Blink and you miss it

1st July 2014 – 5.22 pm

The class 3 w-space system has been subdued. The Venture mining frigate we nearly caught returns to the tower, the pilot stutters, and goes off-line. It's time to scan properly. There are four anomalies and twelve signatures, two of which we know about. One is our K162, the other the gas site the Venture was in. That leaves more gas—and presumably better gas than was in the barren site—data, and relics, with just a single wormhole.

The static exit to low-sec is at the end of its life too, making it rather less than useful. Still, we have people, which makes crashing our wormhole easier. Fin grabs an Orca industrial command ship and pushes it through the wormhole, and, once my polarisation ends, I do the same with a Widow black ops ship. Matha holds watch in C3a. A second pass by each of us collapses the connection smoothly, all of us returned to the home system, giving us a short wait for a replacement wormhole to spawn for us to explore through.

In to the different neighbouring system, and punching my directional scanner sees a tower and Mastodon transport. A previous visit of five months ago doesn't help with finding the tower, as the one in my notes is out of range, but locating the one d-scan shows me is straightforward enough. I drop out of warp outside of the force field to see the transport empty. Crossing the system finds the listed tower torn down too, giving us an inactive system.

We scan. Well, they scan. I'm being lazy, masking it by watching the tower, the one with the unpiloted ship. It remains unpiloted. A static exit to low-sec is resolved, obviously leading to Aridia, and Matha heads that way. A K162 from null-sec is next, looking like it comes from Outer Ring, which jumping through confirms. There are pilots in the null-sec system but no other signatures. I return to C3a and loitering outside the tower.

Fin's gone to another low-sec system through a second K162 in C3a, where she finds more wormholes, two C3 K162s. I head her way, Fin going to C3c, me C3b. D-scan shows me three towers but no ships, my interest levels dropping again. There are only three anomalies and three signatures, though, which have got to be worth a poke. I warp away from the towers, launch scanning probes, and blanket the system. Heading back to the centre of the system to locate the three towers pulls a fourth in to range, as well as a Legion. I've no idea where that strategic cruiser is, though.

The Legion is not at the fourth tower. A Magnate frigate has appeared too. Maybe they are at one of the first three towers. Not the first, not the second—the Magnate disappears from d-scan—but the Legion is at the third. Piloted, of course. If the Legion is planning to do anything I hope it is soon, as it is already late in to the evening, and although the ship moves it is only to a hangar, where the strategic cruiser is swapped for a Retribution. That doesn't look promising.

One assault frigate is swapped for a second, this time the Vengeance accelerating in to warp towards the low-sec exit. I've no idea where he's going, or for how long, but it's safe to assume he'll come back to this w-space system at some point. I loiter on the wormhole in C3b, Fin heads home to get an interceptor, spying the Vengeance pilot and his Magnate colleague in the low-sec system as she does. Perhaps I need to scan for his position in low-sec.

I take my Proteus strategic cruiser out of w-space and assess the situation. There aren't many signatures in the system, and as Fin has already scanned I doubt I will need to scan for the Vengeance's position. Where does that put him? Not in an easily found anomaly, but somewhere in the system, as he persists on d-scan. I point a narrow beam at the rock belts and there he is, bouncing between them. Ratting, I presume. But, totally in retrospect, he's almost certainly trolling for a fight.

Trying not to be too obvious, Fin takes her Crow in to C3b and loiters on the wormhole. I decide I should be with her, or I risk getting polarised if a chase occurs. That works, because Matha comes across in her Buzzard covert operations boat to keep an eye in low-sec. My main concern is the location of the Magnate, as the obvious place for him would be on the K162, watching for activity.

We wait. The Vengeance doesn't come to us. Perhaps we should go to him. Matha goes looking, soon finding the Vengeance but getting decloaked in the process. The assault frigate aims for her Buzzard, which Matha doesn't much care for. 'I had to bail, let's see what he does.' As she says this, the wormhole crackles. Here we go.

Ambushing the Vengeance returning to its home w-space system

The Vengeance appears in front of us and Fin pounces, systems hot. She snares our target and stops it warping clear, but before my targeting systems can get a positive lock the ship disappears. There was no flare on the wormhole, no crackle of a transit, neither is there a wreck or pod. I take the only reasonable course of action and jump to low-sec, where I see the Vengeance warp clear before I can stop him.

That was odd. Some weird latency got us a bit nonplussed. It was as if the Vengeance disappeared from existence. But never mind, we gave the pilot a bit of a scare, I imagine. Perhaps Matha could have snared the Vengeance in a rock field, but I doubt her Buzzard would have held up for long. Anyway, it's time to get some rest, and we head home. Despite having two targets and catching neither, at least we found two targets. With a bit more practice and experience we'll become something of a menace.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.