It was not a nasty dirty wet hole filled with ends of worms and a bad smell. Nor was it a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it. It was a wormhole and that meant danger.
livin la vida…agujero de gusano
Even though it is most often thought of in Eve Online as “living in a wormhole” this is a bit of a misnomer – It is more a matter of living in wormhole space. The “space” in this case is an entire solar system cut off from the rest of the virtual universe. The only way in or out is through ever shifting worm holes. It is perfectly possible to get caught on the “wrong” side of the wormhole (the side you didn’t want to be on in the first place, which ever that may be). Wormholes come and go (every 24 hours in fact) but there is always at least one wormhole leading out to high security space. The trick, of course, is finding the wormhole – not an easy task to start with, and an impossible one without the proper equipment. Do pilots ever get stuck in wormhole space with no way out? Sure…But only of their own doing. More than one neophyte pilot (and even some experienced ones) has had the wormhole slam shut behind them suddenly realizing they had no way to scan down the exit. Imagine how the pilot of the 1.7 million isk freighter must have felt, that our executive officer found abandoned in a worm hole!
What you don’t know will most definitely hurt you…
The first time I lived in wormhole space for any length of time I was sure the sleeper drones would come screaming across the solar system to attack me. This, of course, never happened. I was also certain that a covert-ops/Force Recon ship would drop out of nowhere – and it did, but just not on me. At the time I was off gallivanting about high security space on a shopping trip. It was then that some enterprising covert-ops pilot demonstrated that wormholes are like tracer rounds: They work both ways. Two of our pilots (one quite experienced) where mining away in wormhole space. As bidden by both the wormhole director and common sense they both paid close attention to the directional scanner (sort of like radar). A force recon ship appeared “out of nowhere” (something they do best) and dropped a cynosaural field on the unsuspecting miner (think of this field as a giant bubble of clear syrup that prevents you from moving through it at anything but a crawl) followed quickly by some combat ships. A few moments later the miners ships where little more than a debris field in space.
It is quite possible to die from terminal boredom in wormhole space.
Once the mystery was off the wormhole, I found myself sitting in the highly fortified large player owned station asking myself “What do you do in wormhole space?” There is always managing your mining and manufacturing colonies on the planets (something which generally takes all of 20 minutes). Quite often there are combat sites. The trick to these is knowing what is hazardous to your health and what spells out certain death. A “forgotten perimeter gateway” can easily be tackled with a battle cruiser and a bit of talent and will net you some nice profit. On the other hand the denizens of a “Fortification Frontier Stronghold” will test the same pilot’s ability to turn her ship around and beat a hasty retreat before the sleeper drones hand her ass to her (after wearing it around as a hat for a while of course). But there are times when your only choices are mining and mining – not bad if you happened to like mining.
There is a famous scene a movie called “Marty” starring Ernest Borgnine . The movie contains a famous scene with Ernest Borgnine and Joe Mantell wage the eternal debate of bored individuals in has become known as the “what do you want to do tonight?” scene.
Like the scene in Marty, there came a time in wormhole space when there was quite simply nothing to do. No combat sites, no asteroid fields, all of the planetary interaction and invention is set and nothing else to do. It was at this point when one of our pilots died of terminal boredom. Absent one of the Wormhole Directors to “open up” the static exit (after all it was his own personal billions of isk that had created the place) there was no way out. Like a pair of slavering dogs another woman and I beleaguered the lack of ability to “go shopping” in high security space. The solution one pilot took was the same way out when you are trapped in a wormhole-self-destruct his spaceship – death by terminal boredom.
So the gild is off the lily and the mystery is off wormhole space. The piece de résistance was when a lone covert ops pilot in a scanning ship, not realizing he had already been scanned down, sat “cloaked” (invisible) just outside the range of the station’s guns claiming to have an army of 50 non-existent stealth bombers. My mining alt now makes wormhole space her home while my main character has rejoined the majority of her corporation/alliance firmly entrenched in the relative safety of high security space.
See you online,