Loitering in low-sec

9th May 2014 – 5.53 pm

The local pilots float inside their tower doing nothing. It's not terribly surprising, given I've just successfully ambushed one of their Retriever mining barges, but it does offer us a minor opportunity. I keep watching the pilots as a newly arrived Fin grabs a destroyer from our tower, jumps to this class 3 w-space system, and warps to the site of the ambush. The Prophecy battlecruiser has looted the wrecks of the Sleepers in the ore site, but my glorious leader salvages them.

Retriever pilot tries to make me feel guilty

Fin takes home some simple loot, but it's our loot and it's the principle that matters. There remains no movement at the tower, so I launch probes and scan, ignoring the weird conversation in the local channel. I think the loss of the Retriever has less to do with my being old than him being in a mining barge and me in a strategic cruiser. He's just trying to make me feel guilty, which makes him literally worse than a pirate. At least scanning my way out of here is quick and easy. The discovery scanner has already shown me the minimal signatures in the system, so I disregard our K162 and resolve the static exit to low-sec directly.

Rifter returns to w-space from low-sec

I warp to the U210, where the colours of Sinq Laison seep through, and a little light loitering has the wormhole crackle unexpectedly. A Rifter decloaks and warps towards the tower, the frigate's earlier disappearance from my directional scanner now somewhat explained. I don't know what he was doing in low-sec still, but maybe if I go there myself I can work it out. Exiting to low-sec sees no pilots, two extra signatures, and almost nothing of interest. Dodixie is nine hops away, though, which I suppose could have been the destination of the Rifter.

Fin asks about nearby mineral supply. Dodixie has some, of course, but what my glorious leader needs is also available a few systems closer, and as our project is nearing completion Fin decides to take a Kryos hauler out to pick up some materials. As she does that, I'll rat and scan in the low-sec system, finding myself a battleship flanked by three cruisers and resolving two wormholes and a relic site. I don't get to pop the rats, though, as a new pilot appears in the system.

I align towards somewhere safe as I plink away at the rat battleship's armour, but have to decide what to do once my trajectory takes me too far to be doing any damage. I could turn back and close on the battleship, but that would ruin my option of warping clear at a moment's notice. I'll just warp now and leave the rat alone. The minor increase to security status is not worth losing a ship over.

It turns out that this pilot in low-sec saw Fin's exit, and his information suggests he is a denizen of w-space too. He could have come from one of the two wormholes I've resolved—one an X702 outbound connection, the other a K162, both having class 3 w-space on the other side—and I choose to loiter by the most likely culprit to see if he heads back. But no ship jumps through the K162, the pilot remaining quite visible in the local communications channel.

If the pilot is waiting for Fin's return, maybe we can sucker him in to engaging on our terms. Fin can act baity and get the other ship polarised before warping clear in her silly ship, and I can ambush our ambusher with the upper hand. At least, that's the plan and, as always, the plan goes awry before it even starts. Fin comes home with some minerals and is jumped on a previously clear stargate in low-sec by a Loki strategic cruiser and Sacrilege heavy assault cruiser, destroying her hauler.

Fin returns not in a Kryos but her pod

So much for teasing the potentially waiting pilot, and for our project. But Fin is safe and, ah, right, I remember that empire space has stations that can be used to dock and idle in. I think the pilot in the system is only superficially in the system, and it's perhaps best that I stop waiting for him and explore through the wormholes instead. So I do, jumping through the K162 and updating d-scan to see nothing. A blanket scan with my probes doesn't find much more, and exploring finds the previous occupation moved on.

A quick poke of the eighteen anomalies and eight signatures for wormholes finds a K162. It's only a connection from low-sec, one whose colours make it look suspiciously like Sinq Laison too. But the subtle tones of Lonetrek are missing, making this a wormhole from Everyshore. More specifically, a system in Everyshore with pilots and signatures aplenty, but the evening draws on and I can't be bothered with more low-sec scanning shenanigans.

Trying to pop a rat battleship in low-sec

I return to and through C3c to Sinq Laison, and can't resist a look through the X702 to C3b. D-scan is clear from the K162, and a blanket scan reveals anomalies, signatures, but no ships. No interest for Penny. I recall my probes and head home, getting distracted again by wanting to finish off that battleship I tussled with earlier. I nearly manage it too, except another new pilot enters the low-sec system, and this one really is a dirty pirate, judging by his security status. I take no chances, leaving the rat alone and this time actually heading home to go off-line.

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