Okay, so I'm heading home for the night after an evening of exploration, but I'm not going to stop there immediately. There are two K162s connecting in to our home system and it would be irresponsible not to take a quick look through both of them to see if the locals have woken up in the class 2 system, or got their act together and are actually doing anything in the class 5 system. First stop is the C2, where nothing was happening earlier and nothing is happening now. The same ships I found empty at a local tower are the same ships my directional scanner is showing me now, and I am happy enough to assume they're still empty. I jump straight back through the wormhole to the home system and warp across to the C5 K162.
I'm almost surprised to see the C5 K162 is still here. Some big ships were being readied at the tower, with more than a handful of pilots available to pilot them. I was expecting either the locals to be running riot through our home anomalies or for the wormhole to be collapsed so they could find a better system. Neither situation is the case, so I am genuinely curious to see what the capsuleers are up to. Seconds before I get in to range to jump, the wormhole flares. I align towards the C2 K162 in case a hauler wants to make use of a connection to empire space, and the wormhole flares a second time. Now four Tengu strategic cruisers and a Scimitar logistics ship appear, shedding their session change cloaks as one, and warp away from the wormhole as it flares again. A straggling Drake battlecruiser follows behind the main fleet, warping off in the same direction.
I suppose that answers my question of what the fleet is up to, although I hope it really didn't take them at least an hour to get organised enough to clear a few class 4 w-space anomalies. Still, it was really rather good timing on my part. Now I can stalk the fleet and wait for their salvager, which I note is a glaring omission from the fleet. I follow behind the warped ships but I'm not entirely sure where they headed. I don't have any anomalies out by this distant planet, nor any other sites beyond one containing gas clouds. I don't think a fleet of strategic cruisers backed by a logistics ship is quite needed to pop a few ladar-site Sleepers. Ah, right. There were three unaccounted for signatures when I scanned earlier, and although I resolved three wormholes I forgot that I accounted for our static connection. I missed resolving one new site, the one new site that the hostile fleet is now in.
I doubt the fleet will stop their incursion after one site, so although I have to miss all the fun there I will be able to follow them once they move on. There's little point in scanning for them now either, as I don't want to scare them off before they start salvaging, and as I have all the other sites bookmarked it will be trivial to find the second and later sites. And it's not long before they are finished with the first site and now in a basic anomaly, which I find easily. One of my many safe spots made in the home system lets me warp in along a benign vector, and I set myself in a suitable position where I can monitor combat as it continues. There's no sign of a Noctis salvager yet, so it could be a while before I see any action. The fleet clears the Sleepers and moves on, with me following behind. The same happens in a third site, my second, and the fleet moves on with me following behind. Each time I create a suitable monitoring point, where I can warp in to and out of the site quickly whilst being able to watch all the happens.
This fleet could really take a while chewing through our anomalies before they decide to salvage. Even then, they may not leave a salvager unguarded, which I won't know until it comes. This could all be a waste of my time, and the evening is already getting late. But what I also realise is that the anomaly the fleet is in is beyond d-scan range of the first anomaly. Rather than wait for a kill that may not come I could reap some financial reward instead. The fleet only just having started their current anomaly should give me time not just to loot some of the wrecks but salvage them too. And I really like the idea of clearing the site only to have their Noctis warp in to empty space. It could leave the capsuleers scratching their heads. I leave the fleet blissfully ignorant of my presence and intentions, swap my covert Tengu at our tower for a salvaging destroyer, and warp in to the cleared anomaly to start making some profit from the activity of others.
I go for the battleship wrecks first, as they hold the biggest loot, using my monitoring point to let me warp directly to the first cluster. Loot, salvage, and move on. Loot, salvage, and move on. This would be faster if tractor beams worked on yellow wrecks, but the DRM in the modules means they can't be activated on wrecks not owned by your corporation. It's tedious but right now I don't really care, as it's all free ISK that I'm sweeping in to my, uh, in to my... Hmm. I didn't notice that Drake earlier, but a battlecruiser belonging to the fleet appears to be some hundred kilometres from my ninja salvaging operation. It could be worse. At least he's far enough away not to be a direct threat, but not so far that he could become a direct threat by warping to my position. And I suppose my cover's blown by now, even if he's only temporarily absent whilst using the toilet. I'll keep salvaging until circumstances change.
The Drake warps out, I'm left alone for a minute, then the same pilot warps back but in a Gila cruiser instead. I think that's the changed circumstance I was watching for. I decide I've stolen enough from our own anomalies for the moment and warp back to our tower. I dump what I've recovered in to the hangar, about ninety million ISK in loot and salvage, swap back in to my covert Tengu, and warp out to see what reaction I get. I warp in to the site I was salvaging from, but at my distant monitoring point, just as the rest of the fleet warps in to join its cohort in the Gila. Aww, boo hoo, I stole some loot. What are you going to do about it? I know what I'm going to do about it, as the fleet is now out of d-scan range of two more anomalies they've just been clearing of Sleepers.
I don't go back for my salvaging ship, instead preferring the cloak of my Tengu for some guerilla looting. D-scan is clear when I get to my monitoring point in the second anomaly, indicating that the fleet isn't coming back this way. I bounce from my position to land on top of a battleship wreck, loot it and its neighbouring wrecks, and back out to my monitoring point. Lather, rinse, repeat for all three clusters of battleship wrecks and you end up with not much loot for the fleet that actually created the wrecks to recover. Such a shame. Despite my having already been discovered ninja-looting in one site and shooed the fleet stubbornly refuses to believe I might be up to the same tricks in other sites and hasn't sent scouts this way to check up on what should be their wrecks. Goody, that gives me time to visit the third site too.
I use the same tactics as in the second site, bouncing from my vantage point in to the site and out again, looting what I can whilst watching d-scan and cloaking between hauls. This site I almost pick clean, leaving only the three frigate wrecks unlooted, which hold little of value anyway. Certainly not enough to risk discovery. Let me count my iskies. I've got 121 Miskies in loot from these two sites, out of a total of 132 Miskies that each site holds in standard loot. That's gorgeous, as it leaves only 11 Miskies for the fleet to recover for all their effort.
I go back to see what the fleet is up to, finding them salvaging the first site they cleared, the one I didn't have a bookmark for. Well, I say they are salvaging it, but I don't think they really need a Scimitar and three Tengu pilots protecting the Noctis that is actually salvaging the site, although the Enyo is probably useful. I don't mind, as the paranoia I instilled has worked out nice for me again. I watch the wrecks disappear from d-scan as the Noctis—a particularly slow Noctis—sweeps them up, and warp back to the second anomaly so I can see the reaction as the fleet warps in to find almost no loot waiting for them.
It turns out that a reaction is hard to gauge when you only have a cold, hard hull of a spaceship to look at. Still, I imagine some seething to be taking place, as well as a bit of chagrin, but at least they can still salvage the wrecks for a chance of a little bit of profit from their time-consuming combat. And I'm saving the Noctis pilot from the chore of having to loot the wrecks. All he has to do is tractor them close enough and activate his salvaging modules. This is easy mode! He should be thanking me. I follow them to the third anomaly, stripped even cleaner of loot, and then back to the C5 K162. I somehow manage to decloak on my way to the wormhole, which I notice only in time to cloak as the fleet arrives. That was accidental and a bit dangerous, but it probably looked like a bit of a cocky farewell to them. Meh, that works too. So long, and thanks for all the loot!
Addendum: Casually browsing our killboard, I happen to notice that my last kill was about a week earlier, when I popped a Noctis in our home system. The name of the Noctis pilot seemed oddly familiar, though, so imagine my amusement when I check tonight's captured images to see the same pilot in the Drake and then Gila. Yes, it is the same corporation that I disrupted in our home system as last week! No wonder they used the same tactics as the last fleet—with the same result of losing large sums of ISK to me, I might add—as they were the last fleet. It also explains the reappearance of an Enyo to guard the Noctis. I merely thought it was becoming trendy. These guys should really make a note of the systems they visit, as it could save them a lot of grief.