Stealing other's anomalies

3rd December 2010 – 5.22 pm

I have more to explore. The home system's static wormhole has been scanned, but no further, saving me some time and giving me at least a class 3 w-space system to investigate. I warp out and jump through the wormhole, finding myself in a system I visited only two months ago. My notes indicate occupancy, as does my directional scanner's return of a tower and ships, but it has been all change here. The off-line tower has been torn down, and the active tower is no longer where it was, if it is indeed the same one. I soon locate the tower, using d-scan, and update my notes to reflect the changes. I also see that I am looking for a wormhole leading to low-sec here. What a surprise.

The tower in the system holds an unpiloted Impel transport ship and Anathema covert operations boat, and there is no activity to be seen elsewhere. A quick initial scan reveals a dozen signatures, but also five anomalies that are ripe for picking. Fin suggests we clear the anomalies quickly, before anyone in the C3 wakes up, then collapse our wormhole to isolate ourselves again. It sounds like a good idea, so I bookmark the anomalies and jump home, going back to the tower to swap to my Tengu strategic cruiser. Fin joins me in her own Tengu and we jump in to the class 3 system to start today's plundering.

Sleeper combat begins smoothly enough, not that we are expecting problems, but we both alert each other at the same time to the presence of a Harbinger battlecruiser appearing on d-scan. I spin my view towards the planet holding the tower and narrow my d-scan beam, noting the Harbinger's lack of presence on that scan. If he's not at the tower he could be returning from empire space, through the system's static wormhole, but we haven't found that yet and cannot quickly check this theory. Before long the Harbinger appears to have returned to the tower. His ship disappears again, but we don't know where he's gone, and we have to assume that he saw us. We are safe from one battlecruiser for now, it's whether he returns with friends that is a concern.

We continue shooting Sleepers until a more tangible threat appears. Unfortunately, the second anomaly we warp to is out of d-scan range of the tower in the system, denying us intelligence as much as any of the occupants. I check my system map, holding the bookmarks I have of the anomalies, and seeing that one more anomaly is also out of d-scan range of the tower I decide to send us there next. The fourth anomaly lets us again keep tabs on the tower in the system, albeit passively with d-scan, and a Nemesis stealth bomber appears to be on-line now. I keep my d-scanner pointing towards the tower and stay alert for any changes, as Fin and I maintain good separationg of our ships to mitigate any threat from bombs. This is another reminder that I really need to refit my Tengu with longer-range heavy missiles.

There is still no sign of active aggression from the C3 occupants and we move to the fifth and final anomaly here. The Harbinger reappears at the tower but still there is no relative movement. It is feasible that our two strategic cruisers are sufficiently threatening to these pilots. But salvaging is still a concern, as a more fragile destroyer can be ripped apart quickly, and we don't have a battlecruiser to use instead. We're not without ideas, though. The last anomaly is cleared of Sleepers and we warp home, swapping our ships for our salvaging configuration. I board my Cormorant destroyer, hoping that my Tech II salvager modules will reduce the time I am in the pocket, and Fin swaps to a Pilgrim recon ship, which should be able to neutralise, and perhaps even destroy, the threats we have seen so far.

Fin flies out first, jumping in to the C3 and warping to sit cloaked off the tower in the system. She notes that the Nemesis and Harbinger are still sitting passively inside the shields, allowing my destroyer to jump in and warp across the system. I appear on d-scan for perhaps a few seconds as I now take advantage of the distant anomalies to stay undetected, as I salvage those two sites first. Now we will see if the occupants will do anything, as I warp to the first site we started, in full view of d-scan from the tower. As a precaution, Fin aligns her Pilgrim to the bookmarked site, allowing her to react quickly to any other ship movements, whilst her visual contact with the tower will give me enough warning to evacuate the site.

Salvaging three sites is completed without any threat of an encounter. I return home briefly to dump the currently recovered loot, not wanting to risk losing it should an attack occur, coming back to salvage the final two sites. Fin and I coordinate our movements, keeping the Pilgrim aligned to my approximate position, and when a third pilot turns up at the tower Fin points out that fully three quarters of the four-pilot corporation can now be seen. Whether the pilots saw Fin's Pilgrim enter the system or not, my Cormorant remains unmolested as I complete salvaging the final wrecks, and both of us return home safely. But not before I leave a little 'thank you' message.

Now to collapse our wormhole, using the Orca industrial command ship and my Widow black ops ship, so that we get a fresh connection. Unfortunately, my Widow is rather bulkier than a normal Scorpion battleship, even if it feels more agile, and I manage to trap Fin in her Orca in the C3. Fin saw my duplicitous manoeuvre coming and fitted a probe launcher so she can scan her way out of w-space, but it will still leave her in low-sec empire space. To try to make amends I look for our newly spawned static wormhole in the hopes of finding a new connection to empire space that can be used to return home. I resolve the wormhole and jump in to a C3 with eighteen anomalies, a bounty that I have to ignore as I scan yet another exit to low-sec space. And the exit system is in the ever more familiar Aridia region, making it unlikely to be useful for the Orca. Fin parks in a relatively safe spot in the class 3 system to get some sleep, looking to exit tomorrow. I follow her lead, although I rest in the safety of our tower's force field.

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