Not listening to myself

15th April 2013 – 5.27 pm

My aim is to shoot or be shot tonight. I'm almost getting desperate enough for an explosion that I don't care whose it is. Almost. And some new signatures in the home w-space system look promising, as no new sites have spawned and we have two new wormholes instead. A ship appearing under my combat scanning probes whilst resolving one of the wormholes is unfortunate, switching to my directional scanner to see a Buzzard covert operations boat in the system, as although it almost confirms the wormhole it also pretty much ruins any element of surprise I may have had.

Ship appears when scanning a signature

Of course, I suppose the Buzzard could have been heading homewards, and not jumping in to our system, but I have to assume that my probes were spotted on d-scan. How could they not be? They were clustered over the wormhole the ship transited. Still, a second wormhole in the home system lets me look in another direction first, so that I'm not quite as obvious in my movements, and offers another avenue of opportunity where pilots may not be expecting me to turn up. If there are other pilots.

It looks like the Buzzard used, or came from, a K162 from class 2 w-space. The other K162 comes from class 4 w-space, and is where I head first. Jumping in to C4a has nothing show on d-scan, and warping to the only planet out of range doesn't add to the d-scan result. The system is unoccupied and inactive. Performing a blanket scan gives me a little work to do finding K162s, with four anomalies and twenty signatures—I'd prefer those numbers to be reversed—but concentrating on the chubby signatures bags me a C4 K162 without much hassle. In I go.

Three towers and no ships light up d-scan in C4b, which perhaps suggests this isn't the end of the chain of systems. The system is quite sparse too, with seven planets and seven moons, one of the planets hogging five moons to itself, with every planet in d-scan range of every other. A blanket scan result of five anomalies and three signatures is much more manageable than in the previous system, but only one signature looks strong enough to be a K162, and I'm pretty sure that's the X877 wormhole I just came through. Apparently this is the end of the chain, and a dead end at that. Back I go.

I head home and loiter by the C2 K162 as I welcome my glorious leader on-line, update her, and deal with some paperwork on another screen. Anyone waiting for me will have got bored and moved on already, and I'm really not expecting to find anything in the class 2 system, so this pause is more to settle me than anything. And with administration done, I jump to C2a, where a Venture mining frigate appears on d-scan, all alone.

Is the Venture bait, part of a trap? That seems unlikely, but certainly possible. Exploring the rest of the system finds a tower, in which an Orca industrial command ship is piloted, but that's it. It seems that the frigate really is active, probably sucking gas, with the Orca boosting its yield. I don't think there is a fleet of cloaky ships waiting for a sucker. But there is nowhere safe to hide from both the Orca and Venture, and I need to launch probes within range of one of them so that I can scan for the site the Venture's in. Naturally, I choose to launch near the tower, where the Orca may see me, but probably won't.

Probes in space and out of the system, I warp back to get closer to the Venture and start hunting it. Fin boards her interdictor and warps to the K162 in the home system, ready to come and help, if possible. And I start narrowing down the frigate's position in space. I'm a little clumsy to start with, but get closer, closer, and now I've lost it. Ah, that's because it's gone. I warp to the tower to see if it's there, which it is. And seeing it motionless, and knowing that the tower is out of range of whatever site the Venture was in, I start scanning roughly.

The site has gone. At least, there's nothing anywhere near where the Venture was. But as the frigate remains stationary at the tower I broaden my search volume. A couple of signatures pop up, the first a wormhole, the second also a wormhole, just as the pilot in the Orca swaps the big ship for a smaller model, a Crusader interceptor. The Venture goes off-line, followed by the Crusader, and I'm left alone in a system with only wormholes.

A blanket scan confirms I've resolved all the signatures, all three of them, and that what must have been a ladar site has been entirely sucked up by the Venture. I was too late. No, I was too slow. What did I tell myself at the start of the evening? Shoot or be shot. And when I saw a ship, I didn't follow it but went in another direction, then procrastinated when coming back to investigate the ship movements. Caution is necessary, but if I'm specifically trying to force a conflict I should be a little more daring. Silly Penny. I suppose I'm not that desperate for explosions after all.

  1. 2 Responses to “Not listening to myself”

  2. One of these days my Buzzard is going to find itself on the wrong end of your guns. I'm not sure if I will be terrified or excited... I guess time will tell! ;)

    By Von on Apr 16, 2013

  3. You'll feel a slight tingling sensation, followed by a desire to come back for more. It'll be fine.

    By pjharvey on Apr 17, 2013

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