Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Sad Tale of Micheal Winsor

It's a weekend, and our static C3 has been explored.  Jayne has scanned it down.  He found several wormholes, including its highsec static and a second highsec connection which was EOL.  Also a another C4 connection.  This looks promising for later exploitation.  He saw a Drake and a Venture, strangely at a custom's office.  But before I could get online (coming running called by a text), they escaped.

I logged in before finding out the opportunity was past, and entered C3a.  So nothing to do, but since I was already online at the computer... I took the time to exit each highsec and find out where it is.  The static is 35 jumps from Jita -- yuck.  The other is just 15 jumps, but EOL.  That's not happening.  Even at 35 jumps, there's plenty of time to run a freighter because I can autopilot it.  I spend most of the day playing with The Boy anyway.  So, that's what I am doing: my Jita alt is bringing up a load of gas for reacting, and new PI goods.  Plus various skillbooks and parts needed for corp operations.

Hours later... he's getting close and I am back at my computer.  So, I get Von on to enter C3a and make sure it is still safe for moving stuff in and out.  I get in my Manticore, and enter C3a.  Things have changed a bit in a last few hours.  I fly to the EOL wormhole at 50: it's gone.  And there is a new signature which I scan down: gas.  OK.  Everything else is as it was.  Nobody is at the tower.

a Venture killed someone?
I think to dscan, and I see something unexpected.  A Venture!  Oh yeah: it's killin' time!  Well, actually a stealth bomber is not the best thing for ganking Ventures.  Still, it's worth a shot; maybe he is AFK.  I spin around the dscan, and to my surprise, the Venture is not in any of the gas sigs or even ore anoms.  In fact it is nowhere particular -- not the tower, not a CO.  It is just out in space.  And it appears it is near a corpse (huh?), and two sleeper wrecks.

Is this a trap?

I don't know.  But I will need combat probes to find this guy if he sticks around.  So, I better get a ship with combat scanners.  I could get Artemis, my cloaky Tengu.  But the possibility of trap is too high.  Instead I will get my Buzzard and scan it with that.  Then we will see.  The Venture's name suggests it may just be a newb who got trapped.  So, maybe I will be nice and talk to him and let him out.  But have to find him first, for that.  And do I really want to be nice?
board the Venture, yarr!

I head back to my home C4, cross the wormhole, back to tower, then reship.  And back to the wormhole again; back into C3a.  nothing on dscan as expected, so I fire combat probes and throw them out of the system.  Then I warp across the system to see if the Venture is still there.

It's still there.  OK, move the probes into the inner system and scan.  Just ships.  24% hit, so refine and try again.  97% dammit (got to get better skills).  It's still there, so refine and try again.  I get 100%, so I quickly recall probes.  Then I warp over to look.

The scene that greets me tells a tale.  There is an empy, unpiloted Venture out in space.  Its name, as I have seen on dscan, is "WH Collapsed :(".  Right next to it is a corpse.  Evidently, this guy was in here when his highsec collapsed.  Evidently he did not have a probe launcher, so he was screwed.  No way out.  So he flew to a safespot, ejected, and suicided.

Anyway, that's what flashes immediately.  Still, it could be a trap.  If I show myself, will someone uncloak?  Only one way to find out.  I bookmark the empty ship, warp home, and ditch my Buzzard, getting just a bare pod.  Then I fly back, waiting a bit at the wormhole for my polarization to dissipate.  Finally I am back in C3a, and I warp to the Venture.  Will someone uncloak and try to kill me?

Nope, it is at it seems.  I board the Venture, then grab the corpse.  (There is armor damage -- a story we will never know.)  Then I warp off back home.  The Venture has a load of low-value gas.  The story I originally imagined is true.  Micheal Winsor had a bad day. 

A good day for me, though, as I pick up a Venture sporting T2 gas miners -- and no tank, no warp core stab, no probe scanner.  Um, Micheal Winsor, dude, if you find this, read my article on how to gas mine.  Empty slots are the nightmare of every EFT warrior.  There is always something you can put there that will make it better fit.  Well, OK.  Not always.  Just almost always.  But in this case: yeah, a core probe launcher.  Cost 40k ISK or whatever.  Good investment.

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