Hit the space warping

1st February 2014 – 3.13 pm

No one's around, but I have signatures aplenty in the home system. Launching probes and blanketing the system to see what they could be finds out that my initial statement is a bit misleading. No colleagues are around, but I do have company. Three ships are in our system. Once again, going off-line in a quiet corner of home and keeping my probes hidden as standard may pay off.

Warping to the centre of our system and updating my directional scanner identifies the ship types: two Tengu strategic cruisers, one Purifier stealth bomber. That's a curious mix, but as there are Sleeper wrecks visible I think I know what the Tengus have been up to. It looks like one anomaly has been cleared, and only one anomaly's worth of Sleepers, judging by the number and type of wreck. But the ships are gone, invisible to my probes too. Was I spotted coming on-line?

I have the wrecks in front of me now. Updating d-scan confirms that the only wrecks within range are those in this site. As I update d-scan, update my probes, I wonder what spooked these ships, wonder what the Purifier was doing. I don't have much time to contemplate these questions, as a fat ship appears under my probes. That'll be the Noctis salvager coming in to claim the profit from these wrecks.

Does the Noctis have an escort? Maybe the Purifier, maybe more. Maybe none. Ah, two more ships appear under my probes, but out of range of d-scan. The Tengu and Purifier perhaps. Gone again. Cloaked? I could be in trouble if I tackle this Noctis. Still, this aggression will not stand, man. Plus our wallet is healthy, I can take the potential loss.

Approaching the Noctis in our home system

I warp in to get closer to the Noctis, approaching cautiously. I want to get close enough to stop him warping away, but not so close that I could get tangled up in a reciprocal warp scramble effect. But I'm going for it. I decloak, activate my sensor booster. Lock, point, shoot. No one else decloaks with me. So far, so good.

Noctis launches drones as a counter-measure

The Noctis launches drones, a mixture of combat and ECM, but they float ineffectually near his ship for a while, the salvager clearly not yet having a positive lock on my Loki. Still, I overheat my guns, getting the strategic cruiser working harder, to mitigate the eventual risk of being subject to a lucky jam and my lock dropping.

Now the salvager is locked on to my ship, after a relative age, and the drones surge in my direction. It shouldn't do much good, he's already taking structure damage. I like to think that this delay is karma for his relying on warp core stabilisers, but who knows. I'll find out soon, as the last the salvager's hull is stripped away and the Noctis explodes.

Noctis explodes in flames

Moving in to loot the Noctis wreck

Slow to lock, but definitely alert. The pod warps clear of his disintegrating ship, which looks like a good idea to me too. Except there's still no one else around, no escort threatening me. I take advantage of this and move in to loot and shoot the wreck, scoop the drones. There's not much to recover, with only one site being cleared. It's still a 120 Miskie Noctis loss to the corporation, though. And it turns out that it was a cloaking device hindering his locking time, not warp core stabilisers. That's cool. Now to get clear.

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