Strategic cruiser chase

22nd November 2011 – 5.27 pm

My glorious leader is in our neighbouring system as I arrive. There's nothing to see in w-space at the moment, apparently, causing her to turn around and guide me to our static wormhole so that I can help scan. I pause only to note that some of the sites in the home system are starting to die, thanks to the now-corpse of czMulti, giving us less clutter to wade through to find wormholes, and I stop to scoop the last remnants of the fleet's ill-fated visit to our system, the sole Warrior drone spared by the Sleepers.

I am keen to find an exit today, as my skill training has hit a snag. When I went out to buy a couple of skill books recently I managed to get one for a skill I already know, not the advanced skill it leads to. That was a bit dumb and I should have been more careful, but it is a minor cost and hardly a cause for concern. But I will need to get the correct book at some point and there is no time like the present, so I join Fin to scan for wormholes. I last visited today's neighbouring class 3 w-space system three months ago, where I have nothing to note but the location of a tower and there being a static exit to low-sec empire space. Let's look for that exit.

Fin resolves the wormhole easily enough, using her returning skills in scanning, and whilst she reconnoitres it I let my probes get intimate with a suspicious-looking signature far from a planet on the outskirts of the system. It could be nothing else but a wormhole, which indeed it is, but warping to the scanned position lands me only in empty space, the connection collapsed before I could even catch sight of it. That's okay, as long as this third wormhole signature doesn't suffer the same fate as the second. Warping to the resolved signature indeed finds a wormhole waiting for me, a K162 from class 5 w-space. I'll poke my nose through here to look for threats, and targets, before heading off to get my skill book.

I see little in the C5. There is a tower visible on my directional scanner but no ships, as is often the case, but there is more of the system to uncover. I warp off to locate the tower as Fin heads in the other direction, having completed the scan of the C3 and exited to a low-sec system in the Placid region. Fin also has skill books she'd like to have handy soon and finds some for sale on the market, happy to fly off in that direction, kindly offering to pick up the book I'm after, whilst I search empty space. And it is empty space, the C5 holding nothing of interest, not even any further wormholes. Scanning reveals only 3 signatures, which are gas, rocks, and the static wormhole I already passed through.

I take my scanning self back to the C3 and out to low-sec, where I scan, naturally. Five extra signatures look promising, but only resolve to a magnetometric and ladar site, some dumb drones, more gas, and a second magnetometric site. The w-space constellation ends here. I almost miss taking far too long sketching and rendering my natty constellation drawings. I jump back to the C3 and reconnoitre both it and the C5 a second time, somehow finding no new activity despite at least ten minutes having passed since my last look. And suddenly the C5 is flooded with combat scanning probes. It looks like a new connection has opened in to the system, bringing a scout with it.

I sit on the wormhole out of the C5 to see what ship is scouting, holding long enough for a Loki to pass by and jump the C3. I'd rather not follow him and give my presence away, particularly as his covertly configured strategic cruiser could probably destroy mine. But two of ours would be victorious, and Fin's coming back from empire space with the skill books in her hold. She enters the C3, speeds across it to the wormhole home, and returns to our tower to prepare a Legion strategic cruiser for battle.

It takes a few minutes to ensure the Legion is fit and for us to discuss when and how to strike—and I use the limited time to find the fourth signature in the C5, indeed a new wormhole, a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space—but we're ready. Unfortunately, the Loki looks to have made it through the C3 and in to our home system. That's not too much of a problem in itself, as our home should still be a cul-de-sac for now, but, not previously mentioned because it wasn't important before, the C3 is over 100 AU in radius. I have a long flight to make if we are to catch the Loki exiting our home. I would prefer to catch the Loki running back through the C5, but we don't really have much guarantee that he won't slip out of the exit to low-sec in the C3 and not look back. Fin's ready and sitting on our K162, it looks like we're engaging there.

I jump to the C3 and start warping across the vast system, at about the same time as the Loki gets bored with our sparse C4 and jumps back to the C3 himself. Fin tries to catch him but is evaded by the cloaky Loki, who heads towards the wormhole to the C5. I tell Fin to give chase and hold him if possible, as I wait to land so that I can turn around and make the long warp back the way I came. We were hoping to have eyes on both sides of a wormhole, to prepare the other pilot for contact, letting them decloak and shed the recalibration delay in good time, but we've been hastened in to action. Now it's a chase.

I spin my Tengu around as soon as I land and surge right back towards the C5, another age spent in warp, as Fin approaches the K162 to the C5 a second behind the Loki. She pushes forwards and jumps to follow, a couple of seconds before I do the same. Fin has no reference beyond the K162 and cannot continue the chase, but my opportunistic scanning when the Loki was gone found the wormhole he came from and I push us both in to warp towards it. I am well aware of the numbers and ships that can be fielded by occupants of C6 w-space but am currently focussed on catching the Loki. I land on the wormhole and only think of jumping to try to catch him, trying not to think of what could be possibly waiting for me on the other side.

As it turns out, all I see in the C6 is the Loki entering warp. I am too late to stop him. But at least there is no one else waiting for me or Fin, nor does there seem to be anything close, d-scan being clear. I bookmark the wormhole I'm sitting on and warp around, confirming the system to be unoccupied and inactive, which is probably why there are twenty-two signatures that a blanket scan reveals. I don't care to sift through them for the next wormhole along the Loki's scanned route. He's gone, and as much as my curiosity extends I'm not keen to spend time searching for a route that leads either to waiting pilots or a solo pilot gone off-line. Instead, we have two good anomalies at home that can be plundered, and with the only other pilot so far seen out here chased away it looks like a good time to make some profit. Let's do it!

  1. 2 Responses to “Strategic cruiser chase”

  2. I bet the Loki pilot's was white knuckled as he ran!
    Better to have chased and have your prey escape you, rather then have the hunter turn into the hunted.

    By Easy Eve on Nov 22, 2011

  3. It's funny you should mention that, Easy Eve...

    By pjharvey on Nov 22, 2011

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