Another one bites the dust

14th January 2011 – 5.30 pm

I have a wormhole to find. I pop and pod a Catalyst destroyer salvaging an anomaly before seeing a newly arrived Drake warp out of one of the local towers, and I have no idea where he went. I make the one wormhole-jump home to swap in to my Buzzard covert operations boat before returning through the K162 in our system to the class 2 w-space system connecting in to us. If I can find the second static wormhole in this system I may be able to cause a bit more trouble for the occupants. I cannot hide my ship from any active directional scanner in this small system, but my assault not ten minutes ago has probably made hiding pointless. I launch probes in the open and begin scanning.

There are two anomalies in the system—well, one now—and two signatures, which must be the two static wormholes the C2 inevitably holds. There is nothing else to find in this sparse system, and as I already know the location of one of the wormholes—it connects to our home system and it's how I got here, after all—it is but a simple task to resolve the second. I find what turns out to be an exit to high-sec empire space and realise I have little else to do. I shan't wait for the possibility of a new clone returning home, as camping a connection to high-sec is unrewarding at the best of times, instead heading back home and onwards through our own static connection to take my first look at our neighbouring class 3 system for today.

A tower and no ships awaits in the C3, with one more planet out of d-scan range. Checking that planet finds three more towers and an Orca industrial command ship. Two of the towers are minor silo configurations, the third rather more substantial and holding the piloted Orca. The Orca is even active, for suitably low levels of activity, but enough to make me dash home to swap the Buzzard for my Manticore stealth bomber. I am not sure why I've done this, though, as I realise I have nothing scanned in this system, meaning the best I can hope for is the Orca being particularly foolhardy, perhaps collecting planet goo by himself. But the pilot simply anchors a new hangar and swaps in to a Mammoth hauler, apparently content to sit there and just enjoy being Matari, the weirdo. I'm going home.

I make a quick check of the class 2 system before getting some rest, noting the appearance of a Viator transport ship and this system's own Mammoth, both at a tower here, judging by a sweep of d-scan. I locate the Mammoth, piloted and as active as the one in the C3, and then the Viator, pretty much in the same state. But taking one last look at the Mammoth is unsuccessful, as it has warped off. The pilot's not jumped out of the system, as the ship is still on d-scan, and I find him on a hunch. I sweep a tight d-scan beam over the customs offices in the system, seeing the Mammoth coincident with one of them. He's collecting planet goo, which makes him vulnerable!

I warp to the customs office but drop a little too short to be effective in my stealth bomber, and the Mammoth warps away before I can close the distance. That's okay, I can simply find the next office he visits and catch him there. Except he doesn't continue but heads back to his tower instead. Damn, I just missed my window of opportunity, but I suppose it is expecting a lot to get two separate kills in the same w-space system in one evening. Oh, I speak too soon, as he's off again. I returned to the tower with him and was close enough to view his vector of departure, and it looks like he's warping to the customs office of the nearest planet. Sensing that I may well get my second kill after all, I punch my Manticore in to warp, aiming to get close and personal with the Mammoth rather than standing off at bombing range.

I reach the customs office to see the Mammoth already there, but my perky little bomber's engines outstrip the hauler's for efficiency, if not capacity, and I am out of warp and trying to lock on to the target whilst the warp signature still creates significant interference. A frustrating few seconds pass, probably for both of us, until I get a positive lock, at which point all my my systems go hot. The Mammoth's drives are disrupted and torpedoes rain down on it, although it only takes a few shots to rip the hauler apart.

I am a split-second late in locking the pod, watching it instead warp away safely, and I follow it back to the tower after stripping the wreck of any surviving modules and destroying the mangled remains of the Mammoth. The pilot sits in his pod at the tower, perhaps pondering his next movement. I know mine, which is to head home and rest, quitting whilst I'm ahead. Seeing an Arazu recon ship appear briefly on d-scan as I'm leaving the C2 reinforces my idea that I'm making the right decision. It's been another good evening in w-space.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.