Angling for an Anathema

7th February 2014 – 5.19 pm

Aii's here. Is anything happening? Not in the home system, mostly because Aii isn't in the home system. He's ready to come back, though, so I launch probes and start to scan a route for him to use. Our system has gas and, ooh, a wormhole. Where does it lead? Well, as it's our static wormhole, it goes to a class 3 w-space system, as usual. But a different 'usual', such are the vagaries of w-space connections, also as usual.

The wormhole takes me to a class 3 system with two towers and no ships visible on my directional scanner. How about that. Warping my way around the system sees nothing more, a blanket scan revealing fourteen anomalies and a puny three signatures. That's good for Aii, as scanning will be quick. Even better for him is that the exit will lead to high-sec, which my notes tell me, and that wormhole is obvious from the relative strengths of the signatures. Our K162 is the fat one, the high-sec the lean one, the skinny one will be a relic or unwanted data site.

Resolving the wormhole and checking the high-sec exit puts me in the Kor-Azor region, and although the connection is at the end of its life it should remain usable, as Aii is nearby. 'Eight jumps, thank you.' Excellent. And given that the dying wormhole already exhausts our constellation, as Aii makes his way home I start mass-stressing our wormhole to flip it. All goes smoothly, Aii reaching the entrance before it dies, and our wormhole being killed without fuss. Now do we generate ISK, or do we have a second crack at exploration?

Who needs ISK? I resolve our replacement wormhole and jump to a C3 with an Anathema covert operations boat and core scanning probes on d-scan, nothing else. That's an interesting start, particularly as the cov-ops doesn't cloak. I launch probes to scan his position, hoping to kill two birds with one stone by assuming he's sitting on top of a wormhole, but he's just close to a wormhole. The static exit to low-sec is good to resolve, but not what I'm after. I'm close, though. I go for the scanning the ship directly, and get a solid hit. In I go.

No Anathema here

There he is—gone. Just as interesting, there are Sleeper wrecks scattered around. Sadly, they are all looted now, but that certainly looked like the light of a salvaging beam coming from the Anathema before it disappeared. It's a shame, in that case, that I was a bit slow in getting here, diverted by the wormhole, particularly as now a Loki strategic cruiser is in the system somewhere, according to d-scan.

The Loki doesn't come in to this cleared site, and the pause at least lets me check my notes. A visit from under two months ago tells me a tower maybe sits over 50 AU away, which would be a good idea to check. Yep, it's there, but there are no ships. That's something, I suppose. Now back to the site, where still nothing happens. Maybe I can scan for the Loki too, but on the assumption that he's being more alert, treat it more like a hunt. So, of course, he drops off d-scan.

Never mind. But what to do now? Ah, I can consider catching the return of the Anathema, back in this despawned site. That's a lovely surprise. Hopefully I can repay it in kind. I'm not quite close enough to the cov-ops for comfort, and thankfully I don't try my luck, as the wreck he's nestled against is salvaged and disappears. Now, how fast is the ship going to move between wrecks? Pretty fast. That's going to be impossible to catch up with me cloaked, so I'd better be smart about this.

Anathema returns to salvage the Sleeper wrecks

I try to keep up as the Anathema zooms to the next wreck, thankfully not too far away. Knowing that as soon as the salvaging cycle completes I'll lose my opportunity I creep closer, deciding that twelve kilometres should be close enough. I decloak and activate my micro warp drive to burn hard towards the Anathema to soak up the sensor recalibration delay. He's not expecting me, and only turns to run once my targeting systems are ready and locked on to him. And now he can't run fast, not with my warp scrambler cutting off his own MWD.

Locking on to the salvaging Anathema

Salvaging Anathema explodes

My range is good, my autocannons are working their magic, and the Anathema explodes. The pod escapes, but the kill is good, catching a cov-ops in a despawned site. There's no loot to speak of, but the pilot didn't pause to drop off his torpedo or bomb skill books when he had the chance, and heavy missile and warhead upgrade books go up in smoke too. Never mind, fella, you can learn more about missiles some other time.

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