Iskies for nothing

27th February 2011 – 3.23 pm

We have visitors, big visitors. A Legion and two Tengu strategic cruisers, a Raven and two Maelstrom battleships, and a Basilisk logistics ship are all on my directional scanner in the home w-space system, and I'm fairly sure Fin and I aren't piloting them all, particularly as Fin isn't here. Unsurprisingly, there are Sleeper wrecks on d-scan too, as these marauders are no doubt working their way through our many anomalies. I can't get too excited about the anomalies being cleared by outsiders, because we make the majority of our profit in external sites. After all, your home w-space system is not as an important source of income from Sleepers as your connecting system. But there is still hopefully an opportunity here to pop a salvager, and show these pilots we can defend our territory, at least a little.

I jump in to my Manticore stealth bomber and warp out of the tower to cloak, getting off d-scan as quickly as I can. I open up the system map and start sweeping d-scan around the bookmarked anomalies, seeing which ones have wrecks in and where the intruders currently are. I quickly find the active site, and two that only have wrecks floating in them. I warp in to the despawned sites to bookmark a couple of wrecks, and wait for the salvager to turn up. The fleet warps to the despawned site I am in and starts fanning out, making me wonder if they saw my Manticore on d-scan and are trying to locate me, but that's likely just paranoia, because even if they saw me it would be highly improbable to accidentally bump in to my ship in the vastness of space.

There is still no sign of a salvager yet, making the fleet's presence in the cleared anomaly a, well, an anomaly, until the Legion in their company tractors and salvages a wreck. It looks like I'll have no shot today, not with a strategic cruiser salvager being protected by other strategic cruisers and battleships. I suppose I will have to simply let them take what they want. 'Burn the wrecks', a colleague suggests when I relay to him what's happening, but that sounds like a waste of ammunition and profit. It gives me an idea, though. I warp to a different cleared anomaly and, with the intruding fleet busy elsewhere, start transferring the Sleeper loot in to my own hold.

I am somewhat concerned about the potential sudden arrival of the imposing fleet, and try to be cautious. I sidle up to a wreck, loot, and re-activate my cloak. I pick the Sleeper battleships to loot, as they have the greatest profit in their wrecks, ignoring the cruiser and frigate wrecks as not worth the risk. But the risk seems minimal, as even if my Manticore is spotted on d-scan by the intruders—and a 'don't panic' in local suggests maybe it has—they won't know what I am doing, and I should have plenty of time to disappear if I see them coming. And the Legion is a relatively slow salvager, giving me enough time to loot all of the battleships in this one anomaly, netting me a little over fifty million ISK in profit. That leaves under fifteen million ISK in Sleeper loot in the wrecks of the smaller Sleepers, plus any good salvage that can be recovered, giving me the lion's share of the profit in this anomaly without doing any fighting.

I am keen to see if I can grab loot from more wrecks in a different anomaly, but the fleet has moved on and is salvaging in the only other cleared anomaly I found. I watch and wait, eventually following them in to the anomaly I looted almost under their noses. They seem appreciative of my work, one of them saying 'lol great ninja' in local, and I don't think I am in any particular danger should I reply, so I take a bow, telling them that it was more profitable than shooting the wrecks. 'Why not shoot us?', I am asked. Hang on, I reply, let me get my Titan out. I must have left it in my other hangar. I'm not being goaded, though.

But they make me feel silly when I say that at least they have removed some boomarks from my busy system map, which should make subsequent scanning easier. Activate the gravimetric and ladar sites, they say, if you're not going to mine them, and let them despawn. It is sensible advice, even though I have been loath to follow it for a long while. It all feels like profit, despite how little motivation I have to mine rocks or gas, but trying to justify keeping the sites around to a bunch of strangers makes me realise that I could be smarter about this. And, with salvaging complete, the fleet warps out of the anomaly, shortly disappearing from d-scan, presumably having jumped out of the system. Shadowing them let me see their exit vector, and now seems like a good time to scan for the wormhole they've been using.

I swap the Manticore for my Buzzard covert operations boat and start scanning. Resolving the K162 is fairly simple, after seeing the ships warp out of the site, and as well as connecting from another class 4 system the wormhole is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, which probably means we have seen the last of them. A wider scan shows that they have been busy for a while, eight more anomalies cleared from the home system. I think they got a good haul of profit from us, which is perhaps why they weren't too bitter about what little I claimed. Continued scanning finds our static connection leading to class 3 w-space, which is occupied but inactive. A K162 from C4 w-space in the C3 would be more interesting if that, too, weren't EOL, and the exit from the C3 leads to low-sec empire space in the Molden Heath region and one jump from null-sec. I simply make notes and return home to sleep.

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