A couple of days ago, we were fucking around in our chain when one of our scouts found something curious.
He'd seen a Thorax and a Catalyst on D-Scan and was narrowing down their exact location. Normally, it only takes a couple of minutes to determine whether ships the ships are on a narrow angle scan with or without a Forcefield. With a forcefield, they are probably in a POS, without means they are floating in space. Normally.
What our scout found was that these two ships were indeed at a POS, but they were not inside the forcefield.
He got on grid with the tower to see it online, and all the defences online - but with no forcefield surrounding it. This can happen sometimes and is the default state of a POS tower until you put a password in - at which point the forcefield appears and flings any non authorized ship out into space at rather high speed.
A few of us had shipped into Bombers in order to shoot the offline POS mods that were first reported, and I was travelling down the chain in a pod, willing to try my luck and free the two ships just floating.
The scout bookmarked the two hulls, and I warped to the first one. As I landed, I spammed right click and hit board. So far, so good. I clicked the sun and clicked warp and suddenly a pop up appears. It's telling me i have too much cargo. I right click, I select the 8000 units of Veldspar and click Jettison. I hit warp again but as soon as my ship starts to move, it explodes.
I warp my pod away. With the character I have cloaked on grid, I notice that my new wreck is moving, and I start to pay a lot more attention to the POS setup.
There are very specific modules on this POS defence. A couple of hardeners to even out the resists, as well as a very, very tanky Dark Blood tower. Everything else is designed to kill small ships. Two batteries of multiple small lasers (about 15-20 lasers in each battery) and a couple of webifiers/warp scramblers are positioned so that one cannot get transversal to both batteries, with a Mobile Tractor Unit nestled out of sight in the middle.
A couple of bait SMAs and CHAs sit in open view, next to a couple of anchored cans names "Loot" and "Sleeper Salvage".
The ships themselves are fit with as many expanded cargo holds as possible, filled with Veldspar and then the expanded cargo holds are removed, meaning that the ship cannot warp away and sits there until it explodes.
Pilots that see no forcefield and assume the POS is offline go to scoop the free "Loot" or "Salvage" or to blow up the CHA/SMA on the offchance they'll drop something nice suddenly find themselves pointed, webbed and under the fire of a large number of powerful POS guns. As soon as they explode, their wreck is being tractored to the Mobile Tractor Unit, where the loot is deposited.
The POS owner will check to see what died today, log in, empty the Tractor Unit and reset the trap.
I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
I even went back for the Catalyst, thinking that if I concentrated, I could probably get it out in time. I neglected to remember that you can only Jettison cargo once every two minutes. I died again.