Seeing a siege start up

7th November 2013 – 5.45 pm

It's all quiet in w-space. I can't hear anyone screaming at all. I don't know if that's good or bad. But I can see two new signatures in the home system, which I resolve to be two exciting new gas sites. Brilliant. I'll be leaving through our static wormhole, which takes me to a class 3 system with a tower, Orca industrial command ship, and Abaddon battleship visible on my directional scanner. The battleship could be interesting. It would be more immediately interesting if I could see Sleeper wrecks in the system, but as I can't I will assume that he's up to nothing. I doubt the dumbscovery scanner has thwarted me today, at least not yet, precisely because of the lack of wrecks. Nothing has been abandoned, as far as I can tell.

A previous visit from eleven months ago recalls nothing of note. A tower, static exit to low-sec. That's about it. But the tower I see today is different, as the one I knew about should be out of d-scan range. The new one is trivial to find, being at a planet with a single moon, where I find the Orca empty and Abaddon piloted, not that a pilot seems to make much difference between the two ships. They're both floating inertly.

The rest of the system holds nothing else to see, so I sit and watch the Abaddon for a while. It's not particularly interesting, but that turns out to be good. Aii comes on-line and would like to chomp on some rocks in the home system, asking me to keep him safe. Well, it looks pretty safe so far. No other wormholes at home, not a whisker of movement here, and I can scan too. If the Abaddon pilot is paying attention it may prevent him doing anything, and if he's not, well, nothing's going to happen anyway.

So I scan. The four anomalies and seven signatures are reduced to two pockets of gas and four wormholes, plus our K162 home, giving me options and the Abaddon good cause to float in the tower's force field. Reconnoitring the wormholes finds a K162 from null-sec, a T405 outbound connection to class 4 w-space, a second null-sec K162, and the static exit to low-sec. The second K162 has the distinctive Malpais 'A' indicative of a wormhole from Perrigen Falls, and, typically, that looks just like Aridia through the U210. The first K162 I need to take a closer look at.

Checking the exits has the low-sec system in Aridia holding more signatures, which could be good; the undetermined null-sec region turns out to be Fountain, with one pilot and one extra signature in the system; and the connection from Perrigen Falls has no one around. I'll stay here and pop a rat. And I may as well scan as I do that. There is one extra signature, a wormhole. A weak wormhole. I'm not a fan of outbound connections currently, but I scanned it, I may as well take a look.

Popping a rat in Perrigen Falls

The wormhole leads to class 1 w-space. Maybe something is happening there, something innocent and easy to disrupt. The tower and half-dozen ships suggest maybe there is, with four battlecruisers, a destroyer, and mining frigate on d-scan, but a lack of wrecks says otherwise. But never mind, maybe the Venture is chewing rocks or sucking gas. Or maybe something is happening after all, as an update to d-scan sees nine more ships appear, all but one a combat ship, and the apparent fleet including a logistics wing.

Maybe the wormhole popping on the discovery scanner was spotted and the ships have returned to the tower from a distant anomaly. That's a lot of ships to commit to class 1 w-space sites, though. Too many, in fact. And the numbers are growing, with five more Tornado battlecruisers and a Proteus strategic cruiser appearing on d-scan as I nervously hold near the wormhole.

I point d-scan at the tower to see the fleet isn't there, so maybe they are blasting through the system's sites. But they aren't in an anomaly either. And now they are coincident with the tower. If I didn't know any better I'd say I'm sensing a siege in progress. that could be interesting to watch for a minute or two, particularly as they probably aren't interested in me.

Stumbling in to the start of a tower siege

Yep, that's a siege. The tower is active too, the fleet here to first incapacitate the defences before attacking the tower itself. I don't know who is attacking who and why, and I don't really care, to be honest. But I see more ships inside the tower than I first detected, and it looks like the local corporation is actually partially active. It seems that they are ejecting ships from their hangars to keep them available when their tower inevitably is forced in to reinforced mode.

Manticore of the sieged tower takes a pop at the attackers

But the locals aren't just being defensive. Granted, a single Manticore stealth bomber taking a poke at a Scimitar logistics ship, trailing at the back of the sieging fleet, isn't much of a counter-attack, but it's not nothing. It's also the only ship I've seen that I could reasonably take a pop at myself. The sieging fleet is configured to endure a tower's defences, mostly with the help of the Scimitar and Osprey logistic ships, but even if I could pull one of the battlecruisers in to single combat, unaided by the logistics, I could end up a target of the tower and in serious trouble.

There isn't much I can do here. I manoeuvre to be near the Scimitar, still at the back of the fleet, roughly where the Manticore was, wondering both if the stealth bomber will try again and if I could feasibly catch him if he did, but give up on the idea shortly. The bomber won't try to same tactic twice, not if he's smart, and a Tengu strategic cruiser decloaking and warping away makes me wonder what other ships are hidden nearby, also waiting for the Manticore to reappear. As much as I am drawn to the lure of the fleet, seeing pilots working together, I should move on.

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