Pausing to pop a planet gooer

13th October 2012 – 3.11 pm

All alone, so sad. I'll be scanning for adventure and opportunity, which shows me immediately that the few remaining anomalies we had have been dispersed. That sickens me. What kind of twisted mind would activate another system's sites simply out of spite? It's disgraceful. In other news, a new signature has cropped up, and I'm guessing that it's a wormhole, what with the heavy interdictor sitting on it. And because it's a wormhole.

Before I can resolve and warp to the connection the Devoter has gone, but instead of seeing empty space or a critically destabilised wormhole I land next to a healthy K162 from class 4 w-space. Then why the HIC, if not to collapse an unstable wormhole? Maybe they've seen something I haven't. And now, as they have also seen my probes, it probably isn't the best idea to explore beyond the K162 just yet. Instead, I resolve our static wormhole, make a rough bookmark from the cosmic signature, and loiter outside the K162 waiting for something to happen.

A Cheetah passes by me and in to C4a, and I tag the covert operations boat as it passes but otherwise let it be. I continue loitering, checking and replying to mail so that I am not merely idling, but nothing else happens. I think I'll poke my nose in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system before coming back this way, as I doubt I'll catch anyone unawares. I warp across our system and jump through the static wormhole to see a territorial control unit on my overview and tower on my directional scanner. Well, well, well, I wonder where the tower is. I head towards the TCU and, lo and behold, the, uh, tower isn't there.

Whoever anchored the TCU either did so as a decoy—a pointless decoy with no decloaking bubble traps or any way of monitoring ships—or the previous occupants didn't care to take it when they left. No matter, I turn my boat around and locate the tower, giving a newly arrived Aii a sitrep as I drop out of warp to see that reds are settled here. That's interesting, but won't change how I operate. And there's still more to see, with two of the five planets far out of d-scan range, one of which turns out to hold a second tower, but still no ships.

Launching probes and scanning reveals eleven anomalies and five signatures, which I start resolving. The first signature feels like a static exit to high-sec empire space, the second is a radar site, the third is a Cynabal cruiser... That shouldn't be there. Maybe I should have planted my ship at one of the towers instead of waiting for ships to pass through the wormhole, but never mind. I throw my probes out of the system and return to the tower, to see the cruiser doing nothing, which isn't a surprise given how visible my probes were for a short while.

The Cynabal continues doing nothing for long enough that I think it best to continue my scanning, particularly with only two more signatures to go. I resolve a radar site and, damn, the pilot swaps his cruiser for a hauler. I throw my probes out of the system again, again a little too slow, and watch the Hoarder without really believing that the pilot can be so unaware of my presence as to do something so careless as collect planet goo. But his ship turns and heads towards a planet, so I point my ship in the same direction and follow him in warp.

My probes have not seen any other ships, and d-scan has been telling me the same, so I don't think I'm warping in to an ambush. This just seems a little too good to be true. But I drop out of warp near the Hoarder at a customs office, so I do what comes naturally. I decloak, get my systems hot, and lock, point, and shoot. Well, I lock and get the warp disruptor working, but my guns don't respond immediately. A second attempt gets the projectiles flying, and I burn towards the hauler to bump it out of alignment in case it has warp core stabilisers fitted.

I have barely rammed the Hoarder before it explodes in a bright blue flames, and although I aim for the pod it flees pretty quickly. I am left with just some more expanded cargoholds to add to my collection and a wreck to shoot, after which I reload and warp to the tower, remembering to cloak before I get there, where the pod pilot gets back in to his Cynabal. I still can't believe that he apparently didn't check d-scan once, not when coming on-line and not before swapping ships, as both times would have shown him my scanning probes and alerted him to a credible threat. But I won't complain, as popping a red hauler is pretty satisfying.

Aii is having fun too. He ventured in to C4a behind us, saw lots of towers but only two force fields on d-scan, along with a Russian Tengu strategic cruiser, and started popping cans in assorted bubble traps for kicks. And, would you believe it, a couple of planet gooers appeared. He goes after a Mammoth hauler, following it to customs, and manages to pop it and escape under the attention of the Tengu. He gets a better haul than me too, as the Mammoth was for some reason fitted with a launcher and scanning probes, which is a bit peculiar. All in all, the evening is shaping up quite nicely already.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.