A new signature in the home system isn't much to get excited about, but performing a blanket scan and also seeing a ship is, particularly when it looks like I should be alone. Warping to get within directional scanner range of the ship has core probes visible but no ship. My keen intuition suspects a wormhole has opened in to our system. I reckon I can scan quickly enough to resolve the new wormhole before the scout realises what's happening. It's a good plan, if it weren't for the Dominix sitting on top of the wormhole as I resolve it. Still, the battleship gives me a fat target for my probes to aim for, so I find the wormhole quickly anyway, recalling my probes as I do. I doubt I'll need them again any time soon.
The Dominix, and his pal in the Helios covert operations boat now visible on d-scan, have probably seen my probes. Even so, I warp across to see what will happen, and, indeed, there is the Dominix on the wormhole. Two Dominices, in fact. No, three. Dammit, people, make up your bloody minds. Okay, four. Four Dominix battleships just kinda ambling around. They're a little spread out from the wormhole too, which is a bit odd. They clearly aren't trying to kill the wormhole. Are they looking for trouble? Or just trying to provoke it? Of course, that all assumes the first one updated d-scan on entering the system and saw my probes, instead of relying on his scout.
The wormhole crackles again, but it's not another Dominix. This time a Zephyr exploration boat appears. Oh, okay, and a fifth Dominix, appearing moments after the Zephyr. The first ship warps away, the battleships a minute later in the same direction. With an anomaly in that direction, I suppose the Zephyr is getting a decent warp-in position for the battleships. I also suppose they either didn't see my probes or don't care. And as I warp in to the anomaly to shadow the fleet, it is quite possible that they don't care that they saw probes. One of those stupid mobile tractor units has been dropped next to the huddled battleships.
MTUs are really tough to kill, relatively speaking. They are harder to destroy than your average Noctis salvager, which seems to be a reasonable comparison, and that they will be guarded by the rat-killing fleet makes them pretty much untouchable. An MTU may be a fine idea in empire space, where loot perhaps needs to be made easier to collect or it will just be left, but it's the only source of reliable income in w-space. Sleeper wrecks are never left to decay, not unless one pilot actively stops another from collecting them. The role of the MTU to bundle everything up in to one convenient package just makes stealing other people's loot difficult-to-impossible in w-space.
At least the Dominices don't appear to be fitted with salvager modules in a utility slot, or I'd just give up now. The ships aren't moving, so they are probably collecting all the loot as they go. The best I can hope for is popping a ship coming to salvage the wrecks, and even then it won't give me much beyond the explosion. It won't lose the other pilots much either. Forgive me if I see the MTU as another good idea that doesn't work in w-space.
The first site is cleared and off the ships warp, leaving the looted wrecks and the MTU behind. No salvager enters the system or site yet, so I follow the battleships. A second MTU is deployed in the second anomaly. It looks like I have a wait ahead of me. Whilst I bide my time, I make a perch in the third anomaly, where the Zephyr is just milling around. It's just a matter of watching and waiting, shadowing the fleet and making perches where appropriate. It's a little boring, to be honest, so when I see the Zephyr scanning whilst sitting in a rather easily found position around the first planet, I can't help but consider taking a shot at the tiny ship. It's not much of a prize, and will bag me zero loot, but at least I could ambush something. I'm still unconvinced an unescorted salvager will come this way.
Decision made. The Zephyr warps before I can make up my mind. It's back to following the fleet, who bounce in to the first anomaly to pick up the MTU before they continue in to the second cleared anomaly and scoop the MTU there. The probes disappear, as does the Zephyr from d-scan, and although I fully suspect the third MTU to be scooped before the fleet leaves that doesn't happen. I warp to the wormhole and watch using d-scan, but when a whole lot of nothing happens I drop on to my perch in the third anomaly to see the Dominices just kinda staring at the MTU for a few minutes. Ah, I see. A Noctis is on d-scan now, come to salvage all the wrecks, neatly collected in to salvaging range so he doesn't even have to move. Remember when salvaging was interesting? Yeah, me too.
I'm expecting the Noctis to warp in amongst the Dominix battleships. After all, what's the point of having five big, powerful ships available if you don't use them to guard your squishy industrial ship? Well, I suppose if you think the system you are in is closed and has no one home you may get lax about security. Chalk another one up to going off-line in a safe spot far away from the tower. The Noctis is actually in the first cleared anomaly, according to d-scan. I first think I should wait in the second anomaly, but reconsider. It may be better to see what he's doing in the first one, see how he operates, so that I can be better prepared for my potential ambush. And he's sitting perfectly still in the middle of the cluster of wrecks. Perfect.
Now on to the second anomaly, where I lie in wait. The Noctis warps in, the Dominices remain in the system but not with their salvager. I get closer and wait for the right moment to strike. I have to assume that any wrecks he doesn't salvage will be wasted, so even though some loot will be lost in an explosion it is probably better to let him sweep up as many wrecks as possible. Yes, even the large Sleeper wrecks, you tool. Salvage them, dammit. There they go. Okay, go for it. I decloak, lock on to the Noctis, and start shooting.
I overheat my guns immediately. A Noctis isn't exactly a hard target, but I am well aware of the Dominix fleet just a short warp away. They probably aren't fitted with warp disruption modules, and will take a while to lock on to me, but I'd rather this ambush be as clean as possible. My overheated autocannons do the job nicely. The Noctis is going down. And when he goes, he goes with a beautiful explosion.
The pod flees from my further attentions, sadly, but that still leaves the wreck. I draw close, open the wreck, and loot it of the surviving salvage just as the Dominices warp in right on top of me. The sight of five giant space potatoes is enough to instil a certain sense of immediacy, as well as a little panic. I even miss the perch in this anomaly and instead warp to a different perch. Never mind, I get clear.
That was nice. It could have been better, had all the loot not been collected by the mobile tractor unit for the lazy and risk-averse. I just get a bit of salvage. Not the good stuff either. That all got destroyed in the explosion. And, sure, it was a fine explosion, but bagging the loot always made the afterglow of the ambush more enjoyable. I have to wonder why the Noctis didn't just warp away, though, given that it had three warp core stabilisers fitted.