Dead man piloting

23rd October 2013 – 5.18 pm

The wormhole lives! Unlike that hauler I just popped in the class 2 w-space system. But the K162 that connects that system to our home is at the end of its life, so even if there were going to be repercussions to my successful ambush I'm not sticking around to see what they are. Besides, I still haven't jumped through our static wormhole yet, giving me the entire other end of the constellation to explore. Let's hope it's not a dead end to low-sec, or this will be a short post.

So what's through our static wormhole? Ah, a class 3 w-space system. How quaint. Two warp bubbles are in space somewhere, according to my directional scanner, as is a black hole, but that's about all I can see from the K162. My notes give me more details, a visit from two months ago finding occupation and an exit to high-sec empire space, so I launch probes, blanket the system, and warp away to check on the tower.

The tower has gone, but has been replaced. The two ships revealed along with the five anomalies and nine signatures are both at this new tower, and are both piloted. As such, having a rogue Helios covert operations boat appear on d-scan and spew probes in to the system so visibly, when there are clear places to hide from the tower, would frustrate me considerably, were the two ships inside the force field not both scanning boats themselves, one an Imicus frigate, the other an Anathema cov-ops.

I probably don't have much hope of catching either of the ships at the tower, but now I suppose I also don't have much hope of catching the pilots were they thinking of swapping ships to collect planet goo. Damned newbie Helios pilot. But with nothing hidden I don't suppose there's much reason not to scan alongside the Helios, so I call my probes in to the system and start poking at the signatures. Data site, chubby wormhole, gas, wormhole, weak-ish wormhole that will be the static exit, another data site, another wormhole, and a relic site. That'll do.

The wormholes aren't as good as the results suggests. The first is a K162 from high-sec, obviously the Lonetrek region, the second a K162 from low-sec, probably Molden Heath, the static exit clearly leads out to Domain, and the fourth is another K162 from high-sec, this one, well, it looks like Molden Heath but what are the odds? Maybe it's from Metropolis instead. But what this also tells me is that the Helios pilot didn't come from w-space, and is a pesky tourist. Never mind, let me check the exits.

The wormhole from maybe Metropolis is more confident about its originating system than I was, and scanning the two extra signatures in high-sec gives me two more wormholes. I have time to give the X702 and C2 K162 a poke. I choose the K162 first, because the topsy-turvy galaxy that includes the discovery scanner makes a known wormhole a more likely candidate for finding activity than a newly opened surprise wormhole, and inside d-scan shows me an Iteron V hauler, Procurer mining barge, Probe frigate, shuttle, and tower. That looks promising.

Shuttle jumps past me to high-sec

Oop, the shuttle is not just on d-scan, it drops on top of the wormhole as I am about to manoeuvre away. I hold my session change cloak instead and watch the shuttle jump out of w-space. I'm pretty sure he didn't see my entrance in to the system, which is good, as sweeping d-scan around for the tower finds the Procurer apparently in empty space. Right, it's a rock chomper, it may be chomping on rocks, particularly as there is an ore site in that direction.

Procurer chomps on a bistot rock

Ignoring the tower in favour of the ore site, and making a perch on my way in, I drop out of warp to see the Procurer shooting its natural enemy of a bistot rock. It looks too good to be true, and I am reminded of fellow capsuleers talking about how Procurers are good bait ships. But he's out of d-scan range of the tower, no one obviously saw me enter the system, and the only ships I've seen are non-combat in nature. Of course, not being seen is kind of a trait of cloaky ships. I rely on it myself. But I've found a miner mining, I would be remiss if I didn't at least find out if it was a trap.

Ambushing the Procurer mining barge

I bounce off my perch, warp in close to the bistot rock, and start my approach. I get suitably close to the Procurer and drop my cloak, get a positive lock, and start shooting. There's no movement from the mining barge. More importantly, no other ships appear. I keep shooting, and still nothing happens beyond the Procurer's losing shields and armour. Even the alarms from the loss of shields and armour fail to stir the pilot. I think he's asleep.

Procurer pops under Loki fire

Wreck and corpse of sleeping Procurer

Let's see if I can make that sleep permanent, relatively speaking. It's a simple matter to let my autocannons break open the Procurer, and I don't wait to see if the pod wants to get away now. I aim for the capsuleer's protective shell, get a positive lock, and crack it open to reveal the inner corpse. Hmm, maybe that was the problem. The Procurer was being piloted by a dead man. That's okay, I like my frozen buddies, more so ones whose heads are worth a lot, and this one has a hundred million ISK of implants to crunch in to.

  1. 2 Responses to “Dead man piloting”

  2. Enlighten me: how can you tell the WH leads to Lonetrek, instead of (say) Forge or Citadel? Similarly Domain vs one of the other four Gallente regions.

    By Debir on Oct 24, 2013

  3. A few months of (ongoing) research in to New Eden wormhole colours has made me able to recognise certain patterns and colours of the regional nebulae.

    The nebulae themselves are fairly distinctive, and the size and mix of the various nebulae visible make many destination regions recognisable, once you know what you're looking at.

    You can do it too! When seen through a wormhole, Lonetrek is more vivid than The Citadel, which itself isn't quite as colourful as The Forge. The same is true of Domain and its neighbour regions.

    By pjharvey on Oct 24, 2013

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