Losing a Bustard transport full of fuel and buying a replacement has somehow cost us a wad of ISK. Therefore, my plan tonight is to make some ISK back, nominally by thoroughly exploding whole sites of Sleepers. Two new signatures in the home system have other ideas, though, particularly as scanning reveals one of them to be a secondary wormhole. I suppose I'm scouting instead.
A K162 from class 2 w-space accompanies our static connection to class 3 w-space tonight, and as it's often better to check backwards before going forwards I jump through the K162. Updating my directional scanner from the wormhole in C2a sees a tower and Epithal hauler in the system. Ho-hum. More interesting are my notes, telling me that my previous visit was a mere two days ago, when the locals were adamant on my not using their system for logistics. Not that I'm bitter. Gits.
I didn't do much scouting in this system the last time I was here, which amounted to noting the system was occupied judging by the ships that tried to kill me on the wormhole. Nothing so overtly threatening today, but I wouldn't put it past the locals to try again. Previous behaviour is an excellent guide to present behaviour, after all.
The tower is straightforward to find, being around a planet with a single moon, where I see the Epithal piloted but idle. It's a decent location too, central and with everything in d-scan range. I can easily see that there is no other occupation and no activity in the system. At least, for a minute, then a Dominix warps in to the tower, the battleship giving me brief flashbacks.
I can't do much to a Dominix by myself, I imagine, and my first thought is that the battleship is here to crash the connection to our system. They did it before, but I suppose they knew I was around then. Trading ammunition at high velocities kinda gives away your presence. My scouting seems to be more stealthy today, although maybe not for long, as the Dominix is swapped for an Anathema covert operations boat.
The Anathema does nothing, disappears, and a relative of that pilot comes on-line in a shuttle. He also does nothing until replaced by a new contact in a second Epithal. Be still my beating heart. He blinks off-line, alleviating any potential frustration at trying to follow or catch a planet gooer in the most dangerous class of space, and the Anathema is back. This is riveting.
I leave the indecisive pilot behind to head home and through our static wormhole to see what's happening in C3a instead. A tower with four ships looks more interesting already, with a nice mix of a Tengu strategic cruiser, Punisher frigate, Orca industrial command ship, and Cheetah cov-ops. There being one Sleeper wreck in the system only adds to my interest.
A Sleeper wreck, but no anomalies. I locate the tower, to account for the ships and any pilots, seeing the Tengu missing and the other ships all with capsuleers aboard. The strategic cruiser is out and about, somewhere I'll need to scan to find, and help for him is possibly a short warp away. I'm game. I get out of range, launch probes, and return to the tower to get a bearing on the Tengu, which seems as good a place as any for now.
The tower's actually a brilliant place to start looking for the Tengu, if only because he's here, inside the force field. Staring at ship changes has missed this opportunity, whatever it was, and now I find myself staring at a ship I hope moves again. It does, getting friendly with the Orca, before accelerating in to warp. Excellent.
I see where the Tengu goes, follow behind to the planet I assume is nearest his destination, and start hunting. Trying to narrow down the strategic cruiser's location with d-scan is made more awkward when the ship disappears, but I find him again soon enough when I warp back to the tower. I don't know what just happened then either.
The Tengu was friendly with the Orca, now he's hugging the tower. That gets tiring, apparently, so the Tengu moves towards a hangar, stares at it for a minute, and returns to snuggle up with the Orca. It looks like he's doing nothing, but I see some tower defences being brought on-line. Whatever, dude, I'm taking another look in C2a.
Through our K162, across the home system, and through another K162 in to C2a for the second time tonight. A pod and Anathema are visible on d-scan, the pod disappeared by the time I warp my ship to the tower. There really is a whole lot of almost-nothing happening. I'm calling it an early night.