Gaining attention in low-sec

27th February 2013 – 5.18 pm

I see a Fin and some corporate bookmarks. What's happening? 'Nothing', my glorious leader says, telling me that she's collected planet goo and is turning her attention to some laboratory operations and tower reconfigurations she's busying herself with. I know industry isn't quite as exciting as roaming, but I wouldn't call it nothing. But I think Fin is just pointing out that she hasn't left the home system yet. Ah, I see, the bookmarks are not current. Let me correct that.

Scanning the home system reveals only the one signature not accounted for by the gas and rock sites, which will be our static wormhole. I resolve the connection, and warp to and jump through it to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, where a reinforced timer appears on my display. I poke my directional scanner in to life and see a couple of towers but no ships, which I suppose is no surprise given that the timer has twenty-five hours left to run. I doubt much will happen before the structure becomes vulnerable.

Reinforced timer on a structure in class 3 w-space

At least the timer makes locating the sieged tower easy to find. Or it would, were there actually a tower under threat. Warping across to the planet sees that instead it is merely a customs office that has been attacked, probably to be replaced by one owned by a different corporation. That's less exciting, but still indicative of activity. Or, I suppose, a lack of activity for the next day. Let's repair the customs office, just to annoy the locals. Fin agrees, and prepares a pair of logistics ships, whilst I scan to see what may ambush us.

A blanket scan of the system picks up two anomalies and eight signatures, and sifting through them resolves a wormhole, gas, rocks, a ship, gas, and a wormhole. And the ship doesn't stay long. It's Fin's Basilisk entering the system, which she warps to the beleaguered customs office, remembers that it's not possible to repair a structure that is in reinforced mode, and warps straight back home again. Okay, so I'm a bit ignorant about some aspects of life in space. But I learn.

I have two wormholes to reconnoitre. Or so I think. The first is the system's static exit to low-sec, which leads to the Kor-Azor region. The second is empty space. The wormhole is dead on arrival. It's a little disappointing but not unprecedented. I am more frustrated that I now have to wait a couple of minutes for polarisation effects to dissipate before I can return to low-sec to scan for more wormholes. It's a minor issue, though.

Back in low-sec, scanning has two extra signatures. One is a Blood Raiders site, the other a weak wormhole. I would be excited by the outbound connection, but it leads from low-sec empire space to more low-sec empire space, which isn't really what I was looking for. I suppose I should have guessed it wasn't a serious wormhole from the JKR signature identifier. Still, the connection to another system is there, I may as well see where it leads.

Hullo. Before I get close enough to jump, an Anathema covert operations boat decloaks and beats me to the wormhole. It's small fry, but the most I've seen so far, so I give chase. I jump from low-sec Kor-Azor to low-sec Everyshore, where the Anathema appears and promptly cloaks, easily avoiding my attentions. Well, that was exciting. I bookmark the wormhole, ponder my next move, and decide not to scan. It's probably more worthwhile collapsing our static connection.

Ah, hello again. The Anathema pilot gives a wave in the local channel before returning through the wormhole to Kor-Azor. I am going back anyway, so I may as well go back with him. And, of course, the cov-ops has signalled for friends and lured me in to a minor ambush. A Vengeance assault ship and Myrmidon battlecruiser are waiting for me on the other side of the wormhole. It's times like this that I wish I'd been paying more attention.

Red-skulled ships wait for me on the other side of the wormhole

I don't mean that I ought to have anticipated the ambush. I occasionally check information about pilots in the local channel, to see if any are affiliated, and didn't today. That may have given me a hint. I am more thinking that I have no idea when I first jumped through the wormhole, behind the Anathema, and so have no idea if my ship is polarised or not. If it isn't, I could feasibly engage the two ships and see if I could do much damage to the Vengeance, with the wormhole as an escape route. As it is, I should probably just try to evade them.

Scorpion battleship joins in watching a cloaked ship be cloaked

Appearing less than two kilometres from the wormhole and with an assault ship watching for my appearance is awkward, but a quick pulse of my micro warp drive and quick activation of my cloak gets me safe with surprisingly little fuss. I thought I'd have to start shooting. Now I simply coast away from the wormhole and watch a Scorpion battleship warp in at range, presumably to apply cowardly ECM to an already one-sided encounter, and the Anathema pilot return in a Harbinger battlecruiser.

Anathema pilot returns in a Harbinger, but who can say why?

The extra attention all appears a bit late, though. I don't know what they think I'm going to do. I started on this side of the wormhole after all. My main concern is that the Anathema scanned both wormholes, and that these pilots know of the K162 to C3a, which is my route home. But when I get bored of watching the ships, pretty much at the point when they warp away in different directions, and return to the K162 I see no one waiting for me. There's no one in w-space either. It's a bit of an anticlimax. Still, that should let us collapse our wormhole quietly, and hopefully give us a better constellation to uncover.

  1. 2 Responses to “Gaining attention in low-sec”

  2. I don't know if it's even possible to lock someone who pushes off the WH like you did there. We did some tests a little bit ago with a quicklock Stilletto and me doing the exact same thing as you did, pulse MWD and cloak up immediately. The Inty wasn't able to get close to locking me down.
    I think the only way you're ever going to get caught is via a decloak after the push off.

    By BayneNothos on Feb 28, 2013

  3. You're mostly right, Bayne. But appearing under 2 km from the wormhole meant I couldn't cloak immediately, which is the most important part.

    Having a fast frigate around to get the bump-decloak definitely is a secondary concern, particularly after our own tests showed that it can be pretty threatening, as long as they're paying attention. I don't think this one was, weirdly, even though I was expected.

    And Fin's super-boosted Flycatcher snagged a Crane pushing away from a wormhole. It had a significantly higher scan resolution than my interceptor.

    Even so, yeah, it's probably not possible to catch someone who moves away from a wormhole and cloaks in one smooth action without distance or a bump intervening.

    By pjharvey on Feb 28, 2013

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