Mangling a miner

9th September 2010 – 5.44 pm

I'm back in my Buzzard and scanning. Our neighbouring w-space system has been purged of the mining menace and is again safe to patrol, allowing me to explore further afield in my covert operations boat. My probes are launched and being used to look for wormholes, but I am bookmarking all the sites I find, instead of ignoring them, in case the occupants are foolish enough to come out of their tower again this evening. I eventually find a wormhole, the system's static connection that leads in to another class 4 system.

Jumping onwards puts me in to a system I've visited before, only two weeks ago. No one has moved in since I was last here and the system is devoid of activity. Scanning reveals only a few signatures and it is a simple matter to resolve a wormhole, a K162 connecting in from a class 2 system. I keep looking and resolve a second wormhole, this one the system's static connection to a third C4, but it is reaching the end of its lifetime. The presence of the K162 is more promising of activity and I jump through to visit the C2.

The inner system of the C2 has an off-line tower floating inertly over a moon and the outer system has a very much on-line tower. The sheer number of defences looks familiar and makes me wonder if I've been here before, but my notes suggest this is my first visit. Somewhere inside the myriad armaments is a Bustard transport ship, the overview showing it unpiloted, and it looks to be the only other ship in the system. I warp away from the blowfish of a tower to launch probes and begin scanning, again finding only a few signatures to resolve.

C2 systems typically have more than one static wormhole so even though I entered through a K162 I am confident in finding another wormhole in here. I manage to find two more wormholes, one an exit to high-sec empire space that some colleagues could perhaps use to return home and the other another K162 from a class 2 system. I check the exit to high-sec and initially it looks good to appear in the Tash Murkon region, but I am on the outskirts of the system and far from a trade hub. But it is a way in, and not a high-sec island either. Now to go through the K162 in to the other C2.

There is a tower on scan in this class 2 w-space system but nothing else. I launch probes and warp to the tower to keep an eye on it should any capsuleers arrive, and one does. A Drake battlecruiser is inside the shields, warping off seconds later. The Drake disappears and an Osprey cruiser takes its place. I can't think of many uses for an Osprey out here except to mine ore and the presence of mining drones on the directional scanner indicates he's doing just that. I warp out of d-scan range, swap to combat probes, and warp back to try to find the miner. I get a fairly good bearing and range on the ship, carefully position my combat probes, and start a scan.

I feel quicker partly because of practice but mostly because of my relative proximity to the cruiser, helping me better gauge how far way to position my probes for the scan. My first scan isn't quite accurate enough to get a strong enough result to warp to but a second scan gets a solid hit on the mining drones. That's all I need, the drones no doubt close to the ship, and I recall my probes and warp to near their position. The Osprey continues mining, the drones buzzing around a rock, a canister jettisoned for the collected ore. It looks like my probes were not spotted. And it will take an Osprey quite a while to fill a jet-can with ore, easily enough time for me to make the four jumps home, swap in to my Onyx heavy interdictor, and make the four jumps back.

A colleague hearing of my find is interested in wreaking more havoc against defenceless miners. We form a two-capsuleer fleet, him in a Harbinger battlecruiser and me in my Onyx, and I warp us along the route back to the C2. As we jump in to the C2 I instruct the Harbinger pilot to hold his session change cloak as I hit d-scan. I see mining drones still out, which probably means the Osprey hasn't moved, and I warp the two of us to the bookmark I made of the miner's jet-can. We drop almost on top of the Osprey and I inflate my Onyx's warp bubble, preventing escape. The Osprey cruiser is popped quickly, hardly a match for the Harbinger alone, and an immediate response of 'how much?' appears in the local communications channel. I quickly reply with a fairly unreasonable but negotiable demand for the safety of this pilot's pod, which quickly becomes irrelevant as my colleague ruthlessly destroys the pod.

I have to admit I like my colleague's style. A reflex action to pod a pilot is admirable, in a cold-blooded way. The willingness of the miner to save his pod, however, is not to be ignored and I would have liked more time to negotiate a deal. My colleague explains that he saw me shoot the pod myself and only helped to finish it off, but I see what actually happened. I realise now we are in a pulsar system, the phenomenon boosting shields. When the pod was ejected its normal shield capacity was affected by the pulsar and increased but, as is typical with shield systems, had to recharge to reach the new maximum. My colleague interpreted this lack of full shields as the result of my having shot the pod and joined in. It's an easy mistake to have made.

The quick combat over, we scoop the corpse, loot the wreck, and deal with the Sleepers who turned up, no doubt trying to whore their way on to our kill-mail. There is little else to do in this now-quiet system and we head off, my colleague heading home. I peel off, making a diversion in the previous C2 in order to guide a couple of colleagues back in to w-space through the high-sec wormhole. And, as Fin has returned, I strike up a conversation with my latest victim. The capsuleer is not bitter and accepts the dangers of New Eden and w-space, and when we promise better opportunities even says he'll consider joining our corporation, which rather takes us by surprise. I have also contracted to him a copy of the bookmarks that lead from high-sec back to his system, in case he needs them. I don't think I'll maintain a dread pirate image at this rate.

Whilst we chat I loiter in the high-sec system and meet Fin on her return to w-space. I guide her to the wormholes and through w-space, but on a routine check of d-scan note that her ship has its default name still. The closest the Wormhole Engineers have to a policy on ship naming is 'not the default', as we would rather not identify pilots or the corporation just from a name that can be seen on d-scan. Fin flew a Slasher frigate across New Eden under the assumption that the Minmatar ship would be fast but doesn't seem particularly impressed, renaming it 'Winged Minnie Crap'. That's better. We get back to our home tower safely and d-scan reveals only sleepy systems on our travels, much as I feel. I set my ship in to a lazy orbit around the hangar and get some rest.

  1. 2 Responses to “Mangling a miner”

  2. I kinda like your image more as a dreaded WH space pirate. Somehow I've that image has been burned into my mind reading all your post. I think your a more fearsome and fearless WH space capauleer than most pirates I know of.

    What do you all do with all the dead corpses?

    Would of liked to know if the miner would of accepted the ransom offer.

    By Ardent Defender on Sep 9, 2010

  3. I'm not sure the miner would have accepted my ransom demand, it was pretty high for someone in an Osprey. But I may have accepted anything reasonable for his having the moxie to bargain for his pod.

    Mind you, I like collecting the corpses of pod kills as much as getting ransom payments. And we store them all as trophies in our morgue. The best part is that they don't stink, being kept in the cold of space.

    By pjharvey on Sep 12, 2010

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