I head out and kill a reinforced mobile depot that I scanned down earlier three systems down the chain. I always attack these things when I find them, but they reinforce; and of course 24 hours later I am long gone. So someone else benefits (if anyone does). But karma has come around, and this time it's me who gets the kill. I grab some modest loot, head home, and stash it. Time to go the other way.
I head into C4b, and then C4c, neither of which has anything interesting happening. Then on to C4e. There's a fair number of sigs here, and earlier my corpmate did not fully scan it down. He only scanned for wormholes, and there is only one (a C5) besides the one I came in. I'll search down all the sigs to see if there are any wormholes he missed, and/or new.
Fifteen minutes later and ten sigs wiser, I know the truth. There are no other wormholes. Onward. I proceed to the C5a wormhole and jump. As usual, the first thing I do after loading grid for the new system is dscan. There are several ships, including a ...
A Covetor? Weird. It's probably at a tower, but do they have any ore anoms here? Yes, they have one. OK, I'll point the dscan at it and... Covetor! A thing I can kill! By itself!
No! It's a trap! I have just been scanning down C4c, right next door. The people in here might have seen the probes, and decided to set a trap if I come in. A lone Covetor sitting out by itself? In C5? These people must know better than to mine without at least a sound picket!
When my colleague found this system earlier, he evidently did not scan it down, but he did bookmark one of the towers. Dscan shows that tower has two ships at it. I'll check it out first before having a look at the Covetor. I warp to the tower at 100km. The ships are there and unmanned. Hmm.
Well, I've done the easy and fast groundwork. So, let's get a look at this guy. I warp to the rocks at 10km. (Ore anoms are tricky.)
As I warp over, my paranoia resumes. No. C5 guys do not mine alone.
I land on grid and there she is, about 80km from me. She's got a jetcan right next to her, which does not help my fearful state. She's making it too easy! Trap! Not only that, but when I look at her I can see what she's mining. Pyroxeres. You mine that in highsec. Nobody mines Pyro in wspace. You mine the good ore and sell it. I suppose you might mine pyro if you are making something and want... whatever it refines into. Some mineral. Still, it's unlikely.
Even so, I wonder if I can get in and kill her before... whatever it is happens. It is probably just uncloak, bubble, etc. Still... I'm curious to see their trap.
What else can I find out? Wormhol.es shows they are Euro time zone. It's 7:30 here (Eastern time), so by now it is pretty late in Europe. There's a fair amount of Cyrillic names for things visible on dscan, so my guess is they are Russian. Moscow is 8 hours ahead of me. So it's the very late night or early morning there. It may well be that this corp is mostly offline, with just one crazy night-owl up mining.
Well, there are more ships I can see on scan. The first tower had no pilots. There's several more unaccounted for. I am going to have to bounce off something anyway to get over to the miner. I'll look for the ships I don't know about yet: a Devoter and a Cerberus.
That's decided it. If you're setting a trap, you really don't want scary-looking ships sitting out where they'll spook the target. That's what I am thinking, at any rate. And also that if I don't go for it, I'll regret it. So I am decided: kill or die trying.
I warp to the Covetor's can at 10km. I land about 6000m from the Covetor. Reach out and touch someone. I pause for a picture of the idyllic mining action.
|This is what you get for not being a trap.|
Boom. She's dead, and I immediately start locking the pod. Alas, she's alert by now and warps promptly. Good on her there.
I move in and loot the wreck for what I can. Then I scoot off and cloak, and bounce off a nearby celestial so I can come back to watch at a decent range.
Nothing happens. I am watching on dscan, though, and I can see a Rifter appear where there was not one before. I warp to the wormhole I entered at 20km, cautiously. Sure enough, it appears she's deduced where I came from. The Rifter is sitting on my wormhole in close orbit.
|Thou shalt not pass!|