Null-sec incursion

25th May 2012 – 5.32 pm

I appear in the home w-space system to see Fin's already here. Asking what's happening gets me a sitrep from my glorious leader. 'Nothing.' Okay then. Pressing for a little more information reveals there are four signatures in our system and none of them are incoming connections. So what's the plan? 'We could mine, harvest gas, or explore.' Explore it is! I take the easy route, warping to our static wormhole and jumping to our neighbouring class 3 system, where my directional scanner also tells me nothing.

The clear d-scan has me launching probes, performing a blanket scan of the system, and warping to the only planet out of range to see what's there. Nothing again. I'm sensing a motif to tonight's adventure. Although there are no obvious ships and no occupation, some core probes are somewhere in the system, but they disappear pretty soon after spotting them and no scout shows himself. I suppose it's my turn to scan then, and I bookmark the seven anomalies and sift through a bunch of signatures. Who's counting? Not me.

I resolve mostly gas, some rocks, and find a K162 from class 4 w-space before the static connection to null-sec k-space appears under my probes. I keep scanning the C3 as Fin reconnoitres the C4, where she sees a Thanatos and Archon carrier, Rorqual capital industrial ship, and Orca industrial command ship. Yeah, I bet they're all piloted and active, but in space no one can detect your sarcasm. As Fin locates the tower I exit w-space to null-sec, having found nothing else of interest when scanning, to appear in the... Oasa region? Is this a recent extension to New Eden? I don't recognise it.

Okay, I've been to Oasa before, once apparently, and I don't think I'll come back. Being alone in the system has me warping around the rock belts looking for rats to pop, but finding drones has me skittering back to w-space. If I am not gaining security status then I'm not ratting, and all I can find when scanning is a bigger rock field. All is dull, making it collapsing-our-wormhole o'clock. Two Orcas make quick work of over-stressing our static connection, and it's gone without fuss or complication. Let's start again.

Resolving our new wormhole and jumping through puts us in a system remarkably similar to the C3 we just isolated ourselves from. There's a warp bubble on d-scan and nothing else, and warping to the one planet out of range doesn't find any occupation or activity. A blanket scan has me bookmarking four anomalies and sweeping across seven signatures, resulting in only the single wormhole being resolved this time, which has the same null-sec smell as the previous one. There is a magnetometric site hiding amongst the rocks and gas, though, so we could shoot some Sleepers for profit whilst in this tiny constellation.

We could shoot Sleepers, if not for the wolf rayet phenomenon that has just registered with me. Being w-space veterans both, Fin and I obviously know exactly the wolf rayet effects on ship systems, and we don't have to look it up at all. Nopers, not us. And the increased armour resistances will boost the Sleepers, reduced shield resistances weaken our Tengu strategic cruisers, and reduced signature radius lessen our missile damage. The wolf rayet here seems to be a good deal for the Sleepers and rather not in our favour at all, so maybe we won't try to make some iskies.

Of course, as Fin points out, if we could refit the subsystems of strategic cruisers in w-space, we could adapt our Legions to be Sleeper boats and quite effective in the wolf rayet class 3 system. But CCP hates us and so it's not an option, not without spending billions of ISK on alternative ship builds for niche situations like this. Okay, so if we're not getting in to Sleeper combat we may as well open the static wormhole and see what's in null-sec instead. 'Let's hope it's not crawling with Russians or Goons', says Fin. Or drones. 'Yeah. One drone region is my limit.'

Exiting w-space puts us in a system in the Outer Ring region, one which coincidentally is under the control of Sansha's Nation with an incursion in progress. And, curiously enough, it's just me and Fin in the system. At least that lets me ignore the incursion and look for rats, until I find out that Sansha's Nation truly have taken over the system, infesting the rock fields instead of the normal rats. And Sansha's Nation are nasty buggers. My systems are jammed and my capacitor sucked dry by what are normally pretty benign rats, and I feel lucky that my warp drives are not being disrupted, as I manage to putter out of the asteroid belt on 40% shields.

Okay, no ratting either. Let's scan. Four extra signatures appear under my probes, which resolve to be a magnetometric site, an N944 wormhole that would only take us to low-sec empire-space, an X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space that is peculiarly a really sickly green in colour—tainted with incursion colours, I assume—and a gravimetric site. More w-space is good, but a C3 holding a tower and no visible ships, with only one planet out of d-scan range, doesn't look promising.

It's time to call it a night. We can't get lucky all the time. I locate the tower in C3b for my records and start heading home as a Hound blips on d-scan. That's almost interesting, but as the stealth bomber doesn't appear at the tower I doubt we can flush him out. I certainly don't have the patience for it at this late hour, anyway. We make our way home and settle down for the night.

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