Keeping home clear

15th November 2011 – 5.11 pm

Ok, let's see what's out there today! Intruders, apparently, once again pillaging our sites of specific Sleeper interest. I only notice when my combat scanning probes pick up more ships than I expect, plus some drones, at which point I switch to my directional scanner to see an Apocalypse and two Tengu strategic cruisers trying to steal our loot. I remain undetected for now, thanks to my security precautions, which also let me launch my probes and blanket the system before I even knew there was a threat present. I think this gives me the upper hand.

It is a simple matter to locate the anomaly the hostile fleet is in. Warping in at range to reconnoitre the site sees a familiar name, one I'm sure I've encountered only recently. It turns out she was the pilot who evaded Shev's and my attempts to ambush a battleship or two of hers, although I still manage to pop a colleague in a hauler collecting planet goo, but I only find this out later by scanning through my records. I have no time for such errands now, I have strategic positions to make. But, just to be clear, I'll get you this time, Gadget.

My growing network of safe spots in the home system has one close and below the anomaly, which let me warp in safely to begin with, and now I bounce off it again to reach a more convenient spot in the site. Floating over a hundred and fifty kilometres away from every wreck lets me warp to any of them individually, just right for ambushing a salvager, and much better than warping from outside visual range. And the fleet has finished the site and is warping away at the same time as a Noctis salvager appears on d-scan. No long wait for Penny today.

The Noctis drops out of warp near to the cosmic signature and a bunch of Sleeper wrecks. This gives me a perfect beacon to warp to, and now is the perfect time to strike. The fleet is probably still in warp to their destination and will take time to react and turn around, and the earlier I hit the Noctis the less loot will be accidentally destroyed. I'm already thinking about salvaging this site for myself. I warp in close to the Noctis, decloaking naturally as a couple of wrecks bounce off my hull, not concerned today about the risk of doing so. The salvager has only just arrived, he won't be thinking about escape just yet.

I wait for the recalibration delay to end and gain a positive lock on the Noctis. Missiles rip through his shields and armour, not as quickly as I'd like but satisfying enough. I keep updating d-scan to look for his colleagues' return but see no ships coming my way, and my missiles chew through the hull of the salvager. A blue explosion heralds the release of the pilot's pod, which I manage to lock on to before he can flee. I even remember to re-activate my warp disruptor for the new target in time to snare him, and a few more missiles give me a new corpse to scoop. I loot and shoot the wreck, as there are still no ships appear on d-scan or in the site, which is good because in my haste I forgot to bookmark my scouting position, giving me no quick and easy escape route. I burn away from the wrecks and cloak, hiding once more, but still no one comes.

The Noctis had looted and salvaged nothing, leaving a few wrecks tractored close to his ship but the site otherwise unchanged. And now that I am cloaked and safe I turn back to my combat scanning probes, still monitoring the system, an updated scan showing the hostile fleet to have left the system. I keep updating them and checking d-scan but no ships return for a while. It looks like they've been scared off. I said I'd get my target, but it looks like I'll have to settle for another of her colleagues.

With no one returning and my own probes already launched I think it's safe to scan now. In the pause after the ambush I confirm my knowledge of the pilot and find the recent encounter we had, so I assume I'm looking for a K162 from class 5 w-space. And that looks like it, the K162 quite easy to spot amongst the five signatures in the home system. Or maybe I'm just being a bit smug about scanning now as that's our static connection to class 3 w-space. And that is a new gravimetric site, which I activate. This third signature is the K162, although it's not coming from a C5 but class 2 w-space. I suppose that makes sense, the pilot I saw was moving ships out last time, and it looks like they made a splinter group.

I'll take a look in the C2, it's probably safe. I jump in to see three towers and some ships on d-scan, including the Apocalypse and one of the Tengus. My previous visit has occupation confirmed but no tower locations listed, and as I check this my friend in her Apocalypse warps to the wormhole. I doubt she's looking for me, sensing or suspecting my appearance, and I am clear of the wormhole, making it safe to watch as she jumps to our home system. A Raven battleship warps in behind and follows through the wormhole, which strikes me as odd. Surely they aren't starting again, not after their salvager was podded. Of course they're not, they're pushing battleships through the connection to collapse it, confirmed as the Apocalypse returns a minute later.

The wormhole between our two systems is currently healthy, I have time to look around a bit as the pilots are distracted. I am most keen to find out if the Badger hauler I've seen on d-scan is piloted and foolishly collecting planet goo, as I would find it quite amusing to pop another of their industrialists under their noses. I find two of the towers easily enough, and have a rough direction to the third, but the Badger is unpiloted. I may as well head home, as I have our neighbouring C3 still to explore. I have to navigate past the Raven, still sat on the wormhole, to get home, but I don't mind that. I jump as the Raven jumps, which is just a coincidence, and the wormhole destabilises to its half-mass state.

The Raven doesn't try to chase me, which is understandable. I think he's more scared of me than I am of it. He simply holds his session change cloak until he can return to his C2 home. I sit patiently on the wormhole watching the slow demise of the connection, which isn't terribly interesting by itself but, I have to be honest, I am really hoping it goes awry and strands one of the pilots. And, a little later, when the Raven makes his return jump and the wormhole critically destabilises I am honestly intrigued to see what happens next. Will the pilots be tempted to push another battleship through, potentially losing it, or will they swap to cruiser hulls? I can't wait to find out.

  1. 5 Responses to “Keeping home clear”


    By Planetary Genocide on Nov 15, 2011

  3. totally meant cliffhanger* Oops. Too much eve.

    By Planetary Genocide on Nov 15, 2011

  4. Only stumbled across your blog recently. As a W-space dweller myself I am enjoying your stories. Lots of good tips in living in W-space wrapped in an enjoyable narrative.

    Maybe see you out there but, to be honest, I hope not. :-)

    By dagoaty on Nov 16, 2011

  5. Thanks, Dagoaty. I'll keep an eye out for you, too.

    PG, make sure you tune in same bat-time, same bat-channel!

    By pjharvey on Nov 16, 2011

  6. A cliffhangar for Batman sounds like an awesome idea.

    By Easy Eve on Nov 16, 2011

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