Failing to be bait

20th February 2013 – 5.21 pm

Another day in w-space. This is too cool. My glorious leader is here as well, and although she's sitting on our static wormhole Fin is a couple of signatures away from jumping to our neighbouring class 3 system. I leapfrog ahead, and, as she resolves what turn out to be a pair of new gravimetric mining sites in the home system, I spy a pair of Legions in C3a. My directional scanner shows the strategic cruisers are in empty space too, without a tower in sight, and an adjustment reveals Sleeper wrecks. If only I hadn't been spat in to the system under a kilometre from the wormhole.

I have a virtual chasm to cross before I can cloak again and hide from the pair of Legions. I give it a go anyway. All looks good for now, and my passive scanner is running, pinging all nearby anomalies. But there are none, which means launching probes to hunt the Legions. But what Legions, Penny? They've dropped off d-scan. I may have been spotted. Let's see if I can trace them back to a local tower. Damn, opening the system map shows that C3a is huge. Why, in a system 105 AU across, did our K162 have to appear within spitting distance of a pair of ratting Legions?

I warp to the inner system, towards a moon that held a tower three months ago but doesn't any longer. D-scan shows me a replacement tower is somewhere, though, and the Legions are nearby too. But the ships aren't at the tower, as it turns out. It's possible they are now sat on the wormhole to their home system, cautiously looking for further signs of new activity, but d-scan won't show them much in a system so full of space. Perhaps I wasn't spotted after all. I still need to launch probes to hunt them in whatever site they have been active in, but with plenty of empty space all around I won't have trouble doing that.

In fact, I bump in to more wrecks around an empty planet, far from where the Legions currently are. There aren't many Sleeper wrecks either, suggesting the Legions are bouncing between the ladar and gravimetric sites, clearing the low-hanging fruit from the system. They're probably still going too, and as they are leaving wrecks behind a salvager will likely follow soon. Not only that, but the vast reaches of space between the planets will let me resolve a site or two quite overtly, without the Legions ever seeing my probes. As long as I'm cautious, that is.

I warp back to the inner system and keep a watch on the Legions using d-scan. As long as they are here they won't be elsewhere, so I call my probes in to scan for the site I stumbled across when launching probes. Done. That gives me one vantage point. I could perhaps grab a couple more, just in case I cock up the ambush, and aim my probes near our K162. Around the first planet there was one signature, obviously holding the wrecks. Near our K162 are half-a-dozen signatures, and I have no idea which ones have been cleared and which haven't. I roughly resolve a pair of ladar sites and get stuck deciding which one to concentrate on when a Legion drops off d-scan. Abort, abort!

I throw my probes out of the system, as I don't know where the Legion is heading, and take my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser to the site I have resolved. I make and retreat to a strategic bookmark, as I reconfigure my probes to a blanket scanning pattern. Repeated blanket scans let me see that one Legion remains in the system, and when a new ship appears too. That'll be the Noctis salvager. That the Legion also remains is a little unsettling at first, until I remember I have Fin behind me. 'Fin, bring a ship killer to C3a.'

My glorious leader prepares a ship and joins me in watching wrecks float apparently abandoned in the C3a gravimetric site. Not for long, though, as a Noctis appears on d-scan soon enough. A Noctis without a Legion escort, I note. Now we have an interesting choice: do I ambush the salvager solo and hope the Legion comes to its aid, giving us a second, juicier target? Or do we go in together to share the glory of destroying an unarmed salvager? I'll go in alone.

Noctis sweeps up wrecks in a class 3 w-space gravimetric site

The Noctis appears and starts sweeping up the wrecks. I'm in warp almost as soon as we see it, decloaking as I am almost out of warp, and locking on to the salvager before he has time to react. I disrupt its warp engines and start shooting, barely watching d-scan for the Legion as I know Fin has my back. He's not coming, though, and I am left ripping the Noctis apart, ejecting the pod in to space, and watching as the pilot warps clear of my further attentions. That was quick and brutal.

Ambushing another Noctis

Noctis salvager exploding

I loot and shoot the wreck, still without the Legion appearing, and assess the situation. The pod escaped. The Legion has disappeared from my combat scanning probes still blanketing the system. The loot was mostly destroyed in the explosion. So no pod, no Legion, no loot. Still, we got the Noctis, which is something. Now, with no ships left but me and Fin, I can slow down and take my time scanning the system.

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