A little low on options

23rd May 2012 – 5.37 pm

Fin's here, as is a K162 from class 5 w-space. My glorious leader updates me on what's happened so far. A Loki strategic cruiser came and went, and a Cheetah covert operations boat scanned our home system. As far as she could tell the cov-ops didn't pass through our static wormhole, so there is a good chance that a fleet will come from the C5 and start popping Sleepers, which hopefully will give us a salvager to shoot. But that hope is thwarted when I have to reboot my unresponsive ship, and shortly after I return, having been visible on the wormhole and then on directional scanner for a minute or so, the Cheetah jumps from our system back to the C5. I don't think a fleet will wander in to a system where a known Tengu strategic cruiser is covertly operating.

Never mind, as our static wormhole is open and may offer adventure, although presumably the C5 pilots know this too. Before I can jump to the C3, though, a new contact jumps from the C5. An Anathema cov-ops appears and warps across to our static wormhole, maybe intending to scan the C3 finally. I'm sitting on the connection and see the Anathema decloak and jump. As our chances of catching anyone from the C5 unawares are now almost non-existent this seems like a good opportunity. I follow the Anathema in to C3, decloak, and watch as the cov-ops cloaks before my targeting systems can lock on to the tiny ship. I can't say I'm surprised by that result, and now our hand is well and truly tipped.

I move away from the wormhole and cloak too, and give d-scan a look. A tower is visible, as is a Bestower hauler, and I find them together and without a pilot in sight. So with the system scouted I return to the wormhole to watch for more movements, as Fin pokes her nose in to C5a. With any luck, the pilots think I'm the only active capsuleer in the constellation and aren't expecting anyone to come their way. Sure enough, no one is waiting on the wormhole in the class 5 system, but a Proteus strategic cruiser, Deimos and Zealot heavy assault ship, and Cheetah are all on d-scan. Fin comes home again right away, which is a prudent move.

So now what do we do? There are no probes yet in C3a, although the Anathema's likely still here, and there are certainly pilots behind us in C5a. We can't collapse either wormhole safely, so the best we can do is sit and watch, which isn't a good option in itself. The C5 corporation has scouts out, bringing a Cheetah in to our home system and having the Anathema in the C3, although the latter returns past me and then Fin to the C5, apparently without having scanned the C3. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. With the scout of this system, though, I can launch probes and scan. But maybe not without being seen, as now the Deimos comes from the C5, across our system, and in to the C3 to sit on the K162 with me.

Fin doesn't understand what the pilots are doing, and neither do I. It seems that the Deimos is trying to flush me out, as he launches drones and orbits the wormhole, but that's an exercise in futility. I did the maths once, about finding cloaked ships in the volume of space around a wormhole, and the odds are very much in the cloaked ship's favour. Maybe the pilots are expecting me to return home, at which point they can catch me. But when do I ever get caught jumping through a wormhole? Almost never! Even so, and with the Deimos not getting any closer to me than ten kilometres, I back off a bit, because I can, and decide to scan.

Hullo, there's a pod on d-scan now. I place it at the tower, which means the Deimos is not here to escort a colleague home, and I warp across to watch him. I can still see the HAC on d-scan, and nothing much will change there. Then again, unless the local pod pilot is a complete fool, the presence of the HAC and its drones will probably stop this pod from doing much more than scouting himself. And just as I think nothing will happen, a Mammoth is coming my way, so says Fin with exclamation marks. It stinks of bait, but maybe this is what the Deimos is protecting. The Mammoth jumps in to C3a and warps away before I've even made it back from the tower to the wormhole, so that was no bait. I think I'd better find the connections here so I can track its return.

I don't want my probes to appear on d-scan to the Deimos. Even if he knows I'm here I would rather he didn't know what I was up to. There is one signature out of d-scan range of the K162, and it resolves to a wormhole, but because it's an ageing static exit to high-sec empire space I doubt I could catch the Mammoth on its return. Still, with the magnetar phenomenon in the system, a bit of luck, and a cocky hauler, I may get a kill. But probably not. And as the Deimos recalls his drones and returns to his C5 home, suggesting the hauler is out of w-space for the night, the chance of a kill drops even further. Fin was just concocting a strategy to engage the HAC as well, which could have been fun. Ah well, it looks like it's going to be a quiet night.

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