A new day, a new signature. It's a new gas site, how mundane. I'll check next door for more interesting circumstances instead. Huh, the static wormhole is sitting in the same spot as yesterday, and here's me fiddling with scanning probes. Never mind, I've found it now, let's jump through and see what's happening.
Updating my directional scanner on our K162 in the class 3 w-space system sees two towers and a Magnate. No probes, so I suppose the frigate is idling at one of the towers. It would definitely be a bit weird if he were idling at both. Now there's a Viator transport too. It's not in space but at one of the towers, the one with the Magnate. I'll see what he's doing.
Both ships are piloted, both are members of a two-capsuleer corporation. Maybe they're having a shareholders meeting. Or they could be moving in, as I hear the sounds of defences being brought on-line. Dunno how, we're in space. Whatever, the defences are being installed sensibly, without the Viator leaving the force field.
Just as I'm thinking nothing will happen the Viator moves to a hangar. Bah, he only swaps to an Anathema covert operations boat and warps out of the tower. I see where he goes, but only once he's gone, my external camera still broken and unable to track a ship aligning for warp. I don't see probes being launched, so I'm guessing the cov-ops exited to empire space. I'm wrong, though.
The Anathema returns to the tower, still no probes visible. I suppose he could be hiding them, I know some pilots can do that, but I don't think he's planning to scan, not when the Anathema is swapped for a Venture mining frigate. I think I should launch probes whilst the pilot is distracted from watching d-scan. With nowhere out of d-scan range, I warp to the planet, launch probes and throw them out of the system, and recloak my Proteus strategic cruiser without waiting for the launcher to reload. I hope that was quick enough.
Back to the tower, and the Venture is gone. Gone from the tower, not from the system, and it looks to be where the Anathema warped to. Not a wormhole, then. I warp to the planet I suspect to be nearest to the Venture and start narrowing down his position using d-scan. It's a bit tricky to get the Venture in a five-degree beam, but a bit of perseverance manages it. The range is easier to gauge, and seems to be pretty much 3 AU.
I arrange my combat scanning probes around where the Venture should be, calling new recruit Matha to warp to me as I do. Her Buzzard cov-ops doesn't have weapons, but it does have tackle and will be quicker to lock on to the Venture. The Buzzard will come in handy. We are ready. I call my probes in to scan and get a perfect hit. Recall the probes, send us in to warp to the Venture, and recall my probes a second time. Dumb button.
I punch d-scan as we're in warp, and keep on punching it. I may have anger issues, but the Venture remains, remains, and is still in the gas site when we drop out of warp within a few kilometres of its unmoving hull. Our ships decloak as one, Matha's Buzzard getting a lock on the Venture and my Proteus taking its sweet time. The Venture moves, I'm still waiting for a positive lock, the Venture warps.
It was close, and good practice with the hunt, but without much of a result. The tiny ship took too long to lock for me, the Proteus lacking mid slots for a sensor booster, and Matha says she'll buy a faction scrambler the next time she's near a decent hub in empire space. Let's hope we can find more targets to make that future purchase worthwhile.