Bagging a Buzzard

24th January 2014 – 5.13 pm

Our home system has had a soft reset. All known signatures have gone, replaced with two new ones plus our static wormhole. A bit of gas is only to be expected, and although a second wormhole could be welcome the dying K162 from class 3 w-space is not. I head forwards, also to class 3 w-space, to a black hole system with nothing within range of my directional scanner.

Launching probes and performing a blanket scan of the system reveals eleven anomalies, ten signatures, and no ships. As exploring finds no occupation, probably owing to the static exit to null-sec as much as the black hole, I warp back to our K162 to sit and sift through the signatures, the wormhole being the only place I currently know where a ship could pass by. The weak wormhole is probably the K346, but are there any others? Probably, if the ship under my probes is any indication.

I would throw my probes out of the system in an attempt to hide them from the ship, but I feel it's somewhat too late for that. I just keep scanning. Three more wormholes become apparent, one a K162 from high-sec, another a K162 from class 4 w-space, and the last a K162 from low-sec. I have my pick of k-space connections, and I wonder if the ship I saw is a tourist or a scout from that w-space system. It's a bit difficult to tell when there is no further sighting of it.

Hold on. I am about to leave C3a when a final blanket scan, kinda hoping to see the ship again, sees the ship again. Still it remains out of d-scan range, but this time I am able to warp close enough to see that it is a Buzzard, the covert operations boat not being terribly covert right now. I could try to find him with d-scan, but I suspect it will take too long, and as I have probes out I may as well just try to scan his position.

Cargo container at an off-line tower

Scan, scan, damn. One scan away from resolving the Buzzard and he disappears, presumably cloaked. I got a rough position, though, and warping to that sees an off-line tower with a cargo container next to it. Maybe the pilot was poking his nose in to the can to see what it held. Even if he was, he's gone now. I'll take a look through the wormholes. Or not. The Buzzard is back, somewhere, and this time I do use d-scan. The cov-ops boat looks to be on the C4 K162. Maybe I will take a look at that wormhole.

The Buzzard's here, and on the K162. An idea that he's sitting there as bait tickles the back of my mind for just long enough for sense to swat it away. It's a Buzzard. On a wormhole. Even if it is trying to be bait, I can pop it too quickly to care, and the wormhole gives me at least two attempts to evade any chance of being caught. Silly paranoia. I'll show you. I approach, decloak, and engage the tiny ship.

Locking on to the Buzzard

My target disappears. But there is no jump through the wormhole. Instead, the Buzzard has exploded. Well, popped, really. I aim for the pod, get a positive lock, and rip it open with my autocannons. Yep, pretty easy. Weirdly easy. Even so, job's a good 'un. A really good one. The Buzzard was worth about a hundred million ISK, but the capsuleer has just lost some low grade virtue implants to my necrotic appetite, costing around five hundred million ISK to replace. Yum!

Buzzard pops with barely a bang

Cracking open the pod finds some good implants in the corpse

I think I can explore the wormholes now. The K162 from low-sec comes in from Aunenen, which rings an ominous bell. I leave the pilots to their piracy and look through the K162 from high-sec, appearing in a system in Metropolis that looks pretty boring. I dunno, there's no pleasing me sometimes. The null-sec K162 takes me to Venal, where there are extra signatures but also other pilots. Okay, that leaves me with the class 4 w-space system to explore. Let's do it.

Jumping to C4a and updating d-scan sees a tower and no ships. I haven't killed their scout, though, not judging by the owner corporation. Scanning has two possible K162s amongst the thirteen anomalies and four signatures, and I get one. The wormhole takes me to class 5 w-space, where d-scan is clear and exploring finds no occupation. Scanning finds more K162s, one from deadly class 6 w-space and two from null-sec. 'Deadly' is just a name, but I'm still checking null-sec first.

The first K162 takes me to a system in Venal, with one other pilot, no other signatures. The other to Providence, where there are plenty of pilots, one saying 'red' in the local communication channel moments after I appear in the system. Surely he doesn't mean me, friend of all capsuleers, does he? Just in case, I jump straight back to w-space, happy anyway because of finally getting my image of a wormhole to Providence.

Eris on a wormhole in w-space

A peak in C6a sees a tower and no ships on d-scan, which seems like sufficient scouting for—let's see, what excuse can I use—it getting so late in the evening. I head back the way I came. In to C5a, to C4a, and pausing on the wormhole to C3a as the connection crackles with a transit. An Eris interdictor appears and enters warp. Towards C6a, I suppose. The pilot belongs to the same corporation as the Buzzard I podded earlier, so I guess he came from back that way. That's probably good to know, but maybe not so important when I'm heading home to sleep.

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