Catching up with a Heron

29th August 2012 – 5.46 pm

Let's see what's waiting for me in w-space this evening. Aii, that's what. And some bookmarks to a w-space constellation, but day-old bookmarks and so they probably don't point to a constellation any more. That's okay, as I resolve the new static wormhole and jump to our neighbouring class 3 system. My directional scanner is clear from the wormhole, and exploring finds only off-line towers, giving me an inactive system to scan. I first find some gas for Aii to harvest, then a wormhole that feels nullish, and another that's more K162ish. After that, it's just rocks and gas, man. Rocks and gas.

The K162 actually turns out to be an N968, giving me another class 3 system to explore, even if entering the second system has the same blank d-scan result as the first. A blanket scan and bit of warping around reveals a tower with no ships, and fourteen anomalies and sixteen signatures. More rocks and gas are ignored in favour of four wormholes: a static exit to low-sec empire space, a K162 from more class 3 w-space, a K162 from high-sec, and a K162 from null-sec. That should keep me busy for a little while.

I poke out to high-sec first, to get an emergency route home, only to find myself two hops from Amarr itself. It's time to go shopping, thanks to a very generous donation towards my Revelation fund. I get the ball rolling by buying the necessary capital ships and Amarr dreadnought skill books, injecting and training the first immediately. It's now only about two hours until I can sit in a Revelation, so we had better get all the required minerals, blueprints, and modules quickly, or there'll be trouble.

I return to w-space, passing glorious leader Fin's Orca on its way out to export loot, the industrial command ship pushing the exit wormhole to half-mass on its jump. 'No! So much I want to accomplish, and so little mass allowance.' But I'm sure Fin will cope, as she's much more industrious than me. I cross the two C3s and dump the currently unusable skill book in our tower, so that I don't die and lose it in an embarrassing manner, before heading out again to do, um, something. I suppose I'll exit C3a to null-sec to look for rats. Aii exited through the neighbouring system's static wormhole and said the system was vacant, and it still is.

I can only find a cruiser to pop, but that will do for now. After all, there are more systems connecting to C3b that are suitable for ratting. At least, they would be if it weren't for all the pilots. The null-sec system is positively bustling with annoying capsuleers, and Aii is reporting that the low-sec system is busy too. Never mind, I'll just rat another day. In the meantime, there are probes visible in C3b, and a Heron frigate that seems averse to cloaking. I think I'll look for him instead of more rats.

The Heron isn't hard to find, as warping to the star gets me relatively close, but he isn't being entirely foolish about having a lack of cloaking device. I drop out of warp to see the scanning frigate some three hundred kilometres from me and moving away at a rate exceeding one kilometre a second. Even if he isn't watching d-scan as he fiddles with his probes, there is little point in scanning for his position. By the time my ship's warp engines spool up and get me to where the Heron was the frigate will be far enough away to put him out of warp disruption range. That doesn't make the pilot entirely safe, though. He may not be aligned towards a celestial object, but it looks like he could be pointing towards one of the wormholes in the system.

I bounce off the likely connection and return to drop short of the star, but I don't get close to the Heron. In fact, he's disappeared from d-scan. Aii has a possible location of the Heron near one of the wormholes, which I am already warping towards, as it is the only interesting location out of d-scan range of the star. The Heron isn't there, but he is on d-scan, and both me and Aii place him around the nearest planet. But, again, the pilot is already putting distance between his ship and the planet, and the distance is only increasing. This time, however, it obviously looks like the Heron is aligned towards another celestial object, one of the planet's moons.

Wanting to get closer to the Heron I bounce off the moon and return, making speculative bookmarks in both directions in the hopes that one of them gets me close. The first attempt still has me over two hundred kilometres away, and I think I can do better. The second is better, getting my covert Loki strategic cruiser a mere thirty kilometres ahead and to one side of the Heron. I don't think I can improve on this, particularly as the Heron is quickly closing range with me, so I decloak, aim for the frigate, and get my micro warp drive active.

By the time my sensor recalibration delay is over the Heron is within warp disruption range, allowing me to gain a positive lock and prevent the ship warping clear. A few more seconds and some missed volleys gets our ships aligned nicely, with my Loki having a slight speed advantage, and my guns start taking chunks out of the frigate. A couple more hits and the Heron explodes. I trap the unfortunate pilot's pod without viciously overshooting the wreck, letting me viciously overshoot the capsuleer. I scoop, loot, and shoot, just as Aii drops out of warp near me. Oops, I do get carried away sometimes.

  1. 2 Responses to “Catching up with a Heron”

  2. I'm excited to hear some stories about your dread once it's finished cooking!

    By Shazzam on Aug 30, 2012

  3. Hey, me too!

    It's going to be a while, though. We've not really set ourselves up for capital production, and the Revelation will have to be built in our home system, as the wormholes to class 4 w-space won't let a ship that big through.

    By pjharvey on Aug 30, 2012

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