I'm back up to full offensive strength in my Tengu. The recent loss of my previous strategic cruiser knocked some skill points out of my head, but I've relearnt them without much sense of loss, thanks in part to a coincidental short planetside break to watch some live music. All I need to do now is to find some innocent capsuleers on who I can realise my regained offensive powers. Sleepers would do in a pinch, with a bunch of new anomalies spawned in our home system, but I'm alone and won't be taking them on solo. I scan for our static wormhole to look for excitement.
There are four signatures at home, two of which I recognise as already bookmarked sites, and one of the remaining pair obviously being our static wormhole. The other signature is a boring radar site and not another connection for further exploration possibilities, which is made more disappointing when warping to the static wormhole finds it to be quite wobbly indeed. Clearly a scout passed this way half-a-day or more ago and opened our connection, having his own wormhole die before ours. The only positive circumstance is that the new jet-can I noticed on d-scan is sitting on the wormhole. I had initially ignored it as being impossible to find, but here it is.
I leave the jet-can alone. As unlikely as it seems, sitting on a dying wormhole, it could be the lure for an ambush, enticing me to decloak in order to check the contents, making me a sitting duck for any other ships nearby. I haven't spotted any activity here so far, but I doubt I am the only pilot in w-space who has the nous to fit a cloaking device to their ship. And here's another pilot with good sense, my glorious leader arriving just as I am wondering what to do next. Now we can wonder together.
Fin's out looking for a different jet-can. We have two others littering our system, perhaps left on wormholes by visiting corporations, or off-grid from wormholes just to be annoying, or in safe spots to be complete gits. My leader has borrowed Sad Panda, my Malediction interceptor, optimised it for greater speed, and has made progress in narrowing down the location of one of the canisters. It will still currently take ten days at maximum burn to reach it, so a bit more finesse with the warp drive is needed. And unless Fin has fitted the Malediction with a probe launcher I think we have company.
Core probes appear on my directional scanner, and they don't belong to either of us. That's interesting, but there's little I can do about it so far. The probes disappear and a minute later a Loki decloaks on the wormhole five kilometres from my position. I am tempted to engage the strategic cruiser but I could use some help and I don't think Fin has the wormhole's location yet. If the Loki flees to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system I'll be on my own, maybe for the night if the wormhole collapses, and possibly dead. I hold my cloak and watch, asking Fin to swap boats for a ship killer and to get to my position.
The Loki chomps the jet-can on the wormhole and jumps through. Now I'll never know if it contained a bookmark labelled 'look behind you' or a dozen PLEXes. More importantly, however, I am wondering if the Loki is coming back. It seems likely that a new wormhole has opened in to our home system whilst I was passively sitting here, the Loki scout scanning and taking a risk on the wormhole to poke his nose through. If that's the case he'll be coming back, and in to our hasty ambush. To give a better chance of catching him I decloak and get ready to engage. Fin has joined me, and we both wait for the wormhole to flare a second time, announcing the return of the Loki.
No flare comes soon. Knowing I will be alerted by the sound of the wormhole's activation, a little too viscerally at times, I launch probes again and switch to the system map to re-scan our home. I find no new signatures, only those I positively identified a short while back, which means no new wormholes have connected to us. This information changes the situation. Now it seems that the Loki found his way to our system and lay in wait for activity, no doubt hoping to ambush unsuspecting capsuleers, and probably planting the jet-can as his bait. I imagine his launching of probes and scanning was his last check for new connections, perhaps prompted by seeing my probes flying around, before deciding to look for a more active system.
The Loki doesn't return. Fin pokes her nose through to the C3, confident from checking external resources that our wormhole has over an hour of life left, to see some ships in the class 3 w-space system. There is even a Loki, but the ship's name does not match the one that passed through the wormhole in front of me. He's long gone, it seems. Fin takes a couple of minutes to confirm that all the ships are unpiloted inside a tower before returning safely home. And as Fin makes lazy orbits around the wormhole, myself content to sit in one position, both of us ponder our options.
Personally, I don't like the thought of a roaming Loki being close by, particularly as he seems content to jump through dying wormholes. I imagine he's operating without a home at the moment, wandering system to system looking for action, and I'd rather not give it to him so easily. So we're not running anomalies tonight. I also don't fancy waiting another hour before we can be active. I'm just going to hide in a corner of the system and settle down with a book. We can have a new adventure tomorrow.