Tracking a Tengu

9th May 2013 – 5.39 pm

'The wormhole's unopened, and we waited one day too long to run our barracks.' That's a shame. We had a nice pile of anomalies built up in our home w-space system, and we knew we should probably make a bit of time to clear them of Sleepers and rake in the profit. But someone's beaten us to them, as a blanket scan shows. Almost no anomalies are left. There's a second signature to go with the static wormhole too, so it looks like it was worth my scanning even after glorious leader Fin had done so. W-space can change pretty quickly.

The second signature resolves to be a K162 from class 5 w-space, and I may as well jump through to see what's there. Surely there's someone around, if it's only recently been opened. Hello, my directional scanner shows me ships and canisters. Three Venture mining frigates and a couple of cans look good, and the Tengu and Proteus strategic cruiser, Ferox battlecruiser, and Buzzard covert operations boat could all be in one of the six towers. Maybe there's some mining going on.

Sweeping d-scan around the planets, to look for the towers and ships, has all of the ships coincident with a planet holding five towers. Maybe there's not some mining going on. Then again, maybe there is some mining going on. Locating the tower holding the Ventures shows all of the frigates to be piloted, just as one of the capsuleers swaps his Venture for a second Tengu and warps out of the tower. He could be popping Sleepers newly arrived in a ladar site.

Hunting gassers would be made easier if there were somewhere to disappear from d-scan range to launch probes, which I can't do in this class 5 system. Still, I could launch my probes in range of the tower, hoping that the gassers are getting the drinks in whilst they have nothing to do, and out of the range of the Tengu engaging the Sleepers. Well, I could if it were possible, which it isn't. All would be lost if it weren't for the Iteron new to d-scan. Maybe the hauler will want to collect planet goo in a too-casual manner.

I locate the tower holding the Iteron and start watching him for movement as Fin sees the Tengu jump to our home system and warp away. Okay, maybe there's not some mining going on. But there is a Tengu at large, and if he jumps back to C5a shortly Fin is ready to pounce, hoping to use polarisation effects to our advantage. The Iteron I'm watching does nothing, and the Tengu doesn't return immediately, but he does return, probably after having poked through our static wormhole to C3a. Either way, Fin's ready.

Fin jumps in to the class 5 system and I warp to join her on the wormhole. The wormhole doesn't flare, and I'm starting to wonder if the Tengu will return when it decloaks and starts aligning for warp. I hadn't realised the strategic cruiser had already entered the system and Fin had followed, and so I'm still cloaked with systems unprimed. I shed my cloak as soon as I can react, but have the sensor recalibration delay to contend with as a result, and despite Fin lunging for the Tengu as well our target smoothly moves away from the wormhole and cloaks.

That's a shame. The strategic cruiser was a decent target, and Fin was in the right ship to neutralise whatever defences it may have had. There were enough ships and pilots in the system to make a scrap potentially overwhelming for us, but only if they were awake and willing to put up a fight, which isn't always the case. But it's academic now, as our prey has gone. Fin and I jump back home again, backing away from the wormhole and waiting for the inevitable reaction. And I use the word 'inevitable' in an uncommon sense.

Nothing happens. No scouts are sent through the wormhole to our home system to see what ships and pilots we may have ready. No big ships are pushed through and back again to begin destabilising the connection between our systems. Really nothing happens. It's a little anticlimactic. And as the Tengu returned so swiftly from our neighbouring class 3 system we have to assume that pretty much nothing is happening there too. Still, heading in that direction to take a look has got to be better than floating in space watching a wormhole.

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