Claiming a Covetor's crokite

12th October 2010 – 5.30 pm

The corporation is giving the wormhole a little push. It already looks quite wobbly but we'd rather it collapse now to give us new w-space systems to explore. I am doing my bit to help, by sitting cloaked at a distance. Collapsing wormholes fascinates me like a fiery ship explosion; there is a morbid curiosity in watching it happen but I'd rather not be in the middle of it. As is often the case, but not always, the operation runs smoothly and all ships are returned when the wormhole finally dies. Now it's time to scan, and we have four ships in the expedition fleet.

Our new static wormhole is easy to find in an otherwise empty system, and jumping through finds an unoccupied and inactive class 4 w-space system. Scanning is a quick process with four scouts. I resolve a wormhole at the same time as a second scout does, mine being the system's static connection to a C3 and his a K162 from a C2. We warp to each other's location, taking advantage of the tolerance of alignment times to effectively swap positions, so we can create bookmarks for each wormhole, jumping through the connection we end up at.

The class 2 w-space system looks clear, according to my directional scanner. But d-scan also only picks up one celestial body, and a check of my system map shows that I am near the outskirts of the system. I will need to warp around to look for occupation or activity, and I find both. There is a Covetor mining barge accompanied only by mining drones and jet-cans near the system's outer planet, whilst three more pilots sit passively inside a tower in the inner system.

Naturally, I alert the fleet to the barge's presence as soon as I find it and by the time I have located the tower our expert scout has joined me in the system. I leave him in his Loki strategic cruiser to scan the Covetor's position as I return to our tower to swap in to my Onyx heavy interdictor. The class 2 system's size helps us scan the Covetor covertly, the wormhole being out of d-scan range of both the gravimetric site and the tower, but it also means the warp time from the wormhole to the target will be long.

I get back to the connection to the C2 in my Onyx, joining a Harbinger battlecruiser and Tengu strategic cruiser holding station. With us all ready our scout prepares to initiate the scan, his probes arranged to pinpoint the Covetor as quickly as possible. We get the order to jump in to the C2 and hold our cloaks, as the scanning probes warp to their position and activate. A second scan is needed to get a precise enough hit and then we're in warp!

We drop out of warp on top of the Covetor and I activate my heavy interdictor's warp bubble, trapping the barge neatly. There is little ceremony in four combat ships popping a mining barge, and we pod the pilot because we can. I scoop the corpse to my hold and the Covetor is looted, one pilot even having the appropriate module fitted to let him salvage the wreck. There is no more action in the mining site and our Loki scout sees no signs of retaliation stirring at the local tower. It looks like we can claim the ore as our own.

I jump back to the home system and swap my Onyx for the corporation Bustard transport ship, an Iteron hauler already heading to the C2. The Iteron picks up fourty thousand cubic metres of ore, my Bustard collecting the remaining twenty thousand. All of the ore we recover is crokite, there being no arkonor or bistot left in the gravimetric site, showing how busy the local miners must have been. The crokite is returned safely to our tower, making a fairly decent haul for little effort, but the evening isn't over yet as we still have the class 3 w-space system to explore.

I swap ships again, boarding my Buzzard covert operations boat once more, and head out to the C3. Jumping in to the system finds it occupied but inactive, and launching probes reveals plenty of signatures and anomalies to sift through. I manage to resolve a K162 connection coming in from high-sec empire space, as well as finding the system's static connection to low-sec empire space, but there are no other likely looking signatures that will lead to more adventure. I take my Manticore stealth bomber out for one last speculative look in the class 2 system but only find a cheeky advert for our sister corporation serving as a floating headstone to the podded miner. I return home to rest for the night.

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