Friday, January 15, 2016

Hunting Bex - when your heart is not enough, Part 3

Bex logged in. I was keeping a close eye on him. I was patiently stalking in the shadows, following his every move without him realizing.

There's no way he knows I'm here. I even went as far as to add Valtyr Farshield on watch list. Valtyr is the guy that tried to bait his Proteus few days ago. I did not know if he was still up to something inside the same wormhole, but I did not take any chances. Few characters from Sudden Burgery in connection to Bex were also added. Everyone was offline when I moved and scouted. I was as stealthy as I have ever been. There was only one problem. My friend has not finished yet fitting the bait Astero. I watch as Bex scouts connecting wormholes and logs out shortly after, presumably going off to work. That was a very short window. I am committed to this hunt, but not committed enough to wake up at 6 in the morning, which would be most suitable time to get him. The gank is put off for another day.

Next day Bex logs in in a similar time. My friend is sitting in one of high-sec stations, waiting for my signal. I call him right away and give instructions to which site to go first and which container to hack. I have 200km positions on every data/relic site. Meanwhile I watch Bex on d-scan, but not directly on tower. My precaution in case connection drops. If he does not see me on the overview I could still have a chance.

Bait Astero starts working on the site. Just as he starts hacking the first can I see Bex swap to Rokh and warp to the center of the system. Is he warping on my Astero in a smartbombing Rokh? No, that does not make any sense. It's not low-sec. I narrow down Rokh at Operation Frostline site. Now I have Bex and our bait on d-scan. Damn it. 

Bait Astero does not have a cloak fitted and it was too little time to warp back out to high-sec. Well, there are plenty of explorers who don't check d-scan all that often, so perhaps we can play along. As a fellow wormholer, I know the suspicion will be up due to Astero not warping away.

Bex takes his time to finish Frostline site. He did not warp out right away as I would have hoped for, but his alt logs in. His alt is Appex Bex and is the actual character that we are baiting. Now what will be his weapon of choice? I keep eyes on the tower and spam d-scan to see if he swaps for Proteus. I instruct my friend to use ecm and not to use scrambler if he gets attacked by anything other than smartbombing Proteus.

The weapon of choice is Proteus! This is it, I scream to my friend on comms and warp to position bookmark. He is slowboating to the next can and I tell him to approach to 0 and stay put. Cycle analyzer and wait for Proteus to show up, with me sitting 10km off. I move out of tower line of sight to make sure I do not get decloaked if Bex appears at 10km. With Astero not leaving the site while his Rokh was visible on d-scan I guarantee he will be aligned. But that's ok. It's why Astero is so heavily tanked against EMP smartbombs. Once he tackles Proteus I will make my move.

Seconds were passing and they felt like minutes. I am in the zone. My heart is racing and I have full attention on the overview. Proteus decloaks!

I ask my friend to lock and scram him. I hear smartbombs go off. Will the tank hold off? How long has it been? I don't get any positive confirmation that Proteus is scrambled, but it has been so long. My eyes can't see anything. There is some blurry grey column in my overview. How long has it been already? Can I make my move? No I should wait for confirmation. My hand is moving. Why my hand is moving? Mouse pointer moves on the cloaking device. Why my mouse is pointing on cloaking device? Why my left hand is holding left control key and finger keeps left clicking on grey column? Why nothing is happening? Why distance bracket is insanely large and increase by the second?

Shock wears off and I start to realize what just happened. I was not able to keep a cool head and my body moved on it's own. I did not check if he was aligned, though I saw speed was up, but unconsciously ignored that fact. I did not wait for my friend to confirm positive tackle. I took for granted that frigate should have locked the strategic cruiser, but ignored distracting hacking mini-game on screen and that my friend is back to eve only for a few days. I see Proteus warp off, but it takes a moment for my mind to accept this as a fact. Following realization I am soon overwhelmed by the feeling of regret.

Click me for dire situations

I was dumbstruck. Everything was going so perfectly and according the plan, only for me to make such a rookie mistake in the last crucial seconds. For Bex it was the "usual" hit and run, but for me, it was a carefully planned and prepared hunt. I can honestly say I gave my best. Despite all my hunting experience, preparation and putting my heart into, it was still not enough. And it was 100% my mistake, which I'm not sure if it makes me feel better or worse. Big props to Bex for taking the shot and risking his shiny Proteus on a suspicious target. Hit and warp out was executed flawlessly. I hope Bob will allow our paths to cross again at some point in the future.

Edit: You can read Bex's side of the story at


  1. Nice write up.. did he pop the astero?

  2. From another perspective.

  3. "Following realization I am soon overwhelmed by the feeling of regret."
    I can feel your pain :)

  4. Been a blast reading this from both angles...

    In my experience, patience always prevails in Wormholes, but I see you both know this already. Fun read and I look foward to more...

    -Orunis Sobek

  5. From they perspective of the guy who tried to bait him previously: