Classic catch

28th February 2014 – 5.18 pm

More gas for the industrialists floats in to the home system. Big deal, I'm out of here. And hello Bestower in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, all alone on my directional scanner, without a tower in sight. Sense suggests the hauler is on a wormhole, because who collects planet goo in a Bestower these days? But, then, sense is an idiot sometimes.

I open the system map and start poking at nearby planets with d-scan. Lo, there is the Bestower, no doubt actually collecting planet goo, as vulnerable as can be. Naturally, the hauler has gone by the time I am in warp, so now I have to work with what I've got. My notes are old, from eighteen months ago, but the tower listed from back then is better than nothing. I launch probes whilst out of range of anything, and perform a blanket scan as I warp to the potential tower.

My probes reveal anomalies, signatures, ships, but the blanket scan is mostly a formality whilst I have the opportunity. More importantly, I drop out of warp next to a tower still on-line, with an empty Bestower and piloted Epithal hauler inside its force field, along with other unpiloted ships. Has the discovery scanner pinged our K162 to the pilot, who has now wisely if disappointingly switched to the Epithal to collect planet goo?

Nope, a second Bestower is outside of the tower, according to d-scan. And now he's inside the tower's force field, according to my overview. Please don't be finished collecting planet goo, Mr Bestower. Judging by the way he's bumping off a mobile laboratory he's not finished. Good. I am able to see his next destination nice and early, as the Bestower aligns prior to entering warp, and I am heading towards the customs office before he is.

Following a Bestower to a customs office in w-space

I'm ready and waiting when the Bestower arrives at the customs office, decloaking to shed the recalibration delay before the hauler has a chance to decelerate fully, and surge towards my target in case he has warp core stabilisers fitted. Making my tracking computers work harder has my autocannons graze the Bestower on the first hit, glance off for the second, but the third rips the hauler apart.

Gooing Bestower explodes with brilliant flames

No wonder the Bestower disintegrated so readily, its hull integrity was compromised by a full rack of expanded cargoholds—as it should be. I aim for the pod in the midst of the explosion but it's already gone. I loot and shoot the wreck, and reload my guns and cloak when done. Job's a good 'un. I catch a cheap-as-chips industrial ship and rip it to pieces in my vastly superior strategic cruiser, just as technology intended.

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