Short and sour

27th February 2014 – 5.23 pm

I've not much time tonight, but still enough to have a quick look around. Nothing new at home sends me straight to our static wormhole and the neighbouring class 3 w-space system, where I'm privileged to see both a tower and a ship on my directional scanner from the K162. It's just a Probe, though, the basic frigate named 'I'am alone', without a sic in sight, but it's something. And perhaps a something to hunt.

Interrogating the planets with d-scan in the system map finds the tower but not the Probe. It's still out there, as a broader d-scan shows, so I move to launch probes and scan its position. Warping across the system passes two more towers and a Buzzard, the cov-ops probably actually inside a tower's force field, but I ignore it all for now to concentrate on the wayward frigate.

As is usual, on launching probes I throw them out of the system, and as I do that I may as well perform a blanket scan to get a fuller picture of the system. Ten anomalies, eleven signatures, and the two ships. I'm only after the Probe, and as it is in empty space I assume it is sat incautiously in a safe spot, giving me a little wiggle room in resolving its position.

I get a rough bearing on the Probe, getting d-scan to a mere thirty degrees instead of the usual five, and place the ship between 3 AU and 4 AU distant. There's probably no need to get a finer result than that, I can let my probes do the work well enough. I call them in and, well, almost immediately regret my lack of precision. The frigate is in a relic site, and so is probably active.

Scanning for a Probe frigate that turns out to be in a relic site

My main hope now is that the pilot is concentrating more on hacking the containers than updating d-scan, although even a capsuleer paying little attention can easily see a new signature pinged on to his scanning interface 'thanks' to the discovery scanner. Never mind, keep going.

It takes three scans to get a 100% hit on the relic site. I recall my probes and warp to the site, aiming to drop close to the Probe. I doubt I need to be cautious in my approach, and speed is now probably of the essence, given my poor initial assumption. Sure enough, either my probes or the new signature was seen—perhaps the probes were seen because the signature was broadcast and the pilot alerted—and I drop out of warp to see the Probe burning away from the site, already tens of kilometres from my position.

Not catching the Probe in the w-space relic site

My eagerness to engage the Probe immediately works against me too. I drop in to the site almost on top of the main structure, close enough to force my cloak to deactivate by proximity. That's enough for the Probe, who warps clear and bids me a good day in the local communication channel, dropping off d-scan moments later.

I said good day, sir.

I suppose that serves me right for assuming the Probe was simply adrift. But given the size of the frigate and that it was in a relic site, both having weak scanning signatures, even a careful hunt for the ship would have required a second scan to get a warpable result to one or the other. But this is what happens when you think time is against you. Yeah, I still hate the discovery scanner in w-space. Never mind, the Probe is gone, the Buzzard is gone, but I found something to do with my quick session.

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