Helping myself to a Harpy

14th September 2010 – 5.10 pm

W-space is not much explored today. Only the static wormhole has a bookmark copied to our shared can. But both sides of the wormhole are bookmarked, indicating the wormhole is active. Maybe we have corporation miners in the neighbouring system. I head out to take a look, piloting my Buzzard covert operations boat so that I can scan and explore further if necessary. Jumping in to the class 4 w-space system offers a clear result from the directional scanner, only celestial bodies within range. Warping around finds two towers in the system, an unpiloted Hulk exhumer in one and a piloted Buzzard in another. No ships are out in the system, though, and scanning finds a wormhole to jump through.

Our neighbouring C4 holds a static connection to a class 1 system. As I make the jump a last check of d-scan in the C4 sees a Harpy assault frigate in the system, and now in the C1 I see probes on d-scan. There are active pilots around. Another pilot becomes active, a colleague of mine turning up and coming out to help scout, which is welcome given the number of signatures to resolve in this C1. We manage to find a connection leading out to low-sec empire space, the wormhole pristine, and a bit of back-tracking finds a second connection in the previous class 4 system. There is more activity too, a Cheetah cov-ops boat jumping from the C1 in to the C4 and warping to the tower there, and the pilots at the tower swapping ships until they settle on a Hound stealth bomber, Drake battlecruiser, and Falcon recon ship. But it doesn't look like they are doing anything.

My colleague heads in to the class 2 w-space system through the wormhole in the C4, whilst I remain at the tower in the C4 to keep tabs on the hostile ships. The Hound, Falcon and Drake all move out of the tower and drop off d-scan. My task now is to find out where they have gone, which may be difficult as two of the three ships can cloak. I find the Drake sitting on the wormhole heading to our home system, perhaps indicating the other two are cloaked as part of an ambush. I jump home to try to flush them out of hiding, confident that I can evade their attentions and warp away, but no ships decloak or follow me. Back at out tower I swap the Buzzard for my Onyx heavy interdictor, refitting with an ECCM module to help counter the ECM of the Falcon.

I keep my colleague in his scouting Proteus informed of these movements and he returns from the C2. I warp to our home wormhole and hold so that if he is attacked I can jump through and strike, and if not he can jump home safely. Before he comes back my colleague scouts the neighbouring system, seeing that there is now a Flycatcher interdictor and a Harpy on d-scan, which he finds on the wormhole leading to the C1. We wonder what we can do, as my colleague gets home without incident. The Proteus strategic cruiser is swapped for an Arazu recon ship, I remain in my Onyx. With warp bubbles available to both sides an engagement could be dangerous.

We warp to our static wormhole and jump, holding our session change cloaks. The Harpy and Flycatcher are still on the C1 wormhole and we warp to its location, the Harpy called as the primary target. But before we drop out of warp both ships have fled, leaving us alone with a mobile warp bubble placed on the C1 wormhole. We have another colleague out and scanning in the C1 now and the bubble presents a credible threat to his return. Indeed, the scanning boat in the C1 may well explain the presence of the bubble and small attack ships, as well as the ease at their being chased off by us. But now we shoot and destroy the bubble, which will let out pilot return unmolested. The wormhole flares shortly after the bubble pops but our pilot didn't say he was jumping back. A Hound stealth bomber decloaks instead and starts moving away.

The mobile warp bubble has been destroyed but my HIC is its own mobile warp bubble generator. I move towards the Hound and activate the Onyx's bubble, catching the Hound and preventing it warping away, as both my own and my colleague's weapons systems lock and fire on the stealth bomber. Curiously, the Hound just about clears my bubble when it stops and turns around. This manoeuvre is quite unfortunate, as it allows us to pop his Hound and destroy his pod to wake up a new clone somewhere in empire space. The odd direction change looks to be explained by his initial movements away from the wormhole sending him in the opposite direction to his tower. Rather than warping to a convenient celestial body to escape, his instinct was to return directly to the safety of his tower, which actually turned him around and back in to my bubble. You need to be a bit more aware than this in order to survive.

The combat is not quite over, as the Harpy warps in moments too late to distract us from shooting the Hound. The assault ship is too far from my Onyx to be caught in my warp bubble but the Arazu locks and points the smaller ship, disrupting its warp drive. They are both too fast for me and I turn back to scoop the corpse and loot the Hound, but before I do the Harpy pilot ejects from his stricken ship and warps his pod away from danger. That's a fairly clever move, our instinct being to stop shooting the ship, perhaps saving it from destruction, even if we may claim it as our own. Which I think I'll do, as I have been thinking about getting an assault ship and now I don't need to worry about how to fit one. I need to drop my Onyx off at our tower and return in my pod, but with an Arazu guarding the inert Harpy nothing can go wrong.

  1. 3 Responses to “Helping myself to a Harpy”

  2. "...but with an Arazu guarding the inert Harpy nothing can go wrong."

    Aha!, say the Gods, A Challenge! :)

    By Btek on Sep 15, 2010

  3. Btek beat me to it. Those are some of my favourite words:

    "...nothing can go wrong."
    "...what could go wrong?"
    " a perfect plan."
    "What does this button do?"

    By Kename Fin on Sep 15, 2010

  4. I don't know what either of you are talking about, it's a perfect plan!

    By pjharvey on Sep 15, 2010

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