Static hauler

13th April 2014 – 3.13 pm

Okay, I will scan. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I first resolve a wormhole that is near to this class 5 w-space system's static connection, which leads to our home system, but it's just a K162 from null-sec Feythabolis, judging by the winged sprite nebula colours visible. Two more wormholes crop up as I continue scanning: a second K162 from null-sec, this one at the end of its life; and a K162 from class 4 w-space, which looks a little more interesting.

Exits are generally a good idea to have, though, so I dip out to null-sec a couple of times before exploring deeper w-space. Leaving through the dying wormhole takes me to a system in Great Wildlands, and shows me a corpse floating nearby. Maybe the C5 locals did indeed find a target and corpsified him, explaining their heading off-line soon after returning. Or it could have been earlier, and their recent expedition came up empty handed. Don't ask me, man, I'm just speculating.

Finding a corpse on a wormhole in null-sec

Back to w-space, and in to C4a. I still doubt I'll find anything happening, because surely the C5 pilots would have found it before me, but I often just like a look around for myself. My directional scanner is showing me occupation, at least, albeit without any ships to hint at activity. There's also a ghost site in the system, which is awfully tempting to want to exploit, but definitely not with potential pilots around. I will still deny anyone else the opportunity to benefit, though. I am nothing if not an arse.

I warp in to the ghost site, checking the overall integrity of my cloaked ship, wary of the impending explosion. I only need to appear in the site to panic the empire rats in to destroying the site, but I'm going to stick around to make sure they do it. Cloaked, of course, once I've shown myself. That reduces my ship's overall strength, not being able to run my damage control unit, but hopefully that won't be an issue. It isn't, not at this range. The rats warp in, the site explodes, and the rats warp out. My Loki strategic cruiser is unharmed.

Wanton destruction of a w-space ghost site

Job done, I get back to scouting, locating the local tower and scanning the system for further wormholes. My probes pick up nine signatures, six of them chubsters, whittled down to one wormhole amongst the gas. It's a K162 from class 2 w-space. Neat. Jumping through and updating d-scan sees towers and a ship this time, an Epithal. I'd quite like to find that hauler, in case it's piloted and active, knowing full well that its short-sighted redesign has made the glorified space van almost impossible for my military-spec death machine to catch. You never know, I may get lucky.

The task of locating the ship is eased somewhat by my notes, my last visit to the system being three months ago. That was when I podded an Iteron V hauler on a high-sec wormhole, and scared off its two escort ships. Good times, but I need to concentrate on today, and pointing a narrow-beamed d-scan at noted tower locations finds one holding the Epithal, letting me get my Loki in to warp in the right direction. Or so I think. The hauler isn't actually in the tower. So where is he?

My first, best choice to look is the nearest customs office, which I can do with d-scan. The Epithal does indeed seem to be there, maybe was there when I looked this way from the wormhole. I warp there as fast as I can, hoping to at least see where he goes next, and drop out of warp to see the Epithal just sitting near the customs office. The hauler is stationary, and must have been there a while, as he's twenty kilometres from me. The ship must have warped to the customs office from a different direction.

Epithal stationary outside a w-space customs office

Can I get close enough to get in to the range of my faction scrambler? Will the three points of warp disruption be enough against this silly ship? I start crawling forwards to find out, paying close attention to the integrity of my cloaking device, in case I get too close to the customs office, and watching for movement from the Epithal. I should be able to see where he goes if he does warp, I suppose, but once I am fifteen kilometres from my target I decide that's close enough.

I decloak, surge forwards using my micro warp drive, and activate my sensor booster. I gain a positive lock with no movement yet from the Epithal, and disrupt his warp drives—or try to—and start shooting. Woah, the ship pretty much implodes. I aim to bump the hauler with my Loki, knock it out of warp-alignment, but my strategic cruiser simply sails through an exploding cloud of debris.

Exploding Epithal

Reacting to the destruction of the Epithal, I manage to grab the ejected pod of the pilot too. Perhaps he got distracted by something, making this rather easier than expected. Whatever, I make a new corpse for my trophy cabinet and blow up the wreck containing a large chunk of collected metals that I have no desire in trying to haul back home. As it turns out, the ship was cheap and pretty much unfitted, which is why it was so squishy, but the pilot's head was worth fifty million ISK. That's something.

Wreck and corpse of Epithal

Launching probes whilst reloading my guns lets me take a quick poke around the system. Four anomalies, three signatures, and a single ship are revealed, the ship just a Nemesis stealth bomber piloted but inert in the force field of another tower on the edge of the system. The signatures give me gas and the static exit to high-sec, showing the devil man of Heimatar, through which I find nothing of interest. Returning to C2a has the Nemesis disappeared, and I'm sensing that I should return home before the whole universe disappears with it.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.