I’m getting pretty good at the whole “scanning” thing. Last night, I took Amaranth into Riramia system, two jumps out of Jarzalad and at the fringe of Tash-Murkon space. Deploying four probes in a cruciform scanning configuration, I immediately picked up three, count’em, three hits in the system, and ran them down within about 30 minutes. Hit #1 turned out to be a RADAR site; #2 was a wormhole; #3 was a “Sansha Vigil.”
The wormhole turned out to lead to W-space, but I stayed in only long enough to verify that fact, as Selena brought Mystic Nightmare II in to help. She dispatched the six Sansha in the RADAR site, then, as she did the looting and salvaging of the wrecks, I got to show off my new hacking skills and Codebreaker module as I maneuvered Amaranth to each of the three containers in turn. Unfortunately, two of them turned out to be empty, and the third contained some “positron cords” or whatever they’re called; not a decryptor in the lot.
Then we warped to the “Sansha Vigil” site, and I hung back while Selena entered the first gate. She immediately reported twelve missile batteries and a number of ships; I hustled back to Jarzalad while she bugged out. I grabbed Syria Planum and headed back there, entering the first gate myself. The twelve missile launchers were there, and I counted several cruiser-sized ships among the attackers. They made short work of my shields, but I managed to knock off two of the turrets before my armor tank broke and I had to bug out for repairs. Selena dropped in after me, and got one more turret and part of another on that run; then, on my next run, three more turrets fell before I bugged out. Meanwhile, Cain was on his way out, with his mission-running Drake.
Cain warped in first, taking the aggro and holding it off with his passive shield tank while Selena and I brought in the two Myrms, deployed the drones, and went to town. When all the turrets and ships were fianlly dead, Selena, following a hint we’d gotten by the entry gate, started blasting away at the security tower. In came a wave of even more Sansha ships, more powerful than the last (up to battlecruiser level). Cain swore he’d never seen such a dramatic escalation, and we went to work on those ships, too.
Selena and I began salvaging the wrecks in the first room as Cain took the acceleration gate through to the next one. He reported even more ships in there, and, alas, they were too much for his shields, and he had to warp out. After Selena and I finished and dropped our holds full of loot and salvage at the local station (where Selena quickly established an office, as it was cheap to do so), the three of us gathered back in the first room for a run at the second room.
It was a hard-fought battle, but we finally cleared it. Cain was forced to depart for the night just after the fighting ceased, but Selena and I stayed to clean up the mess. Our ships were battered, but our armor tanks had held against these guys. Selena had 6 drones remaining of the 15 she’d started with; I had just 4 left, plus one “hung” one I had to scoop up. Not only that, but I had nearly exhausted my ammunition; one of my four guns had 55 rounds remaining, while the others had been fired completely dry. But the loot and salvage were truly impressive, amounting to about two holds-full of stuff for each of us. Not to mention that the bounties we got came to something like 1.8 million ISK each.
If these are the kind of rewards you can get by scanning stuff down, I’m all for it. And I never did get back to that wormhole system…it’s probably collapsed by now. Pity.