Entertained by an over-reaction

22nd August 2013 – 5.11 pm

With any luck there will be a w-spacer or two out tonight. There's me, for a start, but I can't shoot myself, so I resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system. My directional scanner tells me my princess is in another castle, with a tower and no ships visible in the system, which means I'll be scanning. But as I launch probes I glance at my notes, which remind me that my previous visit to this system had Fin and I catch a scanning battlecruiser that polarised itself on their wormhole to high-sec. That could bode well.

No one is home today, so I sift through the twelve anomalies and six signatures and come away with just the one wormhole. Naturally, it's the static exit to high-sec, so I poke my nose out to appear in a system in the Domain region, where I loiter listlessly on the other side of the wormhole wondering what to do next. Nothing really strikes me as of particular interest, until an orange appears in the local channel. D-scan says the pilot is only in a pod, but it's still a capsuleer, and he drops on to the wormhole and jumps to C3a. I give him a minute and follow, to see what he does next.

Pod jumps from high-sec to class 3 w-space

Back in C3a d-scan shows me an Iteron hauler and... some probes? These pilots have some weird scanning ships. That is, unless a second contact has appeared and is in an actual scanning ship. If there is one he's not at the tower, and neither is the Iteron for long. The hauler warps away not to a customs office but back to the high-sec wormhole, which is a shame. And a Viator appears in the system, so says d-scan, probably from high-sec too, as the transport disappears. I assume the Viator decloaks in the tower's force field, and that I crossed him in warp, because I'm now sat on the wormhole myself.

I'm kinda hoping the Iteron is in high-sec collecting items shipped to a nearby station, instead of making a lengthy journey itself, which will bring it back to w-space a bit too quickly for polarisation effects to end. Wouldn't that just be lovely if it's the case? I get my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser above the wormhole, trying to get in to a good position for a ramming manoeuvre, should I need to bump the Iteron away from the wormhole. And the wormhole crackles with a transit.

If it is the Iteron that has returned, I think he has returned soon enough to be at least a little polarised. There's no point decloaking my Loki before I make a positive identification, as doing that could allow the target to hold his session change cloak for longer, maybe giving him time for polarisation effects to dissipate entirely. Iteron, it is you! It is you! I decloak, burn towards the hauler, and give him a nudge away from the wormhole.

Ambushing an Iteron on a high-sec wormhole

I gain a positive lock on the Iteron and get my weapon systems hot. Autocannon rounds start ripping the hauler apart as the wormhole crackles a second time. I haven't lost my lock on the Iteron, so I don't think it's jumped back to high-sec. What's just happened? Ah, a new transit has occurred, a pod jumping in from high-sec as I am ambushing his colleague. If he's here to see the explosion he's just in time, the Iteron's hull unable to take any more punishment.

Iteron explodes in front of the hapless pilot's colleague

Locking on to the destroyed Iteron's pod

That was a fun kill, and good timing. The pod flees, partly because of my confusion as to which pod is ejected from the Iteron and which just came through the wormhole, but mostly because pods are agile little buggers. I loot and shoot the wreck of the Iteron, nabbing some more expanded cargoholds but sadly unable to carry the expensive ship-building materials. It's almost a shame that I have to destroy the 150 Miskies of construction parts, particularly as we could have used them, but if I really cared about that I wouldn't have shot the ship in the first place.

I reload my guns, cloak, and warp to the tower, updating my notes in warp that this is the second time I've caught a ship in this system polarised on its high-sec wormhole. That information is always good to know. And at the tower the two pods are now in a Dominix battleship each, which warp to the wormhole, followed by a third Dominix when the Viator pilot returns and swaps to the bigger ship. I follow behind, at a safe distance, to see what they are doing, because this doesn't quite make sense to me. Surely collapsing the wormhole connecting our systems would be a better use of these ships than guarding a connection that borders high-sec.

The battleships float around their exit as the wormhole crackles. Is it another hauler they hope to protect, because I could probably decloak, pop it, and hop out to high-sec before being in any real danger. But, no, it's a Buzzard coming in from high-sec, the covert operations boat unaffiliated with the locals. But maybe they think him and me are together, which could fuel their paranoia nicely. The Dominices also find out how little a threat they really are, as the Buzzard doesn't panic and merely cloaks to avoid their attentions.

Three Dominix battleships guard the high-sec wormhole

Clearly three battleships with drones out isn't enough to prevent intruders—definitely not with an open wormhole behind you, guys. In an effort to be more threatening the Dominices trap themselves on the wormhole by anchoring a warp bubble to it. Maybe I could word that more diplomatically. Before the bubble inflates, one battleship returns to their tower to swap in to a Hawk assault frigate, which then gets caught in the bubble on its return, and flies deeper in to it for some reason.

One Dominix is swapped for a Hawk

I spy on d-scan a Helios cov-ops scanning. Well, a Helios blips on scan and probes are visible, but maybe it's the Buzzard scanning. Even so, I warp across to our K162 to see if anyone finds our wormhole, but despite the probes, two cov-ops boats, and obvious activity nothing actually happens on the connection. Other ship changes occur with the locals, though, as the three ships become three Dominices again briefly, before one is swapped for a Damnation command ship, and, perhaps when they realise how it's hindering more than helping them, the bubble is taken down. Still nothing comes near our system. I don't mind. I take my loot home and leave the neighbours wondering what happened.

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