Stealthing and bombing in w-space

7th September 2011 – 5.18 pm

I can't yet undo my previous scanning and delete all my patiently collected bookmarks. I am back from afternoon tea and was hoping glorious leader Fin would be here and we could kill our wormhole. Despite my best efforts, and various potential exits, I still haven't found a convenient route out to empire space so I can collect my Sleeper strategic cruiser, only some dying wormholes. And I won't be finding a new route until Fin arrives so that we can collapse the wormhole. I may as well make use of my bookmark collection and take my Manticore stealth bomber out for a roam through the fishy w-space constellation.

Jumping in to our neighbouring class 3 system finds nothing, and even more nothing than earlier. The two wormholes that were in their death throes are now not even holes in space, although the K162 from class 5 w-space is still here. I ignore exploring that system, though, as a transport ship was flying about earlier and whoever was active then is now probably busy elsewhere. My only option is to continue out to null-sec k-space, where there is a wormhole to more w-space to roam through. I warp across null-sec to the next C3, where a Hurricane is new and piloted at a tower, and scanning probes are flying about the system. The battlecruiser's not moving and, with even more w-space available, I move on for now.

I exit the system to low-sec empire space and head over to a K162 from more class 3 w-space. I drop out of warp ten kilometres from from the wormhole to see a Helios and Buzzard sitting on the K162, one of the covert operations boats jumping in to the C3 and the other moving to do the same. This would be a good opportunity to sit and wait, if my Manticore hadn't stumbled across the invisible yet still interfering cosmic signature and got inadvertently decloaked. I'm not sure why cosmic signatures can't be coincident with their wormholes, or why they act as physical objects so as to decloak ships, and because of that why they cannot be seen! The Jovians must hate us.

Unveiled and spotted I do what I can with the situation, and burn towards the wormhole to chase the two boats. I jump in to see the cov-ops boats cloak, when they either warp away or wait to see what I do. It's hard to tell what an invisible ship does. I move and cloak myself and, with little other option, warp to one of the two towers here to try to follow the pilots. If I have followed them they are pretty quick at changing ships, as two pilots at the tower are sitting in a Falcon recon ship and Iteron hauler. In fact, the Iteron hauler has even managed to get outside of the tower's shields. Maybe they aren't the same pilots.

Hang on, the Iteron is outside of the tower's shields! Not only that, but he's about twenty-five kilometres from me, which is good bombing range. Happy not to be in my Tengu this time, knowing how a tower can cripple a strategic cruiser, I align to the Iteron, decloak, and launch a bomb. With my momentum carrying me towards the hauler I try to gain a positive target lock so that I can disrupt its warp engines, but a split-second before I do it warps clear. That was pretty quick. Either I got a positive lock and it has warp core stabilisers fitted, it was already aligned and ready to warp, or hax were involved. Whatever the reason, my bomb explodes only to hit a defence. It was close, but no cigar-shaped ship kill for me this time.

I follow the Iteron but he only warps to a second tower in this system. I had my one shot and missed it, and now that the pilot has swapped the hauler for an Ishkur assault ship I turn around and leave the system. Back out in low-sec the other K162 to class 3 w-space is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and I remind myself that I'm not currently roaming in a ship with a probe launcher and leave it alone. That leaves me only the C5 connecting to our neighbouring C3 to explore. Or, with Fin's arrival, a wormhole to collapse and a new constellation to unveil. Maybe I'll even get back in to Pengu's pod at last.

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