There's nothing to do at home, so thank goodness for wormholes. And hello stealth bombers! Two of them, a Purifier and Manticore, are visible on my directional scanner in our neighbouring system, with nothing else in sight; no tower, no wrecks. What could they be doing? Moving away from the wormhole and cloaking, I spin d-scan around to locate the pair, unsurprisingly not finding them in one of the anomalies present. The bombers appear to be around a planet, which should make them easy enough to find, even if I have no idea what they are up to.
Warping to the planet sees a customs office but no ships, although they remain on d-scan. And now I've got close enough to see an on-line tower, as well as a second Manticore, so there is occupation in the system. Checking the moons with d-scan finds the two of them, and warping cautiously to their location sees what they are up to: shooting an off-line tower. I suppose that makes sense, trying to get rid of the detritus in the system clogging up space, and being able to scoop the defences once they are no longer anchored to the tower. And stealth bombers provide a lot of firepower in a small package.
The other aspect of stealth bombers, despite their ability to project damage, is that they are really fragile. I like this, because it makes them easy targets in general, and more particularly when they are floating stationary performing a monotonous task and probably not paying too much attention to their surroundings. Even better, the three of them are huddled around a jet-can, probably containing more ammunition to feed their siege launchers, which gives me a precise marker to warp to.
Sadly, one of the Manticores warps away, cloaking as he goes, but two remain, and I probably couldn't catch three anyway. I would say this is looking good for a quick ambush. I warp towards the canister, dropping only a little short, and the situation still looks good. The two stealth bombers are stationary, nothing else is on d-scan, and this looks like a standard tower siege.
I start my approach towards the bombers, and when close enough to both for my warp scrambler to be effective I decloak, activate my sensor booster, and get my weapons systems hot. The recalibration delay wears off and I get a solid target lock on the Purifier, the ship closer to mine, holding him in place with the scrambler and loosing autocannon fire his way whilst simultaneously locking the Manticore. The Purifier melts under my guns and explodes, and now it's time to be smart.
I'm learning from my recent encounter with the four Iterons, and not saving the warp scrambler for the ejected pod. But I'm not ignoring the pod either. I know that my autocannons, in good circumstances, can crack open a pod with a single volley, so if I can get a lock that would let the scrambler take effect then it would also let my guns fire at least one round. I take advantage of this knowledge to switch my scrambler to the Manticore, stopping him warping away, whilst locking on to the Purifier pilot's pod. I get it, my guns fire, and the pod becomes a corpse.
One ship down, one pod down, and I still have the Manticore scrambled and in range. I turn my attention to him, and although the bomber tries to pull range I am in control of the engagement. I keep the Manticore within warp scrambler range as my guns work their magic, ripping apart the second stealth bomber and ejecting another pod in to space. This one, now fully awake, manages to escape my further attentions.
I scoop the corpse, and loot and shoot the wrecks of the two ships. Crunching through the brain finds 140 Miskies of dead implants too, which is a good result. I leave the canister intact, though. I don't care to look inside, or to try to destroy it, just in case another ship wants to come to salvage what they can. I may just wait around for a bit to see if they do that.
That was a pleasant little ambush. Quite why the pilots didn't ignore all the signatures in the system and keep an eye on the incredibly dumb discovery scanner for new wormholes popping up is beyond me. I'm glad there remain some people who don't understand how to use it, but I'd still rather the discovery scanner disappear from w-space. I don't want to rely on finding ignorant pilots to ambush, as it rather takes the fun out of the hunt.