Messing with a Magnate

31st January 2014 – 5.33 pm

How's the home system looking tonight? Pretty normal. No ghost sites, a bit of gas, the static wormhole. That's about it. I resolve the wormhole, jump through to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system, and update my directional scanner. A tower and no ships. This evening is just stuffed full of normal, it seems.

Launching probes and performing a blanket scan of the system reveals fourteen anomalies and eleven signatures, but only four of those signatures are chubby. That means only four possible K162s. Crap, one of them is our K162, so there are three chances. Two, if the static exit leads to low-sec. Rather than considering the options I scan to ascertain the reality.

Gas, gas, skinny wormhole that I find by accident, and the last chubster is a wormhole. Static exit to null-sec and a K162, or low-sec exit and outbound wormhole. Which is it? It's a K162, good. It comes from class 2 w-space too, which is also good. Even better, because the K346 is at the end of its life, and I don't fancy my ship facing the strain of staying on-line as I attempt to crash our static wormhole.

Jumping to C2a sees two towers and no ships on d-scan this time. I'm not sure that's an improvement. I warp out, launch probes, and continue scanning. Ten anomalies and five signatures give me a touch of gas and three wormholes, a K162 from low-sec, a K162 from null-sec, and the second static connection out to high-sec. Oh well.

I exit to low-sec, appearing in the Kor-Azor region, and scan the two extra signatures. One is a combat site with a busy Harbinger battlecruiser included, the other a wormhole, another K162 from class 2 w-space. That'll do nicely. Jumping in even sees a Magnate and probes on d-scan, the frigate apparently being cavalier about scanning in w-space. Maybe I can educate him.

Magnate and magnetar

My probes converge on the Magnate quickly. I'm in warp to his position, expecting to see the frigate burning hard in an arbitrary direction, trying to keep safe. But no, he's just floating there. I decloak, activate my sensor booster, and approach as I attempt to gain a positive target lock. Not this time, he disappears. But that just means he's cloaked in his spot, not warped away. I was on an approach vector, so spur my Loki strategic cruiser to continue in the same direction, pulsing my micro warp drive, and our ships collide.

A second chance at locking on to the Magnate, a second failure. This time the frigate warps, obviously alert to the threat. Minor excitement over, I check my probes returned to their blanket scanning configuration. Twenty anomalies, four signatures, and a tower with a piloted and idling Procurer mining barge. I ignore him and scan. Wormhole, wormhole, wormhole. The Magnate's still scanning as I warp between a K162 from class 2 w-space, an outbound C2 connection, and an outbound connection to class 3 w-space. Time is running low, but I have time to poke each system.

I end up next to the wormhole to C3b, so I jump to C3b. There is a tower on d-scan, and a pair of ships visible, but they are an Archon and Chimera carrier. There's nothing happening here. Back to C2b and across to, well, nowhere just yet. The Magnate is fifty kilometres from the wormhole when I return to the system, but as that's about forty kilometres too far for me to reasonably catch him, and the frigate warps off as I watch, I resume my original plan and warp to the wormhole to C2c.

Magnate appears near the wormhole to class 3 w-space

Hold on, the Magnate is back on d-scan. Pulling up the system map and interrogating the wormholes with d-scan shows the ship to be near the low-sec exit. I'll head that way instead and, given that the Magnate is no longer on d-scan, assume that he jumped out of the system. That probably means he's reconnoitring the exit and is coming back. I decloak, get myself ready, and wait for the inevitable wormhole crackle.

Targeting the Magnate returning from low-sec

There it is, the tell-tale sign of a ship transit. The Magnate doesn't appear immediately, not panicking, but also realising he's polarised and facing a Loki waiting for him. He makes his move. I make mine. The agile ship wins again, warping clear before I can stop him. Okay, moving on. Jumping to C2c sees ships! And a tower. But ships! Two Venture mining frigates, two Scorpion battleships, a Devoter heavy interdictor, and, bloody hell, a real-life sighting of a Phoenix dreadnought.

Everything looks to be at the tower in the system, and checking for pilots finds none. Well, that was fun. System scouted, back to C2b. On to C2d, where a tower is in its more natural state of holding no ships. That's this system scouted too. Back to C2b, the Magnate now gone, and out to low-sec, where I remember I could use a skill book. It's a short diversion to high-sec and back, ignoring a Myrmidon battlecruiser on a stargate, and in to C2a. Poking the null-sec K162 sends me to a system in Esoteria, where I end the evening popping a rat for pleasure. Now home to sleep.

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