26 June 2011

Hunter becomes Hunted

The Rifter slid smoothly into high speed and banked sharply towards an asteroid belt to get out of the main traffic highways between stargates. Starwalker checked the flight controls and handling, the cargo bay was reassuringly full of ammunition. Local showed only 8 other pilots and the Rifter moved on towards the next planet to look for targets on the directional scanner.

Starwalker ignored the battlecruiser but saw a Noctis that might be interesting. The scanning narrowed and only two hits came up - an Augorer Navy Issue and Noctis. So they might be together and if so would likely be too much for the Rifter but if nothing else finding them would be good practice in using the directional scanner to hunt for targets. The hunt was on.
Finding them was easier said than done and the hunt highlighted Starwalker’s lack of practice with the scanner. Starwalker warped to a belt at 70km – still no sign of the Augoror or Noctis. Four rats at the belt targeted Starwalker but given the low threat level and distance Starwalker went back to the directional scanner. These ships did not appear to be near celestial objects (planets, belts, moons, custom offices...) perhaps the right tool for the task was a combat scanner and probes. Two of the four rats were actually now in range and Starwalker decided to despatch them as the other two closed in. A few controlled bursts and they both exploded just as the other two arrived on the scene but they were not the only arrivals.
Starwalker’s overview flashed yellow as a Dramiel piloted by Anzoxe Hitorii (security level -4.3) arrived on grid. It must have warped into zero and was now 80km away but closing distance fast, so probably micro warp drive fit. Starwalker had no intention of waiting and warped away immediately – the hunter was now the hunted. As Starwalker approached his escape point he looked for the next immediate warp point and started to warp again immediately, which was just as well as the Dramiel correctly guessed the warp point and was now only 4km away. Too close, far too close, but Starwalker was already warping away before a lock could be established.
Two more fast warps and Starwalker felt a little safer but also up for a little bit of cat and mouse. Of course being the mouse is a little dangerous but it would be fun. So Starwalker returned to the scene of the crime and where the two rats along with the wrecks were still around. He quickly despatched the remaining two rats and collected the loot confident that the Dramiel would be back. The suspicion was correct and the Dramiel appeared but Starwalker disappeared again in a flash.
Starwalker arrived at the stargate after some bouncing around and decided to burn away from the gate rather than warp again. Luck shined on Starwalker as just as he reached around 100km another Dramiel piloted by Spot Finder (security level -6.8) arrived and then shot past, clearly warping to the next gate. Shortly afterwards, 5 Drakes and a Myrmidon jumped into system and all bright red. The place was getting too hot, not only were these pilots all sporting low security levels but they had bigger or better ships. Time to leave before being podded and so Starwalker quickly escaped back to hisec.
No kills but an eventful and fun roam.

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