Shields work

5th March 2011 – 3.43 pm

No scanning for me today. Glorious leader Fin got here before me and has taken on the task herself, already in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system and eyeing up prospective targets. There is even copied in to our shared can a bookmark that points to today's static wormhole, so I can simply jump in to my Manticore stealth bomber and go out to join my partner-in-piracy. A Covetor mining barge was in the C3 at some point, Fin seeing it briefly appear on her directional scanner, but now the occupants are scanning, a couple of probes flying around the system. Fin finds the tower and a Heron frigate, perhaps the scanning scout—but perhaps not, as a Helios covert operations boat appears, showing us two active pilots. The Helios warps away from the tower, but not to our K162, as Fin monitors its vector and doesn't recognise the direction travelled.

It may be a good idea to jump home and plant an interceptor on our wormhole. Or it could be more fun simply to bomb the Heron, as it is curiously parked a couple of kilometres outside of the tower's force field. Fin is at the tower and says it is safe to warp to her, which I do, although I get awfully close to one of the gun batteries that form the tower's defences. My cloak is intact, though, and, making sure I don't cross Fin's path, I manoeuvre to get a good approach for a bomb launch on the Heron.

I'm assuming I won't be firing many torpedoes, if any, as the Heron will either pop, move back in to the shields, or the tower will start shooting me, and have a nearby planet in view for my escape route. I have what looks to be a good shot, and I take it. My Manticore decloaks, the bomb fires neatly towards the target, and it detonates with, uh, something of a whimper. I get no damage notification at all. I try to lock the Heron and get at least one volley of torpedoes launched its way but the force field is preventing target acquisition. I warp away and cloak, a little disappointed.

Perhaps the bomb was a dud, but I'm fairly sure I saw it explode. It is only later, when asking my cats what went wrong, that I realise my mistake. My normal approach sees me manoeuvre to get in to warp disruption range of the target, so that I can get a solid hit with the bomb and point the ship for continued pounding with torpedoes. I made the same approach this time, but putting myself around twenty-five kilometres from the Heron put my bomb's explosion about three kilometres inside the tower's force field. The bomb certainly detonated, but it did so ineffectually, the shields preventing any negative effects. Silly me. I should have realised this, as well as not actually wanting to be in point range, and launched from over thirty kilometres away, to guarantee the explosion catching the Heron.

Our hand is tipped, our neighbours know we're here and hostile. I jump home and swap ships to plant my Malediction interceptor on our side of the wormhole, thinking my stealth bomber won't be much use at the moment. Fin gets ready to launch probes and scan the system, not thinking we need to be particularly sneaky any more, and as she warps away from the tower to do so the Helios returns. And it goes again. Seconds later our wormhole flares, and it isn't Fin jumping through. I get my interceptors systems hot and see the Helios appear! I try to lock and point the cov-ops ship, but I am out of practice. The Helios cloaks and, although I am able to bump and decloak it again, it warps away before I can stop it.

The Helios can warp cloaked. We probably won't see it again until it tries to jump back, but he looks to be wary of returning whilst my interceptor is around. Or maybe he wasn't quick enough to bookmark the wormhole as he was warping away and needs to scan it to get home. It seems like a good time to destabilise our static connection, hoping the Helios is paying attention, to try to flush out our visitor. Fin pushes an Orca industrial command ship through the wormhole and, as she does, the Helios turns up, either seeing us start to collapse the connection and wanting to get home or simply making a break past my Malediction. He makes it too. I follow him in to the C3 and try again to snare him, but he evades me a second time and warps off to his tower.

Fin and I continue to collapse our wormhole, realising that we've probably had as much fun as we're going to see with our current neighbours. The operation looks to be going smoothly until the last pair of jumps, where the wormhole becomes critically unstable but doesn't collapse. That's okay, it's getting late and I doubt anyone will want to jump through the wormhole now anyway. We head back to our own tower and get some rest.

  1. 2 Responses to “Shields work”

  2. A friend of mine turned me on to your blog. Your stuff has it all, quality and quantity. (: And, you're rich with ships. I look forward to following your stories. /popcorn

    By Kato on Mar 6, 2011

  3. Thanks! Don't bogart the popcorn.

    By pjharvey on Mar 9, 2011

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