Hunt, shoot, rat

19th June 2012 – 5.35 pm

Hey, w-space, how about throwing a hauler my way today? A bookmark to our static wormhole is a help, thank you mystery scout, letting me get to exploring the constellation with little delay. But jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has nothing visible on my directional scanner, and nothing out of range. Adjusting the settings finds an off-line tower floating somewhere, which makes me suspect the system holds a static exit to null-sec k-space. There's one way to find that out.

Launching probes and blanketing the system suggests no one has been in this C3 for a while, with twenty-four anomalies scattered around. There are only eight signatures, though, and those turn out to be mostly wormholes, with four resolved in a row before they give way to rocks and a touch of gas. Reconnoitring the wormholes gives me a static exit to low-sec empire space, not null, although the second and fourth links are K162s from null-sec, one reaching the end of its life. My first choice is the third wormhole, an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space.

In C3b d-scan shows me a Thanatos carrier, Noctis salvager, and a tower. With no wrecks around I doubt anything is happening, but I perform a passive scan of the system anyway, just in case, to reveal a single anomaly 42 AU away. As there's a Noctis somewhere, and time is generally of the essence, I think it best to warp out and look for a fleet before confirming the salvager is piloted, but getting to the edge of the system sees no other ships. Whilst out here, I launch probes and blanket the system, which shows me the two ships I know about, the anomaly my on-board scanner revealed, and four signatures. Now I'll find the tower.

Warping back to the inner system has a Helios covert operations boat in place of the Noctis on d-scan, and locating the tower shows neither the Helios nor the Thanatos there. Curiouser and curiouser. I'd better hunt them, not that there is much I can do about a carrier by myself. I use d-scan to get a good bearing and range on the ships, and arrange my probes around their position, knowing that I can be quite rough when aiming for a ship as massive as the Thanatos. I'm ready to scan for the ships, just when they both warp in to the tower. That's disappointing.

What's more disappointing is both pilots going off-line shortly after their return. My probes are still in place, so I hit 'scan' and see what they were up to. Nothing, apparently. It looks like they were in a safe spot, maybe checking the configuration of the carrier, so it's a shame I wasn't a minute quicker in scanning for them. Then again, now that I can scan the system completely, there are only three signatures. I think the carrier was gassing. There's still nothing I can do about it, so I scan the signatures that remain, resolving a K162 from class 5 w-space and the system's static exit to low-sec. As the K162 is EOL, this looks like the end of the constellation.

I exit through C3b's static wormhole to appear in the notorious Old Man Star system in Essence, and with a dozen pilots in the system I think I've seen enough here. I backtrack through C3b to C3a, and out to a different low-sec system. Aliette—gentille Aliette—is in the Sinq Laison region and feels rather more laid back than Old Man Star. I've even been here before, as evidenced by having a safe spot bookmarked, which I use now for launching probes. There is a Noctis and some wrecks somewhere, and I'm keen to look for them. I'm less keen when the Noctis looks to be at a tower, but keen levels rise again when I notice that the tower doesn't have an active force field.

The tower is being anchored as I watch, the Noctis nearby but inert. A check of the other pilots in the system shows a colleague of the Noctis nearby, but a closer look at the pilot sees that he's only a few days in to space. There can't be much such a young capsuleer can do to me, I would hope. And even though it's not a hauler, nor is it w-space, but it's a soft target in low-sec, so I warp in to say hello to the Noctis. The explosions of my missiles are quite a warm welcome, right until the pilot's pod gets launched in to chill of space from a disintegrating ship. I let the pod go and loot the salvager, finding nothing of value inside. The colleague of the Noctis leaves the system, my security status goes down, and a Helios is scanning. It's just another day in New Eden.

Aww, man. My security status has gone negative again. I foresee more dullness in ratting in my future. Before I see if null-sec behind me holds any opportunity for tedium, I scan low-sec, finding a Serpentis Annex, radar site, magnetometric site, and a wormhole. The wormhole is a K162 and EOL, but as it comes from class 1 w-space I think it's worth a quick peek. Jumping in sees a tower on d-scan, along with a load of bubbles that I have to filter out to see the Noctis, two Iteron haulers, two Hulk exhumers, Drake battlecruiser, and Damnation command ship. There are no wrecks visible, so I'll locate the tower to see how empty the ships are.

I think I've found the bubbles that are the source of noise on d-scan. There are one or two—actually 137—protecting the tower from, um, their own paranoia maybe. I feel mostly safe in my interdiction-nullified strategic cruiser, but with such a mess around the tower I'm not sure I can get closer for a better look. But thanks to the tactical overlay I see a clear path that lets me get a good view of the ships, with all but the Noctis and one of the Iterons piloted. Maybe I should have a look for an operation in progress. I warp out, launch probes, and blanket the system, but all my probes show me are the ships in the tower. Nothing's happening here, and I should probably leave whilst the wormhole lives.

I return to low-sec, then C3a, and head out to null-sec through the healthy K162 to appear in a system in the Impass region by myself. I'll be ratting, I suppose. I eschew cruisers in the first few rocks fields and, amongst some fresh wrecks, pop a rat battleship. I am in a dead-end system in null-sec and think about pushing back a few systems, even though there appears to be another pilot or two ratting around here. Well, if I'm going to be shooting war criminal Noctes in low-sec I ought to make the effort to keep my security status healthy. And hopping through stargates sees an occasional pilot, but nothing to stop me popping a handful of rat battleships in different systems. I even manage to get my security status positive again by the time I get back to w-space. But still nothing interesting is happening.

  1. 7 Responses to “Hunt, shoot, rat”

  2. Those 137 bubbles in all their glory. gZsuS is right, imgur!

    By pjharvey on Jun 19, 2012

  3. I feel like I'm living vicariously through you and your adventures, keep it up. I get more and more of a craving for wormholes everyday.

    By William Andersen on Jun 19, 2012

  4. What exactly were you planning to do if you managed to scan down the carrier? Tackle it?

    By Gummy on Jun 19, 2012

  5. Hell yes!

    No, I was going to use the carrier as a huge target for my probes, and hope to surprise the cov-ops that was with it.

    By pjharvey on Jun 19, 2012

  6. Thanks, William. Go with your instincts and come to w-space, it's super friendly.

    By pjharvey on Jun 19, 2012

  7. I'm thinking "gentile Aliette" is either a bit of the Eve backstory that I'm not familiar with (way to go and political correctness be damned!), or it's a tupo.

    By Watchadoin on Jun 20, 2012

  8. Oops, that would be a typo. And now it's fixed!

    Aliette, gentille Aliette,
    Aliette, je te plumerai.

    By pjharvey on Jun 20, 2012

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