It's another quiet evening mining in w-space. Even the Sleeper 'roid rats appear a considerate 80 km away from my Retriever, giving me plenty of time to warp away. The Sleepers are quickly dealt with in my Drake, and cleaned up in a Cormorant, and I settle down back in Fido to mine arkonor for a while. But I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to relax whilst mining out here. The system seems quiet enough, and there are no probes on the directional scanner, but then there also weren't any probes when the stealth bomber dropped its cloak almost on top of my Retriever the other day.
What with the recent dangers I've come close to, and Letrange's excellent illustration of the dangers of being an inattentive miner in w-space, I am not so much relaxed as jittery. I am a meerkat, continually on guard and startled by the smallest movement or slightest sound. My strip miner cycle finishes and dumps the ore in my hold, I think I'm under attack. A new line of conversation scrolls in one of the communication channels, I think I'm under attack. The rotating arrows around the targeted arkonor rock catch my eye, I think I'm under attack. I absent-mindedly forget the placement of the drone window as it grabs my attention, I, well, you get the idea.
With all the false positives I deal with I hope I am still alert enough to react to a real threat, and am able to warp back to the tower quickly enough. I keep the d-scan open and active, looking for ships or probes, and the system remains quiet. I am able to grab a couple of jet-cans' worth of arkonor without any real fuss. And then it happens, d-scan reveals several combat probes in the system! I scramble to warp back to the tower, calling a warning in the corporation channel as I align, if only to alert anyone else that there are visitors in our w-space system.
I am warping out as a colleague replies, 'you're safe this time, those probes are mine'. My panic is over. At first, I am a little flustered that he sent probes in to the system without informing me, but I just as quickly calm down and realise he did me a favour. I have been reacting to false alarms repeatedly, yet am clearly alert enough to catch the probes on d-scan and avoid getting jumped by hostile ships. As it turns out, it was our earlier conversation about Letrange's tactics that prompts my colleagues actions.
Using me as a guinea pig, he uses the d-scan to get an approximate bearing on my position before dropping probes to pin me down, hoping to warp in to my location and catching me off-guard. With practice, this can be used on hostile targets too, gaining the upper-hand. Practicing on me negates any danger from failure, or success, with the added benefit of ensuring I am being vigilant. As I won't know if the next time will be him or a pirate, I definitely appreciate finding out if I react quickly enough. The drill is a little startling but excellent end to the session.