Chastening a Navy Raven

20th August 2012 – 5.09 pm

All looks quiet at home. One new signature turns out to be a rock site, which I activate before heading through our static wormhole to roam. The neighbouring class 3 w-space system has gone through some changes since my last visit five months ago, as three of the four towers I have noted should be in range of my directional scanner and I'm seeing none. There remains occupation, though, with two towers on a far planet, but with no ships visible I am left to scan for adventure.

Two wormholes in the system sounds promising but the K162 from null-sec that's at the end of its life is a lacklustre addition to the static exit to low-sec empire space. Jumping to low-sec puts me alone in a system in the Essence region, so I launch probes before warping around the rock fields to scan and rat. Two anomalies, four extra signatures, and one rat battleship. It's all looking good, particularly as I resolve two wormholes, except the rat bastard warps away after I dispose of his frigate companions. That's just not cricket. But I lose interest in ratting when the first wormhole turns out to be an outbound connection to more class 3 w-space.

Jumping in to C3b is unengaging, with a clear d-scan, but with only one planet in range it could be considered a lucky position for the wormhole to appear. Or it would be, if the system weren't unoccupied and inactive. A blanket scan of the system reveals thirteen anomalies and fifteen signatures, and as I have a second wormhole to investigate back in low-sec I decide to leave wading through these signatures for now. I jump to low-sec and warp across the system to be next to another wormhole from class 3 w-space, this one a K162. I jump in to see if it is any more active.

C3c looks as quiet as the others, with a tower and a lack of ships within d-scan range. The tower's been moved one moon across since two months ago, which is a lot of effort for a change of scenery, but a second tower reveals itself when I explore the rest of the system. A second tower and a ship, which gets more exciting when it seems the Navy Raven isn't at the tower. Even better, the expensive battleship is in one of the two easily found anomalies in the system, letting me find it without having to launch scanning probes.

I recognise the pilot as one I saw in low-sec whilst I scanned. I'm surprised that a w-spacer would attempt basic anomalies in an expensive ship after having seen scanning probes one system across, but it's possible my probes were elsewhere at the time. The temptation to engage the Navy Raven is strong, and made stronger by the battleship sitting stationary on the anomaly's cosmic signature, making it trivial to warp to. The only question now is whether I dare.

I turn my covert Loki around and take myself across C3c, out to and across low-sec, through C3a, and to our tower as quickly as I can. I swap one strategic cruiser for another, boarding Jeff K's Third Prophecy, our ship-killing Legion, before returning to the wormhole in low-sec leading to C3c. Apparently I have more questions rattling around in my head than simply if I dare to engage. Do I have the firepower to overcome the Navy Raven? Is this a bait ship? Will I be quick enough to catch it still in the same anomaly? I decide that the only way to find out is to continue. I jump in to C3c and warp to where I last saw the battleship.

A tight beam on d-scan shows me the Raven still in the anomaly, but not where in the anomaly. Perhaps more importantly, it doesn't show me what Sleepers are now in the site, but hopefully most of them will continue to shoot the Navy Raven. I drop out of warp almost on top of my target, and in the middle of a full wave of Sleepers that includes two battleships. There's not much I can do about that, so I focus on the task in hand. I target the Navy Raven as I approach and settle in to a basic orbit, getting my capacitor neutralisers working alongside the warp disruptor and missile launchers.

I don't know much about the Navy Raven, but I suspect the battleship has a fairly hefty capacitor. I overheat my high rack immediately, getting my neuts sucking as hard as they can, as well as my launchers spewing missiles. And it's all looking remarkably positive. I thought I'd struggle to punch through the shields, and indeed the Sleepers had barely tickled them, but already the Raven is bleeding in to armour, and the armour is dropping quickly. The only problem is that so is mine. It seems the Sleepers were quick to switch targets and are concentrating on my Legion over the Navy Raven. But I remain optimistic that I will still pop the Raven before my moderate buffer runs out.

The Raven's armour dives, much as I expect of most Caldari ships, and it starts to take structural damage. This is looking to be my most rewarding kill for a long time, until I am warned that my capacitor is dry. That's alarming, as is the structure alarm. It seems the Sleepers are not only shooting me but applying their electronic warfare to my Legion too. I am webbed and neuted, slowing me down to take more damage from their and the Raven's weapons, and the neuts are destroying my ability to tame the Navy Raven. I align out of the site, as my structure gets close to half-integrity, and hold for as long as I can. But as my capacitor dries up my neuts stop cycling, and even though the Navy Raven is taking structure damage too I see that he has started boosting his shields again. I have to bail out.

I push my ship in to warp—almost literally needing to get out and push because of my ship's dry capacitor—and manage to exit the site, even if I barely make it a couple of AU from the anomaly and the still-intact Navy Raven. That was so close, and both lucky and unlucky. I managed to get the jump on an expensive battleship being careless, but at just about the worst time possible for the number of Sleepers present. I think I did just about everything right, it's just that the onslaught of the Sleepers was too much for my one ship to bear. Dropping out of warp with some recharged juice in my capacitor I head directly to the wormhole to leave the system, a little disappointed by not killing the Navy Raven but happy to have no doubt scared the crap out of its pilot.

I limp Jeff K's Third Prophecy home, not crossing paths with another ship, repair the armour damage completely, but leave the structure scarred until I can get more than one small hull repper at our tower. I get back in my covert Loki and return to C3c, curious to see what the Navy Raven pilot gets up to next. Astonishingly, she is back in the anomaly, still in an expensive ship, but this time with a Navy Scorpion battleship. I also notice a Cheetah covert operations boat briefly on d-scan, plus its scanning probes, perhaps looking for my return but a bit late to do so. The Navy Scorpion must be bait and hoping I'll attack again, but I'm not going to go up against him alone a second time. Which is why I'm pleased to see Aii come on-line.

  1. 8 Responses to “Chastening a Navy Raven”

  2. Such a post can't finish like that. What I'm supposed to do now? Waiting inside here until tomorrow wondering if the pair of you managed to pop the scorpion?

    You know what? While you were so cruel to create such a suspense for your loyal readers, I'll pay back giving you something to regret: *Yes* you did something wrong in your first attack: you strike straight ahead on the target. You could have just warp at range, watch the sleeper situation before launching your attack, wait for the right moment with few sleepers in site, and *then* strike. And at this time, the post would have finished, tonight I could sleep better, and you'd have a new juicy killmail in your collection. Eh?

    By Gil Roland on Aug 20, 2012

  3. You could donate to my Revelation fund to see if I post the next installment quicker.

    Also, this Legion doesn't cloak, so if I had warped to the site at range the Raven probably would have flown away as soon as I appeared. Probably, I dunno. Maybe I could have watched on d-scan and monitored the number of wrecks, but again the Raven would have to be pretty careless not to see a Legion nearby.

    By pjharvey on Aug 20, 2012

  4. You could have watched d-scan monitoring sleeper's wrecks while under WH session change cloak. Voilà.

    Regarding the next installment, I'm under no illusion: you're too methodical to post before tomorrow afternoon around 5 pm. But I may still consider a donation to the Revelation fund if the end of this story will be satisfying enough.

    By Gil Roland on Aug 20, 2012

  5. Ah, it perhaps wasn't entirely clear, but the anomaly with the Raven was out of d-scan range of the low-sec static wormhole. As I noted earlier, entering the system only showed me an empty tower, and it was when I warped around that I got in range of the Raven.

    And I'm almost insulted, sir! When have my extended tales ever ended unsatisfactorily, one way or another? There have always been explosions! Well I never.

    By pjharvey on Aug 20, 2012

  6. No cap booster or nos on that Legion? You might want to consider those since you're always at risk of being neuted by Sleepers.

    By Nursultan on Aug 21, 2012

  7. That's probably a good idea, Nursultan. Fittings are mutable, after all, as there is never a perfect whole.

    By pjharvey on Aug 21, 2012

  8. ---> That’s probably a good idea, Nursultan. Fittings are mutable, after all, as there is never a perfect whole.

    We've found something to regret eventually. I knew something was there, I just didn't watch the right spot. Damn.

    By Gil Roland on Aug 21, 2012

  9. Woo, more ISK for the Revelation! I have no idea what you just said, Gil, but thanks for the donation.

    By pjharvey on Aug 21, 2012

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