I should have been asleep an hour ago but I'd roamed out in the dual rep rifter and managed to catch the same guy in a vexor twice, was just flying the rifter back to dock in home station.
Entering our home system, I noticed a couple of Amarr Milita pilots and some big shiny battleships on scan. That's unusal, they're a long way from home, jumping back into alliance comms I hear a couple of people discussing them. They've only just got here apparently. But no one is sure where they are, or what they're doing... Yadda Yadda!
Maybe look for them??
My alt was in a cloaky hauler so I docked up the rifter whilst I had him scout the relatively small system, quickly getting a approximate location with the d-scanner. I warp closer, d-scan around them finding them away from celestials with lots of wrecks!
They're in a mission!
We start to form up, its going a little slow it's late EU timezone and the yanks aren't quite on yet.
Someone starts to probe them. As I'd given them clear location, within 2au of a gate, and the direction and height to drop probes and with a Macharel a Tempest Fleet, and a couple of T3's all in the site this should be an instant probe out.
Yet our prober was struggling, they've moved he said, no they haven't I shout back FFS!! checking d-scanner I can see his probes are off by a long way, and that point I get the sinking feeling as I realise he's also only using 4 probes and just T1 not even sisters... this is not going to go well. This chap probably doesn't have the support skills for this. Now was not a good time to be learning this trade.
Time ticks by. It's been too long now, the probes have been on scan in the same area of space for far too long, these boys would have to be complete idiots to get caught now.
Fuck this! Realising the original prober was never going to get a warpable in time, I dock the alt, and jump into a probing ship, warping 15au off to the far side of the system I deploy my probes, set range to 2au's then drop them over the site.
97% hit! I'll have them on the next cycle, guys get ready.
Got them! Shouts another voice on comms, tackle get ready to warp to [#########].
One of the other alliance guys had obviously had the same thought as me!
We warp in tackle, but unsuprisingly they were all aligned by this point, and the first thing we saw was the back end of the macharel as it entered warp.
Shit! Fuck! Primary is [########] in the fucking prober.
It's not rocket science, it doesn't even take long to get maxed out in the skill tree. And even with 4's in the support skills you can probe 90% of people in one or two cycles. I've written two guides on this subject, the first is about the directional scanner, it discuss's how to pin point someone to a celestial in a few short steps. The second is the probing guide, for when they're not at a celestial object you use the same technique to work out their approximate bearing and range using the known items, the planets, the sun. Then you deploy short range probes directly ontop them, you can start with 2au probes, getting 100% hits on battleships, getting most other ships in the second cycle. This drops the probes in space down under 30-40seconds. Many people don't even check that often, so the first they know of your probing is your in their mission/site with a scram on them!
This story does have a slightly happier ending, deciding to let loose the little carebear still in us, myself and one other pilot decided to clear the remains of the site.
We might not have got 3-4billion in kills we'd hoped for, but we did pick up a A-Type EANM worth 1.4billion.
Thanks for the escalation guys ;)