Clearing up my confusion

23rd February 2011 – 5.35 pm

I have no idea what's going on. I've popped a Noctis salvager in an anomaly, getting lucky when the Tengu strategic cruiser warps away to leave it alone, and inflicting just enough damage before a pair of battlecruisers can interrupt me. I know that much. It's the rest that is confusing me. I get clear and cloak, warping out of the anomaly to drop short of our K162 home, letting my cloak hold. I turn my Manticore around and return to the anomaly, at long range, to witness the aftermath.

The Drake and Hurricane are still there, near the wreck of the Noctis; unsurprisingly, the pod has gone. It looks like the pilots are salvaging what they can from the situation, grabbing loot from the Sleeper wrecks and what survives of the Noctis. What confuses me is that the two battlecruisers are not local, they are pilots from the corporation that were here earlier. A Typhoon battleship and Drake were originally clearing this anomaly, and it was their activity that I was stalking, but they disappeared when I assumed they saw my Manticore stealth bomber enter the system. Now I have no idea.

I suspected I was going to be interrupted in my assault on the Noctis, but I would never have guessed it would be by the outsiders. I don't know if they are back to complete the anomaly, or to engage either the Tengu or Noctis of the locals. I don't even know where they are coming from. I also don't know if the locals are aware of my presence. If the outsiders have an ounce of rationality they will work out I am not local, as I have no reason to destroy my own salvager, and know I am not with them. The locals, however, may well suspect the outsiders of the ambush, happy to make the assumption instead of inspecting the kill-mail. This may get messy.

The loot has been recovered and the Drake and Hurricane warp out of the anomaly, although I also see the other Drake and the Tengu on my directional scanner, those of the local corporation. Their tower is out of range of d-scan, so these two ships are nearby. And, seeing that a Cheetah covert operations boat was scanning earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone was headed to the wormhole bringing the outsiders to this class 3 w-space system. Everyone but me, that is, as I still haven't scanned beyond passively finding a few anomalies for the Noctis kill.

All the ships appear on d-scan together, and I wonder if perhaps they are part of the same alliance, or coalition, after all. I don't quite see why else the outsiders would risk engaging Sleepers in an occupied and active system. But then drones appear on d-scan, and it looks like a scrap has started. A second warp bubble is also now visible on d-scan, which I'm sure wasn't there before and will make the engagement rather more dangerous. I can't see what's happening but am amused to think that, if not the cause, I am the catalyst for all this pent-up aggression.

It seems like a good enough time to finally scan this C3. Little attention will be paid my way at the moment, if the locals are even aware of my activities yet. I am fairly sure they found the K162 heading to our home system, but I don't think they have explored it. And they clearly have their focus elsewhere currently. I jump home, swap the Manticore for my Buzzard covert operations boat, and head back to the C3 to scan. My previous monitoring of the barney makes it easy to resolve what indeed turns out to be a wormhole. Warping to it finds the newly anchored warp bubble encompassing a K162 coming from low-sec empire space. The other pilots are tourists! Now I understand.

I rearrange my scanning probes to blanket the system, finding two more anomalies than I currently have bookmarked from my earlier passive scan and only three more signatures. I resolve each of the three, bookmarking a radar and gravimetric site, and the system's static wormhole. It's another exit to low-sec empire space, naturally, and this wormhole is not bubbled. I would like to pop out to check the destination system, but I dropped out of warp quite short and don't fancy taking the time to crawl to the wormhole. I bookmark the wormhole and take the opportunity to bounce off the tower to land at zero on the wormhole, which will let me see what the locals are up to.

Three Drakes and a Malediction interceptor are sitting idly inside the tower's shields, not looking like they are going anywhere. I warp back to the static exit and jump out, putting myself in the Citadel region, which is Caldari space. I briefly consider bringing in a ship or two that I still have scattered around but the route to high-sec includes passing through the notorious Tama system, and I decide against it. Jumping back to w-space finds the Malediction outside of the tower, according to d-scan. In fact, he's not just out of the tower but dropping out of warp on the wormhole I'm at. I'm glad I didn't take my time moving away and cloaking, or I could have been in trouble. With the locals still a little on edge, and perhaps having just realised it was me responsible for the destruction of their Noctis, now seems like a good time to go home and take a break.

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