From too much to too little

29th November 2012 – 5.51 pm

I'm needed! I feel like Mrs Peel. But, sadly, I'm needed in our sister class 5 w-space system, where a visiting fleet is foolishly engaging Sleepers with not enough ship, as proved when one of their Tengu strategic cruisers explodes. Of course, it would be better if our corporation could do the killing, but it seems the one pilot on-line can't rouse others, and he has to content himself with watching. Me, I'm not wanted anywhere else, as usual, and so I scan the home system to see nothing's changed, resolve our static wormhole, and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system.

A tower, some bubbles, and no ships grace my directional scanner when I update it in C3a, and the system is small enough that nothing obvious is hiding from me. But, I suppose, if it were obvious it wouldn't be hiding. What is more important is that I can't hide from anyone here, so I launch scanning probes from the wormhole and perform a blanket scan of the system. My notes from eighteen months ago show the tower is different, but the static exit to null-sec will be the same, somewhere amongst the fifty-nine anomalies and twenty-four signatures my scan reveals.

That sounds like a lot of effort scanning for results of dubious utility. Screw it, you messy bastards, I'll just go home and collapse our wormhole. I would suggest keeping an untidy system is a fair deterrent, but it really isn't. I'd still watch for planet gooers, or hunt gassers, and all it does is make everyday scanning a chore for yourself. An inactive system is a good deterrent, but that means you're off-line, so what's the point? But, anyway, I go home, grab some big ships, and start stressing our connection.

Collapsing the wormhole is feeling like standard procedure now, like I know what I'm doing. And I should hope so, not because of my experience but because I am trying to kill a wormhole that leads to a w-space system with twenty-four unscanned signatures whose only guaranteed connection exits to null-sec k-space. If I don't fancy scanning that in a dedicated ship, doing so in an Orca industrial command ship will be painful. Fortunately, I make the final Orca trip without the wormhole collapsing ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, neither does it collapse on schedule.

In fact, the wormhole doesn't even destabilise to critical levels when I bring the Orca home. I know I messed up one of the jumps, forgetting to activate the propulsion module for extra mass, but it shouldn't have affected the calculations this much. Then again, not going critical makes a final push simple. I don't need to rely on a dedicated crasher of a heavy interdictor, as the wormhole will withstand another jump from the Widow black ops trip without collapsing. Coming home should then kill it. Which it does, without drama, leaving me in the home system with a new static wormhole to find.

I scan again, resolve the new connection, and jump to another C3. D-scan showing me a tower and no ships is no improvement on the previous C3, but a passive scan only throwing up one anomaly is. The lack of anomalies suggests regular activity, and the likelihood that there aren't many signatures to wade through. Warping away from the wormhole and the tower to launch probes actually locates two more towers, as well as a piloted Helios covert operations boat at one of them. A blanket scan of the system shows how few signatures there are too, with just two in the whole system, which will be our K162 and the static exit to high-sec empire space.

It looks like I'll be heading to empire space to look for adventure tonight. At least, it does until a Mammoth appears on d-scan moments before I initiate warp to the resolved wormhole. I cancel the warp command and try to find the hauler using d-scan. It's not at one of the other two towers, as I am currently lurking outside the one with the Helios, but pointing d-scan at the high-sec wormhole shows the Mammoth to be in that direction. I imagine he's coming home, and hasn't just come on-line. That's a little disappointing, as he's not likely to perform his morning constitutional of collecting planet goo, and as the wormhole links to high-sec space I have little chance of catching him if he makes a second trip that way. But I can hope.

The Mammoth appears at the same tower as the Helios, letting me watch the pair of them at the same time. The hauler saunters across to anchor a polymer reactor array, and four biochemical silos, and starts to bring them on-line. That's not very interesting. The Helios being swapped for a Dominix battleship is, making me hope that the return of the second pilot will prompt the pair to clear the perhaps newly spawned anomaly, but the ship change is shortly followed by the pilot going off-line. Now I'm merely watching a Mammoth do nothing inside the force field of a tower. But not for long! Because the Mammoth goes off-line too within a minute or so. I would say it's time to hit high-sec.

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