Getting a second shot

19th October 2011 – 5.07 pm

Nothing's new in the home w-space system, letting me jump early through our static wormhole. Nothing appears to be happening in the neighbouring class 3 system either, with only a bunch of warp bubbles visible on my directional scanner. They could indicate occupation somewhere out of d-scan range, or they could be an accumulation of space debris. I launch scanning probes to find out, although my notes beat the probes to the punch. I was only in this system some ten weeks ago and warping to the location of the tower finds it still to be there. I also know I'm looking for an exit to null-sec k-space, which will be amongst the four signatures my blanket scan reveals, along with one anomaly.

But who cares about static wormholes when there is a piloted Mammoth hauler and a piloted Retriever mining barge sitting inside the tower's shields? I could have a shot at a pilot collecting planet goo or a miner shooting rocks. And it takes a little while of waiting but the Mammoth finally stirs, firing up its warp engines and heading to what must be a customs office. This could be a good start to the day! Unfortunately, at this distant position in the system, the angular separation of some of the inner-system planets is too small to determine where the Mammoth is heading, but I make my best guess and rush off hopefully behind it.

I drop out of warp near the customs office by myself, the hauler not here but on d-scan. I spin around searching for the Mammoth's current location and try to catch up with him, but flying behind a pilot collecting planet goo can be a losing game, which it is today. He's pretty quick at each customs office and I may have been better served waiting at the first one I landed at instead of rushing off. Once the Mammoth's off d-scan again I return to the tower to see him nestled back inside the force field, probably finished with his rounds and unlikely to go out again. The Retriever hasn't moved either.

Thinking that neither pilot is likely to move I take another look at the results of my blanket scan of the system. There are only four signatures present, one of which being the K162 home, and they all look to be clustered near the inner planets, which could be far enough away for me to resolve them without the pilots being able to detect my probes on d-scan. I give it a go, resolving a gravimetric site and two wormholes without my probes getting within d-scan's range of the tower, now giving me an advantage should the miner want to shoot some rocks. The second wormhole doesn't offer more opportunity, being a K162 from null-sec and reaching the end of its natural lifetime.

I may have missed an initial opportunity but the C3 is starting to wake up. Two new contacts appear in short succession, one in a Manticore stealth bomber and the other in a Drake battlecruiser. The Manticore warps out of the tower, maybe checking the null-sec connections, but even though I follow him I don't see what he's up to, which isn't surprising when considering the ship can cloak. I return to the tower, as does the Manticore shortly afterwards, in time to see the Drake warp out. It looks like he's heading for our K162, but again I see no trace of him when I get there. He drops off d-scan, and although I wonder if he's scouting our home system it could just be that he logged off, his ship warping to safety in a coincidental direction

Nothing is happening here. A few boats are swapped for other boats, but none of the pilots want to leave the tower, until a Buzzard covert operations boat wants to launch scanning probes. If they are going to find our K162 I may as well take a break for food and come back later when they are not so paranoid about a new wormhole. And I do return, but only to find even less happening in the C3 than earlier. That's okay, I have the null-sec connection to explore beyond, jumping out to the Syndicate region where nine of the ten pilots in the system must be marvelling at their legs in a station, or staring at a door, as there is only one ship for my combat probes to reveal.

The null-sec system has four extra signatures to resolve, and although I find a wormhole amongst the Serpentis bases and fortress it is reaching the end of its life, making me less interested in exploring the class 3 w-space system the K162 comes from. Space is all a bit dull at the moment. I head homewards, pausing to reconnoitre the tower in our neighbouring C3, where I see an Osprey cruiser has arrived. Oh, please go mining in that boat! But the pilot isn't sure, maybe having trouble talking himself in to mining in an Osprey, or deciding that staring at a ship maintenance array is more fun.

Before I give up on willing the Osprey to shoot some rocks two more pilots arrive at the tower. One is in a Worm faction frigate, who makes a few cursory orbits of the tower inside the shields before settling down, the other tantalisingly in an Iteron hauler. I am encourage to wait and watch a little longer, focussed on the Iteron now, and my patience is rewarded. The long and skinny hauler turns and points quite nicely indeed towards a planet, and a customs office. I have aligned my ship in preparation and enter warp before the hauler, landing outside the customs office in good time to see the Iteron arrive too.

I drop my cloak, suffer the interminable recalibration delay, and target the Iteron. I get a positive lock and start shooting, ripping the industrial ship to shreds in quick time, but not so quick as to disorientate the pilot. The ejected pod flees my attempt to snare it. I try to loot and shoot the wreck but end up shooting and looting it, which turns out to be not quite as profitable. Those expanded cargoholds can't be added to my collection now. The kill is clean and quick, and no ships are rushing to shoo me away. I fly past the tower to see a complete lack of reaction to the attack, the pod pilot not getting a new ship, the Worm and Osprey unmoved. And I have work to do, so I leave the pilots to stew in their new-found paranoia and head home.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.