Getting more hangar space

31st December 2012 – 5.12 pm

I launch probes and perform a blanket scan. I don't care to hide my probes, as I'm assuming that podding two of their pilots in mining barges means the corporation in this class 3 w-space system know I'm here. Besides, the only capsuleer left to witness my scanning has swapped from the Orca industrial command ship to an Anathema covert operations boat. I don't care to chase him, if he even intends to scan, so ignore him and take a look around.

One anomaly and seven signatures are returned by my probes. I already know one of those signatures is a gravimetric site. The others are two radar sites, some more rocks, and two wormholes. A K162 connection from low-class w-space accompanies the system's static exit to low-sec, the latter in pristine condition and obviously not touched by the locals today. I pop its cherry, and exit to appear in Old Man Star, in the Essence region.

I've heard of Old Man Star. It's probably notorious for something, and I'm not entirely sure I want to be here, but I doubt much probing for wormholes is performed regularly. I can scan. Seven extra signatures crop up, the first one being a wormhole too weak to be a K162. The N432 outbound connection to class 5 w-space is neat, but not as neat as the second weak wormhole, which is an R943 to class 2 w-space. A third wormhole, and second R943, is almost giving me too much choice. But the system settles down, with the remaining signatures being a radar site, some drones, and finally a rock field.

I finish my scanning sitting outside of the wormhole I've labelled as heading to C2b, so I waste no time in jumping through to see what I can find. I won't get my hopes up, not when appearing 7·5 km from the wormhole, and a blanket scan doesn't reveal much to get excited about. No ships, no anomalies, and five signatures is all that I can see, but as the system is sparsely signatured I think I can spare the time to scan it. I locate a tower I can see on d-scan, and settle down to sift through the sites. Two magnetometric sites and two wormholes, both static connections, are all there is to resolve. I'm not exiting to high-sec, but the second static wormhole to class 3 w-space is worth a look through.

The J-number of C3b sounds familiar, and maybe it should be, as this is my fifth visit. The last was six months ago, however, and although I have two towers listed I can see on d-scan that one has gone. The other remains, but with no one home today, and as the static connection leads to high-sec I don't care to look for it. I return through C2b to Old Man Star, and back in to w-space with C2a. D-scan is clear, apart from a lonely canister, and launching probes reveals no still no ships, still no anomalies, and seven more signatures. One tower sits around a far planet, empty of course, so it's here that I loiter whilst sifting the signatures.

A ship. As I start to scan my combat probes detect a ship. I throw my probes out of the system, but it's too late. Whatever was here is gone, and has probably seen that I am scanning. Well, if they know, I may as well do it. I call my probes back and resolve rocks, a magnetometric site, and four wormholes, with one signature remaining. I warp around reconnoitring the wormholes, landing near a K162 from class 4 w-space, as I spy a Bestower on my probes. But where is the hauler from? And where is it going? Perhaps the K162 from high-sec that's reaching the end of its life, but if so I miss seeing the Bestower leave the system.

I resolve the final signature as I warp to the other wormholes, a second K162 from class 4 w-space, and a static exit to low-sec that is also EOL. And the last signature is the system's second static wormhole, leading to more class 2 w-space. The entrance to C2c looks good, but is the Bestower going out again? I should probably check the class 4 systems to see if there is any sign of the hauler. I pick C4b first, as the Bestower appeared as I was sitting on the K162 from C4a and not so not likely to have come or gone that way, and I have chosen wisely. I jump in to C4b to see the Bestower sitting on the wormhole with me.

Whether the hauler saw the wormhole flare I can't say. I would have to imagine he did, as industrial ships take a while to decelerate, and the ship jumps past me almost immediately. Maybe he's being smart, knowing that if I go back to give chase he can jump home again, presuming this is his home, and I being polarised won't be able to follow. But I've got to have a go. I praise the short session change timer for once, and return to C2a. The Bestower is aligning away from the wormhole, in a direction I don't care about, and I pounce.

I break the session change cloak, and even though it has no recalibration delay I activate my sebo—now that I can—to help ensure the Bestower doesn't go anywhere. And he doesn't. The pilot doesn't even go back through the wormhole to evade me. Perhaps he's still suffering from polarisation because of his quick turnaround. Whatever the reason, he practically sits in front of my guns and explodes. And I may have my sebo active, but this pilot is prepared to get his pod clear, and I miss gaining another corpse for my collection. But I may have a new corporate hangar array.

The CHA has survived the Bestower's destruction. That's pretty good. It won't fit in the hold of my Loki strategic cruiser, though, and I'm loath to pop the wreck without at least trying to recover my spoils. The pod's gone, and the pilot may be spooked enough not to try to recover from the wreck. I may have time to pick up the CHA. I dash home, out of C2a, across Old Man Star, and through the earlier crime scene of C3a, swap my Loki for a Crane transport ship—having checked that the CHA will definitely fit—and return to C2a.

I warp to the wormhole where the Bestower once was, dropping cautiously short of the wreck whilst still cloaked, to see that the wreck remains unlooted. I should be okay. The Crane is agile, can cloak, and has a nearby wormhole to jump through if I need to evade unwanted attention. But even though paranoia serves you well in w-space, it is just that right now. No ships appear, no ambush awaits, and I simply transfer the CHA from the wreck of the Bestower to my Crane. My only regret is that I can't destroy the wreck now that it is empty.

I return home in the Crane, stow the CHA in our own CHA, as I heard I like that, and get back in my Loki. I have a bit of time left, I may as well scout the two class 4 systems properly. C4b turns out to be a repeat visit for me, and although there are ships in one of the towers, with a piloted Hurricane battlecruiser, not much is happening. I can confirm that this is the home of the Bestower pilot at least, and jumping back to C2a has me shooting the wreck and clearing up after myself. That's better.

C4a has a Minmatar shuttle appear on d-scan, but without a tower. At least, not an active tower. I can only assume it is abandoned, as I doubt the shuttle is of much use in w-space, and it doesn't come my way or drop off d-scan as I check some unhelpful notes from over two years ago. The wormhole brings me a ship whilst I'm distracted by old notes, and I approach and prepare my systems in case it is another soft target, but instead remain cloaked and watch as a Tengu appears, aligns, and warps away.

The strategic cruiser disappeared to an empty point in space, suggesting another wormhole and more activity to discover, but my time has run out. I head home, happy with the fun day all round. Hunting and podding miners, plenty of scanning and exploring, and ambushing a Bestower and recovering his haul. And there are still more systems to explore. W-space can really feel vast and alive on occasions.

  1. 3 Responses to “Getting more hangar space”

  2. Old Man Star is an important system in the Gallente - Caldari Factional Warfare. It's the Gallente's entry into low sec. It has some nice lore attached to it !

    http://www.sobaseki.com/wordpress/2008/06/22/old-man-star/

    Thats an old blog of of mine :).

    By Morph on Dec 31, 2012

  3. I have always felt holes were more like what real spacetravel would be like. I mean space is vast... really REALLY vast you know... planets are like motes of dust in the empty wastes of the Gobi compared to space...

    and yet, in Empire I always get a case of the heebies from the sheer number of PEOPLE around me... holes 'feel' more real somehow, and reading of your adventures (and having my own) always brings that home to me very strongly.

    By TurAmarth on Jan 1, 2013

  4. Thanks, Morph. That's a good story about how the system got its name.

    And I know what you mean, Tur. Bustling space ports have their place, but I don't feel like I am in the cold reaches of space more than when I have passed through a wormhole.

    By pjharvey on Jan 1, 2013

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