Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 274 : Hunting a pack of predators

After several transits through the Wormhole Space network my home system was currently a part of, I was in a Class one.

"Entering Unknown System: Locus Signature J213653," reported the deep, guttural voice, overflowing with menace. A male voice, without question: female Klingons always sounded a bit too husky for my tastes, and if I was going to do menacing, nothing fit quite like disgruntled male Klingon warrior. I wasn't so geeky as to actually learn Klingon though. On top of that, there wasn't a skill for sale called "Klingon".

It was only a Class one transit, so recovery time was zero. The worst symptom I faced was a gurgling stomach. "Running Directional-scan," reported the AI Klingon. After the briefest of pauses, "Multiple signatures detected." A list of all the signatures flitted through my mind. I moved the report off to my right eyeball while I surveyed open space with the other eye.

As always, I set to orbit the tunnel at 30km, then activated the cloak as quickly as was possible. Manually operating the directional scanner, I quickly tracked down which planet the signatures were at. Most of them were at Planet XI, the rest somewhere else in space. The ones at Planet XI were mostly ships, mainly battlecruisers, Tech 3's, and stealth bombers.

I set course for Planet XI. The warp transit was short, perhaps twenty to thirty seconds total.

Upon arrival, I took another few seconds to directional scan each moon, and found the signatures at moon II. I short warped there in less than 10 seconds.

"Enemy ships detected," reported the Klingon. Clearly I had been watching too much Star Trek, broadcast from Earth some many eons ago. "Cloaking Device active, shields raised. Torpedoes, ready at your command. Phasers are OFFLINE."

'Phasers...I better edit that one out.'

Bringing myself back to bear on the situation in front of me, I took quick stock of where I was in relation to the other ships, then blanched. I hadn't quite been expecting what I was seeing. I turned command over to the Klingon while I assessed the scene before my eyes.

After recovering from too many inputs, I set to move off the beaten warp path. I tracked out behind them to the left until no celestial was in line with the pack and my ship. I made sure to keep my distance, as I still needed to identify a target.


I had failed to identify a viable target.

There were two problems with attacking a battlecruiser: one, all the other ships, and two, any of the battlecruiser's proximity to the other ships.

There were three problems with attacking a stealth bomber: the aforementioned two problems, plus the length of time it would take to torpedo a stealth bomber into dust.

There were four problems with attacking a Strategic Cruiser or the lone Megathron: the aforementioned three problems, plus the fact that they were either Strategic Cruisers or the Battleship.

And finally, there were problems with attacking the Prowler that warped in and out every now and then, resupplying the fleet with ammunition: one, all the other ships, two, the location it warped into being a hornet's nest, and three, the location it warped out to being unknown.

I had managed to identify why that Minmatar Large Tower was going down, however. There were apparently, and quite idiotically, no warp disruptor batteries on the tower, and all the batteries that were there had been completely incapacitated. To top it off, there had been no one controlling the weapons systems to alpha-strike any attacker.

In that time, I had discovered the presence of another Control Tower in that system. It too had the same fatal flaw as the one being destroyed en masse: no warp disruptor batteries. I'd also determined that that system had a permanent link to Hi-Sec space.

I attempted to relax while watching the steady stream of missiles impact the control tower. It seemed that the hunter would have to wait to make his kill.


The Minmatar Large Tower finally went down. A massive shockwave rippled through the fibers of my Hound, threatening to shake it to pieces before finally subsiding. The attacking fleet targeted the Ship Maintenance Array, and I locked my eyes to the scene, wondering what treasures awaited.

The array exploded...and two Iteron Mark III's popped out.

"SERIOUSLY?!!!" I screamed. "UGH! What a waste..."

I had to wait another five minutes before a pod showed up to take the Iterons away. Upon seeing that the fleet was indeed going to try to take the Iterons instead of simply demolishing them, I began maneuvers to get within bombing range.

"I only need to get within 40k..."

I carefully moved about under cloak to get in position as the fleet demolished what was left of the wrecked base.


I finally made it into position five minutes later. Flying a meandering path had been requisite for getting into position. The nearest objects were drones, some 25k away, but the target, the last remaining Iteron Mark III was at 33k, well within bomb range. I made sure to keep one eye, literally, on the overview, to make sure nothing got too close while waiting for the capsuleer hauling the ships away to come back.

As luck had it, the capsuleer returned right about then, but had warped about 10k away from the Iteron Mark III. I waited patiently for the pod to get within 7k of the ship.

'7500...7350...7200...7050,' I counted to myself, de-cloaking and launching the shrapnel bomb immediately at the Iteron. The whole fleet continued shooting at the wreckage of the tower. I warped out as soon as possible.

No one had even attempted to target me. I could tell by how no klaxxons were ringing in my ears. As I transited I cackled with the best of the ancient wizards on ancient earth, nearly insane with laughter. I had gotten away with murder and no one had noticed while I committed it, much less left the scene of the crime.

I imagined the victim's expression must have been one of, "Ummm, where did the Iteron go?" It only set me doubling over with laughter even harder.

No comments:

Post a Comment