatened to relieve me of my ship. I hit the throttle and jumped from gate to gate - pausing only long enough to activate the gate and fire on through. As the number of jumps counted down, I saw that JITA was looming ahead. Ah, Jita. Lag city. Hell Hole. The most hated system for pod pilots in all of New Eden.

I knew that the main problem was the slow-down in the input / output signal for the pod pilots as we all attempted to link in with the local sub-space communications network. Due to the dense concentration of other pod pilots, all linked in - there was a real danger of sensory overload resulting in a lag in responses from the camera drones and any activated modules.


"Approaching stargate to Jita. Approaching stargate to Jita."

Since I was a flagged criminal, I could not afford to wait and jumped into Jita and to hell with the consequences. There was a noticeable dulling of my senses, almost like one is under-water. All the senses sounded faint and I could not link into the local communication network, my GUI did not update as I had trouble linking into my camera drones. I knew that my drones were out, but no input was coming back in.

I had to hurry - the gate cloak would only hold for 15 seconds and CONCORD, ever vigilant, would see me there - sitting all inviting and quickly destroy my ship. There was a dull thump and I heard with my own ears, the sound of metal being torn off, the sound was transmitted through the shock-absorbing fluid very clearly.


Another five minutes ticked by and finally, I linked into the Jita cacophony and yes, I was in a pod. Damn it!

Was very surprised that no-one passing through Jita had decided to pod my ass. I didn't waste any more time and jumped to the next system. Jita is so congested that I had trouble thinking. I felt like I was in glue. I hate it. Had to get out. Had to get out.

After, what felt like another hour, I was out of Jita. I was in a pod, but was out. I had to move - and quickly. Being in a pod and a blinkie at that, I was very vulnerable now. Anyone could pod me. Should I get a shuttle or continue pod jumping?

Pod jumping of course.

I was locked a few times and was also chased by some opportunist carebears who tried and continued to fail to get me. The last six jumps had me jumping and laughing at the inept attempt at trying to kill me. A smartbomb would have worked but then again.....

New Moves

I finally did make it back and started to relocate my jump clones. The other journeys were more or less the same, minus the shuttle loss and took me the good part of a week to get this done. This took me away from existing Black-Flag operations; some of which were being run through intermediaries. Yes, Black-Flag operatives are working in the background at the moment, Viper Sam came back after a long, covert operation. He had some absolute explosive news for us; he explained the reason for his prolong absence and how the wheels within wheels were turning.

Our current crop of applicants, all from The Bastards, have run some ops with Black-Flag but amongst the BF directors, we're very impressed with them. Many are focusing on relevant skills that would help us but Viper Sam's covert operations had taken some of the focus away from the applicants, something that I am sure that The Bastards can understand. We're pirates sure, but we have a definite direction and goals. Very exciting. Very exciting times ahead.

So where am I?

Haven't managed to get onto any operations for a week but I have seen that Jubes has been terrorising the locals to no-end. Check out the killboard...


There, got that one out. He is a one-man army of destruction.


Kane Rizzel said...

Awesome account of traveling through highsec as a neg sec Pirate. I do it from time to time in a pod, aka PodRacing. Also, protip: never, ever trust your on board computer and autopilot settings, it will take you to some crazy places. But you know that ;)

I'm convinced mine is trying to kill me.

Snake Boy said...

Mine has.... And i lead the board all week and Jubes went and sniped the board out from under me. :(


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