Slow chase

8th July 2014 – 5.49 pm

Maybe I'll go back for that hauler. Now that the tower no longer has a vice-like grip on my strategic cruiser, I could take my pod in to grab the Epithal and claim it for myself. Or maybe I should at least scout this system properly first. My opportunistic assault on the unprotected hangar was suitably brazen, but it is almost certainly luck that let me get away with it unscathed. I launch probes when I am safe again, and perform a blanket scan of this class 3 w-space system.

Five ships appear underneath my combat scanning probes, which underlines my carelessness with cracking open the hangar. The unpiloted Epithal next to the debris is one of them, and it's at the edge of the system where I find three more towers and the four other ships. A second Epithal and a shuttle are at one of the towers, a rather more intimidating Onyx heavy interdictor and Damnation command ship are at another. I'd better see if the combat ships are piloted over the other two.

Onyx and Damnation at an active tower

Yep, the Onyx and Damnation are both piloted, the command ship curiously outside of the force field. Only just outside of the force field, but that's enough. Enough for what, though? Ah, boosting, I suppose, being a command ship and all, and, to prove it, as a Legion strategic cruiser warps in to the tower the Damnation crawls back inside the force field too. It looks to me like the Damnation was empowering the covert Legion, and that I probably am really lucky to still have my own strategic cruiser in one piece around me.

I really should have scouted properly before shooting the hangar. That I got away with it this time is no excuse. Hopefully I've learnt my lesson, but so rare are the occasions when you see a hangar free to be cracked open that cautionary lessons are forgotten for one reason or another. I'm okay, though, and the local pilots appear to have given up on finding me now that I've hidden myself properly. I wonder what that other Epithal is doing.

I warp across to the other tower to see the shuttle piloted and the Epithal, well, the Epithal is almost certainly piloted, as it is in warp out of the tower as I land in a bubble. The hauler drops off d-scan, as does the Damnation for whatever reason, and although the command ship stays gone the Epithal returns to the tower soon enough. That looks like gooing behaviour, and he could feasibly be going out for another trip.

There goes the Epithal again. Naturally, I can only tell where he's going once he's in warp, which is really frustrating, and the ship is still stupidly designed, I don't care what anyone else claims, but still I try to follow. It's a dumb idea, and it seems I'm full of them tonight.

Catching up with the Epithal in time to see it leave

I reach the customs office in time to see the Epithal there, but not for long. He's already turning and is in warp back to the tower before my Proteus decelerates fully. I don't go back with the hauler, as I don't want to be continually frustrated by the same short-sighted or accidental limitations if I don't have to be, and instead head to what could be the Epithal's next destination. Only could be, though, no guarantees.

Scanning a wormhole and strategic cruiser simultaneously

Loitering by the customs office and updating d-scan for a couple of minutes convinces me that the Epithal isn't coming out again any time soon. I also realise that I have probes launched and available to me and no location for the system's static exit to high-sec yet. I could probably use that, so call my probes in and start scanning. Gas, static wormhole with a strategic cruiser on it, and three more wormholes. That's an interesting result, but I probably shouldn't do much more before repairing the damage to my armour the tower inflicted.

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