Profit after piracy

7th January 2011 – 5.15 pm

A Cyclone is spotted in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. Glorious leader Fin spies it idling in the local tower, and I follow in to take a look for myself. At first, it looks like the Cyclone is active, but Fin's right. It is merely circling the tower slowly, at a distance that will never put it outside of the safety of the shields, so it won't suffer the same fate as the Bestower hauler from earlier. The Cyclone has an active module, though, and being a battlecruiser it could be a warfare link, which suggests it is boosting fleet activity elsewhere in the system. Warping around finds nothing but empty space, making the Cyclone's activity an anomaly. I ignore it as irrelevant for now and go to make myself a sammich.

Fin and I return a bit later, fed and full, and the Cyclone is still in the tower's shields, although now it is bumping on a silo or two on its lazy circle around the tower. What is more interesting is the core probe scanner also in the system. Only one can be seen from the tower on my directional scanner and warping around shows it to be the only probe in the system. Maybe the scout only dropped one probe to look for anomalies and left it behind, but even if he did there is still the question of where the scout came from. A new wormhole opening in to this system will lead to more exploration and opportunity, and I ask Fin if she would come to scan this class 3 system for any changes. She kindly agrees, scanning not taking long in the otherwise empty system, and there are no new signatures. 'We can blame low-sec goofs', she says about the errant probe, and I agree.

We may as well collapse our static wormhole, not really wanting to steal anomalies in a system with an active if distracted pilot, and one where I killed a capsuleer earlier. The big ships are brought out and the mass of the wormhole is disrupted according to plan, the connection collapsing as the Orca industrial command ship is brought home. The new static wormhole is quickly resolved and we warp out to explore the class 3 system it connects to. The system is unoccupied and empty, and the twenty-six anomalies are enticing for making some profit. We may as well bring our Tengu strategic cruisers in here to shoot some Sleepers to end the evening.

The C3 is a black hole system, though, which decreases missile range significantly. That's not really a problem for heavy missiles in a class 3 system, as the Sleepers don't appear too far away and the missiles have considerable range to start with. But my heavy assault missile configuration will suffer a little. Or, rather, a little more than usual. Hopefully the added velocity also offered by the black hole phenomenon will help me close the range between my Tengu and the Sleepers quickly enough to negate the disadvantage. We can only try, and if it is too burdensome we can simply jump home and shoot the Sleepers there.

My missile range is approximately nineteen kilometres, which really isn't far at all, but the extra speed indeed helps with getting close enough to hit the Sleepers. The overall effect is not much different from normal, although even Fin has to be careful about keeping some of the more shy Sleepers in range of her heavy missiles. In the end, only three anomalies are cleared of Sleeper presence before fatigue sets in, but at least we both get another chance to get our Noctis salvagers out of the hangar, and this is glorious leader Fin's first chance to use one in anger.

Plonk the Noctis roughly in the middle of a field full of wrecks and put yourself in to salvaging mode. Targets are locked, wrecks are pulled in at impressive speed, and salvaging cycles complete quicker than normal. Fin's reaction sums it up, saying simply 'yeah, wow', after her first experience. The difference in efficiency is marked, compared to flying around in a destroyer, even with the same number of tractor beams and salvager modules. The Noctis is a salvaging machine, although that is more of a design requirement than straight compliment. Bringing back the loot is superfast, over a hundred and forty million iskies of profit returned to our tower, which isn't bad for our short time in C3 anomalies. Now we sleep.

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