So, when I squeaked past the two small warp bubbles and emerged into known space, I had a choice. I could try and sneak back through or I could show up in something unexpected. As the plans were already on the ledger anyway, and the funds were sufficient, I purchased "something unexpected" and made my way back to the K162 into our WH.
Tur did a great job of describing the action. As much as he fumbled things so did I. My biggest challenge was landing in range of the hostiles. The Proteus isn't exactly known for it's ranged combat. During the last skirmish of the evening, the one involving Tur's Drake, I finally managed to lock Mr. Monkey, scram and web him (in that order at least) and heat up the blasters. I was close to fall-off range though and no DPS landed before the Hound warped away. That was fairly much the end of it. However, it is not the end of the story.
The next day I was able to log in and scan down all the day's exits early. We had two low-sec connections: our static and a K162. The static was 12 jumps from Dodixie with several low-sec crossings and the other was 11 jumps from Rens with two low-sec crossings. I logged for a few hours and, as the day was slow otherwise, I decided to go get the Viator I'd left at Dodixie the night before.
I logged back in and jumped in a shuttle. I left via our static into Dour. Everything was going well until I got to Oulley. D-scan told me there were a half dozen ships, including several Amarr battleships, sitting on the gate. It was obviously a gate camp. There wasn't much I could really do about it. The worse that would happen was I'd be podded and end up in Dodixie faster than I'd thought. I barreled through.
[ 2012.09.28 20:44:36 ] (combat) smidster (Large EMP Smartbomb II) hits you for 296 damage
[ 2012.09.28 20:44:38 ] (notify) smidster: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2012.09.28 20:44:41 ] (None) Jumping to Oulley in Orvolle solar system
I made it through the gate with shields stripped but armor intact (well, mostly intact, there was 9 ISK repairable damage.) Shuttle for the win!
I got to Dodixie, jumped in the Viator and made for Assah, the other low-sec entrance to home. It was a long haul to be sure. I had plenty of time to think about the shortcomings of my Proteus fit. It was too slow and lacked range was it's biggest issue. I came up with another fit that helped the speed issue and I determined having several types of ammo in the hold would help the range issue some. I stopped at Rens and made some more purchases. When I got home, I put my plan into action. I refitted the Proteus, warped to a good safe and logged off once more as "things" otherwise were no longer slow.
That evening, I was once again floating in our hole and watching Scan Probe Is fly around our system. I used them as d-scan practice for awhile. That lasted until I saw a Crane show up. I had a fairly good idea where it had come from. One of the other two WHs I'd detected earlier in the day was from a Class 4 with only a Class 3 exit. I positioned myself at a pounce 170km from that K162 and waited.
Not too long after, the Crane returned and made it's way back into the K162. The pilot was from an industry corporation not from Unacceptable Behaviour. However, he wasn't the person I was after. Not but a few minutes later the person I was really waiting for made an appearance. I just knew he couldn't stay away.
You are being stalked by a hound.I got an acknowledgement and waited. Then I waited some more. Then I waited some more. Fortunately, my prior military training has prepared me for this. Ambushes are always 99% boredom and 1% pure adrenalin. Sometimes the percentages are tipped even more toward the boredom side of the equation. I continued to wait.
I live in [redacted] which you are now using to move goods to known space. I have been watching your K162 in our system. On your last run you were followed be a TAZ D Monkey. He's been camping our hole with Stealth Bombers along with Psychic Moose.
Be careful, they are on to you.
Suddenly the Crane shows up outside the hole quickly followed by the Hound. They both go through. I kicked my warp engines into gear and positioned myself 5k off the hole and waited, my fingers poised over the cloak and scram controls.
The wormhole flared. I disengaged the cloak. Mr. Monkey was being a wily SOB and held his cloak as long as he could. It was going to be a race! I activated the scram and it dutifully waited for me to indicate a target.
The Hound shows itself...
I target the scram on it...
The targeting cursor pulses!
It was now all up to the electronics. I'd either get a lock and pop him or I wouldn't.
[ 2012.09.29 03:51:47 ] (notify) You failed to target nothing.
And that's the way it goes. His align was faster than my target lock. Damn those Stealth Bombers are quick. I reengaged the cloak and warped to a safe just in case he decided to bomb the hole. Then I noticed my message indicator blinking.
Re: You are being stalked by a hound.
Sent: 2012.09.29 03:53
Has just returned to your WH, thanks for the brief, I was able to adjust for speed and passed him going through the WH, in which he followed and I made it safe.
Well, at least I had denied Mr. Monkey the pleasure of popping an industrialist. I took some pleasure in that as I finished up the day's business, made sure the ship was safely tucked away and called it a night.