Eyeing up an Orca

27th December 2010 – 3.44 pm

I'm scanning, of course. Ignoring the sites in our home system in favour of wormholes sees me jumping in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, to be greeted by two towers and no ships on my directional scanner. I warp around a bit to locate the towers and look for intelligent life—or at least some miners—only to see over a dozen more towers and associated force fields flash on my d-scan display. A quick count puts the total number of active towers at nineteen. This is a silo system, each tower powering the reactions only possible in lawless space.

I won't bother to find each tower here, as it is more effort than can possibly be repaid, merely noting that the system has 'lots'. But the Apocalypse battleship, Orca industrial command ship, and Magnate frigate are worth locating, if only to see if they may be targets. And it looks like the Orca is, being the only piloted ship and it disappearing from the tower, but still on d-scan, when I'm not paying attention. I went away from the tower with the Orca to launch scanning probes, and glorious leader Fin has started scanning already. She finds the system's static connection, leading out to high-sec empire space, and I find a K162 coming from another class 3 w-space system. I get a tingle of excitement when I think that perhaps the Orca is making itself vulnerable collapsing one or other of the wormholes.

We both jump home and swap our little scanning boats for stealth bombers. Now that we have the locations of two wormholes in the C3 we should be able to ambush the Orca, and the bombers have the firepower to reduce one to a smouldering wreck. I warp back to the tower where the Orca sat safely in the shields, and it is not there. But neither is it at either scanned wormhole, even if it remains in the system. Fin returns to our tower again and swaps back in to a scanning boat, graciously offering to be ready with combat scanning probes to find the chunky industrial command ship if it moves again, whilst I try to keep visual tabs on it.

The Orca is back at the tower, and moving again. I keep a close eye on its direction of warp and wonder, also with a tinge of excitement, if it is collecting planet goo. But warping out to a distant customs office has me waiting alone for longer than even a ponderous Orca takes to warp, and I head back to find the Orca once again nestled close to a tower. Finally I get a good bead on its direction, and now that the overview brackets for moons actually appear on my display I can see his destination as he enters warp. I suspect I know where he's going and so follow at range, confirming as I drop out of warp that the Orca is not being reckless at all but merely warping between the many towers in the system.

It looks like the Orca pilot is performing the ritual of activating the silos to start the reactions, and we aren't going to catch him outside of a tower. 'Move along', Fin says, 'these aren't the industrialists we're looking for'. She heads through the wormhole to high-sec and I jump my Manticore stealth bomber through the K162 in to the other C3 system. Hopefully, there will be more of interest to find here.

  1. 2 Responses to “Eyeing up an Orca”

  2. ‘Move along’, Fin says, ‘these aren’t the industrialists we’re looking for’.

    Quote of the year.

    By howl ryujin on Dec 31, 2010

  3. Yeah, she's always a joy to fly with!

    By pjharvey on Jan 2, 2011

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