I've got myself confused. A rogue Anathema appeared in the home system with no apparent source, and we collapsed our static wormhole to keep out the covert operations boat we assumed we'd seen lurking before. Now I've scanned the home system to continue the evening's adventure and I'm seeing a new signature. I know I occasionally have troubles counting, even small numbers, but I like to think I can tell the difference between three and four signatures in the scanning interface. I'm also confident that I know how to blanket a system with my probes, so surely I didn't simply miss this second wormhole with my previous scan. It must be new, even if it's weirdly coincidental. I'd better take a look to find out.
A Probe, Covetor, and cans, oh my! There are also two towers, but the numerical names of the jet-cans have me hoping that the mining barge is active, and spinning my directional scanner around to find the towers finds the frigate but not the Covetor. There's mining happening, and I want to disrupt it. Fin's holding in the home system on the K162 in case any ships pass her way, and waiting to see what she should bring to ambush the Covetor. That is, if I can find him. An empty planet lies far enough away to let me launch probes covertly, after which I head back to, well, I suppose to the tower. I know the Covetor is near the tower, which gives me a good enough starting point to locate him, and the tower looks to be where it was almost a year ago, so I can monitor other ship movements whilst I hunt.
It looks like the hunt is off. I warp to the tower, having launched probes, to see the Covetor now inside the force field. I know he was out previously, I'm not space mad, and to prove it the pilot swaps to a Hoarder hauler, no doubt to collect the ore from the jet-cans still on d-scan. It looks like he's finished for the evening. Even so, he will be collecting the ore, and I see that the ship warps out of the tower above the ecliptic plane and to the right of the seventh planet. A few hasty adjustments to d-scan's range gate puts the distance to the cans under 3 AU away. I have no time for finesse now, nor even much concern for whether my scanning will be seen.
I arrange my probes near where I approximate the jet-cans to be, call for Fin to ready a heavy interdictor, and perform a rough scan as the Hoarder returns to the tower. I won't be able to get a hit on the ship, but the gravimetric site that appears must be where the Covetor was operating. The Probe has now become a Badger, making me wonder if we can get two haulers at the same time, as a second scan gets the site resolved to 100% strength. Two scans and I'm done. I recall my probes and warp in to take a look. I make a strategic bookmark on the way in to the site, as well as bookmarking the site itself, and ask for an update from Fin. She's having trouble accessing the hangar, preventing her from getting the Onyx prepared. Damn, we could really use the HIC's bubble for this, in case the hauler has warp core stabilisers. But I'm not going to pass on a kill if I can get it.
I retreat to my strategic bookmark and watch the jet-cans in the site. It doesn't take long for the Hoarder to return to pick up more ore, and, with Fin still not available, I warp in to say hello. I decloak a little early, which looks to panic the Hoarder somewhat, but my targeting systems lock on to the hauler and prevent its escape. It doesn't take much for my guns to rip the industrial ship apart, and although I think I trap the pod it warps back to the tower to leave me with only an expanded cargohold to loot from the wreck. And some ore, I suppose, but I shoot the cans, as I shoot the wreck, to leave nothing left worth collecting.
Re-activating my cloak, I return to the tower to watch the pod, noting that the Badger remains elsewhere, although that elsewhere is not the mining site. When the Badger warps in to the force field again it looks like he came from a customs office, but I've not been reading d-scan well enough, as there is another tower in that direction. I'm also not entirely convinced I should have destroyed those cans of ore. It's not that I want the ore for myself, but I really ought to give miners a reason to keep on mining, even if they lose their ships. Feeling entirely unproductive may eventually have me running out of soft targets to keep me in practice. I'll ponder this.
At least I remember seeing a third tower—what I took to be a second tower to start with—when I first tried to launch probes, one with an Archon carrier and Enyo assault ship also on d-scan, so with the ambush complete I should reconnoitre that. I find the tower with the two ships, and two more, Mammoth and Bestower haulers also inside the force field, and all four piloted. But I suppose these pilots may share information with each other, particularly about a covert Loki strategic cruiser roaming their system, and I'm unlikely to see any more action here.
Ah, yes, I remember now. I came here ostensibly to see if the system was the source of the Ghostathema or not, but as I didn't get a name or corporation of the pilot as she flew past me that was pretty much a lost cause from the start. I don't suppose we'll find out, not unless we have another sighting of the mystery covert operations boat, which seems unlikely if we did actually manage to get it out of our system.