Back in Thera after losing the Φιλάδελφος, I faced into the task of purchasing and fitting a replacement vessel. I was only one system shy of completing my tour of 0-8MWQ, and I wanted to get that completed as soon as possible. I don’t like to have uncompleted tasks looming over me, if I can avoid it.
With Signal Cartel currently under declaration of war by one or two pirate corporations, it’s not safe to visit the big trade hubs. Fortunately, my older brother, Twice, runs a small hauling operation, and he can usually help me out in cases like this. (Yeah, the names, I know. It’s a long story.)
So here’s how we do it, in case you’re ever in a jam and need to do this little dance:
- I look up a system that is close to a trade hub but far enough away to be empty of war targets and has an active wormhole connection with Thera.
- I let Twice know which trade hub I can get closest to. If that’s convenient for him, I send over a list of what I need and enough ISK to cover the cost, plus a little extra.
- He flies an appropriately sized hauler to the appropriate hub, purchases the ship and fittings as specified, and then moves it all to the system I can access safely.
- He puts everything on contract to me at a convenient station in that system and goes off on his merry way.
- I fly to that station (usually just in my naked pod) and collect everything from the contract.
This works pretty well. The most dangerous part is taking the wormhole back into Thera. You never know when someone has decided to camp the Thera side of the connection. But, since I’m flying a nimble, fast Ares right now, it’s less of a concern.
I decided on an interceptor for the null-sec portion of the Goodwill Tour due primarily to its ability to shrug off warp disruption “bubbles” at gates. Combined with its terrific agility and decent speed, it is as close to immune to null’s pirate activity as you can hope for.
It’s certainly not a traditional scanning vessel, because it’s not really set up for it. It can be fit with any scanning modules you want, but it doesn’t have the built-in boosting equipment of a ship built from the ground up with scanning in mind, like the Covert Ops hulls. But I’m a dedicated scanner with fairly good skill in that area. If I use a set of the Sisters’ core probes (pricey!) and fit one of their launchers (even pricier!), I don’t have any trouble zeroing in on any signature I actually care about.
Setting up a new ship is something I like to take my time with. I tend to fly the same ship for a long time, so I put in the hours to get it set up right. Seeing it uncrated and assembled by the mechanic drones is always a wonder to me. They work so quickly! A hangar full of hunks of metal and mountains of pre-fabricated modules turns into a ship in so short a time, it almost seems like magic.
While the drones do their thing, I can work with Pend to insure my new hull. This includes naming the ship so they can put the name on file with the insurance contract. For the Goodwill Tour Ares, I’ve chosen an ancient name from way back at the beginning of Gallente history: Φιλάδελφος is how it is rendered in the original script. This can be loosely rendered “Philadelphos” in our modern system, and translated roughly to “love for one’s family members”. I can’t think of a better name for the ship on the mission to spread a message of dignity, respect, peace, and love for all.
With the ship assembled and its primary modules bolted on, I am ready once again to fly out into the warm embrace of deep space. Off to ZLZ-1Z to finish my tour of 0-8MWQ!