Bringing home the planet goo

28th August 2013 – 5.31 pm

I'll aim for less scanning and more explosions today. That doesn't sound too hard, does it? Space may even agree with me, sending a second signature in to the home system for me to resolve as a second wormhole, a K162 from class 4 w-space. There could even be a pilot or two sitting in that other system as I recall my probes, pondering the collection of planet goo. I'm going in to take a look.

Nope, it's a tower with only a Helios covert operations boat. How ordinary. Then again, passing my directional scanner over each planet, trying to find the tower, sees the Helios outside of the force field. But where? It looks like he's at a planet, and still not cloaking, which seems like a curious choice. But he notices the error of his ways by the time I've warped to say hello with my autocannons, as the Helios has disappeared entirely.

Back to nothing. I locate the tower and perform a blanket scan of the system, wondering if the six anomalies and puny three signatures possibly hold a K162 heading further backwards. I dunno, but a ship is under my combat probes, and d-scan says it's not the Helios but a Navy Issue Scorpion. The battleship warps in to the local tower, and now I wonder if he is newly on-line or has come from the wormhole that joins to our system.

Should I go home and prepare a ship-killer Legion strategic cruiser to catch this Scorpion, on the assumption that he'll be looking to plunder our sites? No, because the Scorpion is swapped for an Anathema cov-ops. Then back to the Scorpion, dropping down to a pod, and getting back in the Anathema. I have no idea what that was about, unless it was to distract me. This pilot kept attention away from the wormhole, through which a Mammoth hauler has just jumped and warped to the tower. Damn you.

There is the hauler I could have caught, now nestled safely inside the tower's force field. And, job done, the Anathema goes off-line. Having said that, the Mammoth moves again, quite obviously to the wormhole that sits near the tower and quite high above the ecliptic plane. I align my Loki strategic cruiser to mimic the Mammoth, and warp a second behind him.

Because this looks too easy, I ignore my normal discretion and aim to land directly on top of the wormhole, getting there in time to see the Mammoth jump to our home system. Yep, this looks too easy. I follow through the wormhole, already intending to shed my session change cloak immediately to get my sensor booster active, only to see the Mammoth beating me to it. Maybe he's trying to get away as quickly as he can. It's not going to work.

Targeting a Mammoth on a wormhole in our home system

Haulers are generally big and slow, making catching them a simple matter. Holding on to them can be tricky, depending on how they are fitted, but this doesn't seem to matter with Mammoths. The natural state of a Mammoth seems to be precariously balanced between that of being intact and being a wreck. I just have to give it a nudge in a certain way—autocannons are good for this, but other weapon systems will work just as well—and I upset the balance, throwing a capsuleer's pod in to space.

Mammoth is pretty much a wreck to start with

Locking on to the Mammoth's ejected pod

I nab the pod too, the pilot perhaps a little flustered about being caught, or maybe trying to flee through the wormhole he's sitting on whilst under the effects of the enforced session change timer of losing one's ship. Still, the execution is not swift. In trying to bump the Mammoth out of alignment my micro warp drive has given my Loki a surge of speed, throwing my guns' tracking out of whack. A call to all stop sorts that out, and one threatening volley is followed by the final blow, cracking open the pod to get to the corpse within.

Wreck of Mammoth and corpse of its pilot

Scoop the corpse, and loot but don't shoot the wreck. No one's around, all looks clear, and the wreck is stuffed with precious metals, planet goo being taken out to empire space to sell. I'm having that. I pop to our tower, board a Bustard transport, and make a swift trip to the wormhole to claim the rest of the loot safely. Okay, that was more explosion for less scanning, and an ideal start to the day's adventures. I even made some potential ISK out of the ambush. All I have to do is get it to market, and how hard can that be?

Looting the Mammoth wreck in a Bustard

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