Facing a Nemesis

16th January 2010 – 3.58 pm

I am out in w-space in my Manticore stealth bomber. A corporation colleague out scanning for wormholes has seen on his directional scanner poorly defended corporation's tower. He wants to test just how poor the defences are. He guides me through the couple of wormhole jumps, then warps off in his scanning boat to start locating the tower. I could sit cloaked near the wormhole, waiting, but instead want to see if I can find the tower before my partner.

Checking my own d-scan reveals the tower, and I know that towers have to be anchored to moons. As there is only one planet also within range on d-scan, the moon and tower must be in its orbit. I mention the targeted planet to my colleague, and warp to one of its moons at random to start my search. I take a look around when I drop out of warp, but there is nothing here and so I warp to a second moon. During flight, I reason that there is a more intelligent method of finding the moon, and thus tower, one that would also help improve my skills with the d-scan.

The tower is near a moon, and that moon must be in orbit around the nearest planet. I narrow the scan resolution from an all-encompasing 360° angle down to a finer 5° beam and point my scanner towards one of the planet's moons. The tower disappears from the scan results. The d-scan's bearing is related to the direction of the ship's camera, not the ship itself, so to change it I spin my camera view around to the next moon. It will take much less time to use the d-scanner on each moon than to warp to them, only needing the tower to re-appear on d-scan along with a single moon to have found it.

Imagine my surprise when I spin my camera view around for the second scan to find the tower and its shield only 120 km away. I probably should update my overview settings if I am going to be looking for corporation towers more often. I poke my still-scanning colleague, letting him know that I stumbled on the tower's location, and he dashes back to our own tower to jump in to his newly bought Nemesis, the Gallente-designed stealth bomber. My friend is keen to find out if we can knock out the three measly guns protecting the tower. I'm not terribly optimistic myself, but I'm willing to throw a bomb or two around.

I only know the Nemesis has arrived when I am told, as it remains sensibly cloaked. I have meanwhile repositioned myself to be around 30 km away from the tower's guns and ready to fire. We coordinate our bomb launches, after which I recloak. But my partner starts hurling torpedoes at the gun. I didn't realise we'd continue to barrage the gun, but that's okay. I decloak and let loose my own volley of torpedoes, whilst a bomb is launched from the Nemesis. I think he mistimed dropping the cloak and activating the bomb launcher, but he gets it away eventually.

Two impressive explosions follow. The first is the Nemesis's bomb exploding around the gun. The second is the Nemesis being turned in to a wreck. The tower's barely scratched guns retaliated on the Nemesis, reducing it quickly to scrap metal and a bit of salvage. Personally, after having seen how little damage a solid hit of my bomb did to the tower's gun, and realising I am in a relatively flimsy frigate-sized hull, I was content to end the experiment then. Never mind, his pod warps away cleanly, and I salvage a spare bomb from his hold before warping away myself.

Not having learnt the lesson, instead of warping back home I go in search of the second tower seen in a neighbouring system. I am certainly not going to bomb it, even if it weren't heavily defended, but simply would like to practice using the d-scan to locate such objects in space. I think finding the last one was something of a cheat. It is fairly easy to find the right planet, which I warp to, and then I scan each moon in turn until I find the tower. This time, I do it properly, finding the moon to which the tower is anchored and warping to its location.

I drop out of warp sucked in to a bubble some distance off the tower's shields. I don't panic, only navigate myself carefully away from the bubble before taking a look around. The warp bubble holds secure containers, perhaps a lure for opportunists, and all the ships visible on d-scan can all be seen within the tower's shields. It looks like the occupants are currently inactive, perhaps for the best, even if my cloak remains engaged. Content with having found the tower, and been suitably nosy, I jump back to our home w-space system safely.

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