My glorious leader is trying to drum up some interest in w-space by taking an industrial ship through several systems to make use of an exit to high-sec. It's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see how it pays off. I, on the other hand, have merely found that route to high-sec, a couple of scouts in covert operations boats, and a handful of pilots idling in tower force fields. It's not been a particularly interesting evening.
Whether it is the apparent dearth of activity or simply my normal desire to cause explosions, a Buzzard sitting on a wormhole looks like a thoroughly legitimate target. I think it's the mix of the lack of activity, my desire to explode ships, and pretty much any ship's being a legitimate target in w-space. And I find this covert operations boat when I've given up for the night and jump between class 3 w-space systems on my way home. There he is, a few klicks from the wormhole, just sitting there.
A target's a target, using impeccable logic, otherwise known as tautology, so I shed my session change cloak to take my best shot. I gain a positive lock, set my autocannons to 'do your worst, my death-dealing chums', and surprisingly catch the cov-ops off-guard. Not only that, but when the Buzzard explodes and ejects its pod in to space I catch that too. It takes a while to lock on to the pod as well, which I only realise when I am moving to scoop the corpse is owing to my forgetting to turn on the sensor booster.
What I also notice when moving to scoop the corpse is the Myrmidon battlecruiser warping to the wormhole. I wonder what he's doing here, and whether I should engage whilst scooping and looting my plunder. What he's doing here, it seems, is leaving. The Myrmidon jumps to C3b, where I just came from, leaving me to grab the corpse and loot the wreck. I then give chase, expecting to be too slow anyway, and then realising on jumping back that it's probably best I was too slow. I am now polarised, after all.
Somehow I've podded a pilot and managed through indecision not to get in to trouble. I need to be more careful. But now that I'm safe I take another look around, seeing the Myrmidon on my directional scanner but with nothing else to go with it. The tower is far out of range, the Myrmidon didn't look to be local anyway, and no one has followed the battlecruiser through the wormhole. What's going on?
I trace the Myrmidon using d-scan to the nearest planet, where I follow him to see the ship sitting stationary and having warped here from the wormhole to drop short by a hundred kilometres. That's awfully bait-like behaviour, but nothing warped to the wormhole after the Myrmidon, nor followed behind me, so if it is bait it is most peculiar bait. Even so, it is floating in space nowhere near having a wormhole for a convenient exit. If I engage, one of us is exploding.
I'd rather the explosion be the Myrmidon, and as Fin is returning from failing to excite potential ambushers—and something about hauling ore—I can perhaps afford to wait for a little support. I take the time Fin takes to get home and swap for a more suitable ship to get closer to the Myrmidon. It takes a little while to close the gap whilst flying cloaked, but I get within warp scrambler range without the battlecruiser budging an inch. It's all a bit suspicious.
If this battlecruiser isn't bait, why was finding it so easy? The pilot could have made a safe spot, or be moving in an arbitrary direction as fast as his engines can thrust him. Or both. It's circumstances like this that potentially make real bait so easy to take. Sometimes capsuleers really are so oblivious to their surroundings or established practices. Then again, I suppose that includes the baited. I'm about to find out.
Fin has made it back to this system, and I've called for her to warp to my position. I may as well engage the Myrmidon now and hopefully give Fin a chance to evade should I get in to trouble. But, nope, the Myrmidon sits there and takes my initial abuse, apparently on top of whatever abuse it has already taken. Targeting the ship sees that it has almost no armour left already. That's the result of either a shoddy manufacturer or some previous combat. And as Fin drops in to inflict more damage, and the capsuleer starts pleading for some kind of mercy, I suspect this battlecruiser has recently fled some Sleepers.
It's the Myrmidon pilot's first foray in to w-space, so he says. I almost feel bad for blowing up his ship. And it does explode, quite nicely too. I do actually feel bad about locking on to the pod and shooting it on reflex, just as the pilot is explaining his situation, but thankfully the first volley misses and I am able to deactivate my guns before I creak it open. As much as I like my corpse collection, I'm not entirely heartless. I offer our new pod buddy the high-sec exit we've found, but he prefers to take the clone express. I admire his resolve.
He seemed nice. His corpse can sit at the tea party table, and not in the pile with most of the others. Fin even sends him a little note of encouragement. I hope he doesn't see it as condescending. And even though podding a player new to w-space isn't exactly an ideal hunt, we are here to keep w-space dangerous for whoever happens to be around. And if we can't make it dangerous for whoever we find, that should be because those we find are making it dangerous for us. As it should be.