Shooting at a shadow

18th February 2012 – 3.25 pm

I'm flying solo tonight, let's see what mischief I can get up to. There's a tower, some drones, and a Buzzard covert operations boat in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, and I doubt they are all together. I find the Buzzard piloted inside the local tower, moved since my last visit to this system two months ago, and the drones are predictably elsewhere in the system. I don't care to look for them, but I warp out to launch scanning probes when it seems that the Buzzard isn't up to much. I start scanning and manage to subliminally affect the local pilot, as he launches his own probes and starts scanning too. I resolve one gravimetric site and three wormholes before the Buzzard warps out. I'm not likely to catch the cov-ops, though, so ignore him and examine what I've found.

The static exit to high-sec empire space is expected, a K162 from high-sec is fairly boring, but the K162 from class 2 w-space interests me. It interests me less when I jump in to see a tower and no ships on my directional scanner. A blanket scan of the system reveals only two anomalies and six signatures, which are quick enough to skim over. Gas, rocks, and another connection to high-sec as the second static wormhole are all that's here. I have high-sec options galore tonight, but I can't think of anything to do with it. The exit from C2a leads to the Domain region and half-a-dozen hops from Amarr, which is dandy, I suppose, but I head back to w-space to think of something to do.

It looks like the Buzzard's followed me in to C2a but there's still little I can do about him, so I continue back in to C3a. Seeing a Coercer destroyer blip on d-scan in the system and thinking about the Buzzard's necessary return here I head home and swap my scouting boat for a stealth bomber. I take the Manticore back out to take a look around, checking the two exits in C3a whilst I'm waiting for any ships to show themselves. One leads to the Everyshore region, the other comes from Sinq Laison, and both are fairly convenient in one way or another. It would be more convenient had I stayed in my scanning boat so that I could look for more wormholes here. Jumping in the Manticore was rather rash.

I head home and swap boats again, and back in my Tengu strategic cruiser I return to high-sec to scan. I find nothing in the system in the Everyshore region, but the Domain system positively lights up for a high-sec system, with nine signatures to keep me busy for a couple of minutes. I resolve a Sansha hideout, two magnetometric sites, a wormhole connecting two high-sec systems together, a second wormhole coming from class 2 w-space but dying, and some rogue drone asteroids complete with their own Hulk exhumer. This is high-sec space, so I'd better not shoot that Hulk.

As I am finishing scanning an Imicus frigate jumps past my cloaked Tengu through the dying wormhole to the C2 beyond, but I don't feel like chasing him. He may not be able to warp cloaked he could easily return to high-sec and wait there until I leave him alone. Wormholes connecting to high-sec are more for logistics than fun. The final signature turns out to be another wormhole, a healthy K162 from class 3 w-space. I can continue my exploration there. But as I approach the wormhole it flares. Thankfully I carry my w-space habits across to exploration in empire space and am still cloaked. I call full stop and wait to see what happens.

It takes a while but eventually a Tengu appears in front of the wormhole, shedding its session change cloak. And immediately it jumps back to the C3. What an excellent opportunity! The Tengu is now polarised and can't simply jump out to high-sec to escape attack, but if I follow I won't be polarised and have exactly that escape route should my attack turn out to be going badly. This is the ideal time to test my covert Tengu against another covert Tengu. Without pause I decloak and follow the other ship in to the class 3 system.

I decloak as soon as possible on the other side of the wormhole, getting my sensor booster active and my weapons systems ready. The other Tengu's waiting for the session change timer to end is only playing in to my hands, least of all because it isn't protecting his polarised ship one bit. There he is! I get a positive lock, activate my warp disruptor, and watch as my missiles fly right past the other ship as it enters warp. Brave Sir Robin has warp core stabilisers fitted, how very disappointing.

I curse my changing fortune and reactivate my cloak, exploring the system to find the Tengu pilot now swapped in to a shuttle at one of the two towers here. I think I've scared him in to inaction, though, and rather than hoping he'll come out to play I head back to high-sec to see what that Imicus pilot is up to instead. I risk the ageing wormhole to take a peek in C2b, where d-scan shows me four towers and three industrial ships. Popping a hauler would be worth having the wormhole collapse on me, particularly a static wormhole heading back to high-sec when I have two separate high-sec routes available to the home system already. I zip around locating the towers but only to find none of the haulers piloted. It's not a night for hunting, it seems.

A piloted Merlin frigate sits at another tower in C2b, but I doubt he will do much without a sparring partner, so leave this system behind and head homewards. C2a remains quiet, as does C3a, so I jump home, slap an analyser module on my Tengu, and head high-secwards to see what I can find in those magnetometric sites. A Cheetah blips on d-scan just before I leave the home system but, again, I'm unlikely to catch him. I'll look for the new wormhole when I get back, and continue to high-sec where I'm reminded why I don't clear magnetometric sites in high-sec any more. The rats are pathetic and the loot rubbish. I'd have been more profitable by staying at the tower and not firing my missiles. I'm going home.

  1. 2 Responses to “Shooting at a shadow”

  2. Coercer's a dessie, mate :P

    By Planetary Genocide on Feb 18, 2012

  3. Oops, I thought I was getting a hang of these ship types. Thanks for the spot, and I've corrected the mistake.

    By pjharvey on Feb 19, 2012

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