Less of a camp, more a passing-by

5th December 2012 – 5.21 pm

I come on-line wondering if w-space will at least pretend to be active this evening, and have my scanning probes show me a new signature in the home system that stinks like a K162. I resolve the wormhole and warp to a connection from class 5 w-space, making me think that perhaps I'm already being watched. I suppose that was kinda what I asked for, but it goes to show you need to be more specific about your desires. I didn't really want to be activity for other capsuleers, and rather find some activity for myself. But, at the moment, it's all speculation. I jump to C5a in order to clarify circumstances.

A Sabre and Rifter appear on my directional scanner, along with a tower, but I doubt an interdictor and frigate are active in C5 w-space, or that they offer much credible threat to my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser. Locating them confirms my suspicions, if only because not many ships are threatening when sitting empty inside a tower's force field. More curious is that the tower is planted on the outermost planet, which offers a blind spot to d-scan for visiting pilots like myself on the other side of the system, whereas anchoring it a more central planet would give full d-scan coverage. Maybe they have reasons.

As I ponder tower positioning, a Drake blips on d-scan. The battlecruiser disappears as quickly as he appeared, and although he could be in that blind spot I suspect he's jumped through a wormhole, as he didn't come from or visit the tower. I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan. A wormhole is obvious amongst the thirteen anomalies and fourteen signatures, and is another K162 from class 5 w-space. My probes pick up a second wormhole too, but as it is out of d-scan range of the tower I discount it as the Drake's origin. It is also a C5 K162, but one at the end of its life, so I think my hunch is correct. I check for life through the healthy K162.

D-scan is clear from the other side of the wormhole, in C5b, and only one planet with moons is out of range. Warping there finds towers, though, and ships. Judging by the naming standards, this is the origin system of the Drake I saw. Four towers hold five ships, and a couple of ship changes indicates activity, and a Vagabond cruiser turning in to a Falcon recon ship doesn't look healthy for me. Even so, despite the ships being piloted and some swapping occurring it doesn't look like anything will happen, so it's probably best to ignore them for now and head home, where I can poke through our static wormhole. And, as usual, my plan goes awry immediately.

I warp to the wormhole with a Crow interceptor on d-scan, out of range of the towers. He's warping behind me, coincidentally, I hope, and lands on the wormhole as I drop short. This is another good reason for not warping point-to-point when scouting in a cloaked ship. I move off the direct line between the tower and wormhole, and watch and wait. The Crow jumps to C5a, shortly followed by a Drake warping from the tower to join the interceptor in the next system. I have to wonder what they are up to, and give them a minute to decide before jumping through the wormhole myself. Okay, they've worked it out. They're waiting for me.

The Crow has planted himself right in the centre of the wormhole, the Drake in a neutral position nearby. And the wormhole flares behind me, as I hold my session change cloak considering my options. The Crow is a minor threat, depending on how well my guns can track him. I could probably pop him pretty easily, as long as I can hit, and the Drake can easily be ignored until the Crow is down. Then I can either engage the Drake or back out gracefully from the battlecruiser. But the new ship entering the system is an unknown, and I would rather not be forced back through the wormhole, polarised, to have just the one chance to flee. I should probably make a run for it.

I move away from the wormhole and cloak, pulsing my micro warp drive. I don't think the Crow was quite ready for that, despite the warning he must have got from what turned out to be his buddy following through the wormhole in the Falcon, as the interceptor barely budges. I'm safe. That was easy. But now the Crow moves, and in to warp towards what will be the wormhole heading to our home system, with the other ships in pursuit. I could try to evade them again—evasion being the only option with the ECM of the Falcon almost guaranteed to render my ship a chunk of expensive metal scraps—but tonight I'll just bore them in to submission. I stay where I am and wait.

The ships drop off d-scan, no doubt having jumped to the home system, but I stay where I am. I try to poke various communication channels to keep myself entertained, and catch up on reading, but it turns out to be mostly unnecessary. A Buzzard covert operations boat appears on d-scan in C5a, warps to the K162 I'm sitting on, and jumps to C5b. That would be the scout that very probably has been monitoring me almost since I came on-line. I was being watched after all, and explains how the pilots scrambled to get to their static wormhole to wait for me. Why he's going home now is curious, until the Falcon, Drake, and Crow also warp back to the K162 and jump to C5b a few seconds later. That didn't take long.

Six minutes it took to bore the ambushers in to giving up. I've waited longer for ships to align and warp across a medium-sized system. I suppose they expected me to make a dash for the route home and didn't account for me not caring to jump from ambush to ambush. Even so, six minutes is barely the blink of an eye in w-space, and I was hunkering down to distract myself for an hour or more. My gain, I suppose, and as the ships jump through the K162 I spur my Loki in to warp, this time warping to zero and jumping immediately in case they are trying to fake me out. But they don't care that much about catching me. I hold near our wormhole for a while, cloaked at a safe distance, to see if they come back, but no one does.

I still have time to check the constellation ahead of me, so warp to our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system. I suppose I won't find anything, though, if the C5ers have already scouted this way, although there is a chance that a newly on-line hauler will want to collect planet goo. No such luck tonight, and even though I find a tower with three piloted ships there is nothing happening and little to see. Three anomalies and three signatures go untouched by the pilots, and normally an outbound connection to class 4 w-space and a static exit to low-sec empire space would offer more opportunity, but I find them both in their end-of-life state.

I'm stuck in a C3 with dying wormholes and inactive pilots. But not for long, I suppose, as the C3 pilots go off-line in short order. That doesn't really change my options, however. I don't want to collapse our static wormhole with ECM-toting dickwads behind me, and I don't care to wait for the EOL exit to low-sec to die for a vague possibility of scanning more wormholes in empire space. It's probably best that I just call it a night, so I head home, hide in a corner, and get some rest.

  1. One Response to “Less of a camp, more a passing-by”

  2. Oh yes. A few more weeks of screen grabs with the antiquated and blocky UI before my stories catch up with the Retribution changes.

    Just relax and bathe in the nostalgia of it all, okay?

    By pjharvey on Dec 6, 2012

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