Harrassing a Hound

15th August 2012 – 5.32 pm

There's an explosion of sites at home, with eight anomalies already spawned. It just shows that you can't keep the Sleepers down. Our neighbouring class 3 w-space system isn't seeing explosions, though. Aii saw some Hulk exhumers earlier but couldn't quite scan them without his probes staying visible for too long, and he tells me that he 'spooked or angered the mining locals'. They swapped briefly for combat ships, but as is usually the case they just sat in them in their tower. Now a scout is scanning for our wormhole, much as Aii is scanning for all the gravimetric sites. I jump through our static connection to join him.

That's a lot of probes on my directional scanner, and they are all combat probes. I don't add my own probes to the scanning effort, as decloaking to launch them would reveal my ship by the other pilot, and it's probably best to keep him thinking that he only has the single visitor still. But nothing much is happening, with Aii scanning and the other pilot scanning being all the activity that can be seen. Aii needs a short break, so as some of the probes have disappeared he jumps homewards in a bid to provoke a response, but no ships reveal themselves. It's all gone quiet.

As the probes are gone I take over where Aii left off, and scan for the static exit to low-sec. I can ignore many signatures, which Aii has already resolved, and find myself one more gravimetric site and the static wormhole, the only connection in the system. With nothing happening in this C3 I poke out to low-sec to see what else I can find. Not much, that's what. But being alone in a low-sec system means I can rat as I scan, so I launch probes and look for a rock field. Actually, no I don't. I recall the three probes I've launched and turn back towards the wormhole as Aii, lurking behind me, says that a 'Hound decloaked on the wormhole'. Well, isn't that lovely!

The stealth bomber jumps to low-sec, and I am far from surprised. In fact, I am ready and waiting to engage. The Hound decloaks, I lunge towards it and aim for a positive target lock, but watch as he jumps back to the class 3 system. That's neat, as it means he'll be polarised. I follow behind, let Aii know what the Hound is doing, and decloak and get my offensive systems hot as soon as I reappear in w-space. The Hound appears too, moving away from the wormhole, and we both aim to catch it. The stealth bomber doesn't cloak, which is curious, but he still manages to warp away before we can stop him. That's a real shame. I recently modified the fitting of my covert Loki strategic cruiser to boost my tank, at the expense of having to drop my sensor booster, and in this case I could have used the sebo instead of the extra shield strength. Fittings are difficult.

Excitement and polarisation over, and with no sign of the Hound in C3a, I return to low-sec to continue with my original plan. Four extra signatures look promising on a blanket scan, but they get resolved to a couple of radar sites, some ruins, and a K162 from class 3 w-space that's at the end of its life. Despite my luck with my previous risking an EOL wormhole, I don't much fancy the trip back to this isolated low-sec system should the connection die, so I leave it alone. There's not much else to do but head home, but maybe I can get a bomb thrown at me as I return to w-space. Aii reports no activity in C3a, but that doesn't really tell us anything apart from that the pilot hasn't returned to his tower. Aii moves in to position near the exit wormhole as I prepare to jump in to the system, in case the Hound tries a hit-and-run.

I jump from low-sec to C3a and get no warm reception. I move away from the wormhole and cloak, and still the Hound doesn't show itself. I suppose he realises a single bomb would be mostly ineffective against a strategic cruiser, and if he's alone we probably won't see him again. Unless, of course, we give him a fatter target. Aii fancies harvesting some gas in the home system, which would be reckless to do with a Hound on the loose, but if we collapse our static wormhole it would become relatively safer, as well as showing a fat industrial command ship for a Hound to chase. Aii holds watch on the wormhole, and I board the Orca and start throwing it through our wormhole to stress its mass limit. The Hound is either not paying attention, or is not tempted after seeing two active pilots and suspecting one is probably watching.

The wormhole is stressed to half its mass allowance in a couple of round trips with the Orca, and all is quiet. Let's finish this. Aii comes home, swaps his scouting boat for a battleship, and one final pair of coordinated jumps kills our wormhole. Job's a good 'un. I park the Orca back at the tower, Aii boards a gas harvesting ship, and we go our separate ways. I hide in a corner of the system to go off-line as Aii warps to a ladar site. Unless the Hound sneaked in to the system when we weren't watching, Aii should be safe to suck some iskies in to his hold. I'll find out tomorrow.

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