“There’s a tengu in-system,” says Em. This seems like old news to me, except he’s not talking about the tengu belonging to our stealthy stalkers.
The last few days have been very quiet. Knowing the basic activity cycle of the guys in the system (and having them on our watchlists) has led to our pilots confining most of their activity to times when enemy pilots are offline, and staying in cloak-equipped ships.
Apparently, our open low-sec connection and the fact that our system has accumulated some Sleeper anomalies in the last few quiet days has lured in a pilot looking to do a little daytripping in our hole. I’m not online yet, but I’m on the way, and in the meantime Em is keeping an eye on the tengu pilot in his cloaked up recon cruiser.
The pilot is moving pretty quickly, and by the time I’m able to get online and into Twilight Sparkle, he’s wrapped up the killing portion of his quick visit, leaving three anomalies worth of shattered sleeper wrecks in his wake. Luckily Em has bookmarks on all those wreck clusters, and gives me a warp-in to the first site, but the tengu-turned-noctis pilot is working so quickly that by the time I get the warp in, find a good wreck to bookmark that’s within the right range, he’s already done and moving to site two.
“DAMN he moves fast,” Em comments, and warps to the next site. I follow, and this time I’ve landed at a good range to get down on top of him immediately. I don’t hesitate, initiating warp in and uncloaking as I do to soak up most of the calibration delay that almost any ship suffers when it decloaks. For a wonder, the attack actually goes to plan — I get a lock, immediately scramble the Noctis’ warp engines, and start unloading Twilight Sparkle’s Neutron Blasters.
Once again, the pilot reacts surprisingly quickly — he’s not going to get his ship away, knows it, and ejects his pod and warps away after little more than two volleys. I fumble at the controls and manage to stop firing before I destroy the ship, leaving the salvager only half-way through its armor.
“Wanna kill it anyway?”
“I kind of like getting a free ship,” I reply, and warp back to our tower to store the Proteus and come back for the Noctis. I have one of these ships out in known space, but not in the wormhole, and I realize I’ve really missed flying one — I love how they look.
“I’m going to finish up these other two sites.”
“Eh, might as well, the other guys we’ve seen aren’t online, and if there are more of them, this is a hell of a ship to lure them out.”
I start cleaning up the site, and I find myself very impressed with the fitting. It wasn’t just the pilot moving fast — this Noctis itself is remarkably fast, and I tear through the wrecks in short order, pulling in salvage worth almost as much as the fifty-five million isk ship, which isn’t too bad for three sites we didn’t even have to shoot (not counting the three volleys worth of blaster ammunition it took to scare the pilot away).
A short engagement, but it’s getting within an hour or so of enemy activity, so I warp back to the tower and store the SS Generous Donation in our hangar.