After a gruelling 30hr shift at work, I returned home to spend some time with the children and squeeze in at least an hour of EVE time. I work away from home a lot so I value these times, and as such some personal pleasures have to give way. My wife is also very understanding and she knows that this is how I declutter my thoughts, so she allows me some rope and lets me have ‘me’ time.
Knowing that I didn’t have long I decided to indulge myself before dinner as the kids were all busy, plugged into various devices and intermittently bickering with each other.
“If I keep quiet, they won’t know I’m here”, I mused.
I logged in and set about checking the Vital Spark for damage. One drone needed a quick repair, so I undocked and headed out to the Fortizar in Tanoo for a complimentary massage.
I had no specific destination in mind, simply planning to hop through as many connections as possible until I (hopefully) located a suitable target. There were no signatures apparent until I reached Nikh, a something-of-nothing system in an equally bland constellation five jumps from Sasta. It did however score bonus points for having a signature and nobody in local.
Luckily that signature turned out to be a wormhole, a K162 to unknown space and just what I’d been looking for.
At first glance the interior of J134431 was less than impressive. A handful of anomalies and just two signatures, one of which was the hole I’d just entered from. I hadn’t checked the specifics of the hole but I could see from the anomalies that it was a C3 and it clearly had a hisec static. There wasn’t much to see on scan, an active tower, no citadels or engineering complexes and the usual Eve Scout Enclave rescue can.
I set about scanning the other signature but sadly it didn’t reveal another wormhole. It was a relic site and a Sansha one at that – the more desirable kind due to the value of potential loot.
My first thought was to head back to Sasta and grab the Magnate and run the site. I’ve had 100m plus out of these before now. Luckily though, as I was about to turn tail I spotted a Stratios appear on dscan and decided to hang around. I wouldn’t be able to take it on (though I’ve seen it done against Stratios’ with poor fits), but as he was likely a resident given his ticker, I wanted to see what he would do.
I could see this hole was probably farmed regularly given the lack of signatures and anomalies so there was a good chance he may head to the relic site and run it. Hopefully he’d just logged on and hadn’t seen my probes. I knew he hadn’t just come in via the static as I was hanging around next to it.
Dscan revealed he was at the POS so I headed over to get some intel.
Checking the corp and pilot on Zkillboard I could see that they weren’t natural PVPers, but I’ve been caught out by assumptions before so I decided to proceed with caution. You never know who is cloaked and sadly, no more watchlist.
The Stratios warped to a safe and dropped probes to either bookmark the new static and / or to scan out the relic site. Whilst all this was going on I warped to the relic site and set up a ping for myself as well as a safe, and waited.
All was quiet…
The Stratios didn’t make another appearance, none of his corpmates logged on and it was just me, the relic site and the sound of silence. I decided to give it ten minutes and seek amusement elsewhere. Suddenly I noticed another signature had appeared and was about to warp to my safe and dump probes when another set of Sisters probes appeared on scan. Perhaps this was another intruder, come to plunder the riches of J134431? Perhaps it was the Stratios probing out the new signature?
After five minutes the probes were still on scan. Either this guy wasn’t very good at probing, or he was afk. Whatever the reason doubts started entering my head about my engagement options. Decloaking on anything here was going to be potentially dangerous. The Stratios as far as I knew was still lurking and if this was a dual rep Astero the thought of having a protracted fight whilst leaving myself exposed to a Stratios wasn’t appealing.
I decided that if it was a covops or a T1 frigate, I’d go for it and align out as the drones did their work. Anything else was a no-no.
Then an Astero appeared…
I didn’t know who she was, or where she came from, but it was likely given that she wasn’t in the Stratios pilot’s corp that she’d just come through the new signature. I quickly weighed up my options and decided on balance that I could at least get a like for like kill if the Stratios grabbed me.
Ambition is critical.
I waited until there were two cans left to hack and warped down from my ping. Lock and scrams engaged quickly as the Astero pilot had decided to leave her MWD on and within a few seconds my drones were eating into her armor. She didn’t actually launch her drones until she was in hull, which happened rather quickly and surprisingly. It was all over in a few seconds.
I’d already started to align out before she’d hit hull, knowing how slowly a Stratios locks and figuring I wasn’t going to hang around for the pod. Ironically the pod didn’t warp, it just sat there for a good 40 seconds. I watched it from my ping, slowly doing half turns next to the wreck, so I decided to warp down at range and drop drones on it. I’ve used an alt’s pod as bait before to keep wary explorer killers interested. Clearly she was afk or perhaps raging at her loss? Either way as damage started to be applied to the pod she warped off into the void and my chance was gone.
Then I checked the killmail and realised why she’d died so quickly. No tank. None at all. Not even a rig.
Nice drops though. Happy with that!