I'm back again, to see what potential invaders/lodgers are up to, if Transmission Lost are poking through their static wormhole in to our home system some more, and what, if anything, is happening in our unoccupied neighbouring class 3 w-space system. My glorious leader updates me with TL's movements, which had them return to try again to steal some gas from one of our ladar sites. Shooing the Sleepers from one of the sites had TL bring in a Noctis salvager too, but Fin's Loki strategic cruiser going off-line and dropping its cloak may have alerted them to our returned presence.
Fin suspects the Noctis has a cloak fitted too, and that it hasn't left the ladar site despite the Venture mining frigate having returned to TL's class 2 w-space system. As she warps in to the ladar site in the hopes of bumping in to it rather haphazardly, I head in my own cloaky Loki to the C2 K162 to monitor movements. I see one, too, as the wormhole flares. Whatever has come through the wormhole is taking care to hold its cloak for as long as it can, but eventually a Drake battlecruiser decloaks, aligns, and warps away.
The Drake is easy to find, considering previous activity, in a minor ladar site in our system. A couple of Sleeper cruisers are there, and it seems that the Drake wants them not to be there, perhaps so that the Venture can return to suck up the gas in peace. But probably not. This is Transmission Lost we are dealing with, and they are not to be taken lightly. Earlier, I tried to ambush a Venture of theirs, and now Fin's Loki may have become apparent on one of their pilot's directional scanners. That's not to say the Drake isn't innocently clearing Sleepers from a ladar site, but rather that there is more here than meets the eye.
I stay on the wormhole, Fin monitors the Drake. All looks normal for now, the Drake innocently engaging the Sleepers without making a big deal of it. Not one to pass up an opportunity for a kill, Fin warps in to catch the Drake. But just in case the Drake has been told to act casual I stay on the K162. Fin gets close, decloaks, and goes for the Drake. It's looking good so far, with the K162 staying quiet, so I align towards the ladar site, ready to join the fray as required. But just as Fin grabs the Drake, so does the Drake grab Fin. Sure enough, within a few seconds, the wormhole flares, as in jumps a Loki.
The TL strategic cruiser warps to the ladar site to spring the counter-ambush. Is that all? I'm almost disappointed, and rather than warp to the ladar site for a two-on-one with the Drake, I throw my Loki in to warp to our tower to get a ship-killer Legion strategic cruiser instead. We should win the two-on-two quite easily as well. Except that the K162 flares behind me as I enter warp, d-scan showing me a second Loki entering our system. Not that we don't stand a chance with one more strategic cruiser pitted against us, but the staggered jump of the first two ships makes it difficult to know how many more will follow, particularly as a Devoter heavy interdictor is also now on d-scan. Fin, bail out. 'Trying.'
I land inside the force field of our tower, now unsure as to my best option, shortly before Fin announces that she's clear. That clarifies matters. My best option now is to return to the K162 to monitor further ship movements. I watch as the ambushing ships return to the wormhole and jump home, and get a conversation request from one of the pilots. It turns out that Resilan Bearcat recognised which system they had connected to and wanted to say hi before leaving. It's a shame we didn't have a couple more ships to throw at them today, but it was a fun little engagement all the same.
We were right to suspect bait, and my sitting on the wormhole to watch for counter-ambushers perhaps saved Fin's ship today. I was in the right position to gauge early any reaction to our aggression, whilst remaining available to provide support if it turned out to be straightforward combat between two ships. I'm back at the wormhole and watching as Transmission Lost crash the connection, resetting their options for the evening. That will make our home system safer too, even if it leaves us only a potentially dull neighbouring class 3 system that leads to null-sec. Maybe we can do something about that.