Chasing a chsomething Cheetah

1st July 2013 – 5.46 pm

What's in our empty system? How about my glorious leader? Nope, she's in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, which is occupied but empty and waits to be scanned. I can help with scanning, so head that way, but halt on the wormhole. 'Hold on, a Tengu has just popped up.' A strategic cruiser innocently heading in to a local anomaly to make some ISK sounds terribly tantalising, and is clearly enough to make both of us effectively idle.

Fin confirms the new contact is at the tower local to C3a, and I sit cloaked on our static wormhole waiting for orders. But the three of us are doing as much as any other. 'He's doing a good job of just sitting there', but then, so are we. So good, in fact, that we wait long enough for the pilot to swap the Tengu for a Cheetah, warp the covert operations boat out of the tower, and launch probes as a preliminary action to scanning.

We could swap ships ourselves in the hopes of catching the Cheetah, but there's no guarantee that he'll jump through our wormhole. And when he finds our wormhole he may be less inclined to do anything else. Let's just kill the connection and start again. Fin comes home and warps towards our tower, but as I turn to follow the wormhole flares again. That was quick. The Cheetah appears, moves back to the wormhole, and returns to his class 3 home. I may not be in the right ship for catching him, but I'm giving chase.

Cheetah appears in our home w-space system

I jump to C3a and see no one on the wormhole. I think that's a positive sign, so decloak, get my sensor booster active, and focus. There he is, and under ten kilometres from my Loki. I go for a positive target lock, warp scrambler hot, but the Cheetah warps clear. I definitely startled him, as he pooped a probe instead of activating his cloaking device. I can chuckle about that, because I've soiled myself in a similar fashion before.

Cheetah poops a probe instead of cloaking

The Cheetah is clear but still on my directional scanner, where he launches more probes in an 'I meant to do that' way, but the show's over. The wormhole flares behind me as Fin drops an Orca industrial ship through, and we return together, our wormhole now already at half mass. One more paired trip collapses the connection nicely, and we're back to a fresh start. There are no new anomalies yet, so we are scanning, and the new wormhole is resolved and ready for exploring through.

D-scan shows me a tower, Rokh battleship, and Hulk exhumer. My notes tell me where the tower was six months ago, and a tight d-scan beam suggests it hasn't moved and that both ships are probably there. I warp across to confirm the tower's position and to check for pilots, seeing the Rokh piloted, the Hulk empty, and the corporation pre-oranged for my convenience. It appears we're not on speaking terms with our new neighbours.

Warping out and launching probes lets me perform a blanket scan, finding four anomalies, six signatures, and the two known ships, giving me nothing unexpected. All we appear to have done by collapsing our wormhole is find a less active system, albeit one where the local pilot doesn't know we're here. Not yet, anyway. And, as I think that, the Rokh goes off-line, making it rather less likely that he'll know we were here.

Oh, he's back. The Rokh may have just experienced a glitch, but now he's back and doing just as much nothing as before. As are Fin and I, it seems. We compare how much nothing we're each doing, and Fin, sitting cloaked on the home side of our wormhole, is probably doing more nothing than me, at least until the Rokh goes off-line again, this time intentionally. He doesn't come back. It looks like I'll be scanning those six signatures.

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