Noodling through a network of w-space

14th January 2013 – 5.47 pm

Still all quiet at home. So lonely. One extra signature to keep me warm. Maybe it leads to new friends. Maybe! It resolves to be a wormhole, a K162 from class 3 w-space. And jumping through the wormhole has a Badger light up my directional scanner. There's a tower visible too, of course, as well as a Chimera carrier and territorial control unit, but those aren't as interesting as a potentially piloted planet goo-collecting hauler. My notes get me to the Badger quickly, my last visit being six weeks earlier, so that I can be disappointed that much sooner on finding it being empty of a capsuleer.

The TCU planted near the tower is a little bubbly, I see. And with so many canisters littered around it in such a loose pattern I suspect the decloaking trap to be pretty effective, for those not flying with an interdiction nullifier subsystem. Anyway, there's no planet gooer to chase, so I'll slow down, take my time, chew my food. Exploring the system finds nothing else of interest, and a blanket scan gives me a manageable nine anomalies and seven signatures to sift through. Rocks, gas, and four wormholes is a pleasing scanning result, and one of the wormholes is fresh, as it is spewing core probes everywhere.

Reconnoitring the resolved wormholes is not quite as pleasing than scanning them. The system's static exit to low-sec is at the end of its life, probably opened by scouts from the second wormhole, an EOL K162 from null-sec. A K162 from class 5 w-space is healthy, as is a K162 from class 4 w-space, where I suspect the new scout has come from. I approach the C4 K162, looking to see what's in the system beyond, but am stopped short when an Anathema decloaks and warps away. Where did he go? Why did the covert operations boat decloak to warp? And why can I still not work out which wormhole is which from the system map because of stupid labels obscuring pertinent bookmark information?

If I can't find the Anathema I'll see where he came from. But jumping in to C4a looks a bit dull. A tower and a Helios cov-ops light up d-scan, and finding the Helios piloted doesn't make it more interesting. The inner system looks a bit better, but not for the two more towers, or the two Archon carriers, Naglfar dreadnought, or two Orca industrial command ships. What catches my attention is the lowly Bestower hauler. And what next catches my attention is how lacking a pilot it is. This is all rather disappointing so far. I'm not scanning here, but heading back to see what C5a holds.

Five ships and a tower await in the class 5 w-space system, where apparently my last visit had me chasing a Tengu strategic cruiser with a fleet behind me. I don't remember that at all. Maybe I can look it up. Locating the tower means I can add to my notes that the locals are red, but with no pilots there's not much else to do. Eight anomalies and six signatures is few enough to convince me to poke for K162s, and after launching probes and returning to the tower I see the Helios has a pilot now. Or maybe it did before too. Who cares? I'll scan.

A C2 K162 is a nice find, but the C2 itself isn't. Occupied but inactive, the system holds no obvious K162s, and I'm not scanning for exits to k-space yet. This end of the constellation is explored, and I declare it to be boring. I head home and onwards, through our static connection to more class 3 w-space. D-scan shows me a Viator transport ship and a tower, and although I'm not confident in catching a cloaky transport that it is piloted at least gives me something I can perhaps aim at. But this is one tower of two in my notes, the other being out of d-scan range, and I am curious to see if a more vulnerable ship is waiting for me out there. I probably have time to take a look before the Viator does anything.

The second tower is in the same place as two weeks ago, but is empty, so I head back to watch the Viator for a little longer. Nope, nothing. I'll scan. I launch probes, blanket the system, and start to bring my probes in to sift through the thirteen anomalies and eight signatures just as the Viator moves. I'm glad I keep my probes hidden from d-scan. The Viator is not just moving, but aligning to warp. I note the planet he's heading towards and align my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser in the same direction, which takes longer than it does for the Viator to enter warp. I'd better follow.

I aim for the customs office at the far planet, on the assumption that the Viator is off on his morning constitutional, but arrive to empty space. Well, empty space around the customs office. Yet the Viator is on d-scan. I can't believe my Loki got here before the blockade runner, and it's true. I remember that this planet holds the second tower, so warp across to see if the pilot was merely moving between towers, and, yep, there he is, inside the force field. What a tease. Still, he's now out of d-scan range of most of the signatures, which lets me scan the system covertly.

Of the signatures in C3a, only the static exit to low-sec interests me, and I leave w-space to appear in a faction warfare system in Devoid. Scanning finds two signatures, one of which is a wormhole, and the K162 from class 2 w-space keeps exploration alive, offering as it does its second static connection to more w-space. And there may be more than scanning waiting for me in C2b, as a tower with sixteen ships appears on d-scan from the other side of the wormhole. Combat ships, industrial ships, and a carrier, and they are all empty.

Not only are the all the ships empty, but the system boasts far too many signatures for having so many ships on display. Thirteen anomalies and thirty-five signatures will take quite a while to sort through to find the static connection to class 4 w-space, and I don't think I'm up to the challenge after wading through several systems already. I'll just activate all the anomalies, to tidy up a bit, and head home to get some rest. I may be in well-connected w-space tonight, but a network of wormholes doesn't always lead to activity.

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