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Thursday, October 13, 2011

I now know what the 'low' in low-sec means.

I had a chance to put in a few hours in Peeping Tom, my Arazu. It was a great opportunity to practice my scanning skills and I had time to do it somewhere serious. I set my sights on the neighboring low-sec system in which I've had several safe spots for several years.

I got through the gate without seeing a soul. There were only two capsuleers in local. Of course, that doesn't mean anything really. Trouble is always just a jump away and I had good intelligence from a friend that this system has seen hot drop activity in the last 6 months. As my gate cloak dropped, I activated the covert ops module and soon I was near my first safe spot.

A quick d-scan showed no ships nearby so I de-cloaked, bumped the afterburner on Peeping Tom and popped five core scanning probes. I was soon safely hidden again. I programmed my probes to take up the standard four leaf clover formation and soon I was zeroing in on my first signal.
Less than 30 minutes later I'd scanned down everything in the system. Usually five probes will lock anything down. The last signal though was tough. I popped two more probes and brought them in close as I could while keeping them evenly spaced. I had to jockey probe positions three times before I locked the signal down. What the probes had found made my mouth water.
Crokite, Dark Ochre and Gneiss are ores I don't come across often. However, flying alone has drawbacks. I knew if I tried mining the site, I'd be scanned down before I could fill a single hold. Not being suicidal, and a miser by nature, I decided to leave it for the mercenary corp that has a POS in the system. I turned my sites on the other signals.

I decided to go after one of the Radar sites. I've seen enough of the other side of wormholes and besides, I wanted to give Peeping Tom a proper trial worthy of his recent refit. I made my choice.
I warped to a spot near the site and reconnoitered. It was lightly guarded - for the moment.
Since I was still cloaked and had the advantage, I decided to take out the stasis battery to the right side of the complex. Peeping Tom was fast enough I could evade anything that would do him serious harm but the stasis battery could get me into a lot of hot water fast.

I was vindicated when I dropped cloak 50 kilometers from the battery and launched my drones. With full afterburner on, the battery held me to a measly 150 meters per second. Unfortunately for the battery, there was nothing around to keep my 4 Hammerhead IIs from making Swiss cheese of it. I was soon able to re-cloak and mosey over to the first Info Shard.

No sooner had I started to pry open its secrets when white hats arrived to try and stop my hack.
Had they landed on top of me, I might have been in trouble. Peeping Tom has good EHP but it's an exploration ship, not a gunship. I finished my hack on the Info Shard, downloaded it's secrets to my system, and then waited a bit longer for the guards to get close enough. At 50 kilometers I unleashed the drones and began keeping my distance. They cruisers got no closer. Yes, I kite with the best of them. They got a couple wild shots off at Peeping Tom but barely flared his shields. Interestingly enough, four Hammerhead IIs can take out three cruisers and a dozen frigates. Only one of the drones ever got into armor. I had him back and repaired in no time.

After hacking into all the Info Shards and other things floating around, I warped for home. Fortunately no one got curious and showed up while I was hacking things. I guess they all had better things to do.

I didn't make a great deal from the heist - a few million ISK at best. Except for the gravimetric site, there was nothing of value I couldn't find at home. I made no more ISK than I've made in hi-sec on similar sites. The ISK to risk ratio was certainly too low for my tastes. It gives new meaning to the term low-sec.

Fly careful.

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