Usually I play it safe when roaming about Null-sec on my exploration run. I use fast ships, cloaks, pretty much anything I can to ensure that I can get home with my illicit goodies. But just because I play it safe, doesn’t mean that null-sec exploration don’t get my heart pumping from time to time.
Yesterday, I sneaked into the Querious region to hunt down any Covert sites that might be residing untouched. Since starting to find/run Covert sites, I’ve determined that you can safely assume that there are about 3-4 Coverts in any given region at any given time. Its not a scientific measurement, but it seems to hold true thus far. Anyways, I dropped into the region near the divide between Solar and The Hub Life space. Considering that my gaming time falls right into Russian/Asian daily, I moved around a bit more carefully because likely I wasn’t alone.
To give you an idea of what I have, when I search for Covert sites I usually run either a Loki or Legion, and today I had the Legion. The reason I chose a Tech 3 is because you often run into warp bubbles and getting in and out of them is a pretty important task for anybody needing to escape. I also have fitted the Covert Reconfiguration subsystem to use the Cov Ops cloak. It doesn’t give me much DPS, but it does provide a pretty decent tank
So first off I try to go through a Goonswarm/The Initiative pipe, but seeing a couple inties right off the bat, I decided not to risk it. So, next I slide into some of The Hub Life space to look for the Coverts. Pretty much all of them avoided or ignored me (or just weren’t paying attention) as I moved around that end of their space. I didn’t find any coverts, but I did managed to bag two Relic sites that netted me an estimated 95 mil isk without interruption.
It was a nice amount of isk.. but I was there for Covert sites, so I had to move on. I slid deeper into the region and opted to check out a bunch of systems under Solar control. The systems were populated, but it was clear that someone there was already paying attention and there were no Relic or Covert sites to be had in that area.
Pushing on, I found some more systems under the control of The Hub Life, these proved to be a bit more fruitful and I added to my isk total, though again, the Covert sites proved to be illusive so I moved on to another cluster of Solar systems.
It was then that it got interesting. Prior to entering this last cluster of systems everyone was content to leave me alone, but as I explored these new systems in the F-RA63 constellation I picked up some attention. It came to a head when they dropped in on me while I was finishing up a final relic site in C-7SBM. At that point, I decided that I needed to head home. I had, after all, about 300 million in rig loot in my hold. Still, while I didn’t want the attention, I had not realized at the time that I was already being stalked.
It was in YW-SYT that I saw an interceptor on my D-scan and figured that I had a more serious problem. My advantages: Nullifier, Cloak, and a Wormhole exit they don’t know about. Shiva Khan’s advantage: Rubicon Taranis Interceptor as well as another surprise I wasn’t aware of. So I burn into UYU-VV and, figuring that he would think I was going somewhere else, beat him to the P-ZMZV gate (he went to the 9CG gate). I jump in and warp to the V-LEKM gate and jump again. I didn’t see him as I left so I figured he had given up.
He didn’t. He also had a friend who showed up in V-LEKM in a Raptor. In fact, he (I think it was Nekrovinger) just missed me as I warped to K7D. I used my D-scan to make sure the second guy hadn’t beaten me to the gate. As I jumped into K7D, I see him land on the same gate.
It is on.
I jump into G-3BOG and there Nekrovinger decloaks as I cloak and warp off. This time, however, he is waiting for me at the 7GCD-P gate. It is then that I see Shiva arrive on the gate, and now I need to rely completely on my SP skills and a bit of trickery. Here I am just two jumps away from escaping, and yet I am just as likely to be dead in the same amount of time.
I jump hoping they are smart. Sure enough, they were. Nek jumps in after me and Shiva stays back to make sure I don’t double back on them. I decloak and warp to the 0-WT2D gate, recloaking the moment I can. Nek burns to where I was coming with 5k of me as I warp away. The distance isn’t long so I get to the gate before Nek’s Raptor and Shiva’s Taranis show up. I jump in, but Nek arrived at the moment I jumped and so does he.
I mentally look for the celestrial I can align quickest to. I see Nek decloak, and I make my break for it. He was 22km off of me and he burns towards my Legion as I recloak. His closest registered range was 2,062 km. Thank you fully skilled Navigation and Armor Layering skills. Shiva pops in and both Nek and Shiva burn to the next system. Nek clearly jumps into the next system of 7V-KHW and Shiva either doubled back into 7GCD-P or jumped in as well.
Little did they know that it was too late for them. I warped to the Wormhole I came in from, and slip away from their local, my heart pounding my chest. It has been a long time since I could barely hold my mouse but they did a fine job of getting it done. I took the remaining two jumps to my null-sec home as if they were still following me. I didn’t calm down until I had confirmed that my ship was docked.
So Kudos to Shiva Khan and Nekrovinger (if that was the right person), good job making the game fun!