Monday, July 15, 2013

On the Edge of an Ambush

I am in Artemis, my hunting Tengu.  Let's see who's connected to us today.  I slide through my home system's static wormhole to unknown space. J113143.  Highsec static.  The initial dscan shows... drones.  Lots of tech 1 drones out in space somewhere.  Well, that's not ships, but it is at least more interesting than 95% of systems.

There is also a POS, nobody home.  It's Russian owned, so it appears.  This being early evening in Eastern Time, I am unlikely to see any locals in this system tonight.

The system has an outer planet.  I warp out there, to be away from the tower to fire probes.  But what is this?  There is a battlecruiser wreck on dscan!  I look around; there is a sig out here but no anom.  Well, there are also two drones, and dscan shows they are in the same place as the wreck.  I fire probes and scan for the drones.  OK, got them.  I warp to them.  Yes it is a site: Forgotten Frontier Recursive Depot.  I warp to the wreck at 10. 

I am rather close to some sleepers.  And sleepers start warp scrambling!  Shit!  Did I get decloaked?  Run away!  Oh wait -- it is the drones they are killing.  I forgot that they do that.  Well, I warp back at a more comfortable distance to look at the problem.  I'd like to loot that wreck, but the sleepers have a few warp scrambler frigates.  Well, back home is just a wormhole jump away and there is a nice shield buffer Tengu there... I am pretty sure that it can kill a few sleeper frigs before the rather large DPS of this site gets me killed.  I bookmark the battlecruiser wreck.

Let's look at the tower once more... OK, still nobody home.  Back home, swap ships, and wait a bit for polarization to die down.  I don't want to be fleeing the system and get locked in.  Now, back into C3a, and warping to the wreck.  I land, and grab the loot, then align back to where I came from.  The sleepers open up, and two of the frigs warp scramble me.  I open up on one of them with painter and precision heavy missiles.  It dies quickly, but man, the damage is more than I thought.  I am at about 2/3 already.  Target the second scrambler frigate, and start firing.  Shields below 1/2.  OK, it's dead, and zoom!  I am off.  A bit closer of a shave than I wanted.

What's the loot anyway?  Not really that much.  Some T2 guns and ammo, armor stuff.  No bling on this BC.  Oh well.  I make it back home safe and head off for some coffee.  I'll see you later, EVE universe.

OK, it's later.  I have my coffee.  I sit back down.  I know from staticmapper that C3a has a highsec static, but it may have other wormhole connections.  I want to find them to explore.  I get in my hacking-and-archaelogizing Buzzard and head out.  I transition to C3a and I move off the wormhole and cloak.  Out of habit, I dscan to make sure it is still boring as I left it.

But it is not boring.  There are 14 sleeper wrecks on dscan.  There are also three Caldari battlecruiser wrecks on dscan.  And there are ships.  What is going on?  Immediately I turn on the display of anoms and bookmark all of them.  Then I spin around the dscan to try to figure things out.  The battlecruiser wrecks are with most of the sleeper wrecks.  But the wrecks are not at any signature or anomaly.  So I cannot get to them.  It appears that someone got ganked just as they finished a site.  Where are the ships I see?  I locate them in, of all places, a gas site, with two small sleeper wrecks.  One is a Venture so that sort of makes sense.  But not the Proteus.  I warp to at 100.  Getting there, I arrive just in time to see the Venture get ganked by a fleet of 4 assorted ships.  The pod warps off.  Then the fleet warps, and disappears from dscan.    Probably back to highsec or maybe there is another wormhole entrance.  The pod turns into an Imicus.

The original wrecks are still on dscan.  I think this is the time to run back home and get Artemis again.  I don't know what's happening exactly, but there are many juicy wrecks sitting out there and someone may try for some salvage.  If that someone is not cautious, maybe I can gank him.  I quickly return, then fly to the gas site again to sit near one of the sleeper wrecks.  I figure this is a good place to wait.

The Imicus is still there and there are no probes out.  I figure there is a good chance that he will go out to look for wormholes, and he may duck through the highsec static of this C3 or my wormhole and return polarized.  Then I might get a cheap gank.  If he is going to find mine, he'll need probes out.  So I will get warning.

I wait.  I dscan.  Still there and no probes.  Then I wait some more while dscanning.  Still there and no probes.  Then some more dscanning.  Nothing interesting happens.

Eventually, dscan shows the Imicus has turned into a Manticore -- a stealth bomber.  Hmm.  Then it disappears.  Uh oh.  What is he doing?

I keep dscanning.  Then something odd: the Manticore reappears and stays visible.  It is evidently sitting in space, but why?  Then a battlecruiser wreck disappears.  OK: he's salvaging in a Manticore.  That's kind of funny.  The three battlecruiser wrecks go quickly.  Then he starts in on the sleeper wrecks.  It is very slow, a minute per wreck.  But gradually they disappear.

Now I must make a choice.  I have combat probes.  I can certainly get them fired away from the Manticore's dscan at the outer planet.  But can I pinpoint something as small a Manticore?  I mess with dscan.  The range is easy to get, about 240000000m or 1.5 AU.  And after messing quite a while I get a rough heading.  But I am not sure I will get a 100% hit, and also, his grinding is so slow and he was just ganked, so he's got to be watching dscan like a hawk.  I feel it unlikely that he won't notice probes in time to GTFO.

Option B seem preferable: he knows the gas site with its two sleeper wrecks is here.  I bet he will come after he finishes where he is.  I am hoping he will come directly, instead of dropping off loot.  So, I wait and I watch on dscan as he slowly grinds down the other site.

Eventually he finishes.  The last wreck vanishes.  Now is the time.  I wait.  And... he turns back into an Imicus.  No.  Then he disappears.  Dammit!

I hope it is not what it seems, so I sit in the site another 10 minutes.  Nothing.  It is what it seems.  Evidently the small basic sleeper wrecks were not a temptation.  No ambush here today.

I go home and get our salvaging destroyer, and come back to salvage the three last wrecks.  Then I fly to the drones and grab them all.  I hate a messy room.

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