Seeing orange in low-sec

31st August 2014 – 3.22 pm

It's just me, a pocket of gas, and our static wormhole to start off the evening. There are also a couple of good anomalies, double what we had yesterday. I am tempted to leave them another day, see if they turn in to four for tomorrow, but I like keeping the ISK flowing, so it's probably best to clear them whilst our system is closed. Tomorrow could bring more anomalies, but it could also bring more wormholes, or even a hostile fleet intent on stealing from us. Bastards.

I warp to the tower, swap to the Golem marauder, and perform a systems check. Everything looks good, the ammunition in my hold looks plentiful, and the silly discovery scanner updates to show me nothing has changed from thirty seconds ago. I'm ready to shoot some Sleepers. Warping to the first anomaly and launching the also-silly mobile tractor unit lets me concentrate on popping Sleepers and watching the two scanners.

Golem versus Sleepers

Eventually, Beech manages to capture Jack, with the great reveal that they are the humans and the Tet are actually the alien invaders, who are now sucking our planet dry with the unwitting help of Jack. Does he take time to explain this rather significant development carefully to Jack? No, he lets Jack go. Why does he let Jack go? Because Beech is an idiot. No, Jack isn't likely to keep all this information to himself or work out what's really going on, and if he does it will not be in the short amount of time necessary for Beech's plan to succeed.

If Jack's really as smart as Beech suspects, he will listen to reason and logic, particularly when presented with empirical evidence, and come to a good decision. Letting him go after going to so much effort and risk to capture him in the first place is namby-pamby film logic that makes no sense when absolutely needing that person to fulfil a vital role in the survival of the species and the planet. Meh, we've got time, I suppose. I actually think Sleeper combat is more interesting than Oblivion. One anomaly is cleared without fuss, and I take what loot the silly MTU has collected for me back to our tower in the Golem before moving to the second site.

Sweeping up the final wrecks in a destroyer

Nearly two-hundred million ISK is a good haul of loot from two sites, pulling up the average after the previously disappointing anomaly, and I even have a bit of time left to explore through our static wormhole. I swap back to my Proteus strategic cruiser, warp to the connection, and jump through. Two towers and a ship appear on my directional scanner from the K162, but the ship is only an Ares interceptor and almost certainly not up to much by itself.

I bookmark the anomalies in the system—and the wormhole home—and warp away to see if anything is happening outside of d-scan's limited range. Oh, probably not. The second planet is initially in range, where the two towers and Ares are. The first planet is 20 AU distant, hugging the system's star, and lacking moons. There are a couple of signatures and anomalies out there, though, so I suppose activity is a technical possibility.

Two-planet solar system in w-space

Warping to the inner planet finds that, no, nothing else is happening. That's a shame, as a previous visit had my catching and podding two stealth bombers, before we lost a Drake that rattled amongst Sleeper structures trying to escape from a couple of battleships. Bereft of much else to do, I launch probes, blanket the system, and warp back towards the second planet to start looking for the towers. I ignore the boring shell of a tower, the same as from the last visit, and head for the tower with the Ares. The interceptor is piloted and moving, but only moving in eccentric orbits, bouncing off hangars, in a way that suggests the autopilot is in control. I can ignore this capsuleer and scan.

Thirteen anomalies and five signatures are reduced to two signatures of interest. One is the static exit to low-sec, bearing the unmistakable brown of Aridia. The other is a K162 from null-sec with almost no colour to it, just a glow of background radiation. I check the K162 first, being taken to a system in Deklein again, somehow not recognising it from yesterday. Today, over twenty pilots are in the system, and a whole bunch of ships are potentially out and about. That is, until I appear. Flicking d-scan around sees the mining barges and exhumers nowhere near the ore sites but around planets with towers. Never mind.

Back to C3a and across to and out the U210. This is more interesting. I share the system with just one other capsuleer, painted bright orange. His corporation matches that of the one in C3a, and I can see a Venture mining frigate on d-scan. D-scan is the only place I can find it, though, as sweeping across the ore sites or rock belts can't pinpoint the ship's position. I suppose he could be in a cleared gas site, if they exist in empire space, but this system is so small that I can't get out of d-scan range to launch probes, which is more of a drawback when the local communications channel highlights my presence.

Hullo, the wormhole to C3a crackles. Is it the Ares come to shoo me away? Whatever ship it is, it holds its cloak for as long as possible. And, no, it's not the Ares, it's a Buzzard, the covert operations boat warping clear as soon as it becomes visible. That gives me two potential targets that I can't catch in my current ship, in a system where it's obvious that I'm here. Maybe I can change that.

Buzzard jumps to low-sec from class 3 w-space

I jump back to w-space and warp homewards, pausing at our K162 to update d-scan, seeing the Ares still at the tower. The Buzzard is a new contact, in that case. I jump home, warp to the tower, and consider what ship to take back. My first thought is an interceptor, until I remind myself of the Flycatcher interdictor we have. That should do for catching agile ships. I swap to the interdictor, return to C3a, and warp to loiter with intent on the exit to low-sec.

The wormhole is out of range of the Ares, so hopefully I don't get in to immediate trouble with him, if this interdictor would even have trouble with an interceptor. It's only whilst I wait for either the Buzzard or Venture, or both, to come back that I realise bubbles can't be used in low-sec, so if either jumps back then I could miss whatever chance I have of catching them. Then again, the Flycatcher has insanely good sensor resolution, enough to catch a cov-ops before it cloaks. On the gripping hand, it also only has a warp disruptor. The Venture's increased warp core strength and lack of interdiction bubble would let it evade me in low-sec.

Well, I've made my decision, I'll just sit and wait and see what happens. Updating d-scan regularly doesn't see an Ares heading my way, not that the warp acceleration changes would give me much warning. Listening for the wormhole to crackle with a transit hears nothing. I can wait a bit longer. And I wait a bit longer. I wait a bit longer still, not quite in contravention of my own orders, but it seems clear that the Buzzard and Venture are in no rush to come back, and I'm in no position to catch them in low-sec. It's time to give up on what was a half-hearted plan to start with. Never mind, I'm sure it is the thought of combat that counts.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.