Cruising for a Covetor

11th June 2014 – 5.27 pm

Back to the class 5 w-space system and across to the last of the three wormholes I've resolved. It's a K162 to more class 5 w-space. I bet that Deimos heavy assault cruiser that entered our home system came from this way. Deeper I go, aiming to find out. Woo, that's a lot of towers lighting up my directional scanner. I'd say this is probably the home of Hard Knocks, the corporation the Deimos pilot belongs to.

There are fourteen ships dotted around too, some industrial, most combat. Well, I assume they are dotted around, because I'm sure as hell not individually locating a couple of dozen visible towers just to confirm that, yes, there are ships in the system. I doubt I could even be convinced to stay and watch a hauler, not with so much support available.

My notes for the system suggest there are more towers on the planets out of d-scan range, some thirty-eight in total. Today, I believe you, notes. I copy the last entry for this C5 down to the current field, and turn my Loki strategic cruiser around. I came looking for the home of the Deimos, and I'm pretty sure I found it. I won't be doing anything else here.

I head back the other way, crossing C5a to the home system, and from home I jump through our static wormhole to class 3 w-space. The Deimos isn't waiting for me on our K162, not that I was expecting him to, but it's nice all the same, and d-scan is clear, with just one planet out of range. I launch probes and blanket the system, warping to the first moon of the far planet, bumping in to a tower and a Probe frigate that my combat probes detect slightly earlier than my overview shows me.

The Probe is piloted, but a lack of scanning probes makes me think he's idle. His alignment with the tower structures is a surer sign that the pilot's done nothing recently, so I call my probes in to scan the two anomalies and five signatures. Wormhole, data, wormhole, wormhole. More options. Warping around the wormholes finds the static exit to low-sec, a K162 from class 4 w-space at the end of its life, and a K162 from a null-sec region that from the wormhole colours looks like The Spire. I'll check that.

Yep, I'm in the Spire having jumped through the K162, where there appear to be active pilots, given all the rat wrecks littering the system. There is also a Covetor mining barge and Mackinaw exhumer within d-scan range, but with over a dozen pilots in the system are the two miners bait? I warp across to the ore anomaly to take a look, and see the two ships actually shooting mining lasers at a rock. There's even a jet-can sitting next to them. I think I set my Loki's drive to time-warp by accident.

Mackinaw and Covetor mining together in null-sec

I get closer to the ships, if only to spring the counter-ambush, the jet-can being an excellent beacon, landing close enough to a big rock that I am sure my cloak's integrity won't hold and I'll be provoked in to attacking. But, no, I am just far enough away for my cloak to hold, letting me manoeuvre slightly and review the situation. The Mackinaw is aligning away, by the looks of it. Does this mean they've now spotted my face in the local channel? Maybe not, as the Covetor remains motionless.

Ambushing the now-lone Covetor

Off warps the Mackinaw, leaving me with one target. That's nice and simple. I get just within warp scrambler range, decloak, and get my systems hot. Once I can get a positive lock, I do get a positive lock, and start rattling autocannon rounds towards the mining barge. I exercise a little caution, aligning back out of the site in case I get caught, but this doesn't look like bait, not with the barge's shields dropping so precipitously. It looks like he really is here to mine ore.

Covetor explodes impressively

Boom! The Covetor explodes with a satisfying burst of flame, and both the pod and my Loki disappear in different directions. I don't really care for the loot, although I suppose I could have popped the wreck. Still, a second opportunistic kill for the evening is a jolly good result. Even better, heading back to w-space and checking C3a's static exit to low-sec has the orange blur of the Deimos warping away as I land, so that's him accounted for too. With nothing else to see through the empire connections, I turn my Loki around and head home to rest.

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