Crow on Hound

14th February 2014 – 5.22 pm

I'll just have a relaxing pootle around tonight. Unless space has other ideas for me, of course. An extra wormhole in the home system could give me options, but only if I fancy diving through a dying K162 to deadly class 6 system without a current known entrance back in to w-space. And I don't, just to be clear. Hey, I hope whoever came this way didn't touch our stuff, like our static wormhole. I warp across to take a look and, thankfully, the connection to class 3 w-space is looking healthy. Good.

Jumping to C3a and updating my directional scanner sees a tower, some ships, and probes. The Heron frigate and Cheetah covert operations boat look benign enough, but the Raptor interceptor feels a bit menacing, even from this distance. But never mind that. Checking my notes sees that I was here nine months ago, when I found a tower and a static exit to high-sec, and the tower turns out to be in the same place. That saves some time. All ships on d-scan are inside the force field, only the Cheetah is piloted, and I can probably assume it is him who is scanning.

I'm tempted to loiter on our wormhole in my own interceptor, but how many other wormholes are in this system, and how curious the Cheetah? If there are multiple wormholes, the scout could be sucked down a different set of connections before even considering our K162, and that's assuming that the pilot wants to scout instead of simply categorising the signatures in his system. I think it best to scan first. Launching probes and blanketing the system reveals a mere eight anomalies and eight signatures, and that won't take long to sift through.

The high-sec wormhole is obvious enough, and the rest is just gas. I still won't get in an interceptor just yet, though, but a stealth bomber seems like the right choice of ship today. Small and agile, fully covert, and no recalibration delay on decloaking. Unlike an interceptor, I can shadow the Cheetah in its own system and actively give chase, rather than having to lie in wait where I can't see and don't know what's happening. I take my Loki strategic cruiser home and swap it at the tower for a Manticore, feeling strangely pleased with myself for not sticking with the Loki for once, and return to C3a.

I bounce off the high-sec wormhole, so that my rough bookmark made from the scanning interface can be made more accurate from the wormhole locus itself, before loitering with intent at the tower. It's good timing for Aii to come on-line. I give him a sitrep and he grabs an interceptor to sit on the wormhole. I can be the eyes in C3a whilst he sits in the deadlier ship. Even if the Cheetah pilot is only interested in their high-sec connection—and it looks like it leads to Aridia, of all the luck—I can see if he goes that way and call Aii in to warp to that wormhole for his return. Space becomes easier to cope with when there are more of you.

The probes disappear from d-scan. And the probes return to d-scan. The probes disappear, and the probes reappear. I don't know what method of scanning this pilot is using, but it doesn't seem particularly efficient. Ah, movement! The Cheetah only swings around towards a hangar, but when the cov-ops is swapped for a Hound stealth bomber, the bomber then aligns towards the high-sec wormhole and warps, cloaking on leaving the tower. Naturally, I follow behind, not quite sure why I'm shadowing a Hound and not a Cheetah, updating d-scan to catch a wormhole transit should it occur before I land. It doesn't.

I stick to the high-sec wormhole, almost sure the pilot will want to at least record the exit, but he doesn't. The Hound appears not on my overview but on d-scan. It doesn't look to be at the tower either. There's a reason for that. 'Our wormhole, flare', says Aii. That'll be the Hound. Catch him if you can, Aii, I'm heading your way now. I decloak en route to our K162, as Aii tells me that he's 'got him, come'. But I stay, stealth bomber decloaked and ready to catch a Hound fleeing back the way it came. There's no need, though. Interceptors really are the natural predators of stealth bombers, and the Hound melts to Aii's Crow. The ejected pilot's pod warps star-wards, back to our wormhole, and jumps, easily evading my attention on his return to his tower.

Pod of the Hound returns to its home system

Wreck of the Hound created by Aii's Crow

That was a good result. I ignore the pilot and jump home to see the lovely sight of a fresh stealth bomber wreck, which I loot and shoot. Aii's a happy bunny too, getting a good kill within a few minutes of coming on-line. He was a little nervous about piloting the Crow, not having had much experience in an interceptor. That's fine, and I would say he's gained a bit now. I take our well-earned booty back to the tower and drop it in a hangar, swapping my Manticore for the Loki once more, and head back to C3a. The pilot may be gone, which is fair dos, but I have that high-sec wormhole to continue my pootling around.

  1. 2 Responses to “Crow on Hound”

  2. Frigates are so much fun, always makes me happy when I get to crack one out for something. I should really rebuild my Rocket SB sometime, never got to use it for hunting Covops like I wanted to.

    By BayneNothos on Feb 15, 2014

  3. Yeah, it's always fun to fly anything quite so agile, and it's a thrill to actually be able to catch a cov-ops or two.

    By pjharvey on Feb 16, 2014

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