Heading home has a hauler appear

18th October 2011 – 5.11 pm

Seven bookmarks for the home system, eight signatures revealed when scanning. Including today's unresolved static wormhole that seems about right to me, until I realise one of the ladar sites I activated has dispersed now, giving me an extra signature to investigate. It turns out to be more gas, or the same gas moved to a new location to throw me off its trail, which doesn't give me any more connections to explore through, so I simply head to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to see if I can find anyone to shoot.

The C3 looks clear from the wormhole, and a blanket scan of the system reveals no ships. A tower is on-line but empty on the outskirts of the system, initally out of range of my directional scanner, and with no one home I start sifting through the eight signatures here, ignoring the seventeen anomalies as more profit going to waste. Scanning finds gas and rocks, rocks and gas, wormhole and battleship. Hold on, what were those last two again? Sure enough a battleship appears on my combat scanning probes, which means my combat scanning probes appear on his d-scanner and he's probably seen me.

'Don't worry', he says in the local channel, at least according to my translation software, 'I'm a professional Russian'. I centre my probes around the battleship and find a second wormhole, but by the time I have resolved the wormhole and warped my Tengu strategic cruiser over to take a look both he and the connection are gone. No doubt he was finishing collapsing the wormhole, confident in piping up in the local channel because the connection was about to be severed. That may be the only interesting occurrence to happen this evening, and I just missed it.

I have three more signatures to resolve, finding more rocks, gas, and a third wormhole. The static connection is an exit to high-sec empire space, but reaching the end of its natural lifetime and mostly useless, the other wormhole being an outbound connection to more class 3 w-space and worth exploring. Jumping in to the second C3 has only one planet within range of d-scan, which is unsurprising for a system around 110 AU across. I stretch my probes as much as I can to try to blanket the system, just about managing it, to see that it looks even quieter than the previous one and with more anomalies.

A mere six signatures are easy enough to resolve, the first one probably being the C3's static exit to null-sec k-space, which I know will be here after my last visit to this system ten months ago. Apart from the usual sites I am pleased to see another wormhole present, and even happier when it turns out to be a V301, an outbound connection to class 1 w-space. That low-class system may offer some squishy targets for me, but jumping in finds nothing of interest within d-scan range, and a blanket scan again reveals no ships. It's awfully quiet out here tonight.

I scan my way out of the class 1 w-space system, exiting to a region I've not been to for a while, even if I remember the stench of Aridia quite well. Exploration can continue from here, the four signatures turning up one further wormhole, a K162 from more class 3 w-space. But jumping in still has no ships in sight! I am tempted not to scan the system, not wanting to waste time looking for a K162 that may not exist, but a lone signature right on the edge of the system looks suitably suspicious, and as I have probes out I can take a quick look. My hunch is right and I resolve a wormhole, but the K162 only comes in from null-sec and doesn't interest me.

I turn around and head homewards, seeing the system in Aridia fill up with pilots, perhaps some weirdo capsuleers re-enacting Battlestar Gallactica, and continue back through still-empty w-space. I poke my nose out through the exit to null-sec in C3b, turning up in a system in the Paragon Soul region where there are no further signatures. I give up on exploration for tonight and warp back across the C3, but with a stutter, as I look at my atlas and realise I could make a quick circuit of some systems for more red dots of exploration, which I return to null-sec to do.

I pop a few rats whilst in null-sec, just a few loitering on a stargate in an otherwise empty system, before returning to w-space to head home to sleep. But w-space is no longer empty, our neighbouring class 3 system now holding two Bestowers somewhere. I move away from the wormhole and cloak, warping to the tower to see what's happening. But sluggish controls look to thwart me again, as my cloaking device activates then de-activates, then on re-activation it appears that my ship isn't cloaked, which I only realise when I reach the tower where the two Bestowers are piloted.

My Tengu's several-second blip on the overview of the locals as I adjust my cloak has probably ruined my chance of catching these pilots unawares before I even get a chance to ambush their defenceless haulers. It's just not fair. I sit and watch them briefly anyway, as one Bestower disappears and returns, only for the other ship to start moving! I have my focus on the wrong ship, but I zoom out to get a bearing on where the first Bestower is heading, and as it looks like a customs office I follow behind.

I drop out of warp to see the hauler land at the customs office, so I decloak and get my weapon systems hot, locking my target and disrupting its warp drives as soon as I can. Popping the hauler is trivial, and it turns out to be my lucky day after all when I also manage to snare the pod and stop it from fleeing. My missiles permanently prevent the pod from going anywhere, and I scoop the corpse, and loot and shoot the wreck, bagging me four cargo expanders for my efforts. They always come in handy. I warp back to the tower to see the second Bestower floating stationary inside the force field, which I imagine is where he'll now stay.

Maybe the first pilot was getting himself a drink when my Tengu inadvertantly became visible for a few seconds, which was unfortunate for him but good for me, but I doubt the other pilot will have missed the more obvious screams of his colleague as he became a corpsicle. Besides, it's late, and I could use some sleep. It still may be only another soft kill for me, but it's an evening's successful exploration and stalking, and I can be pleased about that. I leave the C3 behind me for our home system, where I store my newly collected corpse and settle down for the night.

  1. One Response to “Heading home has a hauler appear”

  2. Mmm, tasty Bestower. It looks like a pastry of some sort anyway. GJ :)

    By GrammatonCleric on Oct 19, 2011

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