Harrying a Hurricane

24th April 2010 – 3.16 pm

I go out for a roam. The earlier roam didn't find the Loki strategic cruiser, nor thankfully its friends, but I explored a few systems in the process. What I didn't do, apparently, was venture in to the connected class 1 w-space system, which is where I now head in my Manticore stealth bomber. The intermediate systems are still clear of ships, but this class 1 system shows a Hurricane battlecruiser on d-scan. And then a Sleeper wreck appears! It looks like I have a potential target.

Making the assumption that the Hurricane is in a Sleeper anomaly, the simplest of the sites and coincidentally the easiest to find, I punch my on-board system scanner. The scanner takes a while to get results without using probes, and can only find anomalies, but it is ideal when looking only for an anomaly. I get a single return signal and warp to the anomaly, but the Hurricane isn't there. He still shows on d-scan, with a couple more Sleeper wrecks, so hopefully he will be busy for a little while, giving me time to return to the tower and swap in to my Buzzard. It also lets the corporation form a small fleet in preparation.

Something prompted me to look at my Buzzard's fitting recently, and I was interested to see that it has a launcher hardpoint. I have only used the Buzzard as a scanning boat, because its ship bonuses make it the obvious choice, but I have so far overlooked any other potential it may have. The frigate-based hull may be fragile, but it doesn't have to be defenceless. I quickly slap on a rocket launcher, throw some rockets in to my hold, and head out to look for the Hurricane. I will try to keep my my Buzzard out of harm's way, but if I am ever caught I will go down shooting.

Back in the class 1 w-space system I start scanning for the still-present Hurricane. I get out of d-scan range of him to launch probes before returning to keep tabs on his presence whilst I scan. Now with the assumption that he's not in an anomaly I start looking for radar and magnetometric sites, which are more difficult and time-consuming to resolve. I try to get some information on his bearing and distance using d-scan first, but I struggle to find the site he is in. In desperation, I warp to the anomalies that are returned on my simple scans, and there he is! I call in the Arazu to warp to my location, whilst making a note that I need to find out the range of the on-board scanner for finding anomalies, as this search could have been made much simpler and performed without probes.

The Arazu warps in and holds his cloak as we watch the Hurricane fight a few Sleepers, still unconcerned about the probes that were visible on d-scan for several minutes. Our plan is to let him defeat the Sleepers and then strike, but plans don't often work as intended. The final Sleeper cruiser sniffs out the Arazu, moving close enough to the recon ship to decloak him, and we are forced in to action. Our Zealot heavy assault ship is called in from the other side of the wormhole and the Arazu locks and warp-scrambles the Hurricane. We have plenty of firepower, and hopefully enough buffer tank as the final Sleeper explodes and calls in a new wave of ships. My colleagues are focussed on the Hurricane and it soon explodes, the pilot's pod warping away cleanly.

I have watched the fight safely from my cloaked Buzzard, taking care not to let any Sleeper ships get too close. I warp out and return to our tower to get a salvaging ship whilst the rest of the fleet stays to finish off the Sleepers, suffering some armour damage in return. Flying back in a salvager, I note that one wormhole on the route is now EOL, so I hope that doesn't collapse, and on d-scan I see a Daredevil Serpentis faction frigate in an intermediate system apparently tackling Sleepers himself, as a couple of wrecks are also visible. Jumping and warping back to meet the fleet, I start salvaging the Sleeper wrecks left behind, as well as the wreck of the Hurricane.

The Sleeper ships the Hurricane killed are displayed as yellow wrecks, indicating they don't belong to our corporation, which makes it more awkward to salvage. A tractor beam cannot be used on yellow wrecks, needing me to fly the Catalyst to each of them in turn to get in range of the salvager modules and loot the hulls. All the wrecks are salvaged without any problems, and the fleet leaves the system cleanly. On the way back to our home system I note that the Daredevil I saw previously is now a Minmatar frigate wreck, and am glad to see the EOL wormhole is still present. We get home safely and deposit our ill-gotten gains in to our stash of loot.

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