Continuing operations in a hostile environment

30th June 2011 – 5.43 pm

Maybe I should have left when the wormhole was clear. I run across so many towers stuffed with empty ships that I suspected those I initially saw on my directional scanner were the same. As it turns out, once I find both the towers out here, most of the ships are piloted, combat ships and industrials alike, and now a Hurricane and Brutix battlecruiser, and Dominix battleship have warped out and are sitting on the wormhole leading back to the class 2 w-space system I entered from, and the Probe I failed to pop is perhaps acting as scout for them. It's no bother, I suppose, even if I don't want to see if my covertly configured Tengu can avoid them, as I can easily wait here a day and leave at my leisure, my strategic cruiser being purposely equipped to scan.

But perhaps there is more for me to do here. The inhabitants may have blocked my exit from their system but it looks like an Iteron hauler is warping around locally. It would be amazing if he were collecting planet goo mere minutes after a Tengu popped one of their Anathema covert operations pilots, but I suppose stranger situations occur. All I need to do is find him, which may involve getting lucky, as this class 4 w-space system is quite large and d-scan doesn't reach in to the inner system from out here. I need to warp away from monitoring the towers to try to find my next potential target.

Dropping out of warp closer to the centre of the system reveals more towers here. One is off-line, one is on-line and, would you look at that, one is being brought on-line right at this moment, and by the Iteron too. Until the tower is on-line the force field is not active, and despite the known hostile presence in the system and the availability of combat pilots the locals have decided that sitting on the wormhole is a better use of their time than protecting vulnerable assets. I shall disavow them of this idea.

I bookmark the tower's precise location, my landing at the moon dropping me too far away to engage quickly and too near for my warp drives to get me immediately closer, and bounce off the planet to get within range of the hauler. I decloak, wait for the recalibration delay to pass, and lock and start shooting the hapless Iteron. It takes a while for my missiles to damage my target, as I overestimate my puny range, but the hauler's warp drives are disrupted and burning towards him closes the gap soon enough, as all the while I pound d-scan to see when his colleagues will turn up to send me packing. But they don't, not before his shields drop, not before his armour drops, and not before his structure disintegrates and throws the pilot's pod in to space.

At least the Iteron pilot is paying attention, getting his pod cleanly away, but I don't think these capsuleers talk to each other. As I watch the pod flee a Bestower hauler drops out of warp at the moon, and following close behind is a Hoarder industrial ship, which is hardly the combat response I was expecting! It's only a shame that these new targets warped to the moon and not the tower, as now I am once more a hundred kilometres away from both targets and this time will not be able to react in time to catch either of them. It's such a shame, as they are almost throwing themselves at my ship to be popped.

I imagine the locals have got the message now that there is a Tengu causing trouble in their system, and despite their carefree attitude to w-space flying I doubt I'll get any more easy kills. I'll see if I can make a sneaky exit. I warp at range to the wormhole to see the combat ships recalling their drones and warping away, only giving up the camp now that I've popped an unprotected ship carrying expensive tower equipment in an easily traceable position. I warp away, not wanting to crawl the distance to the wormhole if I can help it, and return to an off-grid bookmark I make at the same time. D-scan shows the wormhole to be clear, letting me warp on top of it within a few seconds and jump out of the system cleanly.

The wormhole has been destabilised, whether intentionally or not, and it's possible the C4 pilots assumed I had left the system already and were trying to isolate themselves from the threat. I suppose my attack on the Iteron really did come as a surprise. And as I move slowly away from the wormhole it flares, the Dominix appearing briefly before returning to the C4 once more, perhaps trying to complete the collapse anyway. I'm not sure if anyone saw me leave their system, but I've had my fun and I warp my Tengu back towards the wormhole leading in to this C2 from high-sec empire space. I jump out of w-space, dock in my mission base, and spend another night in a station.

  1. 3 Responses to “Continuing operations in a hostile environment”

  2. I always find it strange that industrial ships used for PI pick-ups do not have warp stabilizers fitted. It is extremely rare to run out of cargo space with PI, so whe fit cargohold extenders? It's baffling.

    By Akely on Jul 2, 2011

  3. Hey, don't give them ideas there.

    By pjharvey on Jul 3, 2011

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  2. Jun 30, 2011: Wormhole scanning in a Tengu | Diary of a Garbageman

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