Nothing and no one in the home system seems awfully quiet. I think I'll go and poke the neighbours. Ah, but which ones? It seems it's not quite so quiet as I first believed, as the rocks have drifted apart and that second signature is no longer a gravimetric site but a wormhole. Our static connection to class 3 w-space is joined today by a K162 from class 2 w-space. As K162s are a stronger indicator of activity than static wormholes I head backwards once more, and although three towers light up my directional scanner in C2a I see no ships. I locate the three towers nearby, and explore further to see three more around a distant planet, as well as a Naga blipping on to d-scan briefly.
The battlecruiser doesn't loiter in the system for long, and even though I hold off from scanning for a minute it doesn't look like he's coming back any time soon either. I may as well scan, either to find whatever wormhole he used or to locate sites where I may catch him on his return. I bookmark twenty-five anomalies and sift through six signatures, resolving rocks, gas, and two wormholes. I won't be catching the Naga on either wormhole, though, as the static exit and K162 both connect to high-sec empire space. I'm heading home and through our static connection to see what I can find in C3a instead.
A tower and still no ships shows up on d-scan, but at least its just the one tower to find and not six. And as I was here three weeks ago locating the single tower is a trivial matter, although if I take the trouble to make notes I should probably remind myself about the anchored canister that nearly decloaks me outside the tower. I'm sure I did that last time too. With no one home, I launch probes and scan. Seven anomalies and eight signatures are whittled down to a single wormhole soon enough, and the static exit to low-sec is not particularly interesting. However, jumping to appear in Derelik perks me up, as one and then two pilots from C2a are in the system.
I move from the wormhole and cloak, waiting to see what ship the Naga will be escorting back to w-space, wondering how bad the two high-sec connections in their own system have to be for them to prefer low-sec. But I wait, and wait, and no one approaches the wormhole. I warp out to launch probes, to see if the pilots are active elsewhere, but as only two ships appear in the scan results with four pilots in the system I'm not quite sure what's happening. There are no stations present, so they can't be docked, and as an Executioner frigate is in d-scan range one of the C2ers must be cloaked.
My curiosity is sated soon after I warp back to the wormhole to C3a, as a Tengu drops out of warp and, after a moment's pause, jumps to w-space. A minute behind it is a Legion, also piloted by a C2 capsuleer, and the second strategic cruiser also jumps through the wormhole. Where the Naga's gone I can't say. There's not much point following the two ships quite so soon, so as I have probes launched I resolve the two additional signatures in the low-sec system. I find a dirty site and a wormhole, but as the K162 from class 3 w-space is at the end of its life I find I have no interest in either signature. I turn my ship around and head back home.
C3a looks clear, and the home system too. But I've seen ships and movement, so I dive right back to C2a to see what's happening. Not much. The three towers in d-scan range of the wormhole are empty, and although I spot a Manticore on d-scan out by the distant towers it is gone before I can see which tower it is at. Aii comes on-line and I update him to the constellation and movements as I push my Loki strategic cruiser back to the wormhole home, where I sit and watch for lack of anything else to do. My patience looks to be rewarded, as the Manticore appears after a couple of minutes and jumps right towards Aii.
Unfortunately, Aii was jumping the other way through the wormhole at the same time as the Manticore was heading to him. I jump to follow, decloaking in our home system and locking on to the Manticore, but when the stealth bomber jumps back to C2a to evade my clutches I am thwarted by being polarised. A whole one second's worth of polarisation stops me long enough for the Manticore to cloak and move away from the wormhole by the time I can give chase. And Aii got a bit excited and jumped back home to try to catch the Manticore, polarising himself, which he realises as soon as the target flees back.
The fish that got away sends me a touching mail asking why I would want to shoot him, which is precious, moments after a Proteus strategic cruiser jumps past my cloaked Loki in to our home system. It seems like the Manticore will now be bait and lure me in to a waiting ambush. That's fine by me, as long as I know what I'm in for, so when the stealth bomber reappears and jumps through the wormhole I'm game to try again. I follow behind the Manticore, fully expecting to see the Proteus waiting for me, but instead the strategic cruiser is elsewhere in the system, visible on d-scan, and with probes launched.
The Manticore appears and once again I get a positive lock on his ship. I keep punching d-scan to see when the sucker-punch will arrive, but the probes still whiz around the system and the Proteus still sits somewhere other than the wormhole. The Manticore jumps back to C2a to avoid getting shot again, and now I am more cautious. We'll both be polarised, and that makes it dangerous for me to engage, but as the Proteus hasn't yet warped to the wormhole I may have enough time to pop the stealth bomber. I follow back to C2a, and decloak and prepare my weapons systems, only to disrupt the warp engines of and start shooting the wormhole as the Manticore gets clear and cloaks. I'm striking fear in to the hearts of my enemies tonight.
My fumbling paws may have saved me, though, as the Proteus finally makes an appearance through the wormhole. I think it's time to call it an early night. I doubt we'll see the Manticore again, not without full support at least, so all I really want to do is wait for my polarisation to end, jump home, and hide. But before I jump back the stealth bomber makes another trip to our home system. He's a persistent bugger, I'll give him that, but I let him go this time, if only to break his expectations. I hold for a few minutes and watch as the Proteus decloaks and follows behind the Manticore. And the Proteus decloaks me too, as it seems we were wormhole buddies, snuggled within two kilometres of each other for the past couple of minutes. I re-activate my cloak, let the Proteus kick himself, and wait a bit longer before I return home to go off-line.