Phew, sites are building up again in the home system. We have a good bunch of anomalies we really ought to claim for ourselves sooner rather than later, and a handful of signatures could be interesting. I launch scanning probes to find out, and resolve a new pocket of gas and a second wormhole to accompany our static connection. It's a K162 from class 4 w-space, a class of w-space I'm fairly familiar with. I'll see what it looks like on the other side of the wormhole.
It looks pretty blank. My directional scanner shows me nothing, although I see a cataclysmic variable phenomenon in the background. That does something, but apart from maybe affecting ships' capacitors I'm not quite sure what. If it was important I'd probably remember. And as there's nothing apparent in space it doesn't really matter right now. But I launch probes, perform a blanket scan, and explore to see if I should pay attention to the phenomenon.
My probes show me fifteen anomalies, twelves signatures, and seven ships. Ships, you say? What are they, and where? Despite my dismissing my notes on entering the system as being too old, to the point of not mentioning that my last visit was three-and-a-half years ago, the tower that was present then is perhaps still present now. At least, a tower is around the same moon as it was several years ago. It holds the ships too, with a Venture mining frigate, Tayra hauler, Noctis salvager, and Cheetah and Buzzard covert operations boat all inside the force field, only the Noctis piloted.
But that's only five ships. My probes showed me seven. Perhaps that the salvaging ship is piloted is an indication of what and where the other ships are. I repeat the blanket scan whilst warping to the remaining volume of space I've yet to pierce with d-scan. Still seven ships, and the extra two are both Tengus, without a second tower to be seen. There are no Sleeper wrecks visible though, but only for a minute. As I sweep d-scan around the present anomalies I find the two strategic cruisers in one of them, and now with an added wreck of a Sleeper battleship.
The wreck is indicative of the first ship of the first wave of that particular anomaly, which I am intimate with myself. This bodes well for ambushing a Noctis salvaging behind the Tengus, although that the ships have only just started no doubt means I have a bit of a wait in store. Whilst I wait I warp in to the anomaly, confirm the Tengus are indeed engaging in Sleeper combat innocuously enough, and make a perch. I also wonder why they bothered to open their static wormhole.
K162s are dangerous, much more so than outbound connections. Outbound connections will be immediately obvious to any awake pilot when it is pinged by the ridiculous dumbscovery scanner in to their system, whereas a K162, because already known, remains a passive entrance in to a system. I've known this for months. We recently nearly fell victim to this very threat, where a fleet came through a K162 to ambush us when a new connection opened up further down the constellation. Now, as if it were necessary to hammer the point home, a K162 will bring ruin to this ISK-making operation.
And, actually, why wait for the Noctis? HR turns up and has Legion-piloting skills. We could go for the Tengus themselves and get us a proper kill. In order to do that, I should change my ship too. I could fly tackle in my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser, but if the connection between our two systems isn't being monitored, and is nicely out of d-scan range of the tower and targets, I could swap in to a covert neuty Legion strategic cruiser and apply more hurt to the Tengus. We could potentially catch both of them.
As HR finds the bigger, badder ship-killing Legion I warp home, get to our tower, and swap in to our covert Legion, returning to C4a immediately afterwards. I warp back to my perch in the anomaly, updating d-scan as I pass the tower to see no change in the number of ships and so, presumably, the number of pilots, and land to see the Tengus finishing off the second wave of Sleepers. I think we can let them clear almost all of the anomaly before jumping them, as it will stop the Sleepers from getting in our way too much.
I have a bit of time before springing the ambush. I warp in to take a closer look at the two ships. It's possible that both ships are using local shield repair modules, but more likely that the are sharing shield and capacitor between the two ships for greater efficiency. And, of course, they are transferring shield and capacitor juice, because it's generally a better configuration, and explains why they are staying so close together. That should be fine, if we concentrate our energy neutralisers on one ship and weapons on the other.
Back to my perch, and to watch and wait as the final wave of Sleepers is whittled down. HR is now sitting on the K162 in our home system, ready to come in when needed. Soon, soon. Two Sleeper battleships left, I warp in to the site to get within range. I land a little over ten kilometres from the two Tengus, which is pretty much perfect. I get a bit closer and call HR to jump in to the system and hold. The penultimate battleship explodes, leaving one more and our targets. Warp to me, HR.
I watch d-scan for our new colleague in the Legion, wanting to wait as long as possible before revealing myself. I don't want to spook the Tengus early, but neither do I want them to be spooked by an unknown ship on d-scan and bug out whilst I wait for my decloaking sensor recalibration delay to end. I must be a bit edgy, as I can't wait any longer. I decloak, get my Legion in a reasonable orbit around the Tengus, and, once the recalibration delay ends, lock on to the primary target.
I am to disrupt the warp engines of the primary target, HR the engines of the secondary and energy neutraliser target. I get a positive lock, get my offensive systems hot, and sadly watch as the second Tengu reacts quickly to my appearance, warping clear a moment before HR's Legion drops near to mine. It's a bit of a shame that we lose one target, but at least it makes this combat straightforward. Not only do we have just the one Tengu to completely neutralise and shoot, but he won't be receiving any energy or shield transfers.
The pilot realises his Tengu is dead in the vacuum too. He stops all aggressive acts and, once his aggression timer subsequently drops, ejects from his ship. I don't blame him. In that minute we've already burnt through the Tengu's shields and are hitting it with heavy armour damage. I aim for the pod but, with an alert pilot and without a sensor booster, he flees easily enough. With d-scan remaining clear of any assistance, the Tengu already close to destruction, and a Sleeper ready to finish the job if we don't, we fire the last few shots that sees the Tengu explode.
Loot and shoot, I manage to grab all but a few missiles from the Tengu wreck, and fling both of our Legions back towards the wormhole home. That was a nice kill. Two would have been better, but I am certainly happy with popping one half-billion ISK ship. The fairly shiny Gistum A-type shield transfer module even survived the explosion, which is nice. And HR gets his first w-space kill with us. I hope there will be many more.