I've almost run in to a couple of Golems. To be fair, the marauders are a response to my shooting an Orca industrial command ship of theirs, as it came back from low-sec empire space to w-space. Now I'm in our neighbouring class 3 system and about to scan for the wormhole the Orca fled through when the Golems come to look menacing on the exit wormhole. If only Fin was here, we could have a proper scrap. As it is, I don't think there's too much I can do against a couple of Golems, but they won't stop me completing my scan of the system. So far, I've found this C3 to be occupied, but with only an absent pilot in an Anathema covert operations boat in the local tower, and the wormhole to low-sec. There must be another connection.
I don't have many more signatures to resolve, having worked through them methodically to start with, not realising a logistics operation was occurring, so I find a second wormhole fairly quickly. I warp to the wormhole to find a K162 from class 2 w-space, which would make the Golems, if not the Orca, rather fancy toys to have in such low-class w-space. A third wormhole appears under my scanning probes, the final signature in the system, this one a K162 from class 4 w-space. This seems more likely to be a home for Golems, almost confirmed by the wormhole being destabilised to half-mass, as if at least an Orca and a couple of marauders had made a return trip.
The Golems aren't on this K162, which is understandable. They are probably looking for me, or at least trying to keep my exit threatened, rather than guarding their connection home. They may think I've entered from low-sec, or have come from the C2, instead of a new wormhole opened since their own scouting. Only one marauder is visible on my directional scanner anyway, the Golem with the Orca pilot moved away from the exit to low-sec and cloaked, which I'm glad I saw. So I know there are two Golems out and about, and I am confident I know where they came from. There's still not much I can do about it.
Hello hello, an Iteron hauler is on d-scan now. That may even be the industrial ship my combat scanning probes initially picked up moving to the wormhole to low-sec, rather than the Orca that I ended up engaging. If he was still out in empire space and is only just returning it would explain why the Golems are persisting in this system, rather than retreating when faced with my cloaking Tengu strategic cruiser. But if that's the case, I think they are in totally the wrong ships. Sure, they are big and scary, but I reckon I could pop the Iteron before a Golem could do me much damage.
I move closer to the destabilised K162 just as the Iteron warps in, confirming this to be the right place to be waiting. I hold until the ship jumps to the C4 then drop my cloak and follow, as a Golem warps in behind the hauler. That's okay. I can't say I was expecting to face a Golem, but I have considered it a possibility and think I'll be okay. On the other side of the wormhole the Iteron is nowhere to be seen. He's holding his session change cloak, I imagine, waiting for his Golem chum to protect him. As the wormhole flares the Iteron makes a break for it. I make my move too.
I shed my cloak and lock on to the hauler, disrupting its warp engines and unleashing volleys of heavy assault missiles. The Golem shimmers in to existence but does nothing. I'm not surprised, as this is the Golem fitted with a standard cloaking device, which adds a sensor calibration delay and a penalty to the ship's scan resolution, significantly increasing locking times in both respects. My missiles have shredded the Iteron's shields and armour, and rip the hull apart to reveal the squishy capsuleer centre of the ship. I am still unthreatened, so aim for the pod, snatching it before the pilot can warp clear. A few more missiles and a fresh corpse is spat in to space. Job's a good 'un.
Now the Golem's locked on to me and starts shooting. The torpedoes slam in to my shields, which take the first hit easily enough, but I've done almost all I can here. I shoot the wreck of the hauler and jump back to C3a. I don't try to loot the wreck, nor scoop the corpse, not being entirely sure if I'll remain within jump range of the wormhole if I tried to do so, as I'm also not sure how much time I'll have to flee if I need to. I choose leaving the corpse behind in preference to perhaps leaving my own.
Back in the C3, I move away from the wormhole and cloak, moments before the second Golem warps in. I get to a safe distance and hold station, waiting to see what happens next. The newly arrived Golem jumps home, the Golem I embarrassed by podding his charge comes to the C3, the pair of jumps between the two big ships critically destabilising the wormhole in the process. Nothing else happens for a couple of minutes, after which the Golem keeping watch returns to the C4, also managing to collapse the wormhole behind him.
I think that was pretty successful. I may not have caught the Orca, nor had the clout to engage a Golem or two, but podding a pilot under the noses of its formidable and rather expensive defence was a lot of fun, and quite exciting for what was essentially engaging a soft target. Shooting the wreck was the icing on the cake, denying the capsuleers their two capital drone bay modules, which may not be expensive but both survived the ship's destruction. By popping the wreck I completed the kill. This has been a splendid evening.