Mangling a Manticore

16th July 2011 – 3.54 pm

Whilst I've been watching what may well be a cardboard cut-out of a Bestower there has been some activity behind me. The class 2 w-space system I scanned my through to get to this boring class 3 system has woken up, glorious leader Fin following in behind me in her scanning Tengu strategic cruiser to scare a Thorax cruiser off the exit wormhole to high-sec empire space, and now a Manticore stealth bomber and Myrmidon battlecruiser are flying around. I'm heading back there to get a piece of this action.

Fin's sitting on the connection to high-sec and watches as the Myrmidon jumps out to empire space. The Manticore apparently tries a bombing run on the wormhole from sixty kilometres out, which unsurprisingly doesn't get anywhere near damaging Fin's Tengu, and I get in to the system to locate the stealth bomber back in the third and least-cluttered tower in this C2. As we're both sitting there, him inside the shields and me without, I open my system map and familiarise myself with the exits. You know, in case of emergency.

The Manticore warps out of the tower again and, thanks to my conscientious attention to detail, I know he's heading towards the exit wormhole again. I follow behind, aiming to drop out of warp close to where he last was seen releasing a bomb, but all I see is empty space. Fin's Tengu is cloaked, as is the Manticore. Come to think of it, so am I. Even empty space can be threatening. I push my Tengu towards the wormhole, wondering if the Manticore pilot has realised the range of his bombs now, but get to twenty kilometres without bumping in to another ship.

I turn around and align back towards the tower, but move under normal speed. As I head back along the same vector as my approach Fin is kind enough to decloak on the wormhole as bait, trying to lure the Manticore to reveal itself to launch a bomb. The pilot isn't tempted by our target, though, and I am still not bumping my ship in to his. At least, not until I am about a hundred kilometres from the wormhole, when my cloak drops and the Manticore is also unwittingly revealed.

Hello, Mr Manticore, let me introduce you to my missiles. I get a positive lock and rain damage on the tiny ship, seeing it pop in a beautiful explosion. I manage to snag the pod, either from the pilot being disorientated or caught with his trousers down, and I am scooping his corpse, and looting and shooting the wreck a few seconds later. We get another covert operations cloaking device for our collection, and for some reason a couple of shrapnel bombs.

I am, of course, a terrible person. Once more, Fin does all the work and good scouting and I am the one to capitalise on the kill. But hopefully we rectify Fin's lack of combat today by taunting the Myrmidon in to action, as he returns from high-sec and cloaks on the wormhole. We can't do much until he shows himself again, which he does, but as both me and Fin have been pulled off the wormhole to catch the Manticore there is little we can do but watch the battlecruiser warp off. He's heading back to the same tower the Manticore used, so I follow to see what he'll do next.

The Myrmidon stays in the tower for a short while, joined by a new pilot in a Hyperion battleship, but only the battlecruiser warps out again towards the wormhole. Fin puts his distance at about fifty kilometres from the wormhole but, despite my best efforts, I can't decloak the our target this time. I try bouncing off the tower again, to try a different range on the same vector, only to see a Scorpion battleship now piloted inside the force field. The presence of potent ECM capability is our cue to leave the system, there being little point in stalking a target that we may not be able to lock on to. Fin and I take our Tengus back out through the wormhole to high-sec, and head home to dock for the night.

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