Monday, April 6, 2020

It's all about the journey [insert radio static sound effect here]. Can hear me? Are you there? Hope I got the signal right. Here we go.

Yes, I am here. I hope you haven't forgotten about me. I have been watching you. The wormholes are amazing. If you pay enough attention, you will spot all these small details. You will be able to see that we all are connected by the will of BOB. One day I will see you at the sun launching probes.

Scanning and ganking a Gnosis.

Afterwhich we will set up bait, but end up letting you slip through our fingers.

HOWEVER. Sooner or later we will run into each other again and another day, I will find your wreck1) floating around by the entrance of the wormhole. Such is wormhole life.

The right time

I decided to take my trusty Proteus for a spin. Every jump to the unknown is like an adventure. You never know what you will see. One time I will nab a Tengu.

The other time I will catch an unsuspecting Rattlesnake.

Or I may end up watching your direct high-sec connection and waiting out for that perfect moment to catch something big. And even if you have a high-sec in your home system, a scout sitting on the exit to warn of all incoming traffic, even if you already did numerous trips and feel there's nothing to worry about, beware, I am patient. As Duckling System was wrapping up their logistics run, they send one final ship through the wormhole - a freighter. When waiting for the "right time", sometimes it's hard to describe the said "right time", however when it comes, you know it in your bones. The same way I knew when the freighter showed up, which seemed to be in a no hurry to warp out, even after the support fleet leaves the grid. And several precious seconds is all it takes.

Freighter gets tackled, fleet warps in and we chew all the ships we can get before the locals have a chance to react and reorganize a proper response fleet.

And while the Charon turns out to be empty, it's the opportunity that counts.

The opportunity

Speaking of opportunities, not every time you get to utilize them if you don't trust your gut. On one of my scouting trips, I jump into a c4. Immediately the d-scan reveals 2 Nestors and a bunch of wrecks. I inform the corp about potential targets and start pinning down the site that the Nestors are at. While I finally identify the anomaly, just before breaking the cloak, a final d-scan reveals only one Nestor. I warp to an empty site with a lot of wrecks and still one sleeper present. I am confused. Why did they warp away? Was I spotted? That can't be it, they warped off before I broke my cloak. But with only one sleeper at the site, it sure wasn't "tank breaking" issue. I warp to the system's station and find both pilots there. I have this tingling feeling that they had a scout on the wormhole which alerted them of an incoming ship. However, after watching for a bit, I see Nestors undock and warp back to the site, then back to the station. Very strange behaviour. Finally, they warp to the site once more and stay there. I inform the fleet and order then to come on the wormhole, be ready to jump on my command. As soon as my fleet lands, I warp at 10 ready to engage, but Nestors quickly warp out. Ok, this can't be a coincidence. I could have tackled while the fleet was one jump out, but was not very confident that I can take on 2 Nestors and sleepers at the same time. I probably could have timed it before them landing on the wormhole's entrance, as I felt it in my bones they had a scout on the outside of their system, but I decided to go against my gut.

It was clear there was nothing to be gained here anymore as many wormholes know, once your prey spots your aggressive intentions, it's very unlikely anything will come out of it and they will stay docked. But my gut says otherwise. I don't know what, but something will happen. Worth noting, there's a high-sec next door, 1 jump out. While I keep my Proteus in the system, I also park a Sabre on the high-sec. It's not too far from Jita, so it is very likely I will see some activity.

Locals are being vigilant. They keep an eye on that wormhole like hawks and are not afraid to let me know that they know I am still inside.

While perhaps they think they will discourage me, it has an opposite effect. I feel the locals are getting restless. After all, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and some random Proteus is disturbing all the fun farming activities. As expected, locals can't help themselves and soon I see a couple of Occators make a run for the high-sec. How likely that a lone Proteus will catch anything? Not very. After the deep transport ships jump out, I log in my Jita trader alt and keep eyes on the undock. DST's dock up in Jita as expected. Pilots perform the shopping and soon I see them on the undock once again. I cargo scan one of the ships and confirm they are coming home not empty. I order the fleet to wait 1 jump out. The DST's jump back through the high-sec. I watch them enter warp towards home, I order the home fleet to jump and warp while I decloak and quickly follow suit and soon land with the ships on their home entrance. They jump. I jump. The bubble goes up. Once I see the ships on the overview, I quickly burn towards to prevent cloaking and get a scram on one of the targets. Unfortunately, the second DST manages to MJD away and warp way while leaving his friend behind to his doom.

Once again the gut delivers. While it's a shame we did not get a shot at those Nestors, the kill is a kill. In the end, it's all about the hunt and stalking. As they say, the journey is half the reward.

1) I swear I saw a wreck with my own eyes, but still not back in a habit of making screenshots :p.

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