That Drake is far away

5th March 2013 – 5.20 pm

Now what do I do? I somehow managed to sneak up, whilst banging and crashing my combat scanning probes around the system, on a Bestower hauler in a gravimetric site, and podded the pilot back to a clone vat. The system, a class 3 w-space system a few hops from home, hence denoted as C3b, has a static exit to low-sec empire space. I'm considering loitering in low-sec for the pilot, to try catching his return, but this doesn't seem wise. I don't know that the pilot will be returning, or what ship he'll choose to fly back, and even if he comes back he will surely see me sitting brazenly in low-sec communications and (probably) figure out what's happening.

Okay, so I won't wait for the podded pilot to come back. However, that second Badger visible on my directional scanner interests me. There was only one of those haulers at the local tower previously, and as an also-seen pod remains on d-scan I think it's safe to assume I have a new contact. As much as I doubt the new pilot will collect planet goo, or something else quite so careless with a known cloaky Loki strategic cruiser on the loose, I didn't think the Bestower would do what he did either. You never can tell.

I warp to the tower and get eyes on the Badger, but he actually does do nothing. That's a bit of a shame, but not the end of the world. Or of my roaming w-space. I found another connected system in the constellation, with a wormhole to deadly class 6 w-space to explore. But before I head back that way I may as well exit to low-sec to get myself a safety route home. Then again, that Impairor frigate on d-scan looks interesting, and not just because it's a new to the system but because it also bears the name of the pilot of the Bestower.

I almost curse myself for not waiting for the new clone to come home, but my reasoning earlier was sound. And even if we may have passed each other in warp, catching the Impairor would have been tricky, with the recalibration delay from decloaking probably being longer than it takes for the frigate to enter warp in a panic. But all is not lost, as the Impairor didn't pass me in warp, not being at the tower. A quick check with d-scan shows a less likely circumstance: the pilot has gone back to the gravimetric site where he was recently killed.

Impairor examines some ombre

There's no accounting for some pilots, and I'm not going to argue if I get another soft kill. I warp back to the rock field, aiming to drop nearby the kernite rock that was the site of the previous massacre. The Impairor isn't there, though. At least, not at this rock. The frigate is paying close attention to some ombre nearby, but not quite nearby enough to catch him. That same distant veldspar rock comes to my aid a second time, and I bounce off it to warp to the ombre, but sadly not before the Impairor has got bored with rock identification and gone back to the tower. Oh well, I can't get quite so lucky twice.

Impairor and Atron sit near the exit to low-sec

It may still be worth sticking around. Following the frigate back to the tower sees the Badger pilot now in an Atron frigate, and within a couple of minutes both frigates warp towards the wormhole to low-sec. Being the curious sort, I warp behind them. Getting to the wormhole sees an odd sight, as both ships are loitering near the connection instead of jumping through as I would expect. A Drake decloaking rather catches me by surprise, but mostly because the battlecruiser appears on top of my Loki, making me vulnerable. I suppose that's okay, as there is the wormhole to retreat through if I need it.

As I've been rumbled, I decide to take out the sure kills first, and target the Atron and Impairor to give them a couple of rounds of autocannon fire before concentrating on the Drake. Targeting fails at first, probably because of the recalibration delay, but continues to fail and fail again. Ah, the Drake has appeared beneath me by some distance, and it only looks like we are close enough to interfere with my cloak. I actually remain covert. Perhaps I need a priest to explain perspective to me. And not being decloaked is actually a little disappointing, as the Drake warps away before I realise what's happening. I may have just missed a small fray.

Then again, the Drake's gone, but the frigates remain. At least, one of them certainly does. The Impairor moves towards the wormhole and jumps. The Atron sits motionless. He also appears to be some distance from the wormhole, and certainly too far to jump immediately. Sod it, let's take a shot. I decloak, amble slowly towards the Atron, so that I don't get too far from the wormhole, and wait for my targeting systems to become active.

Atron wreck near the U210 wormhole

There they go. I get a positive lock and blow the living crap out of the Atron. It's pretty simple. Autocannons do an awful lot of damage to even small targets. I aim for the ejected pod, but it flees, glitchily, back to the tower. No other ships decloak, or come through the wormhole, so I have no idea quite why these pilots were sitting here so obviously. It doesn't really matter either. I loot and shoot the wreck, and watch as a pod warps back to see what's happening, before running straight back to the tower when he sees my Loki reloading its guns. I can't say I blame him.

Atron's pod warps back to the wormhole for a moment

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