Leaping before I look

27th April 2013 – 3.24 pm

First item on the agenda tonight is to kill our static wormhole. I'm not even going to check the neighbouring class 3 w-space system, as it was unoccupied and empty earlier. And although new wormholes may have opened in to the system, potentially bringing capsuleers hauling loot or popping Sleepers, it's just as likely that nothing has changed in the past few hours. I'd rather not get myself polarised and waste a few minutes waiting for the effects to dissipate just to see that C3a is still empty and uninteresting. So I'm collapsing our static wormhole.

No, I'm scanning the home system. One day I'll have a well-considered plan, just not today. Collapsing the wormhole is my aim, but it can't be my first task. I really ought to check for possible new connections in to our home system first, because I really don't want to break out the big ships only to be caught polarised on a wormhole in one of them. Sometimes I learn from my own lessons. So first I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. All is as it was, which is good. Now I can kill, kill!

I swap my Loki strategic cruiser for an Orca industrial command ship, aim the massive ship towards our static wormhole, and warp away from the tower. Generally, I've got so used to collapsing our static connection that I gloss over the details, but most of the time I don't jump to C3a and see activity that wasn't there before. Punching my directional scanner on the K162, whilst the Orca holds its session-change cloak, I see a Heron frigate and core scanning probes in the system. That's just my luck.

There's nothing I can do about the Heron whilst I'm in the Orca, and as all I can really do is jump home again there's not much I can do for close to five minutes, whilst the inevitable polarisation effects wear off. The one time there's someone new to shoot in the adjacent system is the one time I don't bother to check. Even so, the frigate is scanning, and it's been a while since I've waited fruitlessly on a wormhole in an interceptor, so I swap the Orca for my Malediction and return to loiter with intent on the wormhole in the home system.

The interceptor plan is bad. Don't worry, I know it. Not only can I not see if the Heron remains in C3a, or if he's coming my way, but if he panics and jumps back the way he came I won't even be able to follow. I remain polarised, even in a different ship. It's something to do with pods, or goo, or something. But better that I wait on the wormhole in a frigate-catching and -killing ship than ineffectively sit at the tower. And I'm not being bloody-minded about catching the Heron on our wormhole. Once the polarisation effects wear off I get more proactive.

I swap back to my Loki at the tower and, now that I can jump through the wormhole again, I return to C3a to see if the Heron's still around. He is, and so are his probes. My instinct is to warp clear, launch probes, and hunt the Heron with those combat scanning probes, but I can be smarter about this. C3a is unoccupied, so the Heron has come from another system, either through a new wormhole or one of the two low-sec connections already here. It's possible if the Heron's come from empire space that he's still sitting on the wormhole. I point d-scan at each in turn and, yep, there he is.

Heron sits, drones out, near a low-sec exit from w-space

Of course, the frigate may not be on the wormhole itself, perhaps having moved a hundred kilometres from it for safety, but I can warp there and take a look. If he's far, I can launch probes and get his position pretty quickly. As it turns out, the ship is in fact near the wormhole, and not far from me at all when I drop out of warp. I suffer a small pang of anxiety in considering the Heron as bait, until I realise: bait for what? C3a is unoccupied, as I may have mentioned, so the likelihood that a—by now very bored—low-sec fleet is waiting for the Heron to be jumped before springing a trap is pretty remote. I'm gonna poke him.

Wreck and corpse of Heron near the low-sec wormhole

Decloak, burn, lock. Bump, point, shoot. The Heron pops, its ejected pod doesn't get away. All that thinking and messing around for what turns out to be a straightforward and rather brutal execution. I scoop the corpse, and loot and shoot the wreck, leaving no trace of my menace. And now that the constellation is once again free from the threat of harmless explorers I can continue collapsing our wormhole to isolate ourselves from it. A Widow black ops ship thrown out and back through the wormhole doesn't stress the connection to half-mass, which makes the maths easy, and, as expected, two more Orca trips finish the job. Now I can get to the evening's adventure proper.

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