Checking the home system's clear

25th March 2013 – 5.31 pm

I'm up early to take a look around. This isn't an opportunistic check for external planet gooers on their rounds, but rather to see that nothing is happening in the home system. A tower, presumed hostile, definitely unwanted, was erected yesterday, and destroyed yesterday. No one came to save it, no hate mail has been received about its destruction, but I want to make sure our message has been made clearly. We won't abide squatters.

All looks clear to start with, appearing as I do within directional scanner range of where the hostile tower briefly was, but launch probes and performing a blanket scan shows differently. I've warped to the centre of the system as my probes complete their scan, which lets me switch to d-scan to see that the ship my combat probes are detecting is a Cheetah covert operations boat. And it's not one of ours.

The Cheetah disappears soon enough, which is natural for a cloaky scout, and I resolve our static wormhole close to where it was spotted. It's possible that the cov-ops headed to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, and a second wormhole in the home system suggests that he may not be a capsuleer missing his tower and looking to leave our system. Warping to the other wormhole sees it to be a K162 from class 2 w-space, and one with a red Venture sitting on it.

I can only watch as the mining frigate warps from the K162 before my engines cut out completely. The Venture disappears to empty space, which isn't in the direction of our static wormhole, but towards one of our ladar sites. Good-oh, that gives me a target to hunt, and one easily found. We have no new sites today, so I can use the bookmarks of current sites that we keep maintained. No scanning is necessary.

Finding the Venture is straightforward enough, but that alone doesn't catch him. Having a bookmark to the ladar site where our visitor is sucking gas merely gets me close enough to see him. Depending on his proximity to the centre of the cloud, I may not be able to do much more. I make a perch on the outskirts of the ladar site and survey the situation. The Venture is about a dozen kilometres from the cloud's signature, and beyond it from where I am. That's not ideal, but perhaps not terrible either.

Red Venture sucking on the wrong gas

I will only have a couple of kilometres for my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser to cross before my warp scrambler can successfully snare the target, and I have six seconds of sensor recalibration time to do it after dropping my cloak. That sounds achievable. I just have to hope that the Venture pilot doesn't react in good time. Let's see how alert he is. I warp in to the centre of the cloud and watch for my cloak to drop. When it does, I activate my sensor booster and micro warp drive, and burn towards the frigate. I get in range of my warp scrambler and try to lock on to the Venture, but it warps clear a second before I can stop it.

Missing the Venture is disappointing but not embarrassing. Warping to our static wormhole instead of the C2 K162 to give chase is definitely embarrassing. I don't know why I care to mention it. By the time I get to the right wormhole the Venture has left the system. I see no point in diving through the connection when the pilot, and now probably his corporation, is aware of my presence, so wait near the wormhole to see if there will be a reaction. And as the Venture is red because it is part of the Transmission Lost alliance, any reaction will probably involve bait.

No ships return to our home system now, perhaps making the Venture a lone pilot looking to steal some gas from a neighbouring system when everyone is meant to be asleep. Had we not had intruders yesterday I dare say I would be too. And I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same pilot who was in the Cheetah earlier. At least the ships are coming from outside the system today. No one passes through the K162 from C2a as I watch it, so I leave it behind to see what's in C3a instead. No one and nothing, and an expected static exit to null-sec, from notes six weeks old.

Scanning five anomalies and seven signatures in C3a gives me gas and rocks, rocks and gas, a magnetometric site and the null-sec exit. I consider ignoring the static wormhole, but curiosity gets the better of me. I warp across to see where the exit leads, only to pull up short when seeing the wormhole's at the end of its life. That's better to find out now than later, as I will expect one missing signature and a new one when I return. And, of course, the C2 K162 could offer opportunity too. For now, satisfied that home is safe, if not entirely secure, I take a break.

  1. 2 Responses to “Checking the home system's clear”

  2. You know that Ventures have built-in +2 warp core stabilization, right? Do you have a 3-point faction scrambler on your Loki?

    By Von Keigai on Mar 25, 2013

  3. Yep, and yep.

    By pjharvey on Mar 25, 2013

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