Getting close to a gasser

1st December 2012 – 3.40 pm

It's just me and the static connection. And a curious absence of most of our anomalies. Dammit, that was our ISK! Just because we couldn't be bothered to take it from the Sleepers doesn't give other fleets the right to steal it from us. Someone is going to pay for this. Just not today, because their wormhole no longer connects to our system. But one day, mark my words. Maybe I can take out some frustration on our w-space neighbours for now, so I warp to our static wormhole and jump to the class 3 system beyond.

All looks clear in C3a from the K162. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan, as I check my notes. I was last here three months ago, when a tower was anchored nearby and I found a static wormhole to low-sec empire space. The tower's gone, and my blanket scan reveals one anomaly, five signatures, and ten drones. No wrecks, no ships, and not even an off-line tower litter the system, so the presence of the drones is curious, particularly as they are in two clumps, but okay. I can ignore them safely enough.

Scanning is straightforward, with the static wormhole, two magnetometric sites, and one radar site. And the drones, of course. I pause before jumping to low-sec to gather the drones for myself, not wanting them to spend another cold night in w-space, and exit to Aunenen in Lonetrek. The system name rings a bell, maybe for the wrong reasons, but I doubt I'll be pinged on a wormhole. I launch probes and scan again.

The first of the two additional signatures is a weak wormhole, which makes it outbound, this one leading to class 2 w-space. Sadly, the connection is reaching the end of its life, making it unattractive as an immediate option. The second signature is also a wormhole, and being chubbier is likely a K162, but it's lack of appearance in space also makes it phantom. I suppose it was EOLer than the first wormhole. With little other option available, I risk isolation and poke in to C2a. But it really is a poke. A tower with no ships appears on my directional scanner, and I appear over eight kilometres from the wormhole. I'm going to call this system inactive, and the constellation a waste of time.

I return home, get the big ships out, and smoothly collapse our static wormhole—even demonstrating how the cosmic signature no longer breaks a ship's cloak in the process—in the hopes of getting better w-space to explore. And jumping to the new C3a looks like I have got my wish, as a Cormorant destroyer, jet-can, and two Sleeper wrecks appear on d-scan. A gasser.

A Prowler transport appears on d-scan as I confirm what I'm seeing, which disappears back out of the site after presumably collecting some of the sucked-up gas. I move from the wormhole and cloak—part cursing that the wormhole spits me out so close to the gasser in such a big system, but part happy that it also means I know of his presence immediately on my entrance—and the Cormorant stays. It looks like I have a ship to hunt. I warp away, making a bookmark in a dark spot in the system, and bump in to a tower on the distant planet. The Prowler is here, along with an unpiloted Cyclone battlecruiser. The location of the tower is good to know, as well as the number of pilots, and as I made a safe spot on my way out here I haven't really lost any time in getting this information.

I warp to the newly made safe spot, launch probes, and return to hunt the Cormorant. He's still in the site, still sucking the gas. I get a good bearing on his position, determine a rough range of just over 2 AU, and arrange my probes around where he used to be. The rogue has warped away moments before I'm ready to scan for him. I know gas doesn't take as long to collect as rocks, but I was hoping the destroyer would linger a little longer. I check the tower, where I see the Prowler now sitting with a Buzzard covert operations boat. I suppose that's the finished Cormorant pilot. That's a shame. For me.

The site is far from the tower, so I call in my probes for a scan anyway, just in case the pilots are only taking a short break, and get the perfect scan. Reconnoitring the ladar site lets me set up a monitoring point and bookmark the second cloud, the first hoovered up by the Cormorant, and keep my probes active in a blanket scan configuration. But nothing changes. The pilots have all they need with the first cloud and don't care to come back for the second. The don't even care to salvage the two Sleeper wrecks.

Both pilots go off-line within a few minutes, dashing any hopes I have for executing an ambush this evening. At least I got a hunt, I suppose. With no one active in the C3 I resolve the rest of the signatures, finding two more gas sites, and one skinny and one chubby wormhole. The fat one is a K162 from null-sec, so the thin one will be the static exit to null-sec. The non-result bores me, so I turn around, somewhat deflated, and head home to get some rest for the night.

Post a Comment