Shooting fish in a black hole system

22nd December 2011 – 5.13 pm

Earlier reconnaissance has paid off, but only in finding the wormholes and not the activity. A corporation moved in to a class 1 w-space system whilst I was stuffing my face, but knowing where to find the C1 let me cause some disruption in my stealth bomber, popping a Mammoth hauler bringing needed ammunition in to the system. His pod got away, only thanks to my incompetence, but I'm happy that the black hole slowed the ship's alignment enough for the fitted warp core stabilisers not to have helped. The locals probably won't take the same risk again, so I warp to the newly installed tower to see what reaction I've provoked.

There's no discernible change in the capsuleer's movements. The escaped pod floats inside the tower's force field, along with a few other ships and pilots, with little happening. I have more systems that I found earlier to roam for activity, and I warp towards the K162 from class 2 w-space. Jumping in to the C2 sees the Cyclone battlecruiser and Scorpion battleship that were present earlier, but no sign of the Crow interceptor that was bouncing around. I warp to the tower to find the two ships in the same state as I left them, at which point the Crow appears on my directional scanner, apparently still bouncing between the two static wormholes, one to the C1 and one exiting to high-sec empire space.

I would have thought doing nothing would have got boring by now. I suppose the Crow could have gone off-line for a bit, just as I did, and has only recently returned, but he's not really doing anything productive. Sir, a corporation has moved an entire tower, along with defences, hangars, and ships, in to the system your home currently connects to, and all you have done is impotently patrol your borders. Nothing will happen here, unless I want to die to an interceptor, and I warp back to the wormhole to the C1 and wait whilst the Crow circles from a distance.

It looks like the Crow is far enough away not to be a threat, not even an interceptor able to cover well over a hundred kilometres in a few seconds. But given enough distance a ship could warp directly to the wormhole, an agile interceptor doing so in short order, and could potentially jump and greet me on the other side with unfortunate results. I hold my position until the Crow warps away to the other wormhole again, then burn and jump whilst he is unable to react. I return to the C1, and move away from the wormhole and cloak without a problem. I warp across to the exit wormhole to low-sec and wait a little while, in case the new occupants try to bring another ship in, hoping I've gone by now.

It doesn't take long before the wormhole flares, and I'm back to holding my breath, waiting to see what ship appears before decloaking and bursting in to action. It could be the Prorator transport ship, which I would have a hard time catching, or a combat ship, which may not be too wise too engage at such close range. Nope, it's a Bestower, another harmless hauler! Again hoping for the increased inertia caused by the black hole to hold the hauler in place for me I decloak, gain a positive target lock, and fire my siege launchers, burning towards the Bestower to give it a little bump. But my launchers stop cycling after only the first volley of torpedoes, as I lose my target lock. I think the hauler was luckily aligned towards the tower on entry and is warping away.

I think wrong. The Bestower doesn't enter warp but instead explodes in a shower of sparks, a single volley of torpedoes crushing his flimsy ship. I lock on to his ejected pod, probably more disorientated than they normally are, and prevent its escape. I cut my micro warp drive, not wanting to make the same mistake as against the Mammoth's pod, and make sure I have a freshly frozen corpse to scoop in to my hold. There's no loot in the Bestower this time, although I'm tickled to see this ship was also fitted with a pair of warp core stabilisers, but that's okay as I have no room left to carry anything after the mammoth Mammoth haul. I shoot the wreck and activate my cloak again.

Now I don't think I'll see any more ships pass my way. I visit the tower again to see a complete lack of reaction to my presence, so it's time to leave. They'll probably remain spooked and paranoid anyway. I warp to the exit wormhole and jump to low-sec empire space, where my session change cloak holds as the Prorator returns from another trip and jumps in to the C1. With the session change timer in effect I couldn't chase him if I wanted to, but I still think it would be an exercise in futility. I instead warp across the system to the K162 from class 3 w-space I resolved on my earlier reconnaissance, but get no further as I see the connection is now at the end of its natural lifetime. I'm about to turn around and go home, happy with my two kills and single podding, when I notice a familiar face in the local communication channel. The pilot I podded is back in the system. I wonder what he's flying.

I warp back to the K162 to the C1 and am sitting on the wormhole as the fresh clone appears in a shuttle, and he's too far from the wormhole to jump. It would be devilish to assault the pilot a second time, and I can take the hit to my security status, so I decloak and target the shuttle. I get a positive lock and one volley of torpedoes slams in to his shuttle before he manages to get to the wormhole to jump. I follow in behind, decloaking immediately so that I can lock his ship when it appears, but the shuttle is agile enough and with a signature radius sufficiently small for it to enter warp before I can get a positive lock on the other side of the wormhole. He warps to the tower with most of his ship intact.

Now I leave the C1 behind me, having terrorised the newly arrived locals, and head homewards. Despite this being my lucky day our neighbouring class 3 system remains quiet, giving me no more targets to shoot, and I simply jump home and drop the corpse and the faction ammunition in to our hangar before swapping back to my scanning Tengu strategic cruiser. I was right about my ship choice today, exploring in the Tengu and roaming in the Manticore, as I would not have got either of the ship kills in the Tengu. The sensor recalibration delay on decloaking would have taken too long, and although the heavy assault missiles can put out plenty of damage they don't hit as hard against large targets as torpedoes. It's been a good day, even if I found activity where I wasn't expecting it.

  1. 5 Responses to “Shooting fish in a black hole system”

  2. Ah, a warm welcome to a new home is always nice.

    By Planetary Genocide on Dec 22, 2011

  3. Kinda let's em know what to expect in their new home, wormholes are great for keeping the paranoid mashing dscan every second, about the time you get complacent is when you get a whole lot of surprises.


    By Zandramus on Dec 22, 2011

  4. Again you are showing why I love to roam in my dual-point bomber. I should do it more often, but we like to keep out statics closed for the most part.

    By Jhared Skyfire on Dec 22, 2011

  5. As Grom Hellscream said in WC2: Welcome to my nightmare! >:)

    By Afandi on Dec 23, 2011

  6. Yep, I think it was a suitable introduction to w-space. Stealth bombers are a lot of fun to fly.

    By pjharvey on Dec 23, 2011

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