Someone needs to suck it. All the gas in our home system, I mean. There's loads of it, and I can't be bothered. But I will scan, because that's what I do. And even more gas has floated in to our system. I dunno, we'll have an atmosphere soon, and then where will we be, with our ships flying through a fluid? It just won't work.
Two more sites, two wormholes. The second wormhole, not our static connection, comes in from class 2 w-space, which seems like a good place to start tonight's exploration. Updating my directional scanner after jumping to C2a even catches my attention, as there are a dozen or so combat ships along with a single tower. Sure, some corporations leave all sorts of ships floating empty, but these look like they have a common purpose.
One combat site is in the system and the ships aren't there, and there are no visible wrecks, so maybe I've stumbled on to a tower bash. But, no, pointing d-scan at the tower sees only the Prophecy battlecruiser there, with the bunch of battlecruisers and drones elsewhere. More curiously, a Helios covert operations boat decloaks a hundred kilometres from the wormhole and launches probes. But back to the errant ships.
Now that I have my head up, I can see that a couple of customs offices in the system have active reinforcement timers. Maybe there is a structure bash in progress, just a different structure to a tower. That could even mean the fleet is local and wanting to transfer ownership of the offices outside the normal diplomatic route.
Pointing d-scan at planets with customs offices finds the fleet easily enough, and I warp in to be close, but not too close, although it's only in warp that I start to wonder how far would actually be not too close. Thankfully, the ships are pretty much hugging the customs office, and my cloak isn't threatened. I can also match this fleet to the Helios pilot, although my assumption that they are local remains an assumption, not having visited the tower yet.
The question now is whether I can do anything to disrupt the fleet. It's possible that none of the ships have any warp disruptors or similar, fit purely for damage, but this many ships being fit purely for damage would not give me much opportunity to shred one of what I'm expecting to be glass cannon battlecruisers. I've only recently experienced a small fleet melting my Loki strategic cruiser in short order, and it wasn't much fun. But I could probably throw a bomb at these ships, see how brittle their tanks really are.
Grabbing a stealth bomber and launching a bomb seems a relatively safe prospect. My main concern is the Helios spotted near the wormhole. He may have seen my Loki enter, and he may well see me go out and return in a new ship, relaying that information to the fleet. I suppose the worst that could happen is that they expect my bombing run, and catch and pop my ship. But bombers are relatively cheap, hence my choice, and the wormhole is healthy and there are no massive ships visible. I doubt my probe-less Manticore would get isolated quite so obliviously.
I jump home, grab the bomber, and go back to C2a, warping back to the customs office to be roughly in bombing range. Not that it matters, given that the fleet has warped away. Clearly I was spotted, but at least I have been a disrupting influence, all without having to throw a bomb. Mission success? Then again, it's interesting to see the fleet isn't on d-scan at the local tower. I also spot a Slasher frigate on the wormhole home, which doesn't really concern me too much, but where are the rest?
As best as I can determine without probes, the fleet is in a safe spot around a nearby moon. Well, most of them are, a Vexor cruiser warps back to the customs office, relaunches his drones, and continues shooting. I may as well take this time to manoeuvre in to a better position, not only getting the distance right but also getting the rough position of the fleet between me and a distant planet, so that I can warp away almost immediately. And here come the battlecruisers: a Tornado, two Talos, and an Oracle.
The third Talos warps in as I am just about as ready as I can be. I align my Manticore towards the fleet, decloak at a range of roughly thirty kilometres, and launch my bomb. I give it a few seconds, just to watch it go, then activate warp to the far planet. I'm clear, and get a damage notification about helping the fleet damage the customs office. Nothing about the ships, though, and there are no wrecks on d-scan. Oh well.
I turn around at the planet and warp back to see if I've even ruffled any feathers, and maybe I have. A Scythe cruiser warps in—so there must be a wormhole over near that moon, as ships aren't conjured from empty space—and starts transferring shield energy to the damaged battlecruisers. That's encouraging, but the time delay between bomb launches isn't. I manoeuvre back in to position, albeit from a different angle this time—don't be predictable, kids—but by the time I can launch again the Scythe has finished.
I could launch a second bomb, but seeing that the first one didn't pop any ships, and the Scythe has almost certainly restored every ship to Bristol fashion, I doubt the outcome would be any different. Still, I tried, and had the Scythe not reacted so quickly, perhaps thanks to their Helios scout spotting me, I could have got a kill or two. But for now I should probably take myself home and think about doing something else.