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A large constellation results in a missed opportunity

Aha, I’m on first again! TG wins the race! I best start scanning the constellation, though I am sincerely hoping it’s smaller than the previous day, which I refuse to blog about because Wrathhammer keeps asking me to blog about it. Said constellation was about 6 wormholes with 4 k-space, and it took a fair while to scan down.

My hopes of a small constellation to scan today are dashed when our C4 static turns out to have a C6 static as well as an inbound C4. Best get to work.

I work my way through many systems, encountering a lone Buzzard in a C6 at a POS and then 2 Bombers at a POS in a C2. I say hi by accidentally warping straight into the forcefield while locating the POS, decloaking my Tengu and causing many bricks to be dropped. I pulse my MWD as I burn away and recloak, but one of the bombers heads over to where I was to try and reveal me again. Obviously, I’m long gone by that point.

I scan a few more systems before logging off, with no decent ships about to shoot. I haven’t even scanned the whole constellation. There’s too many systems!

Logging on later has Mick online as well, and he’s spotted a new inbound to our static C4a. However, the new arrivals decide they do not want this C4, and roll it as we watch. None of them get trapped, much to our dissapointment.

We resolve most of the rest of the constellation before noticing there’s now a Drake out and about in the C6.

There’s a lot of systems, and my bookmark folder is giving me evil looks, but this drake is the first viable target we’ve seen.

He can’t be running anomalies alone in the C6, especially thanks to the Cataclysmic Variable wormhole effect which reduces local tank capabilities while massively augmenting remote repair, so he’s probably in a Ladar or Grav site. Sadly, the whole system is on scan from him, so Mick and I puzzle over the best course to take. An Exequorororororor is at their tower, and warps towards the Drake’s location once 5 small wrecks are on scan. The Exequrororor has a cargo bay bonus, so he could be utilizing it as a cheap miner, though to do so in a C6 is a bit foolish – this holds especially true when a glance at recent system activity indicates both AHARM and Transmission Lost have been here within the last 48 hours.

Oh well, we have no choice but to risk probes if we want any hope of catching the two ships, both now sat in space. I deploy combat probes as fast as my Tengu will allow and recloak, whilst Mick gives me a location to set them up. The Drake should be an easy probe hit, requiring less accuracy. Our amazing foolproof plan is, sadly, hampered by the Drake warping back to the tower and then sitting in a pod there.

The Exequrorororororororororor is still in the site though, and the disappearance of 3 of the wrecks indicate he’s salvaging. I hit the scan button and get a 92% hit. I reposition and try again, recalling my probes as soon as I get it to 100%. Fleetwarping myself and Mick at 100 reveals the Exequrorororororor harvesting gas whilst moving to the remaining 2 wrecks. We bookmark the wreck, warp out and back at a longer range, allowing us to make a 250km bounce spot if we need a good spot to warp in from.

The Cruiser salvages one of the last two wrecks, and then sits still at the cloud, mining away. AFK, perhaps? Sheer idiocy in a wormhole, but gives us a good chance to strike.

We warp in, mindful of the gas cloud possibly decloaking us early. We slowboat at the cruiser, planning to hit our MWDs to bump him as soon as the cloud decloaks us, in order to stop him warping as our sensors re-calibrate from the cloaking devices. Mick decloaks first and burns his Proteus the remaining 5km at the gas miner, with my own Tengu following. The cruiser is shredded, and my sensor boosted Tengu snags the pod easily. Expensive pod for such dangerous and low profit work.

The tower pilot hasn’t shifted, but one of our own has logged on! Wrathhammer appears on Vent, and soon appears in game. He scouts the earlier systems as myself and Mick head to the far end of the constellation to scout further. No sooner are we there when Wrath reports targets in the C4b. CURSES. A Noctis is seen on scan with a scant few wrecks, followed by 2 Orcas. The system was unoccupied, and Wrath confirms a new inbound on scan. By the time we reach it, it’s collapsed – the newcomers running anoms, salvaging and collapsing the wormhole. Damn damn damn. A smaller WH constellation and we’d have scouted them earlier, but with so many wormholes we can hardly keep tabs on all of them.

Oh well. We got a kill at least, but the constellation is getting stupidly huge and any further scanning is moot, since it’d take half an hour just to cross it at this rate.

We have another fly through, revealing no ships. The now-slain Exequror pilot logs off then back on, perhaps hoping relogging will fix the “bug” that his afk gas miner is now docked in k-space? Who knows?

We roll the C4, letting several hours of scanning disappear in seconds. On to the new constellation!

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