Getting ahead of a gooer

13th February 2013 – 5.15 pm

Some local gas is gone, and Aii is on-line. Coincidence? I don't know, but it means we're back to only one signature in the home system. I resolve the static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system to see what I can find to entertain me today. It's pretty standard so far, with a tower and no ships appearing on my directional scanner. The tower is in the same place as my last visit, and I assume the static wormhole will still lead to null-sec, and that it's amongst the three anomalies and fifteen signatures.

I spot core probes on d-scan around a distant planet before launching my own probes, making a scout active in the system, and possibly not local. I'll race him, despite his having a head start. Scanning's a bit of a chore with a K346 to resolve, as they have a similar signal strength to radar and magnetometric sites, and can take a few scans to simply identify. Four of these sites crop up to start with, wearing me down a little. But I continue, hoping to find some rocks and gas instead. Oh, and wormholes too, I suppose.

Yep, I resolve all of that. Rocks, gas, wormholes. A K162 from class 4 w-space joins the static exit, but the other scout is gone and has been for a while. He's either gone to our home system or out to null-sec, as I've been sitting on the C4 K162 since finding it, and no ships have passed me yet. I'm going to loiter for longer, because I know that having probes vanish from d-scan often heralds a ship jumping through a wormhole, and I don't want to be quite so obvious in my behaviour. That gets you spotted at best, killed at worst.

Proteus appears near a C4 K162

My waiting pays off. The K162 flares as a Helios covert operations boat perhaps gets bored of waiting for me to appear, and jumps home. A minute later the wormhole flares again, this time bringing a pilot from the C4 to C3a, a Proteus strategic cruiser moving from the wormhole and cloaking. Okay, now what do I do? The other corporation know a pilot is around somewhere, and I don't want to waltz in to an ambush I can avoid. I think I'll just sit here for a while and do some paperwork whilst monitoring the wormhole.

Nothing passes me, in or out. I'm not going in yet either. I think I'll exit to null-sec to see what I can find there. I may still be spotted, and potentially ambushed coming back, but at least I'll be doing something. I warp across C3a to the K346, and leave w-space for a null-sec system in the Catch region. I appear in an empty system too, letting me rat and scan. Five extra signatures keeps me active whilst my Loki strategic cruiser chews through a rat, but all I find are three magnetometric sites and a radar site. And one more, of 'unknown' type, that I can't quite resolve.

Engaging a Sansha rat in the Catch region

Launch all probes! Well, it's not a wormhole after all, but a Centus Assembly T.P. Co. site, rated 10/10 by DED. I don't think I'll be warping in to that, even if I could resolve it with eight probes. But it doesn't give me another option either. I return to C3a, am thankfully not greeted by weapons fire on the wormhole, and decide to live a bit more recklessly and actually visit C4a. Warping across the system and jumping through the K162 has all looking clear. There are no ships on the wormhole, and all that d-scan shows me is a territorial control unit and some bubbles. Not even a tower.

My notes help me out. A tower was present seven months ago, and if it's still there it is around a planet out of d-scan range. I warp across to take a look and find the tower remains as it was, with a piloted Brutix battlecruiser floating inside its force field. It's the Helios pilot too, so I don't have a new contact, even if there's no sign of the Proteus. I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan, revealing five anomalies and two signatures, which is pretty simple. It takes under a minute to scan the second signature, a ladar site, confirming that the constellation is at an end. Now to watch the Brutix.

I don't think the battlecruiser will be sucking up gas any time soon, not with actual guns fitted to the ship. At least I see the return of the Proteus. Hello! That means my route home is safer, but that probably nothing will happen tonight. Indeed not. Both pilots go off-line. And then are replaced by a Cheetah cov-ops and Badger hauler. Will I see some planet goo collection? No. The Cheetah goes off-line, followed by the Badger, replaced by a much less interesting Anathema cov-ops. I doubt he'll be visiting customs offices. The Prorator that appears might, but trying to catch a cloaky transport is what I like to call 'tricky'.

I've little time to consider any kind of plan, as the Prorator turns, aligns to a planet, and enters warp. I've waited for this, so I'd better give chase. I drop out of warp around the customs office at the first planet, just to see the Prorator enter warp towards the sixth planet. I follow, but the agile ship enters and exits warp quicker than my Loki, and I can only watch as the transport leaves for the second planet. I follow again, so that I can see him warp towards the seventh planet. This isn't working.

Screw it. I don't go to the seventh planet, but the tenth. I won't catch him by being in his shadow, so let's see if I can get ahead of the Prorator. I am assuming that he'll be visiting each planet in the system, so have picked a planet not yet on his path. I have also got a little lucky, as the tenth planet is out of range of the tower and all other planets. Being out of d-scan range lets me brazenly shed my cloak. I can ignore the sensor recalibration delay from decloaking, activate my sensor booster for added locking speed, and sit on top of the customs office. On top of that, I won't appear on the Prorator's d-scan until he warps to this customs office, and by that point he won't be able to turn around to avoid me.

Getting ahead of the gooing Prorator transport ship

Speak of the devil, here he is. I have no idea how many other planets the transport has visited since our paths diverged, but it doesn't matter. We're together again, and I want to show him how much I care. Naturally, the Prorator was warping cloaked, so my first view of the ship is when it bumps in to the customs office. Even so, I have to wait a second or two for the transport to fully exit warp before I can gain a positive target lock. But I do, at which point my warp scrambler holds his ship close, and I burn towards and bump in to the ship as I start shooting, just because I can.

Aiming for the Prorator's ejected pod

The class 4 w-space system's magnetar phenomenon helps my guns deal their damage, tearing the Prorator's shields, armour, and hull, and shredding the ship apart. The transport explodes, the pod flees. I loot and shoot the wreck, trying to work out what goo I want to squeeze in to my limited hold and believing I have time to make the decision. I get a high-five in the local channel from the shipless pilot, which is nice, as is the planet gooer kill itself.

Prorator pilot congratulates the successful attack

I can't remember the last one I caught, and a cloaky transport makes this a little special. I feel satisfied with my evening of scanning and stalking, and how my patience paid off again. I can head home to rest for the night.

  1. 2 Responses to “Getting ahead of a gooer”

  2. Nice catch, always a rewarding feeling. He'll warp to 20 and slowboat in next time, if he's learned anything.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Feb 14, 2013

  3. Probably, for a week or so, and then get bored and go back to taking shortcuts.

    That's the problem with best practices: they work, so people don't see the risk in not doing the best practice and slip. That's when I come in to remind them.

    By pjharvey on Feb 14, 2013

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