Hacking open a hacking Heron

16th January 2014 – 5.25 pm

The second wormhole in low-sec is a K162 from class 3 w-space, one not obviously being collapsed by an Orca. More's the pity. Jumping back to w-space has circumstances return to normal, with a tower and no ships visible on my direction scanner. Normal circumstances mean normal operating procedures. I warp away from the wormhole, launch scanning probes, and perform a blanket scan of the system. Twenty three anomalies, nine signatures, still no ships.

I locate the tower and sift through the signatures for wormholes. There's one, but it's a K162 from low-sec. There's another, a K162 from class 2 w-space looking more attractive. And a third wormhole connects from null-sec, so I know where I'm going. To a system in The Spire, so that I can finally add that image to my collection. Now back in to and across C3c, and to C2b.

Two towers and no ships has the activity levels not picking up yet, but warping away from the wormhole to launch probes has my bumping in to two more towers, this time with two ships. D-scan shows the Orca industrial command ship at one tower, the Epithal hauler at the other, and I warp across to check on the Epithal first, stubbornly believing it to be the easier of the two ships to catch. Maybe it's just more likely to leave the tower than the Orca.

I find the Epithal piloted. I don't know if that's good or bad, but on the assumption that it is good I float nearby and wait and watch it for a bit. A wasteful bit. As I wait, Aii checks through our static wormhole and Fin comes on-line, and still the Epithal does nothing. Maybe I should head back towards my colleagues. Or maybe I should check that second tower out here, now that a pod appears to be sharing it with the Orca.

The Orca is empty, the pod is inside the force field of the other tower. Will this capsuleer do something? Um, no? No. He goes off-line. Whatever. I'll head back, taking me through a now-dying wormhole to C3c, and from there to low-sec. A Heron frigate is somewhere in the low-sec system, which I find floating near one of the local stations. Given the young age of the pilot, I consider it probably best to leave him alone, right up to the point that the Heron warps away. Now he looks more like a valid target.

Heron sitting outside a station in low-sec

The frigate isn't in the sites I scanned earlier, but there seems to be a fair bit of churn in the empire systems. Launching probes and scanning for the Heron finds a new relic site, the Heron inside it, and now I'm thinking he's fair game. I warp in to take a look, and bumping off a structure and getting decloaked tips my hand. I get a positive lock on the frigate and, well, I don't suppose I can say I disrupted his warp engines when a couple of quick volleys of autocannon fire rip the tiny ship to shreds.

Heron hacks in low-sec

Hacking Heron explodes to my Loki's autocannon fire

Being low-sec I let the pod go, as if I had much choice, and loot the wreck and leave the site. The newly nude capsuleer tries to mock me in the local communications channel, to make me feel guilty about losing him a bunch of ISK. I'm not averse to compensating bad luck, but this capsuleer is being a dick about his loss. Not only that, he had a Tech II cargo scanner fitted to his cheap frigate. He had ISK, and chose to risk it in low-sec. Let's hope he also paid for insurance, or maybe he'll just get a new transfer of ISK from a rich uncle.

No guilt-trip for me tonight

I think that's it for me for tonight. It's not a big kill, or a good one, but it's something. Kinda. Popping a young pilot in a frigate is difficult to justify, and there could be an argument that doing so will keep capsuleers out of low-sec. But encouraging pilots to come to low-sec by not engaging them seems like a perverse tactic. When do we start attacking them? And when we do, won't that stop them coming back anyway? With my safety set to yellow, if that lets me attack another ship is that all the justification I need, or are there moral implications to be considered too?

  1. 6 Responses to “Hacking open a hacking Heron”

  2. You baddie :(

    By Mortlake on Jan 16, 2014

  3. Is anyone surprised?

    By pjharvey on Jan 16, 2014

  4. His logic made me laugh heartily, the day is made.

    By Hana on Jan 17, 2014

  5. Sometimes I compensate very new players when I pop them in our wormhole. I'd like to think advice like, "Don't sit at the sun uncloaked and scanning!" is more worthwhile though.

    Thanks to this blog I am in wormhole space and having a blast! keep up the good work Penny!

    By Churoman Westinflo on Jan 17, 2014

  6. I don't think there is any wrong in shooting newbies in low sec. They are clearly warned when entering into systems <0.5 that what may happen next could be bad. I think you are absolutely correct in your thought process. I would rather see a newbie lose a hacking heron, or a venture instead of coming to low sec in his battleship with t1 small guns and the skills for large guns in his cargo! At least at this point he's been warned and should be able to recover his loss instead of potentially being completely bankrupt and rage quitting!

    By Marq Aideron on Jan 17, 2014

  7. Thanks, guys. I don't think there's much difference in engaging a hacking ship in a Loki or in my own Heron or Buzzard, so the class of ship isn't an issue. As you say, Marq, if they enter low-sec they should at least be warned of the dangers.

    By pjharvey on Jan 20, 2014

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