Spoiling gas sucking by collecting planet goo

28th March 2013 – 5.19 pm

A new signature in the home system doesn't have me scurrying backwards through w-space looking for activity, what with it resolving to be some rocks, leaving me pressing forwards to our neighbouring class 3 system as usual. A tower with no ships appears on my directional scanner from the K162, and, judging by the names given to the hangars, the locals are Russian. I imagine they're asleep by this time and unlikely to come out to play. My notes from five months ago also suggest the Russians are red to us, and warping directly to the listed tower confirms they are still here, and still red.

Performing a blanket scan of the system reveals four anomalies and four signatures. The anomalies are our favoured type, but rather than dive prow-first in to them it would be prudent to check for K162s, which won't take long given the lack of signatures. I find one too, coming from high-sec empire space, to go with the static exit to low-sec and some rocks. Given options, my glorious leader and I split up, Fin going to high-sec and me heading to low-sec.

I exit C3a to appear in a faction warfare system in the Placid region. No one's around currently, so I warp to the nearest rock field—holding rocks of ice—to rat whilst I scan, only to bounce right back out again as the local channel spikes a little. It's soon clear again, though, with the small fleet just passing through, so I bounce back in to the ice field, and right back out again as eighteen pilots enter the system a few seconds later. Fine, I won't rat. I'll just scan.

Seven extra signatures in a low-sec system sound promising, but they are mostly ladar sites, with a radar and couple of magnetometric sites. The final signature resolve to be a wormhole, which is a reassuring sight, even if it is a K162 from class 3 w-space and probably already a dead end. It's better than nothing, though, so jump to C3a to see what's there. D-scan shows me nothing from the wormhole, but my notes, indicating this being my fifth visit, point me to a tower present four months earlier. I warp off in that direction.

The tower remains and holds a piloted shuttle inside its force field. I doubt a shuttle will do much but evade me, so I warp out, launch probes, and blanket the system. A lack of anomalies but eight signatures suggests the locals aren't too industrious, and that all the signatures are beyond d-scan range of the tower should let me scan them without the shuttle being any the wiser. Gas, gas, and more gas. The locals really don't care for clearing ladar sites, but maybe a few more periods lacking anomalies will change their minds. Or force them to move. I know what I'd do.

I also resolve a pair of wormholes in C3b. One is a K162 from class 5 w-space stressed to half mass, the other a K162 from high-sec. Checking the empire space connection puts me in the Derelik region, which isn't as convenient as the link in C3a that Fin is now using to export loot and import fuel and other goods. I think I can ignore high-sec, particularly with another wormhole in C3b to explore beyond, so jump back to w-space and, well, I hold on the wormhole as a Loki blips on d-scan. The strategic cruiser disappears within seconds, so I move from the wormhole, cloak, and warp to the tower to check for activity.

Something has changed, but nothing to do with a Loki that I can see. Instead, a Probe frigate sits where the shuttle was, and it could be the same pilot, I dunno. I should start writing their names down. The Probe gazes longingly at a hangar for a few minutes before swapping to a lovely looking Mammoth. The hauler turns, accelerates, and warps out of the tower seconds later. Before the Mammoth enters warp I've got my Loki pointed in roughly the same direction, and although I can't quite tell exactly where the hauler is heading I make a best guess as to its destination and, hopefully, follow behind.

My best guess looks good, and I drop out of warp near a customs office with the Mammoth. I am a little unsettled by the appearance of a Vagabond cruiser on d-scan, particularly after having seen an unidentified Loki not too long ago. I wonder if I am about to ambush the Mammoth that's already been targeted for an ambush. But the Vagabond doesn't seem like a typical ship for this task, so I mostly ignore him for the moment and shed my cloak, activate my sensor booster, and aim for the hauler.

Catching a Mammoth trying to collect planet goo

Planet-gooing Mammoth explodes

The Mammoth explodes with little encouragement from my guns, probably half-shaking itself to bits in a violent bid to align back to the tower. I target and catch the pod too, ripping it open to get to the fleshy centre, and scoop, loot, and shoot the remains. The Vagabond has disappeared, and I can only assume that he saw what happened remotely, using d-scan. Judging by the ship names, the Loki and Vagabond are allied, but whether the Loki scanned for gas sites that the Vagabond wanted to harvest, or both ships were simply passing through the system, I can't really say.

Wreck and corpse of Mammoth outside the customs office

I could probably get an idea of what the ships were up to in C3b by visiting C5a, through the mass-compromised K162, but if my ambush was witnessed by the Vagabond pilot I'm not sure I want to. The tower local to C3b is now empty and there are no new signatures in the system, and I think I'm happy to leave C5a unexplored. I have a new corpse for my tea parties and it's getting late, so there's little point risking my ship flying in to a fleet expecting me. It's time to head home.

  1. 3 Responses to “Spoiling gas sucking by collecting planet goo”

  2. Regarding noting peoples names I use labels a lot. I add them as contacts. The people I come across when I wander wormholes and that I do not expect to keep as contacts, mainly keeping tabs on them for the night I chuck in the Temp label. I use the standings color setting to differentiate between the different corps if there are more than one.

    It's not a great system, but it allows me to have some idea about what is going on.

    Also: when you find unpiloted ships in a POS you can check out who piloted the ship (right-click, show pilot info) and add that pilot that way. That way you can get some idea on if or when the pilot logs on. It's a fairly good way to keep basic tabs on people if one is having a chain of holes.

    By Akely on Mar 28, 2013

  3. I must investigate labels. I could really use a way of keeping tabs on people for only as long as the w-space constellation is relevant. I did't think there was a way of doing that, and cluttering up my list of contacts, and the watch list, with dozens of pilots seemed like it would become useless after not too long.

    I knew the trick about interrogating pilot information from the unpiloted ships, but thanks for passing that along too.

    By pjharvey on Mar 29, 2013

  4. I chose a label name that holds date and system name (Apr 1 - C2b). That allows you to easily delete everyone and the label once access to or interest in that system has been lost.

    Within that label I then use colors to differentiate different corps in the system id needed. It does not happen often.

    Then I use pen and paper to draw the same kind of hole connectivity map you do on this site (thanks for that tip).

    This way makes it easy to keep tabs on and delete people, not cluttering up the contact list.

    By Akely on Apr 1, 2013

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