You're not the boss of me

14th February 2011 – 5.28 pm

Some hunter I am, I can't even find the way out of our system. Three new anomalies are easy enough to note and ignore, but the additional bookmarks are making it really difficult to spot the odd-signature-out that should be our static wormhole. I confuse another gravimetric site or ten for the wormhole before actually resolving it, letting me jump to what will no doubt be a better-kept system. What I notice first upon entering our neighbouring class 3 w-space system are the five scanning probes I can see using my directional scanner. There's a scout active here.

I launch my own probes, hoping the scout isn't watching d-san himself whilst engrossed with scanning, and move them out of d-scan range of the system. A blanket scan reveals two anomalies, a few signatures, and a ship. Warping around finds the ship, as well as a tower, both of them unsurprisingly in the same place. The Heron frigate is warping back to the tower as I arrive, although I don't know from where. Maybe the pilot has just resolved a wormhole and paid it a visit, maybe even our K162. I don't think I'll scan the system myself just yet, not until I know what the Heron will do.

I head home and swap to my Manticore stealth bomber, giving me more firepower should the Heron become vulnerable. And jumping back in to the C3 gives me opportunity to check the proximity of the scanner's probes, reducing the range of d-scan to determine that the probes are nowhere near our K162 at the moment. Thinking that the Heron won't be coming here soon, I warp back to the tower to monitor the pilot directly, hoping that he has yet to discover our K162 and that maybe I can catch him there.

I watch the pilot for a while, but he seems distracted, or slow. The probes are near the tower, and thus not near our K162, and I didn't think there were that many signatures in the system. Then again, he is in a Heron and not a Buzzard covert operations boat, which will slow him down. I wait a little longer, but then wonder if I should perhaps be more bold in my attempt to catch him. As the Heron cannot warp cloaked his arrival at the K162 will be obvious. Rather than try to follow him, I could simply plant an interceptor near the wormhole and zoom out to greet him, all launchers firing, should he blindly warp to examine the wormhole.

The interceptor idea sounds like fun, so I head home to swap ships again. I realise that I won't know at what range the frigate will warp in to the wormhole—on top of it, 100 km from it, or somewhere in-between—but the interceptor should be fast enough to catch it wherever it lands. Even so, I can optimise my chances by positioning my ship about thirty kilometres from the wormhole and aligned to the tower. I can zip forwards to catch the frigate landing short, or turn around and possibly follow it in to our home system without much delay.

It looks like my wait won't be too long, as the scanning probes start to converge on the K162's position. I start refreshing d-scan frequently so that I get an early warning of the Heron's arrival, but the probes move away again. And again the probes converge on my location, which at least shows the scanner is still active. And they disappear. Maybe the Heron is heading my way now. But all I see is a Rifter frigate, and not at the wormhole, only on d-scan. 'Piss off', the pilot says in the local channel, clearly unimpressed by my ambush attempt.

Hmm, were they core probes or combat probes? I thought core, and unable to detect ships, which is why I considered the interceptor the best option, but maybe they were combat probes and they didn't converge on the wormhole but on me. I need to pay more attention. But even though the pilot has spotted me he is not making a particularly convincing argument for leaving him alone. There may be no point in staying here in my interceptor, so I jump home, but I'm coming back in my Manticore. Of course, he will probably be watching my movements indirectly, and there are a couple of (definitely) combat probes on d-scan when I re-enter the C3, but if I am lucky with my timing maybe he won't see me.

'Again', the pilot says, noting my appearance and implying his stance on my pissing off hasn't changed. I'm still not persuaded to leave him alone. In fact, his attitude is encouraging me to lurk longer, if only to stop him from being free to continue about his business. Mind you, I'm unlikely to actually catch him, and I could be relaxing in a bubble bath right now. I could leave him and please myself, instead of annoying others. But as I turn my Manticore around he swaps in to a Drake battlecruiser, and a Nemesis stealth bomber warps in to the tower.

Judging from the Nemesis's vector he's just logged on and not been in the system the whole time. And, to confirm this, the Drake drops a jet-can which the Nemesis gobbles up, which I take to be the current bookmarks just scanned. The Nemesis warps off, apparently in the direction of our K162. Still, I was heading for a soak. Before I go, though, I may as well see how experienced the pilots are. I warp to our K162, dropping short, and crawl cloaked towards the wormhole. If the Nemesis has indeed warped here, and not changed his position, I should be able to decloak him and engage. But I get to within ten kilometres of the wormhole and no ships appear.

Maybe the Nemesis has jumped through to our home system and is waiting to launch a bomb at me. Again, inexperience may cause the pilot to launch a bomb whilst my session change cloak holds, so let's see what happens when I jump. Nothing. No sign of a bomb launch, and no sign of the Nemesis even when I move away from the wormhole and cloak. It's actually a little disappointing, given the attitude of the other pilot, as I was expecting more conflict. Never mind, I'll leave them alone for now and take a calming break.

I return later to hear that Fin took care of the Nemesis, popping the bomber after the Drake cleared a site of Sleepers in the C3. 'They were cocky and mouthy', she says of the pilots, which sounds about right. It's only a shame that I wasn't there to help, as it seems that the Drake would have been a valid target too.

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