Bumping in to an acquaintance

27th April 2010 – 5.49 pm

Our scan man is out scanning, assessing potential threats before we consider clearing some sites of specific Sleeper interest. Today's neighbouring system is unoccupied, which is a good start, but the next system along has a tower with a Moa and Buzzard inside its shields. We will need to be cautious about their presence if we decide to head in to Sleeper combat sites. A couple of colleagues wonder if we can tempt the other corporation's capsuleers out of their tower, hoping to reveal their strength and motivation, but then our scan man links their corporation name to us. 'I remember them.'

In fact, most of us remember the corporation, as we pop and pod a Buzzard of theirs a couple of weeks previously. The complaining that came our way when the pilot's new clone woke up was memorable. On that occasion they were in the system adjacent to us, now they are two systems away. Not only that, but it looks like the Buzzard is out scanning again, and coming our way. It may even be the same pilot out scanning, but we don't get a positive identification. The last time we met him, and sent him back to empire space, he complained that he was only looking for an exit, and it is likely that is all he is doing this time. Even so, I still get in to my Onyx heavy interdictor and sit on our wormhole with its bubble up and a Nighthawk for company, the same Nighthawk that helped the last time too. I'm sure the Buzzard will be happy to see the two of us.

We have more help. Our scan man is watching his progress, one pilot is cloaked in an Arazu recon ship on the other side of the wormhole, and another joins us on our home side of the wormhole in a Zealot heavy assault ship. Piracy likes company. It doesn't take long for the Buzzard to find the K162 of our static wormhole, coincidentally finding our Arazu as well, decloaking him when warping to the wormhole. No doubt a little panicked by the sight of this threatening ship the Buzzard pilot jumps through to our side of the wormhole, in to my bubble. With little ceremony, the Buzzard is popped and the pilot podded. And it is the same pilot as before.

Considering how easy it is for a covert operations boat to get away from such an ambush—as we have both seen and done ourselves—it is unfortunate that we can catch the same pilot twice. We are only more baffled when we receive details of his ship's fitting, which includes the requisite cov-ops cloaking device and even a warp core stabiliser. The Buzzard didn't even need to clear my Onyx's bubble before being able to warp away, giving him an extra option. He can cloak as soon as possible, which would prevent most ships from gaining a lock on such a small target, or just warp off, where even though he probably had no bookmarks there are plenty of celestial bodies to choose from. Unfortunately, it looks like his inexperience causes him to panic, which we thoroughly abuse.

Of course, we could have just let him be. He said before he was only looking for an exit, and this time again was probably only looking for an exit. But people say a lot of things. We only have his word that he was looking for an exit previously, and this time he may have been looking for targets. He could have found our tower, recognised the corporation, and plotted some revenge to ambush us when we return from clearing Sleeper combat sites. This is all highly unlikely, and the truth is more that I like blowing up other ships. It is unfortunate for this Buzzard pilot, but it's nothing personal.

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