Tripping over transports

21st July 2013 – 3.18 pm

The system's completely bare! I don't know what's happened, maybe a glitch in the matrix, but there's almost nothing to see in our little corner of w-space. At least the static wormhole remains, which hopefully will lead to somewhere more populated. Jumping to the neighbouring class 3 system sees occupation, with three towers and an Anathema covert operations boat on my directional scanner, but despite the eleven anomalies there is still only one signature. This is most peculiar.

Oh hi, easy-to-find towers. The system has only three moons orbiting its eight planets, which makes it convenient to locate the three towers. It's also easy to warp to the tower holding the Anathema, so I can see pretty quickly that it is piloted. But as the system is small and d-scan is not showing me any probes I feel safe to assume that the capsuleer is not active. The local pilot's idling is probably for the best, with nowhere to hide from him, so I launch probes without worrying about being seen.

Scanning doesn't get much simpler than resolving a single signature, and I am soon leaving w-space for low-sec empire space and looking for better opportunities. The low-sec system is in Domain and holds one extra signature, and although my luck is in and I drop out of warp next to a K162 from more class 3 w-space I don't return to w-space just yet. I realise that my clone could use some updating, and being in a one-system low-sec island makes reaching medical facilities in high-sec pretty easy.

Clone updated, I return to the wormhole I found in low-sec, and this time jump through. D-scan shows me towers and no ships, which is about normal for class 3 w-space. I check my notes and see that my last visit was three years ago, so I'm getting no help there in locating the towers. Launching probes and blanketing the system sees ten anomalies, sixteen signatures, and a lack of ships, but that's a lack of visible ships, highlighted by a Helios cov-ops jumping past me to low-sec.

Helios jumps past me to low-sec

I let the Helios go, as I'm in the generous mood of not wanting to waste my time chasing it. But I take a couple of minutes to explore C3b, tagging the towers, determining that the pilot isn't local. He is a w-space denizen, though, judging by his corporation information, and so maybe there are more wormholes to find. I start looking for them, seeing data, gas, and something else I don't quite get to identify as the wormhole's crackling gets my attention away from the probes.

A Prowler transport enters w-space through the wormhole I'm sitting on. Well, it would be rude not to say hello, but before I can give him a big hug the ship has disappeared. Not cloaked, I think, but jumped back to low-sec. That takes me a little too long to work out, so I stay and continue scanning instead of making a feeble attempt at chasing it. That may have been the right choice too, as the wormhole crackles a second time, this time bringing a Bustard transport in to C3b.

Bustard jumps behind a Prowler from low-sec

Again, I'm slow to react to the appearance of a ship, but luckily Bustards are slower still than that. I decloak, get a positive lock, and start shooting the transport. Knowing it can jump back to low-sec I burn towards my target in a bid to bump it away from the wormhole, but it's already gone. Ah, what the hell, I'm going for my second security status hit in two days.

I exit to low-sec and, sure enough, the polarised Bustard is trying as hard as it can to align and accelerate away from danger. That's not going to work, I'm afraid. I regain my positive lock, disrupt his warp engines, and continue shooting. This may take a little while, though, as deep space transports can take a fair bit of abuse, what with them normally being flown by bored pilots who've stopped caring about niceties such as steering. I tag the pilot's corporation and check the other pilots in the system. There's one match, and I recognise him as being the pilot of the Prowler. I think I'm safe for the moment.

Engaging the polarised transport in low-sec

It's a bit odd that the blockade running Prowler didn't simply cloak and warp away from me on the wormhole, and only a little less odd that the Bustard continued my way after presumably being told of my presence. I suppose he thought his extra warp core strength would let him evade me. Nope, not this time. And, I suppose, not any other time. At least, not with this particular Bustard. I chew through the shields, armour, and rake through the hull to destroy his expensive hauler, letting his pod warp free from the wreckage.

Catching the triple-point of the Bustard, at zero hull points

I reload my guns and loot the wreck, feeling a little sad that none of the two hundred thousand units of hydrogen isotopes survived the blast. I probably wouldn't have collected them anyway. Now's it back to scanning C3b, and the signature I had started to focus on turns out to be a wormhole, a K162 from class 4 w-space. Does it lead to the home of the transports? Maybe, but maybe not, as a dozen more signatures give two more wormholes. One is dead-on-arrival, but the other is K162 from class 5 w-space, and possibly new.

Anathema appears on a wormhole from class 5 w-space

An Anathema cov-ops appears on d-scan as I arrive at the C5 K162, and joins me on the wormhole within moments. He clearly has come from this way, as the Anathema jumps as I am still approaching. But, again, I let the agile ship pass without trouble. Maybe he'll bring his own hauler out this way, given that I've not tagged his corporation, so isn't a colleague of the transports. I give him a moment before following to C5a, a moment in which a second Anathema blips on d-scan, keeping me cloaked a minute longer.

The second cov-ops jumps to C5a, another minute later followed by my Loki strategic cruiser, where I see one tower and plenty of ships on d-scan. I locate the tower to see what's piloted, which brings a second tower but no more ships in to d-scan's range, and see eight capsuleers in a variety of ships. But a bunch of piloted ships become much less interesting when they are all idling in a force field. I loiter for the few minutes I have spare, and although at one point a hauler turns to point towards a customs office he moves no further. Nothing's happening, making it time to go home.

  1. One Response to “Tripping over transports”

  2. Welcome to my adventures in EVE Online: Odyssey!

    By pjharvey on Jul 21, 2013

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