Gas-site salvaging

12th March 2014 – 5.21 pm

Aii's sucked up some gas nice and efficiently. I would like to think that the new signature in the home system is space's reward to him, a replenishing of the gas, but not when a blanket scan of the home system reveals two ships and five drones. I rather suspect that we have visitors coming through a new wormhole. Indeed, warping closer to the ships and updating my directional scanner sees a Venture mining frigate and an Ishtar heavy assault cruiser, one in each of our two remaining gas sites. Thieves!

The frigate is taking our gas, the HAC popping the Sleepers that are trying to stop them. I doubt I can help the Sleepers with the HAC, not in my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser, and I won't be able to swap ships without them detecting my presence on d-scan. The Venture, however, I can do something about. Or can I? The Venture is generally fragile and easy to pop, but when I warp to the gas site the frigate's in I see him huffing on the move, orbiting the cloud at a rate of knots.

Intruder Venture sucking on our gas

Trying to manoeuvre my Loki in to a position where I can catch the Venture will be difficult, partly because I am slower cloaked than the Venture is, and partly because getting too close to the gas cloud will decloak my ship. I doubt I can keep my distance from the cloud whilst getting close to the Venture. The other option is to warp close to the Venture from a tactical position, but the pilot is either flying smart of flying lucky. His movement isn't putting his ship in a neat line between the cloud and any of the planets in the system.

Luckily, a new target appears, one that is bigger, more expensive, and easier to catch. The Ishtar finished popping Sleepers and left the system, and, just as I am scratching my head trying to work out how to get close to the Venture, a Noctis salvager appears on d-scan. Unless the Noctis is being particularly smart, I will be able to catch that. I just need to be quick about it, as the salvagers are awfully efficient at what they do.

I warp to the other gas site, making a perch on my way in. A bad perch, as it turns out, but never mind, it will just add a few seconds to the ambush. I bookmark a wreck the Noctis is almost on top of, note that the ship doesn't appear to be moving, and warp away to bounce off a nearby planet. Returning to the site to drop a little short of the wreck puts me in an excellent position, already within warp scrambler range of the salvager, who although now moving looks to be only heading towards a distant wreck.

Sneaking up close to an intruding Noctis

There's no time to waste. I decloak, get a positive lock, and start shooting the warp-scrambled Noctis. I pulse my micro warp drive and give the salvager a bit of a bump, just because I can, disengaging the drive to back off a bit as the Noctis is nudged off course. My autocannon rounds are already clawing through the ship's armour, and as the Noctis dips in to structure damage I turn and pulse my MWD for ramming speed a second time. I don't quite get the trajectory right, but that's okay because the Noctis is deep in to structure damage. And there he goes.

Bumping the Noctis

Literally, there he goes. My target lock drops not because I rip away the final shreds of the Noctis's hull, but because the git has filled his low fitting slots with warp core stabilisers. I was under no threat of retaliation so didn't bother overheating my guns, but maybe overheating is a habit I need to get in to more. It would have spelt the end of the Nocts in this case, that's for sure.

My target's gone but I try to make the best of the situation. I warp to the first gas site, the one with the Venture sucking on gas, hoping that the communication between the two pilots will be slow or muddled, or the frigate won't react to a distant threat, but knowing that I'm already too late to catch the fleeing ship. Dropping in to the now-empty site instead has me calling in my probes from their blanket configuration to see if I can find the ships' wormhole, but they are both gone from the system. I didn't really have much chance of resolving and warping to the wormhole in time to finish off the Noctis anyway.

I scan regardless, because I need to. Our static wormhole is there as usual, and is joined by a K162 from class 5 w-space. This time, I'm not going to look through the K162. I doubt much will happen in that system now, and if it does it certainly won't be anything positive for me. I'll just loiter on this side of the wormhole for a bit, make sure nothing tries to sneak through, then explore my other option.

  1. 5 Responses to “Gas-site salvaging”

  2. Thieves!

    Oh goody, Penny will make them pay!

    ... That did not go as I expected.

    By Von Keigai on Mar 12, 2014

  3. It just isn't cricket.

    By pjharvey on Mar 12, 2014

  4. You had an Ishtar, Manticore and Dominix loss for your corp. I'd be interested in hearing about that story.

    By Some guy. on Mar 13, 2014

  5. Good news! I've just written that two-part story.

    Of course, because I've just written it you can probably expect to see it in six weeks' time. But don't worry, as there are other thrilling deaths to read about before then.

    By pjharvey on Mar 13, 2014

  6. I hate it when that happens, I have gone back into wspace myself and am now living in a c6. It is so different from the c3 I used to be afraid of c5 and c6 space. It is easier to roll a hole in c6 vs c3. You just have to have an organized bunch of people in case you need to defend home.

    By Zandramus on Mar 17, 2014

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