Choosing a target
Today sees me logging in first, again. As I start probing, however, a friendly face logs on. Aii is stuck out in highsec, so I need to find a route in!
There’s no inbounds in our home system today, a C5 inbound that appeared during last night’s capital escalations dead by now. Our previous C4 static is also dead, so I wipe corp bookmarks and start anew. It doesn’t take me long to find it, but C4a today is empty with a C4 static itself. Fortunately, C4 statics are pretty easy to scan down, having a unique signature size. I sweep for inbounds, finding none, before scanning and jumping into C4b.
Ah, now we’re getting interesting. A lone Scorpion and POS light my D-Scan up, but warping to the tower reveals the Scorpion empty. Curses. C4b also has a C4 static, so I scan it and jump in, revealing an empty C4c. This one has a C3 static, which usually lead to k-space, so I keep scanning. No inbounds are found, so into C3a I go!
C3a greets me with a Gallente Battleship wreck on scan, along with 4 Ogre IIs and a couple of towers that appear to be offline. The system boasts a Lowsec static and a Black Hole wormhole effect in place.
Warping to one of the towers quickly reveals its reason for being offline. A host of Cruise Missile Batteries and Torpedo Missile Batteries surround the abandoned tower – the defences effectively useless in a Black Hole system, which boosts ship velocities and reduces missile velocities in kind. I start scanning for the seemingly abandoned Ogre IIs, hoping they lead me to the BS wreck. Since the Ogre IIs are unclaimed, I assume that the killers of the Gallente Battleship had to leave in a hurry. Resolving the signature hit, I warp to the drones to see an unspoilt wreck waiting for me!
A check on the owner of the wreck reveals no PvP losses in this system, leading me to believe he lost the Battleship to Sleepers. How embarrassing. The wreck contains a fairly cheap Faction armour repair as well as a Shadow Serpentis energized adaptive nano module, but the rest is standard T2 loot. Not worth a lot, all told, but ISK is ISK!
I scan the low, finding myself in Old Man Star and drop bookmarks for Aii, who promptly comes home. A C3 is scanned in OMS, but it holds nothing of interest. With nothing going on, I log out till the evening.
Logging back on some hours later has Mick also online. I decide to sit at C4b’s tower, but an online Dominix there simply logs off. Mick goes scouting into C4c, where he notes probes on scan. He scouts further into the system, revealing an Anathema, Nighthawk, 3 Drakes and a lot of wrecks.
The Drakes and Nighthawk are at an anomaly, and the Anathema has cloaked. I swap my Scangu for a Manticore bomber, preferring the “insta-lock-on-decloak” of this ship and head over to join Mick, who is now sitting cloaked 160km off the ratting ships.
Another alliance member, Rihanna, moves to join us but lacks a suitable cloaky vessel – opting for a PvP fit Loki and sitting in C4b, ready to jump in and help if we engage something.
There’s no chance we can hit the 4 ratting ships, so we decide to wait for their Noctis. Mick deploys probes and resolves a new inbound – presumably the source of these ships. However, a Retriever and Covetor are now on scan, and it isn’t long before Mining Drones are on scan too. Intriguing.
The ratters finish their site, warping towards another. One Drake warps elsewhere and soon disappears from scan – presumably gone back to their Wormhole. It isn’t long before a Noctis shows up on scan, along with an Imicus frigate.
The Noctis appears to be in an anom we haven’t located, and the Imicus is replaced by a second Covetor which appears in the same direction as the other 2 mining barges. An Iteron V appears, and locates itself with the miners.
At this point, we have to pick a target.
- 2 Drakes + Nighthawk at an Anomaly
- Retriever, 2x Covetors + Iteron Mk V at a Grav site
- Noctis at the Anomaly we have bookmarked.
- Try and snag one of their scouts on a wormhole.
Whichever we pick loses the others, and we have no idea what reinforcements they could have. We have to make it quick. So we obviously pick the Noctis.
After 10 minutes of waiting, the Noctis appears in the Anomaly we’re sitting at cloaked. He’s 160km away, and appears to be unmoving – allowing his Tractor Beams to do the work for him.
We let him salvage some wrecks, but he still doesn’t move. This works to our advantage – a moving Noctis is harder to hit than a stationary one.
We bookmark a wreck he tractors to him, and both warp in and engage.
A good thing too. The Noctis pops easily, but the pod escapes even my sensor boosted Manticore. I hit the “Loot All” button on the wreck, but my Manticore’s cargo is already bomb laden and I only grab a handful. Mick grabs some more, but he shoots the wreck to deny the rest. As Mick does so, the Nighthawk and Drakes land, but we both easily cloak and warp back off to the tactical. Gone as soon as we appeared.
The Drakes and their mining barges warp back to their Wormhole, which I scout as a C2, whilst the Nighthawk remains in the site. It’s a tempting target, but if it’s running C4s it’ll likely be brick tanked and we simply don’t have the DPS to kill one before its’ allies arrive.
The Drakes return, and one of them starts salvaging, albeit slowly. They’ve probably refit for PvP, but are desperate for some ISK return since we kind of blew it all up.
There’s not a lot else myself and Mick can do at this point, so we head home for the night.