Stopping a Stabber

21st April 2010 – 7.38 pm

It's time to roam. I jump in my Manticore stealth bomber and prepare to scout the neighbouring w-space systems for targets. Even though, or maybe because, we pop and pod a Probe pilot earlier I am not expecting to find much, particularly as our connecting systems are unoccupied, but I won't know for sure without looking. I jump to our neighbouring system and find it empty. Checking the bookmarks made earlier I note that the two EOL wormholes have now collapsed, the lack of activity perhaps indicative that no new ones have opened in to this system. I warp and jump in to the class 1 system further along. A Stabber is on the directional scanner, with some Sleeper wrecks. I'm tingling.

I move stealthily away from the wormhole and activate my on-board system scanner, taking thirty seconds to find a couple of anomalies. I warp to the first and find no ship, neither is the Stabber in the second. By this time, a colleague has joined me in his Hound stealth bomber and he suggests the good plan of covering the two exit wormholes in the system. He heads to the wormhole leading to low-sec space, I go to the high-sec one. I find the Stabber as I drop out of warp but, sadly, there is no longer a wormhole at that location. Sadly for the Stabber, at least. With his exit gone I am free to lock him and start firing, engaging my warp disruption module to prevent him fleeing, having called for my colleague to warp to me.

I have to admit that I didn't know what a Stabber was when I saw it on d-scan, nor do I really have time to check a database to find out, so I fly in to the situation blind. Having a name like 'Stabber' is suitably threatening, particularly as I spot him on d-scan with some Sleeper wrecks. Not wanting to be stabbed, I try to maintain a healthy range whilst keeping him engaged. Unfortunately, I mis-gauge my warp disruption module's range and it deactivates, allowing the Stabber to warp off. But, as it had warped to the location of the now-gone high-sec exit, it probably hasn't got anywhere to go. My colleague in the Hound uses d-scan to re-locate the Stabber around the ninth moon of the fourth planet, and we warp in.

Not wanting to engage without being able to disrupt his warp drive, we remain cloaked until we can get in to range. However, the Stabber is faster than our cloaked stealth bombers, and we can't risk decloaking to use a reheat or micro-warp drive. The Hound warps away to try to warp in to a better position, but before he returns the Stabber warps off. He is no longer on d-scan, which possibly indicates he has logged off. But there is an outer planet that is out of range of d-scan from where we are. I warp to the outer planet to see if d-scan picks up the Stabber out there, and serendipitously drop on top of the Stabber. I decloak, lock, and disrupt his warp engines, this time making sure to keep in range. My colleague joins me and we make quick work in destroying the Stabber. The pilot's pod loiters for us to destroy too, perhaps in resignation of finding any other way out of w-space.

We loot and leave. Once we return to the tower, investigation shows that a Stabber is a basic Minmatar cruiser, not harmless but not particularly threatening either. We also learn that this Stabber was fitted for salvaging, having no weapons, which explains why it was alone in the system with wrecks, and why it didn't fire a single shot back at us. It turns out I didn't need to maintain a healthy distance in the first engagement, which led to my warp disruption module deactivating, although I wasn't to know. Also, the pilot of the Stabber is from the same corporation as the Probe pilot we caught earlier. Although the two engagements are hours apart, it is perhaps a little reckless to return to a w-space system where a pilot of yours has been podded. Then again, if the high-sec exit wormhole had not collapsed he would simply have jumped through and escaped. Our successful kill is only due to the circumstantial disappearance of a wormhole.

The wormhole's collapse makes it less likely for new visitors to show up, and being the mean aggressors we feel comfortable heading in to clear some of the sites of specific Sleeper interest in the class 1 system. We clear two magnetometric sites, the second holding a deserted Talocan frigate, the little sister to the cruiser, before moving on to a radar site. Blasting through the Sleepers lets us clear the two remaining anomalies in the system as well. The profit from the class 1 system is minor compared to what we are used to from more dangerous systems, but it has been good for us today. The system has offered us exploration, capsuleer hunting, and Sleeper slaying, making it a varied and interesting day.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.