Yesterday's Legion

18th September 2012 – 5.28 pm

A continued lack of new sites gives me an easy start to the evening, as I resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system. A tower with no ships graces my directional scanner, which is a change from an unoccupied system seven months ago but hardly gets my heartbeat pumping in expectation. I launch probes, blanket the system, and locate the tower. No anomalies and five signatures indicates a pretty active system, making me wonder how many of those signatures will resolve to be wormholes. Two, it turns out: the static exit to low-sec and a K162 from class 4 w-space. The other signatures are just gas.

I exit w-space to appear in a boring-looking system in the Khanid region, bookmarking this side of the wormhole before heading back in to and across C3a to see what waits for me in C4a. A tower, Orca industrial command ship, and Badger hauler are on d-scan, but as I appear in the system seven kilometres from the wormhole I refuse to get excited. I locate the tower, as standard operating procedure, confirm the ships are lacking pilots, and launch probes to scan once more. With four anomalies but thirty-two signatures in the system I think it's fair to say that the locals aren't industrialists. Luckily, K162s are easy to find by their chubbiness, and I start sifting through the signatures.

Here's a K162 already. How lucky, it comes from class 1 w-space too. I'm going in. D-scan is clear in C1a, but not for long. A Tornado battlecruiser appears in the system and I damn myself for not moving from the wormhole and cloaking sooner. The session-change cloak drops with the Tornado still on d-scan, potentially giving the battlecruiser time to see me, but if he did it's just bad timing. And now the Tornado is, uh, launching probes? That's an odd choice of ship to scan with, but whatever. Still, the probes may not be his, particularly as a few probes turn to half-a-dozen after the Tornado 'cloaks', so I presume the Tornado actually warped away and the probes belong to someone else. Maybe I haven't thwarted a potential ambush yet.

Shev is sitting on the C4a-side of the wormhole to C1a, which lets me warp off to explore what else may be around. A tower with the Tornado appears on d-scan as I cross the system, along with a Ferox battlecruiser and Badger, and even though they are all together they aren't really. I warp through a bubble trap to see the Tornado inside the tower's force field, but the Ferox and Badger floating unpiloted in a second bubble trap. It's unorthodox, but, again, whatever. A Tengu warps to the tower, the strategic cruiser appearing far outside the force field at first, moving to join the Tornado after presumably having avoided its own bubble traps. I'm sure that if you have to manoeuvre around bubbles to enter your own tower then you're doing something wrong. Whatever.

Despite having got my colleagues excited about a Tornado in space, and then a scanning Tengu, both ships in C1a go off-line shortly after they reach the tower, leaving space empty again. And it's pretty empty space, as scanning reveals just the one anomaly and two signatures, the second being an exit to high-sec empire space. It's a good exit, though, even with the tight mass limits of C1 wormholes, as it leads to the Lonetrek region and a mere five hops to Jita. I spot a red pilot in the system and am asked to pass a message along. Who am I to refuse a request from the boss of Transmission Lost? The pilot turns out to be chatty, so whilst we have a pleasant conversation I take the opportunity to scan and rat. But I don't find much this being high-sec, and head back to w-space before long.

Shev has found a K162 in C4a coming from more class 4 w-space, and in C4b another K162 from a C4. I follow behind him and warp to the wormhole coming from C4c, which flares before I get around to moving on. Was that Shev? 'My probes are out', he says, not answering my ambiguous question directly but telling me what I needed to know all the same. I hold on the wormhole for what seems like a bit too long, and a Dramiel appears. I think I'll stay cloaked and on this side of the wormhole, thank you very much, as the faction frigate can probably catch and hold me easily enough for whatever ship he's working with. Unfortunately, I may not have much choice about staying cloaked.

I start to back away from the wormhole, increasing my distance to prevent accidental decloaking, when a Legion warps in. The strategic cruiser has come from the direction of C4a, much like I did, and as I didn't expect to encounter any ships I haven't moved off the line between the two wormholes. This puts our two ships on a collision course, with the Legion approaching the wormhole and me backing off. I slam my Loki in to an evasive manoeuvre, but my own strategic cruiser can't get out of the way before our two ships get close enough to force my cloak to drop. That's bad. Thankfully, these two pilots weren't expecting to see anyone either, at least not here, and I am able to pulse my micro warp drive and re-activate my cloak before I am actively targeted.

Once cloaked I change vector again, hoping that I can move sufficiently far and unpredictably so that the inevitable attempt of the Dramiel to locate me fails. Sure enough, the frigate burns hard and buzzes around the wormhole, hoping to bump my ship and reveal me again, but I manage to stay hidden. But only just, it seems, as the Dramiel manages to get within a few kilometres of my Loki. Rather than move slowly, compounding my original error of being predictable, I should probably just warp out and return. Of course, I could just leave the system behind me, as I don't need to jump through the wormhole I was nearly caught on to get home. But Shev does, and I can at least provide some intelligence for him.

The ships have both gone by the time I've bounced off a planet and got back at range to the wormhole. Shev confirms they are in C4c with him, and that he quite likes the Legion's ship name. 'What is it? I was too busy panicking to update d-scan.' He tells me, and I can't help but laugh. 'That's the Legion that I beat to the punch in hunting the Covetors yesterday.' It's probably not an uncommon name for scanning ships, but because the ships are red, and Shev recognises the corporation as the one that almost ambushed him later yesterday evening, I would say we've bumped in to the same pilots on consecutive days. 'Taunt him about it!' And, bless him, he does. We have the best pilots.

The Legion and Dramiel disappear, not rising to the taunts, leaving us alone. And as scanning further back through this unoccupied and empty w-space will probably only lead to their class 6 home, we may as well call it a night. Shev returns to C4b without any problems, and we both head back the way we came. I cross C4a to C3a and jump home to hide, and Shev pokes in to C1a to take one last look at the rest of the constellation. All is quiet, except for Aii harvesting gas in the C3. It's been a fun evening of pilot interaction, even if there was no shooting involved.

  1. 3 Responses to “Yesterday's Legion”

  2. Hi,

    I've been reading you for a while and I wondering: when you say a K162 is chubby, that means that when you first scan the system, its "strenght" is higher than the rest ?

    By Chapal on Sep 28, 2012

  3. Kind of, yes. I prefer a more experiential approach to exploring than purely analytical, so I don't go for launching a deep space probe and comparing the results with an external source to see what each signature is. Instead, I just launch my combat probes and get to scanning, relying on my previous adventures to guide my probes.

    Even so, as K162s have a strong signature, when I'm scanning I will often be able to tell the difference between outbound and inbound connections. So, yes, in this case 'chubby' refers to the relatively high strength of the signature.

    By pjharvey on Sep 28, 2012

  4. Thanks for the explanation !

    (now I have to pratice...)

    By Chapal on Sep 29, 2012

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