Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First

It's New Year's Day.  I have been online half the day, doing stuff in EVE.  Our C4 connects to C4b which connected for a while to C2b, with static highsec.  I used that earlier to bring in an Orca load of parts, fuel, and PI goods.  C4b also connects to a C5, which I scanned down earlier, finding a Vital Core Reservoir.  These sites have a small amount of C320 and a large amount of C540, both of which are quite valuable.  The corp got together in the evening, trooped over in Ventures, and mined until the sleepers showed up.  Then we scurried off like roaches.  Nobody was particularly in the mood to run sites in our system, and I had seen pilots in C2a, so running sites in C4a seemed risky.  We decided to call it a night for the corp.  But not me.  I'm still here.

I get my Manticore and head out for a look around.  Earlier I saw a Dominix with Bouncers out in C2a, as well as an idle Tengu and a Buzzard both in a POS.  It is a small system, among the smallest I have seen.  So I knew there were no wrecks hiding.  Eventually the Domi disappeared, so I figured it might have entered a wormhole.  Since I had not probed it out, I couldn't do anything, at least not without revealing my presence with probes.  I have more time here, and figure to scan it out if there is nothing I can get out.  Then maybe I will lie low a while and they might think I am gone and make a mistake.

I enter C4a.  Nothing on scan.  So on to C2a.  I cross the wormhole and dscan, and I see what every wspace hunter wants to see: sleeper wrecks.  There is a Tengu on scan, and no other ships, and that is it.  Quickly I burn off the wormhole and cloak, hoping the Tengu is too busy to see. This appears to be the case, as a new wreck appears.

Now I am tempted to bookmark all anoms, but there are quite many.  I may not have time.  So I use the dscan with angles, first 180 in the general direction of the sun.  He's in that half.  Then 90 at a clump of sites in the inner system (he is still there), and 60 (not there).  So I know he's in one of the more "fringe" sites as I face the inner system, which rules out about 20 of them.  I scan across 4 of them until I find him in the 5th.  Immediately I warp to it 100.
Hide and seek
I am just in time.  I land on grid to see the Tengu, 110km off, and no live sleepers.  (Anoms cease appearing on other people's scanners when you kill most of the rats in their last wave.)  He's got a tractor unit out which is slowly gathering up all the wrecks.  He appears to be orbiting it.  Obviously all the wrecks will end up next to it, so I bookmark it for later use.  I turn the other way and head out towards a perch.  The wrecks are gathered slowly.  I get to 160km before the last one arrives, so I sit and wait.

Right now I am not sure what I will do.  I certainly do not fancy attacking a Tengu in a bomber.  It is possible (though unlikely) that the Tengu has salvagers itself; but since none of the wrecks have disappeared, that seems unlikely.  He may not be salvaging at all, in which case maybe I can sneak in later and ninja-salvage these wrecks.  I want to see his SOP before I can decide what to do next.

The last wreck is gathered and looted by the tractor.  Then he grabs the tractor, which pops free a jetcan.  And then he warps off.  What?  He did not loot the jetcan!  Or at least, he does not completely loot it.  But why would he not?  I can't fathom why he did that.  But this is an opportunity.  I can warp in and grab his hard-won loot, easy as pi.  My fingers twitch.  But... no.  I want a kill, not some modestly valuable C2 blue loot.

I wait, and watch on dscan.  I am hoping for a Noctis.  The Tengu is around for a while, then it is gone and a Cormorant appears.  Well, not a Noctis but a classic salvager.  I know with near certainty that I will get a gank.  This guy has got to be alone.  Only someone alone ignores his opsec and runs anoms with open wormholes; only someone alone has to switch ships to salvage.  A salvage destroyer is very killable for me.
Salvage those wrecks for me, won't you?

Not much
A bit more waiting, and the Cormorant warps into the site, and goes to work with salvage beams.   I warp to my bookmark at 10km, and have the strange experience of sitting just 10km from my prey watching for a moment.  He gets it down to three wrecks, and I move.  I have to get within 8750m for my scrambler.  He finishes a wreck and is on the last two.  I am concerned he is aligned for a second, but that's not so.  At 8000m, he finishes a wreck.  I uncloak, get my sebo going, initiate locking, and activate scrambler, painter, and torps.  The lock completes and I open fire.  He is caught.  I approach and bump him, just to be sure he cannot warp.  After three rounds, he is on a tiny shred of structure.  Four, and he blows up.

The pod is out, and probably due to my sebo, I lock it.  (I've revised my fit since last time because I got stupidly blown up.)  I get my scrambler going as the lock attempt proceeds, and it completes, locking him down.  Two rounds of fire and I claim another podkill.

As I move in to loot the wreck and scoop the corpse, I notice my shields are down about 30%.  He was actually shooting at me!  Well, kudos to you my friend.  All in all, pretty poor loot, but then loot is not why one ganks.  It's the thrill of the hunt.

Happy New Year!  For me, at least.

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