My skill queue is becoming increasingly meaningless. I have no idea what to train or why, so I'm simply sticking in fairly arbitrary skills for the moment, hoping they'll be useful at some point. I don't really have an aim for a new ship, or any particular ship I use often that could potentially use that incremental boost that training to level five would offer. Most of my support skills are completed, and although I could maximise my missile or ship skills in a couple of areas, the month or more of required training for a 2% boost seems a sub-optimal use of time. Oh well, just pick one to add the queue and pretty much ignore it for now.
Moving on to explore today's w-space constellation puts me in a neighbouring class 3 system I've visited before. The system was unoccupied three weeks ago and remains so now, but someone has passed through recently. There are only five anomalies and two signatures, which is unusually low for an uninhabited system. The signatures are our K162 and a static exit to low-sec empire space, which takes me to Black Rise, the Caldari Aridia. There are enough pilots out here for a small fleet, though, and judging by the types of anomaly here they are probably involved in faction warfare. The only signature in the system is the K162 of C3a too, leaving me little to do.
I consider collapsing our static wormhole and starting again, but I remember how my first attempt at doing so didn't work out so well. I ended up on the wrong side of the wormhole to the home system, but at least with an exit to empire space scanned. What the hell, I'll give it another shot. I swap my scanning boat for one of our Orcas and start pushing the massive industrial command ship through our wormhole. This time I'm not relying on memory and am writing down each passage as it occurs along with the accumulated transit mass. The wormhole destabilises to half-mass a little early but some maths suggests I should be okay to continue in the Orca, and one final return trip duly collapses the lighter-than-normal connection. Job's a good 'un.
Scanning afresh finds the new static wormhole and I jump in to another C3 I've visited before. My last time here was fifteen months ago, and it is initially surprising to see one of the two towers in the same place, until I notice that the system is tiny and has only two moons in total. I suppose there isn't really much choice for occupying corporations choosing where to anchor their tower, and this current tower is probably under different ownership. Scanning this C3 is easy, with its dinky 6 AU radius, but it's slim pickings tonight. My probes pick up four signatures, one of which is our K162 and another a static exit to high-sec that I already knew I'd find.
The first signature I resolve is a wormhole, but one that is too weak to be the static exit. I must have found an outbound connection, which is a pleasant surprise. The other signature is a gravimetric site, which I bookmark. I warp to the exit to high-sec first, planning to see where it leads before exploring deeper w-space, only to see a shuttle enter the system and warp to the local tower. A bit of activity is good to see, but not if the pilot's only going to use the connection to high-sec. As the shuttle settles in the tower I orientate myself, jumping out of w-space to be in the Tash-Murkon region and six hops from Amarr, which would be convenient if I were buying or selling. I return to w-space and warp to the second wormhole in the C3, which turns out to be an outbound connection to class 5 w-space. The pilot in the tower is still in the shuttle and not looking like he'll be interesting, so I take a quick look in the C5.
This system was unoccupied five months ago but now a corporation has settled in. And they really are quite settled, with a carriers, freighters, and a Moros dreadnought visible on my directional scanner. I locate the tower here to see a pod and the Moros piloted, but apart from a single scanning probe that doesn't look like it will accomplish much alone anyway there is nothing happening here. My notes have this system holding a static connection to another C5, and that way madness of never-ending w-space lies, so with the evening already drawing on I turn around and head back to C3a.
In the class 3 system the shuttle still hasn't turned in to a Hulk exhumer. It probably needs more radiation and some rage. I think I'll turn in for the night. But when I reach our K162 and punch d-scan one last time a Scorpion battleship has appeared in the system. It's not at the tower, according to a tight d-scan beam, so it could be collapsing the N770 wormhole. I warp across and hold cloaked near the wormhole, wondering if it's worth my waiting for a ship that may not actually reappear, and am rewarded by the sight of the battleship decloaking and jumping back to the C5. Yes, I think he's collapsing the wormhole, slowly. But can I do anything about it? 'Shoot it.'
I'm not entirely convinced I could destroy the Scorpion with my covert Tengu. 'Shoot it.' And any ship that may stand a chance wouldn't be covert and, by myself, I may not be able to get on the wormhole in time without being spotted and countered. 'Shoot it.' That TGL3's such a dick. That's not my conscience telling me what to do, that's a result of me stupidly mentioning the Scorpion in one of our communication channels and my alliance colleague wanting to get me killed. But he makes a compelling argument. I turn my Tengu around and warp home, hoping I can swap ships and get back here before the pilot's polarisation ends and he makes his next jump.
I jump through our K162, warp to the tower, and swap to the only ship I can think of for the assault. The Legion strategic cruiser should be able to punch through a battleship's shields or armour, and the energy neutralisers, given a little time, may be able to negate the ECM of the Scorpion. But I think I can guess how this engagement will end, if I even get to the point of engaging the Scorpion. Even so, I head back to the C3 with all due haste, jumping in to see the Scorpion back on d-scan already. That seems quick. I surge my Legion across the thankfully tiny system to the N770, updating d-scan as I warp to see the Scorpion still there, still there, still there, and land just in time to watch it jump back to the C5.
I land on the wormhole and follow, appearing in the C5 in time to lock on to the Scorpion—mercifully by itself on the wormhole—and disrupt its warp engines. Hullo, this is encouraging. Locking on to the Scorpion shows it to have only about 10% armour remaining, as well as some cosmetic hull damage. As my missiles are hitting for significant damage to the shields this could be a much quicker engagement than I imagined. I apply all my offensive systems to the Scorpion, draining its capacitor as fast as possible, watching its shields drop nice and quickly, but when the battleship finally reciprocates my target lock he gets a successful ECM jam and warps away, albeit in a pretty battered ship.
It was almost inevitable that the Scorpion would jam me to escape, as it's what the ship is built for. But ships fitted to collapse wormholes can be a strange bunch and there was a possibility that it wouldn't be fitted with ECM. It was also possible that, with the state the Scorpion was in, a single failed ECM cycle would have given me enough time to pop the battleship, and it's lucky for him that he jammed me. Either way, bringing a pointy ship back here to attack the Scorpion turned out to be a good idea. I should probably thank that devil on my shoulder. For now, the Scorpion disappears from d-scan and I take my cue to leave before suitably nasty ships potentially come to scare me away.