Scanning in a hostile system

21st March 2011 – 7.46 pm

Fin's stuck out in empire space, in Amarr of all places, and I've been having fun podding a Noctis salvager. W-space life isn't fair sometimes. Although I've poked the hornet's nest I really ought to scan our neighbouring class 3 system to see if its exit is suitable to try to sneak Fin back home. I am currently monitoring the tower in the C3, after popping their salvager, and the locals are scanning and tooling up. Indeed, as I am about to warp away to get my scanning boat the Manticore stealth bomber leaves the tower and cloaks.

The Manticore at large doesn't really worry me. I am currently in my own Manticore, and confident that going head-to-head with a second Manticore will see me victorious I warp towards the wormhole home. I drop short, by design, and crawl slowly towards the K162, wondering if I will bump in to the hostile stealth bomber, should he have come here himself. But I see him drop out of warp on top of the wormhole, where he jumps through. The Buzzard covert operations boat that scanned the wormhole is here too, but simply cloaks. I'll wait here for a bit.

Or maybe I won't wait in the C3. I could try to sucker the other Manticore in to engaging me early, perhaps even whilst my session change timer shields me, particularly as I think I could win in a straight fight. I move towards the wormhole and jump home, ready to see what will happen. Back in our home system I am reminded that we have a pulsar phenomenon, as my shield capacity increases significantly. Sadly, my current shield strength has to catch up with the expanded capacity, a situation the hostile Manticore will have already acclimatised to, actually giving him the advantage. Oh well, it's good that nothing happens on my arrival. I clear the wormhole, cloak, and warp to our tower.

I presume the Manticore has come here just to have a quick look around, see who else is here, whether our tower is here or in another system. I loiter near our wormhole for a while, to ensure that he leaves our system once he's taken a look around, which he does. Now it's back to our tower to swap in to my Buzzard, so I can return to the C3 to scan for an exit. Jumping back to the C3 puts me far under two kilometres from the wormhole, which makes me a little vulnerable. It shouldn't be a problem, though. I find a suitable celestial object heading away from the wormhole, align to it, pulse my reheat, and hit warp, cloaking as soon as I can. The Manticore decloaks thirty kilometres away as I do this, but launches no bomb and appears to just watch me warp safely away.

I make a second warp movement, to take no chances about being followed, before launching scanning pobes, and start taking a proper look around. As I scan I sit outside the local tower, where a Blackbird recon ship and the Hawk assault ship from earlier are piloted. I soon resolve the system's static wormhole, an exit to low-sec empire space, and there are no other wormholes in the system to find. I jump out of w-space to get the exit system, putting me in a dead end and twenty jumps away from Fin, where I wait for a few minutes. I am prepared for some attention when I jump back, and would rather not have polarisation issues should I need to use the wormhole for a second chance at escape.

The exit is too far for Fin to travel tonight, and a little inconvenient with the low-sec space to traverse. I'll have to take another look tomorrow. That is, if I get back to the tower myself. I jump back to w-space from low-sec, appearing almost five kilometres away from the wormhole this time, which is much more comfortable. It is an easy matter to move away and cloak, and I am not even sure anyone is monitoring this exit. I warp to the wormhole home, and jump and manoeuvre on the other side without any difficulty too. Getting home is easy-peasy, and I return to the tower in a rather anticlimactic way to get some sleep.

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