Rudely interrupting a rock survey

4th March 2013 – 5.22 pm

No new losses. Today is going to be a good day. Scanning the home system shows that the Sleepers are even moving back in, which is good too, I suppose. And only the one wormhole means that we've had no capsuleer visitors. Let's see if I can be a visitor to others. I jump through the wormhole to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

My directional scanner shows me an Orca industrial command ship, two Basilisk logistic ships, and a tower, and a magnetar phenomenon sits clearly in space. A previous visit, seven months ago, gives me a tower location and information about the static wormhole leading to null-sec k-space. I warp away from the wormhole to check the tower, which is in the same place, and find the three ships empty. I suppose I'll look for the null-sec connection, and hopefully more wormholes to go with it.

Two anomalies and seven signatures give me a weak wormhole, which will lead to null-sec, and a chubbier one, which will be a K162, this one coming from class 5 w-space. That's good enough. Jumping in looks positive, with two towers and a Hoarder on d-scan, but finding the tower with the ship shows the hauler to be unpiloted. I won't be dispirited just yet, though, as maybe there are more wormholes to be found. And amongst the five anomalies and ten signatures there are three. A K162 from class 6 w-space, a K162 from class 3 w-space, and an outbound connection to null-sec. The last wormhole I land near comes from C3b, and I jump that way first.

Ah, my first sign of actual pilots. The Bestower and Badger haulers on d-scan may be empty, although I'm hoping not, but the capsule is almost certain to hold a capsuleer. The tower has moved since my previous visit, also seven months ago, but as it now sits around a planet with only one moon it is straightforward to find. When I reach the tower I see the Badger empty, the Bestower piloted, and the pod full of goo. If only the refinery weren't running I may think I have a chance of catching one of the pilots being careless. Never mind, I can still scan again.

I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan of the system, revealing not much at all, just three anomalies and three signatures. There are pilots perhaps watching d-scan, but with only two unresolved signatures I can be quick. At least, I thought so, but just as I'm resolving the first signature to be a wormhole the Bestower moves, warping out of the tower seconds later. The hauler doesn't head towards a customs office but empty space, and as the only destination in empty space I currently know about is the newly resolved wormhole I warp in that direction, in an attempt to intercept the hauler.

It doesn't work. I may have found the system's static exit to low-sec, but the Bestower isn't here. He remains somewhere in the system though. Thankfully, with only one other signature left unscanned he should be pretty easy to find, even if my combat scanning probes must be lighting up d-scanners across the system. I shift my probes across to the rough position of the other signature and scan, getting a rough result on the signature but decent hit on the Bestower. Now I take a risk. The scan result for the hauler is good, so I drop my probes' range down by two steps, instead of one, and scan again.

Resolving the Bestower and not the site

Generally, dropping probe ranges down more than one step will lose sight of the signature. But I got a good result on the Bestower, and I moved my probes to focus on the ship, not the fuzzy red dot of the signature. I need this scan to be successful quickly. I get it too. The second scan resolves the Bestower's location, even with the gravimetric site still a bit uncertain, but I'm here to shoot ships, not rocks. I recall my probes, warp to the Bestower's position, and bookmark the scan result for reference.

Dropping out of warp in the rock field sees the Bestower rather further from me than I imagined it would be. I'm close, but not close enough. The Bestower warps, which I initially take to mean he's seen me and is bugging out, but he disappears upwards and not towards the tower. Somehow, I have not been spotted. But I also don't spot what the Bestower's warped to. I try to get close, warping to a big rock nearby, and see that the Bestower is nuzzling against some kernite, for whatever reason, but again I'm still too far away.

Bestower taking an interest in some kernite

Thankfully, rock fields are big. I spin my ship around, aim towards a friendly chunk of veldspar almost 300 km away, and bounce off it—not literally; I drop short by a few tens of kilometres so that my cloak holds—back to the kernite and the Bestower. He still sits there, motionless, and now I am in range. This is so easy. I decloak, burn towards the Bestower to give it a bump, and gain a positive target lock. I disrupt its warp drives, and start shooting until my guns go 'click'. Or deactivate when the hauler explodes, anyway.

Bestower explodes near the kernite rock

Wreck and corpse of the Bestower

I doubt the pilot was paying much attention to space, hence not spotting my combat probes resolving his position. And hence his pod doesn't escape from the site. I crack open the pod to get to the chewy meat centre, and scoop, loot, and shoot the corpse and wreck. That was fun! It may not be a big kill, but it's a kill all the same.

  1. 3 Responses to “Rudely interrupting a rock survey”

  2. "Generally, dropping probe ranges down more than one step will lose sight of the signature."

    I know your posts are delayed, but at the risk of revisiting an earlier conversation, with your scan deviation skill at 5 and a 6% (or preferably 10%) deviation implant, dropping two ranges is nearly risk-free as long as you center your probes on the hit reasonably accurately.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Mar 5, 2013

  3. Oh, and good kill.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Mar 5, 2013

  4. Thanks. Yes, I realised that conversation would overlap this post, but I couldn't really change it at that point.

    As I said before, I haven't really concentrated on deviation so far, because I've been more focussed on training for one-scan hunts. But I scan so much and so often that being able to drop two ranges would probably save me a lot of time.

    If I ever remember that empire space has items for sale in stations, and that I actually want to buy something occasionally, maybe I'll pick up the implants you recommend.

    By pjharvey on Mar 5, 2013

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.