Tracking Tengus

2nd May 2011 – 5.10 pm

I pay only a brief visit to our neighbouring w-space system today, at least to start with. I follow Fin in to the class 3 system shortly before she reports seeing a Heron, two Tengus, and wrecks on her directional scanner. We ignore the frigate and concentrate on the pair of strategic cruisers which seem to be shooting Sleepers. As Fin locates the combat I search for the tower, finding it easily using d-scan around a planet with just the one moon. I jump home having been here for maybe a couple of minutes, and warp to our tower to borrow a Legion strategic cruiser fitted for engaging a Tengu.

Fin has uncovered three anomalies in the C3, one of which the Tengus are in. She warps in to the site and makes a suitable bookmark close to the two Tengus before coming home to change ships herself. The cruisers are employing remote repair, so our plan is to neutralise the capacitor of one whilst disrupting and shooting the other. The stealth Legion is taken back in to the C3 by Fin, with me sitting on our static wormhole waiting to be called in to join the fight. Only we may not have one, as the Tengus appear to have finished with a Noctis now salvaging. But checking the cleared anomaly with d-scan shows one of the Tengus is guarding the salvager, giving us our opportunity.

I am called in to the C3, and I jump through our static wormhole and hold my session change cloak on the K162, as Fin warps to the anomaly. Even the Noctis is too quick for us today, as both targets leave the anomaly before Fin can engage. I am left in a dilemma. Fin's fine, as she has a cloak, but I will be plain as day in under a minute. I could jump home again, and be prone to polarisation issues should the Tengus come out to play with Sleepers again, or be visible to our targets and as a result discourage them from leaving their tower. Fin has a better idea, having scoped the system more thoroughly than me, and sends me to the tenth planet. I warp away, happy to know that I will be out of d-scan range of the tower as well as the two remaining anomalies.

Fin takes her stealth Legion to monitor the tower, where the remaining Tengu is swapped for a Badger hauler. Whether we've been spotted or not it looks like combat is over for the locals. We still may get our shot, even if it's a simple industrial ship collecting planet goo, and I let Fin know I am happy for her to chase and catch the Badger as it warps off. Whilst Fin has the frustrating task of following behind a ship picking up planet goo I relocate to the customs office around the tenth planet, knowing that if the Badger comes this way he will only see me when it is already too late. But what I see first is a Crane transport ship, and only on d-scan.

The Crane doesn't visit the customs tower I am lurking around, and is spotted a couple more times on d-scan and then by Fin back at the tower. It's curious that the transport ship is not warping cloaked, which is its primary benefit, even in a system they think is safe. They may not be so convinced of their safety now, if the Crane pilot has been checking d-scan on his trips out here, as my Legion would show up quite obviously on an otherwise empty d-scan return. Indeed, the Badger warps out in my direction but apparently only to reconnoitre, not appearing at the customs office and moments later seen by Fin to return to the tower.

I think it's fairly obvious there is a wormhole out in this direction, which is just bad luck for me to be hiding here. Then again, when the Badger is swapped back for a Tengu, maybe it won't be bad luck if the pilot thinks I am a tourist from empire space and he can ambush me first. Fin's presence is surely still unknown, and adding her arsenal to my own would surprise the Tengu's assault almost as much as the ship killer configuration I'm flying. Of course, the 'ship killer' has so far killed none and lost one, and all this assumes the Tengu will come out looking for me, which he doesn't.

I'm not doing much good sitting out here in my Legion, so I jump home and swap back to a Buzzard covert operations boat, hoping at least to scan the wormhole the Crane has been using. And as the location is out of d-scan range of the tower I resolve the wormhole without my probes being detected, bookmarking the exit to low-sec empire space in case the locals use it again. Mick turns up to join us and, having an extra pilot, and the two C3 locals back in their apparently natural state of being in a Tengu each, gives me an idea. I swap back in to my Legion and sit on our wormhole as Mick gracefully volunteers to take a bait Heron out in to the C3.

We plant the scanning frigate on a suitably obvious celestial object within d-scan range of the tower, and get Mick to launch probes and act noobish. Sitting uncloaked on a planet whilst scanning is good enough, and there's not much else you can do to look inexperienced without flying in to the shields of the tower. Despite his best efforts to take his time and be an obvious target Mick doesn't tempt the Tengus out of their tower. He finds another wormhole whilst scanning, though, even if it's simply a K162 from low-sec, which may explain why the locals haven't yet scanned for our own K162, as they may actually believe we are low-sec tourists.

Going totally method as scanning newbie, Mick forgets to bookmark the K162 from low-sec, but it doesn't matter. The locals are doing nothing and we can't lure them in to their deaths. How peculiar. We all head home and collapse our own wormhole, to isolate ourselves for the evening. We can look for targets again tomorrow.

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