This one's for me

19th July 2011 – 7.40 pm

I'm back, let's see what's happening. It looks like it's just me still, I may as well take my covert Tengu strategic cruiser out for a roam to see if the neighbours have woken up. Hullo, warping to the tower in the class 4 w-space system next door has a Tengu sitting about two hundred and fifty kilometres above the force field. He's not moving, either. I start pushing my Tengu towards him when it transpires our cohabitants of the C5 home also have eyes on the Tengu as a target. One chap is moving his Buzzard steadily closer to the Tengu, whilst another is readying firepower to bring to bear. I join their small fleet and start to coordinate my movements, looking to get a sweet kill to start the evening.

Damn, the Tengu warps back in to the safety of the tower's shields. I hold my vector anyway, in case he warps out to the same position again, which he does but only after swapping the Tengu for a Magnate frigate. I find that an odd choice, a pilot having trained for strategic cruisers but not covert operation boats. 'Maybe he plans to lose it', suggests a corporation colleague. Let's hope so. We are still crawling to his position as the Magnate launches probes but, unfortunately, he doesn't stay in his unsafe spot to scan and warps back in to the tower again.

I was only fifty kilometres away when the Magnate warped to the tower, and holding my course I get approximately to where the unsafe spot is and bookmark it. The fleet is now looking to catch the Magnate, hoping he is as slow at entering warp as he is scanning. Presumably he has all the local sites bookmarked, which should give him only the two wormhole signatures to resolve, but he takes his time about it. Eventually, the Magnate warps to our K162, followed by one of our Buzzards who welcomes him with a warp disruptor. The Magnate jumps to our C5 to evade the Buzzard only to be met by an anchored warp bubble and more firepower, our fleet continuing to grow as more people wake up.

The frigate doesn't try to stay in the C5, returning to the C4 as soon as he can. Despite our ships following him, and my having burnt hard to reach the wormhole in time, the Magnate warps cleanly back to his tower. We follow him, the two of us who made it close to his spot above the tower choosing to wait there in case he's foolish enough to use it again. The Magnate moves, but only inside the shields and to bring on-line some tower defences, as a new contact in a Drake battlecruiser warps in to join him in the tower. Nothing else happens here, but the wormhole to the C1 collapses of old age and I am volunteered to scan the new one.

The new static connection to class 1 w-space is found around the same planet as the old one, which is conveniently out of directional scanner range of the tower. I jump in to the C1 to take a look around, finding it occupied but inactive, the shuttle and Brutix battlecruiser in the tower unpiloted. I start scanning and resolve a wormhole, but I only grab an approximate bookmark from the scanning results for now, information coming from the fleet that both the Magnate and Drake in the C4 are wandering outside of the tower's shields. I warp back to the K162 and jump in to the C4, as the Magnate is a good two hundred kilometres from the tower and an easy target, if only we could get close enough.

It's not possible to warp to ships not in your fleet but, as Mick points out, it is possible to warp to them if scanned with combat probes. Fin is positioning probes to try to get a lock on the far-roaming Magnate, and I launch probes at the wormhole before warping to the tower to give it a shot myself. Scanning a ship's location can be difficult when you have to narrow down its general position using d-scan, but when you already know just where it is the task becomes much simpler. Whilst in warp, I form a tight cluster of combat probes set to their minimum scanning range and position them directly on the moon the tower is anchored to. I punch 'scan', wait a few seconds, and have a solid hit on all ships near the tower but the Nemesis inside the shields.

Now out of warp and far above the shields, I can warp to the Magnate. Adrenalin has taken over, even though I am hunting a tiny ship that may not even shoot back, which means I don't say what I'm doing, nor think to initiate squad warp to set every friendly ship near me on the Magnate. I may have been flying solo recently, but I'm still a bad Penny. One pilot notices me decloak as I drop out of warp ten kilometres from the frigate and joins me for the slaughter, popping the Magnate and podding its hapless pilot. Maybe it never intended to move out of the tower but he's rather further out now, waking up in a new clone in empire space. The Drake stirs too, never having got quite so far from the tower but at least now moving back inside. Anyway, as the battlecruiser was drifting slowly past the tower's guns it made him a less attractive target.

I've clearly got to get used to being part of a larger organisation again. Maybe I am being defensively quiet because I am new to the group, or maybe I am trying to prove I can be effective, but I should have been clear about my intentions and actions, and certainly considered more than just myself when engaging the Magnate. I should also remember that scanning ships sitting outside their own towers is really easy to do, as we could have caught that Tengu earlier within seconds had we thought of that tactic then. Oh well, we get a kill and, with the disappearance of the Drake, our w-space constellation is quiet once more. We can get back to scanning the C1.

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