Home help

6th September 2012 – 5.07 pm

I come on-line for an afternoon jaunt through w-space, looking for an industrial ship or two to destroy. Hullo, I don't have to look far it seems, as a Noctis appears on my directional scanner as I cloak in a corner of the home system. Then again, the Noctis is called 'Noctis', and there are no wrecks and no fleet nearby. I don't remember abandoning a salvager out here, and don't think my colleagues would do so, but I'm not quite sure what d-scan is showing me. Oh, nothing. The Noctis has disappeared, either cloaked or jumped. That settles that.

Of course, that doesn't really settle anything. Warping finds a fleet of two Tengus and a Cyclone in the inner system, although the battlecruiser isn't with the strategic cruisers, none of the ships are in an anomaly, and I still see no wrecks. Hold on, there are some wrecks appearing, so the Tengus are fighting and the Cyclone is... well, I don't know what the Cyclone is doing, but I'll ignore him for now in favour of looking for the fighting fleet. This turns out to be more involved than I anticipate, as the Tengus are neither in an anomaly nor a bookmarked site, so a new site must have spawned overnight. I'll have to hunt them to find them.

Luckily, our system is big enough to hide ships on either side of the system, so I warp away from all the ships, launch combat scanning probes, and return to look for the, uh, oh. The Tengus have gone. That site didn't take long to clear. Still, the Noctis will have to come, presuming that he's cloaked and waiting, and I have a bunch of wrecks to aim for using d-scan, so I hunt for them. I get a tight five-degree d-scan beam on the wrecks, estimate their range from me, and arrange my probes to be on top of them, but I don't scan. The site may despawn quickly, so I'll wait for the Noctis to arrive.

A Helios covert operations boat appears on d-scan as I wait, although I can't say why, but it seems likely that the fleet is taking a precaution about new wormholes opening unexpectedly. That's wise but doesn't always help, as I hope I'll make them find out. But there's still no Noctis, and rather than wait at this single site I am probably better served in shadowing the fleet. After all, the Noctis may not salvage in the same order that the sites are cleared. Luckily, the Tengus have moved in to—or back in to, judging by our pillaged system—plain anomalies, all of which a passive scan has revealed, and I can follow them without fuss.

A new wave of Sleepers has the Tengus, now with three in the fleet, warp out. That's curious, as surely the ships can easily take what abuse the Sleepers dish out, and even more curious when the fleet moves in to a second anomaly of the same type instead of returning the first. Maybe they are trying to keep potential threats like me off their tail. Sorry, chaps, I'm right behind you, making another tactical bookmark to keep track of your movements. As we warp around I am still updating d-scan to watch for the Noctis, checking that my probes are sitting on top of the wrecks and getting more confident with the triangulations I'm performing, and wondering what the hell that Cyclone is doing.

The Tengus are busy, so I see if I can find the errant battlecruiser. He appears to be sitting on a planet, but warping there doesn't find him. His range puts him an impressive sub-warp distance from the planet, and although it's nothing a single scan couldn't find I want to keep my probes on the despawned site for the Noctis, and without knowing what the Cyclone is doing I'm not about to blow my cover for nothing. I return to monitor the fleet, as they clear the second anomaly and warp back to finish the first. And, that done, they warp out not to another anomaly but presumably their wormhole, as the ships drop from d-scan.

Here's the Noctis, in our system a couple of minutes after the Tengus leave. Somewhat predictably, but by no means certain, the salvager warps to the site of the wrecks, where my probes have been waiting for the past forty minutes. I'm glad the fleet didn't go for much longer, as my probes may have decayed in space, but now I can use them. I make one last check, align my ship roughly towards the despawned site, and hit 'scan'. A single scan gives me a 100% hit on the Noctis and nothing else, which is exactly what I expected. The site is despawned but my location was perfect. I recall my probes, bookmark the Noctis, and warp in to take a look.

I don't warp directly to the Noctis, as I don't know if or how quickly he is moving, and can probably get a better shot if I take a moment to see. I can also be pretty certain that a single focussed salvager won't be checking d-scan often enough to spot my scanning probes, so don't feel pressed for time. I make a tactical bookmark, bounce out and in to it, and return to see the Noctis finishing up. This looks like it will work out well, as I can surprise the salvager with a full hold, giving me a chance of finding some actual loot in the wreck. That is, if I can ambush him successfully.

I warp in, decloak when close, and burn hard towards the Noctis to bump it as I wait for my sensor recalibration delay to end. Now I can lock on, point, and shoot. The warp-disrupted Noctis has nowhere to go, the pilot asking me to stop as my guns rip through shields and armour. Now, why would I do that? I'm in it for the explosions, not the ISK. Then again, the ISK is good too, and although the pod flees once the Noctis is ripped apart I am left with wreckage full of juicy loot. Actually, apart from the ex-Noctis's modules the loot is pretty poor, and it's the surviving salvage that's valuable.

There looks to be about 65 Miskies to recover from the estimated 230 Miskie wreck, which I loot but don't shoot. The site is otherwise clear of wrecks and I don't expect the fleet to come back solely to salvage their empty Noctis wreck, and as it sits in our home system I think I could take advantage of it myself. All I have to do is ensure that I am safe before bringing out my own salvager. First, I need to find where the fleet came from, so I launch probes and scan. Six signatures gives me a K162 from class 4 w-space that must be their wormhole, as it is in the right direction the Tengus warped to, as well as our static wormhole and a K162 from class 5 w-space.

The C5 K162 is interesting, but can't be where the fleet came from. I have to ignore it for now and loiter on the C4 K162 to watch for ship passages, which is where my most immediate threat will come from. And I couldn't know how right I was, until an alliance colleague says he is sitting outside our tower and asks if that was my ship he saw launching probes. The C5 K162 really is interesting, as it is the static connection of our sister w-space system, which has already let a couple of scouts in to our home, making it simultaneously benign and helpful. Isn't that a bit of good fortune. 'Barrak, can you do me a favour?'

My colleague is only too happy to help, already in the system in his covert Tengu, letting me swap to a destroyer so that I can make even more ISK from the intruding fleet. My first stop is to salvage the Noctis wreck, which gets me little but more than shooting it would. Next is the first of the two sites the Tengus cleared before leaving. Barrak follows behind me, acting as escort and muscle, helping to keep me safe as I sweep up all the wrecks left by the other corporation, which really takes the tension out of doing so solo.

Both sites are salvaged without interruption, and I take back another 150 Miskies to our tower as profit for doing not very much at all. I thank Barrak for his help and return to my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser. Another scout has gone to C4a to see the pilot I ambushed back in his Tengu and doing nothing, and Barrak and I poke through the static connection to C3a to find just as little happening there. That's okay. Some patient stalking and expert scanning bagged me a Noctis and a quarter-of-a-billion ISK in loot, and a lucky connection brought corporation pilots who rarely see each other to work together. I've had another good adventure.

  1. 2 Responses to “Home help”

  2. That connection really was exciting as well!

    By tgl3 on Sep 6, 2012

  3. tgl3's being coy in not mentioning his own post about what happened next.

    By pjharvey on Sep 7, 2012

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