You never can tell who's watching you in w-space. The scout in an Anathema covert operations boat of this class 3 w-space system has moved back in to the force field of his tower, after being decloaked by a colleague in a shuttle, and wisely, considering I was watching. Another minute and I would have got myself in to a position to have taken a potshot at him. The Anathema may be safe, the ten-or-so other pilots may be just floating inside the tower with him, but this Tayra hauler is curiously inching towards the edge of the force field.
Taking a closer look at the Tayra sees its vector taking the ship towards an anchored defence. Quite why he's headed that way I can't say, but the defence gives me a good beacon to warp to. At least, as long as the Tayra continues his path. I don't know if he will, but best to get in to position and be disappointed than have to react quickly and miss the opportunity. I bookmark the appropriate defence and bounce off a nearby moon to get myself nice and close.
The Tayra keeps coming. Now I'm back to my earlier question of how long it will take the tower to lock on to my Loki strategic cruiser. Or, more to the point, how long do I have before I get my ship destroyed just for a simple hauler kill? I think I can risk a short period decloaked near the tower. If the Tayra is fit for hauling its defences should be weak. If it looks like the Tayra is well-tanked I will warp clear.
Here he comes. Outside of the force field now, but I let the Tayra keep coming. The closer the better, for my weapons, for my tactics, and for lessening his chance of escape. Now seems like a good time. I decloak and align my Loki away from the tower, towards a moon, and activate my sensor booster. Once the recalibration finishes I gain a positive lock on the Tayra, disrupt its warp drives, and start shooting.
The shields drop quickly, as does the armour, and as it looks squishy I hang around long enough to see the hauler explode. But no longer. As soon as the explosion comes I am in warp, ignoring the ejected pod, however tempting it may be to try to catch. I get clear and cloak, and realise I have some scratches to my shields. It seems it took about ten seconds for the small gun batteries to lock on to my Loki, but thankfully the warp scrambling batteries take longer, as expected.
I go back to the tower to admire the wreck I created. The Executioner frigate comes out of the force field to take a look too, after making rather fast orbits around the tower up to this point, but I don't think he's admiring the wreck. I see from the kill report that the Tayra was carrying some more defensive batteries, four of them, and three survived the explosion. The frigate can't carry them, neither can the Anathema that comes to take a look, so the wreck remains partially looted.
The locals aren't going to leave the wreck that way, not judging by the way a Raven battleship, Navy Drake battlecruiser, and Caracal cruiser all lurk precipitously close to the edge of the force field, like they are protecting an asset. Their presence is explained when another pilot prepares a Bestower hauler and starts chugging towards the wreck. They are going to collect what's theirs. And I'm going to let them. Or, at least, I'm not going to get foolishly caught for nothing.
'Why don't you bomb it?' Mick has the best ideas, and reminds us that we have other ships in our hangar. Fin's available and at our tower, but she has to hurry. The Bestower is almost looting the wreck as I ask her to get a Manticore to my position. Well, not quite my position. I bounce off a moon to get in to optimal bomb-launch range, in time for Fin to have entered the system. She warps to me, as I manoeuvre out of her way to avoid getting decloaked, and we praise the warp acceleration changes that get her in to position so quickly.
The Tayra wreck is looted and the Bestower is already turned back towards the force field, its multiple-ship escort also out of the force field ready to engage anyone rash enough to try to catch their second hauler with a strategic cruiser. I think it is safe to say they were not expecting a stealth bomber to appear, not by the way Fin decloaks, launches a bomb and a volley of torpedoes, and warps clear without hassle.
I watch all of this from my vantage point, particularly enjoying the bit where the Bestower explodes with the bomb's detonation. I'm not the only one who enjoys the show. A capsuleer unaffiliated with us or the locals pipes up in the local channel, just to show how entertaining this is. You never can tell who's watching you in w-space.
The three batteries that were collected by the Bestower are now reduced to two in the wreck of the Bestower. What will the locals do about them? They will prepare a Noctis salvager to collect them, apparently. That makes sense. It has the capacity, and can be fit to survive one bomb, maybe two. If we can't kill the ship, what can we do? 'Shall I torpedo the wreck?' I consider this for a second. Sure, why not.
The Manticore has no recalibration delay, so can target on decloaking. Fin aligns her Manticore ready for warp, decloaks, unloads a volley of torpedoes at the wreck, and gets clear. The wreck is gone, taking the remaining defences with it. The locals may not be happy with that result, but at least it provides a resolution. We also found it rather amusing. For a pair of hauler kills, this has been a most entertaining evening.