Short and sweet stab at a Skiff

28th September 2013 – 3.29 pm

An extra signature in the home system doesn't give me anywhere to go, it's just gas. It makes for a simple start to the evening, though, with no intruders or choices of direction to go. I simply resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system. Updating my directional scanner when in C3a sees a tower and ships, with a Fleet Issue Stabber cruiser, Drake battlecruiser, Skiff exhumer, and shuttle somewhere in the system. At the tower, presumably.

I'm not expecting to find much, and if any of the ships happen to be piloted or even active the mere two anomalies and three signatures in the system almost guarantees everything will stop. Only a minute ago there would have been two signatures, our K162 popping up on the systems of any pilot in this C3 as soon as I warped to our static wormhole. I hate the ill-devised discovery scanner being active in w-space.

Unlikely or not, a negative attitude will never find anything. Given that both anomalies in the system are both ore sites and one of the ships is a Skiff it's hardly a Herculean task to point d-scan at each to see if the exhumer is chomping on rocks. And, what do you know, the Skiff is in the first of the ore sites. For how much longer I can't say, and I have no idea if any of the other ships are piloted and perhaps ready to counter an ambush. But this kind of opportunity is already rare, and getting rarer because of the discovery scanner. I'd better move quickly and hope to catch a pilot asleep at the controls.

Skiff probably chomping on a rock, I can't see

I warp to the ore site, hopefully making a reasonable perch on my way in, to see the Skiff still chipping chunks of ore from some rock or other. I can't see it from this distance, not with that suitably named large collidable object dominating the view. I'm actually glad it's there, in fact, as it gives me an excellent reference point to the Skiff from this vector. I bookmark the otherwise pointless rock sculpture, check that I can warp to my perch and warp to it, bouncing right back in to drop ten kilometres short of my target.

Right, he's chomping on bistot, I can see that now

The Skiff is still skiffing, a ship has dropped from d-scan—the shuttle, it seems, although I can't tell what's happened to it—and I am close enough to strike. I don't think I'm throwing too much caution to the wind to ambush this miner. Whatever warning our wormhole popping on to the discovery scanner gave the locals it probably wasn't long enough to get this Skiff next to a bistot rock with a couple of covert escorts. I'm going in.

Bumping the Skiff, because I can

I approach under cover of my cloak, getting as close as I can before circumstances naturally shed my cover, and strike. I get a positive target lock, disrupt the Skiff's warp engines, and burn towards my target to give it a thump away from any kind of alignment it may be aiming for. And what a thump I give it. My first impression is that the Skiff is trying to get away, but as I notice it apparently aiming towards empty space I settle my Loki strategic cruiser down to allow its autocannons to track more easily, and the Skiff slows under its natural inertia. Yep, the pilot really isn't paying attention.

Big hunter Penny has caught a ship that doesn't have a pilot at its controls. I remember the days when I used to have to hunt ships, carefully position probes around gravimetric sites, scan with practiced precision and speed. I liked being good at what I did. Now look at me. Shooting a sleeping miner in an ore site that was handed to me on a plate. I don't feel accomplished.

Ah, my whingeing has woken up the Skiff pilot. That, or the armour alarms of his exhumer. The Skiff actually starts moving under its own steam, turning to point towards a nearby planet. He doesn't enter warp, though, and it barely takes much care to keep him within warp scrambler range. No help comes to aid him, and the hardy industrial ship takes only a little longer to be torn down to its hull and ripped apart. The Skiff explodes, its now-alert pod warping away a moment later.

Skiff explodes to my Loki's fire

I loot and shoot the wreck, not caring to salvage what little bistot the Skiff had managed to collect so far. Reload, cloak, locate the tower. The pod is there, and the Stabber is also piloted. The Drake is empty. There is no reaction from either pilot, apart from the pod going off-line a minute later, and so I launch probes to resolve the other two signatures. Gas and a static exit to low-sec. The wormhole is at the end of its life, deterring me from exploring further. But that's okay. I got a kill, which makes for a short and sweet session. Well, kinda sweet.

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