Called in by HR

16th March 2014 – 3.27 pm

I'm heading off-line. I got a salvager kill, saw the rest of the fleet crash their wormhole, and hit a dead end in low-sec. That looks like it for me. But HR has braved the stargates in the faction warfare systems of The Bleak Lands and uncovered another wormhole leading back to class 3 w-space, in which a Tengu strategic cruiser looks to be engaging Sleepers. I'm almost tempted to return but am feeling somewhat lazy. HR goes it alone.

The Tengu is caught and tackled by HR in his own strategic cruiser, but the Tengu's tank cannot be broken by the covertly configured boat. HR has to let it go. That's a shame, if almost inevitable, and that would be the end of the night, were it not for the Tengu's return after its retreat. The pilot is apparently undeterred by HR's attack, and seeing my colleague's ship disappear he goes back to continue shooting Sleepers.

This looks to good to be true, frankly. I have a rule never to go back, a rule that was made after more than one experience of actually going back for a second shot and finding the ships reconfigured to explicitly counter a second attack. HR doesn't have such a rule—at least, not yet—and the short turnaround of the Tengu makes it look like the pilot is merely naive. Perhaps even in need of education.

Of course, attacking a second time in the same ship won't let HR prevail, so he's heading back to our system to swap to our ship-killer Legion strategic cruiser. That should do the trick. Even so, and even with my hard-learnt rule, I can't let HR go back alone. It's not that I don't want my colleague to get the kill solo, I actually want to be there to provide support.

I come back on-line, in the home system, in my Loki strategic cruiser. If HR is getting the Legion then my Loki should be support enough, so rather than waste time with ship selection I point myself directly towards our static wormhole, and from there out to low-sec. HR guides me through the couple of stargates to the system where he found the other wormhole, and I warp to the K162 and jump through to C3b.

The wormhole is at the end of its life, but I won't worry about that just yet. I'm here before HR, so I update my directional scanner as my session change cloak holds, seeing a tower, Prorator transport, and Tengu in the system, plus a whole load of Sleeper wrecks. Refining my search, the Prorator appears to be at the tower, the Tengu at large. Sadly, the site the Tengu is in seems to have despawned. I check with HR and, yes, he has the site bookmarked.

As I have a little time, I locate the tower and, well, now the Tengu is there. The pilot drops to a Buzzard covert operations boat, down to his pod, and back to the Tengu. HR has entered the system and is in the despawned site, where he first engaged the Tengu. Let's hope he goes back again. But no, the Tengu pilot swaps back to the Buzzard, warps, cloaks. The local launches probes and presumably scans, maybe wondering where HR came from.

I go back to check on the dying exit to low-sec. It's possible the local pilot thinks it will collapse of natural causes soon and is preparing to scan for its replacement, which makes it kinda weird when the Buzzard appears uncloaked next to the exit. Sure, he could be checking it, but why decloak to do so? Whatever the reason, he warps clear again, unmolested by myself partly because I don't believe I could catch the agile ship, partly because I want him back in the site in the Tengu.

Local Buzzard finds its own static wormhole

The Buzzard relaunches probes. Does that mean he just scanned his system's own static wormhole, despite it being at the end of its life and so opened hours ago? It's possible the wormhole was opened by someone else passing through, but I'm more inclined to believe the pilot doesn't quite know what he's doing, and is on a learning experience. 'I gathered that once he stayed in the site when I failed to kill him', says HR. There's hope yet. At least, there is until the probes disappear, the Buzzard with them.

Three sites' worth of wrecks are left behind, but if the other two are like the one HR is lurking in then the wrecks are all looted, if not actually salvaged. It looks like the pilot is content to let the Sleeper wrecks rot in space, perhaps not realising the lucrative potential in salvaging them. We wait a few more minutes, in case the pilot's being more cautious than we give him credit for, then decide to call it a night. We leave through the wormhole whilst we still can, empty handed but having given the ambush a second shot.

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