Blowing up billions

23rd April 2013 – 5.09 pm

Yesterday's gas cloud has dispersed, so it's just me and the wormhole in the home w-space system. Oh, hmm, and that Tengu. The strategic cruiser appears when I first ping my directional scanner, curiously after I check to see if the gas is still around. But there he is, a sole Tengu, apparently not doing much. There are no wrecks, no other ships with him, and he's not in a site. Well, whatever he's up to, I can use my combat scanning probes to find him, once I get out of range to launch them.

Hello, fleet. Seven more Tengus and a Scimitar logistics ship are on the other side of the system, and these ships are creating wrecks. Maybe the other Tengu is taking a snack break, sitting on their K162 or in a safe spot. Either way, the fleet is straightforward to find, as they are in an anomaly, and I probably haven't been spotted as they don't bug out before I find them. The ships are performing a conga around the Sleepers, perhaps using speed to mitigate most of the incoming damage, as they appear to be moving faster than standard propulsion modules would allow.

Scimitar leads Tengus in a conga line in a home-system anomaly

There's not much I can do about the fleet directly, but I am happy for action to fall in to my lap this evening instead of having to look for it. I make a perch in the active anomaly and watch the ships clear the Sleepers, waiting for the inevitable salvager to arrive. She isn't the salvager but glorious leader Fin arrives, and hides quickly as usual. I update her about the fleet and my intentions, just as a new Tengu warps in to the site, which has one Sleeper ship remaining, and starts to loot and salvage.

A salvaging strategic cruiser puts a dampener on circumstances. Even if we had access to our ship-killer Legion strategic cruiser, which would mean revealing ourselves on d-scan, if not to a scout, to swap ships at the tower, the Tengu would probably take too long to kill. The fleet could return, the Scimitar repair the salvager, and the combat Tengus rip us apart. Still, it's worth a go. As best she can, Fin warps in to the tower, swaps to the Legion, and warps out to cloak again. And the salvaging Tengu flees from the cleared anomaly. That's something, I suppose.

Scimitar and Tengus warp to a cleared anomaly for no reason I can discern, weirdos

As the fleet know we're here, I may as well scan and find their wormhole. I launch probes out of d-scan range of the ships, and, well, I think I'm resolving their wormhole, as it's where the entire fleet is, but I've only found the next anomaly they are clearing, which I've already bookmarked. The fleet don't warp out either, so either they're not checking d-scan, which I doubt, or they just don't care. I continue scanning anyway, partly hoping to scare them away, partly still looking for their wormhole, and resolve both our static wormhole and their K162 from class 4 w-space. Now what?

We've got the fleet's attention. A Helios covert operations boat, either having been watching our tower or their K162, has decloaked and is launching probes, no doubt looking for a possible new connection. That doesn't help us, but finding out that our visitors belong to a corporation that our class 5 system splinter group recently engaged and pretty much humiliated gets our colleagues agitated. 'They're ratting? Get us there!' We can do that. With any luck, I can scan through our neighbouring class 3 system to k-space, and find a route to get more ships to us. It's a good plan.

Or we can help ourselves to this solo Tengu in C3a instead. Jumping to C3a, fully with the intention to scan for the exit, sees the Tengu on d-scan, along with a tower and Hulk. But the presence of a dozen Sleeper wrecks has me punching my passive scanner to highlight the anomalies, supposing correctly that the Tengu is engaging Sleepers by itself. Even better, Fin's already in our ship killer. I get her to our wormhole as I warp to the located active anomaly, making a perch as I do, and gauging the situation.

Tengu engaging Sleepers solo in class 3 w-space

It all looks pretty standard. The Tengu is shooting Sleepers, creating wrecks, and although he's moving he isn't going too fast or looking to be aligned out of the anomaly for a speedy exit. I warp in to get close, taking care not to fly through a wreck or get directly in the path of the Tengu, and confirm my suspicions. I think we've got a legitimate target here. What fleet back home?

I call Fin in to the system, and she jumps and moves away from the wormhole, cloaking. The Tengu doesn't flinch. Fin aligns towards my position as I wait for our target to destroy one of the two remaining Sleeper battleships. There's little point making our ambush harder than it needs to be. Pop. Fin, warp to me. I'm going in.

Ambushing the solo Tengu in a class 3 w-space anomaly

I decloak, gain a positive lock on the Tengu, and disrupt his warp engines as I get myself comfortable. Autocannons rattle projectiles towards the Tengu and I settle in to a decent orbit to mitigate some damage, as Fin's Legion appears a few kilometres from the tussle. I think I'm shooting the Tengu anyway. My guns are cycling, but the strategic cruiser's shields are not taking any damage. I know that we'll almost certainly have to drain his capacitor, neutralising any repair modules, before standing a chance of destroying the ship, but not even scratching his shields is a little troubling. More so because my shields are diving quickly.

The Tengu is damaging me pretty badly, and the Sleepers are taking his side too. My ancillary shield booster is rapidly running out of charges, without even keeping my shield afloat. I make sure Fin has point on the Tengu before warping back to my perch. I need to recharge. Fin's Legion keeps hold of the Tengu, still sucking away at its capacitor, as I reload one ASB and use the second to bring my shield back up to healthy levels. That done, I turn around and warp back to the combat.

Shuttle warps near to our ambush, but not close enough to become a target

Fin's done some damage to the Tengu now. Good. I regain point, get back in to an orbit, and get my guns chewing away at the now-dropping shields of our target. I'm keeping a watch on d-scan as we fight, aware that I've not scanned the system, and see the Hulk turn in to a shuttle. Curiously, the shuttle warps in to the anomaly, but sixty kilometres distant, before warping out again. I don't know what happened there, but an Onyx appearing on d-scan gives me some concern. Fin, align to the perch, just in case.

Onyx warps in to the anomaly, curiously too far away to help his ailing colleague

The heavy interdictor's warp bubble won't stop my Loki strategic cruiser, but it could cause problems for Fin. But not from a range of seventy kilometres, which is how far the Onyx appears from us in the anomaly. I don't know why. Fin returns to snuggle up the Tengu as its armour is now taking some nasty looking damage, and we ignore the ineffective HIC. Finish him! There's nothing the Tengu can do. He's run out of capacitor juice, his shields are gone, his armour is running out, and the hull may as well not be there. Pop!

I aim for the pod, and gain a positive lock on that too. Forgetting that Fin's targeting systems are a bit slower than mine, I crack open the pod pretty much instantly, releasing the inner corpse. We scoop, loot, and shoot, warp and cloak. It looks like leaving the fleet in the home system was a good decision, but it wasn't really. It was a great decision! Examining the kill report reveals our target wasn't just any Tengu, but a really expensive, deadspace-fitted Tengu. Approximately 2·8B ISK of ship and module, in fact. A deadspace shield booster and two deadspace shield boost amplifiers were fitted, along with faction and Tech II modules and rigs. No wonder the Tengu was a tough nut to crack.

Over three billion ISK's worth in damage we created

The pod was quite a catch too. +5 implants across the board, and a Sansha Modified Gnome implant, which was doing nothing for the Tengu itself, all get destroyed in the hard vacuum of space, adding more than half-a-billion ISK to the total losses. That is beautiful. Only one deadspace module, a shield boost amplifier, survived the explosion, which is a shame, but its value, along with the rest of the loot Fin snagged from the wreck, gives us a gain of around one billion ISK. You know what, I think that's more value than the fleet can make from pillaging all of the few anomalies in our home system.

Fin and I sit for a while and bask in the glory of our most expensive and impressive kill to date, before wondering what to do next. And by 'next', I mean 'after telling everyone about our magnificent kill', which takes a good half-an-hour in itself. I locate the tower in C3a, which is small enough that there's nowhere to hide, making the kill sweeter, and see that the Tengu was unsurprisingly local. I could scan for the exit wormhole, but that seems redundant now. Our scrap lasted quite a while, the fleet at home is probably gone, and our colleague's exit is at the end of its life and not much use.

It's probably time to go home. Probably, because we're assuming the fleet has gone by now. Of course, they could be waiting for us, and we have a fair bit of ISK in loot we'd quite like to keep, not to mention our ships themselves. As Fin carries the loot, and I am in an interdiction nullified Loki, I throw myself through the K162 home first, to see what waits for us. Nothing and no one, and d-scan is clear. That's all Fin needs to know, and she follows behind, getting clear and cloaking without trouble.

We confirm that the hostile fleet has gone home, not bothering to kill their wormhole in the process, and drop loot at the tower, repair and reload, and give each other one last virtual high-five. After popping and podding around 3·4 billion ISK tonight we should probably break out the bubbly, but we simply slink away to separate safe spots and go off-line to celebrate individually.

  1. 3 Responses to “Blowing up billions”

  2. And as Penny is polite and generally does not point at people and laugh (obvious tgl3 exception) I will...


    Thanks for the kill!

    By Kename Fin on Apr 24, 2013

  3. I'm clearly not used to blowing up so much ISK in one go. The erroneous 'M" in the Tengu's value has been replaced with the 'B' it deserves.

    By pjharvey on Apr 25, 2013

  4. THAT was a very sweet and caring loot fairy!!! So was that Pilot who was so considerate to give you such wonderful Pinata candy!

    By Von on Apr 26, 2013

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