Worth the Effort

While scanning for DED-sites in Lowsec, I found a Loki and a Slasher in an SCC site. What were they doing there? Surely the Loki wasn’t running the site alone? Were they just sitting in there camping? Curiosity took the better of me and I had to find out. But I wasn’t going to whelp my PvE-ship into them. I expected the Slasher to be the initial tackle at 0 while the Loki was sitting at range – probably Arty fitted with very long range Webs to keep it’s distance and destroy any solo pilot that might dare to come in.

I hurled back to Jita to get a ship that I hoped would be on par with a Loki and started to burn back. My choice was a 100 MN HAM-Legion with Scram, Web and a Small Energy Neutralizer (which should prove invaluable) plus Dual-Reps in the low slots. A tanky beast that could mitigate incoming damage by relatively low signature but rather fast movement. It’s only problem was the small range of only 17 km with ‘Rage’ missiles. My plan was to kill or force off the Slasher with my drones. A quick glance at the killboard showed that the Slasher had a buffer tank with long point and scram. Basically a poor mans Stiletto, it would have trouble evading Acolytes or Warrior Drones for long – or so I thought.

My weapon of choice, the mighty Legion with a fitting inspired by Kill2, also known as CCP Rise.

A couple minutes later and finally back in the Lowsec system, I check dscan: They are still there. Still at the site. I initiate warp from within my gate-cloak. The golden armor plates shimmer in the sunlight as I land 15 km away from the acceleration gate which I did bookmark earlier. It seems you always land at the same spot when warping to an SCC site. This should give the people in the site at least a couple seconds warning, if they pay attention.

I fire up my oversized propulsion module and activate the gate. It takes dreadfully long for the Legion to get into the short warp towards the inside. As I come out of warp on the other side I’m surprised by the sight: The Slasher is 300 km off, sitting still, doing nothing. The Loki is just sitting there as well, about 70 km away. I raise an eyebrow and hit approach on the Loki, heat the Afterburner with the same cycle, and “look at” what I will be facing. The subsystems and launcher installed speak the clear language of an active shield tanked HAM-Loki. That’s weird. Those are rarely used for PvP as you kind of need the few mid-slots for tank and not for tackle modules. But if the Slasher is intended to tackle for his Cruiser-friend, why is he sitting that far off? Hm…

Could it be…?

Wait! I scrolled back up in the local logs… I had a vague memory of someone in this system jokingly asking in local “what did you do that Venture that was always there?!”. But the spam from Jita local had long removed it from the chat-history. Could it be that this Venture was in this site with them together and… was just blocking anyone else from coming in? After all the SCC sites are limited to three ships total. Maybe that Venture had a disconnect and now these two ships just sit in this site… Where they blocked it until these guys would get around to run the site them self?

While these thoughts ran through my mind, the distance between the two T3 Cruisers was rapidly decreasing. The Legion had reached it’s full speed of 1500 ms. I would bump hard into the other cruiser, so I slowed down a bit to avoid to overshoot it and started to initiate the lock on my prey. It showed no movement so far. It’s active hardeners and boosters flickered over the shields. It was 100% a cap-stable fitting. You don’t activate your tank and go AFK otherwise.

In range. Scram, turn off prop-mod, launching Vespa-Drones. Firing Scourge Rage Assault Missiles… but I do less damage than expected. Kinetic is usually the weakest resistance of a Loki. However this one seemed to shrugs off the afflicted damage without issues. I switch to Infiltrator drones and eyeball the scrolling combat messages… Yes! Much bigger numbers. I swap to Mjolnir missiles as well. Still, the Lokis shield is bouncing back after every volley I fire into it. Alt + F brings up the fitting simulation. Since I have secure tackle on the my target, I dare to split attention and check what a Lokis actual resist profile is with Multispectrum shield hardeners. I had no Hammerheads with me, so I’m loading Inferno Missiles to test thermal damage, and… yes! Instead of hits of ~350 per volley, I now get 450; Much better!

The Lokis shield booster however still fulfills it’s duty and keeps the ship alive. Have I packed enough ammunition? Let’s heat a little bit more… It would be pretty hilarious to run out of missiles before I could brake this obviously AFK ship. The Slasher also hasn’t moved since I entered the site. I look worryingly at the stack of missiles in my Legions cargo hold. If my Energy Neutralizer does not show effect after the next reload, I would need to go back to shooting Mjolnir and hope… But if that pilot was truly afk, maybe I could buy another Neutralizer close by and come back.

Then, suddenly the Loki is in armor. With a last flicker the shield hardeners entered their last cycle and the booster had failed to resource enough capacitor to cycle another time. Finally my little Neutralizer had achieved it’s goal. A few more missile volleys and it was done. From the smoldering remains of the wreck the pod emerged. I locked it up in fear the armor and hull warning sounds could have woken up the AFK pilot. Who sat AFK in lowsec with a Loki would also risk a pod with expensive implants like that. And *poof*. It was done. I was considered a criminal for the next fifteen minutes by CONCORD, but the DED-space shield booster who kept the other cruiser alive for so long was mine now.

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