We rejoin our hero after she's already seen the signs of a trap and avoided taking the bait, and navigating dangerous low-sec space and taking evasive action to avoid a gate camp, all to get her colleague home. Our hero, in case you're wondering, is me. Don't rush to praise me, it's all in an evening's work. I'm back in our home system now and ready to hit the sack, but I realise that I travelled backwards through w-space to find the exit, through a K162 at home, and only briefly poked my nose through the static connection to our neighbouring class 3 system. I think I'll take a closer look at what's there.
Jumping in to the C3 immediately sees activity, a Hound stealth bomber visible on my directional scanner. There is no on-line tower within d-scan range of the wormhole, although an off-line one is nearby, and as the Hound is not cloaking I'm not surprised to have d-scan show me the ship and tower together. Warping to the moon of the off-line tower finds the Hound shooting some defences left behind, happily orbiting one of the guns and loosing volleys of torpedoes its way, and it's a pilot I recognise, if not actually remember. The rest of the system looks clear from here, at least for now, giving me time to take a shot at the bomber. I get the feeling I'll enjoy shooting this pilot, even if I'll only find out for sure who he is afterwards.
I warp closer to the tower, putting me almost in range of the Hound, but his relatively fast orbit carries him away immediately. It's a simple matter to wait for him to come around again, such is the predictability of an orbit, and I manoeuvre to get more within his path. As he burns towards me, unknowingly bringing him ever close to my covert strategic cruiser, I decloak and get my systems hot. It's time to rain fiery doom on the Hound. Unfortunately for me, the Hound was paying enough attention to get his ship cloaked a second before I can get a positive lock, and the stealth bomber disappears from my overview.
I was already approaching the Hound when he cloaked, so I light my drives and burn towards his position, hoping to bump in to him and interfere with his cloak. My ships surges forwards for a bit but no Hound appears, and I take the prudent action to cloak my own ship, changing vector as I do. It understandably then takes me a little by suprise when the Hound and I collide, decloaking each other. The Hound engages my ship, I return the positive lock, and we share missiles. I can soak up his damage easily enough, although his tiny hull is avoiding the worst of my missiles' explosive damage. But even though it looks like I'll win this engagement I get the feeling circumstances will change.
The C3 remains unexplored. All I've seen is the off-line tower in this corner of the system, so there may well be occupation elsewhere. Indeed, I doubt the Hound would be here shooting defences if it weren't his home system. And when we bumped in to each other he didn't try running but actively attacked my bigger and stronger ship. It wouldn't surprise me if the Hound tried to decloak me, and the only reason he didn't engage me initially was to buy himself some time. I'll wager he has friends on their way. I'm already updating d-scan as often as it will allow me, and as a precaution I am burning away from the Hound to get some separation between our ships. He is disrupting my warp engines and I may need to break his hold on me quickly.
Here they come. The Hound's not calling on any old pilots, the first ship I see on d-scan is an Onyx heavy interdictor. They're planning to kill me properly. I recognised and acted upon the need to get some distance between my Tengu and the Hound just in time, as I get clear of his warp disruptor and align and bug out as the Onyx drops out of warp with a Hurricane battlecruiser for company. I cloak as I enter warp and hit d-scan again to see a Crow interceptor and Legion strategic cruiser following behind. I was very nearly toast. Tonight makes me glad I splashed out for a faction micro warp drive, the only one with low enough powergrid requirements to fit on my ship.
I warp to the wormhole home, not caring to stop to explore the system more fully. The Onyx may not be able to stop me, but an interceptor could. I jump home and immediately move away from the wormhole and cloak, stopping only a safe distance away. I hold my position and see the wormhole flare. The Hound has followed me, appearing in our C4 and sitting obviously on the wormhole. These capsuleers must think I'm stupid. I was savvy enough to avoid their counter-attack, before it even happened, so I'm not sure why they think I'll fall for obvious bait. They really should read my previous journal entries. I leave the Hound alone, warp across the system out of d-scan range, and get some rest. Still no kill for me for a while, but I suppose no losses is a fair result, considering the recent circumstances.