Collapsing a static wormhole only creates another

28th December 2009 – 5.31 pm

I have an idea. I need to go out of w-space to New Eden to make it happen, so it's good fortune that I was last refreshing my industrial research at the corporation's high-sec tower. However, the current entrance to w-space is reportedly approaching the end of its life, which doesn't leave enough time to get my shopping done, particularly as I first need to research a little what I need to buy. I either remain out of w-space until the next opportunity to enter arises, which could be a while, or I head in and do my shopping another day. As it is easier to get out of a specific w-space system than in to one, I ready my Crane to return to the strange comfort of w-space. The current wormhole that eventually leads to our new class 4 home system is in high-sec, which makes travelling more convenient, but high-sec now feels too easy. Regardless of the route, Tigress II blasts through systems and stargates to rendezvous with a corporation fleet mate sitting on the wormhole.

I am told the occupants of the first w-space system are active, apparently moving industrial ships through the wormhole. It is assumed that they are making a market run—to sell loot, buy fuel, or both—using the high-sec exit to its fullest. As I drop out of warp there are two Iteron haulers closing in on the wormhole as well. Although they pose no immediate threat, they could be in contact with their own fleet or corporation, particularly an escort wing, so we need to show a little caution. Jumping through to w-space, I am guided through a second intermediate system, taking care to bookmark all wormhole locations on the way, before making it safely back to the corporation tower. The Iterons are apparently still jumping through the first wormhole.

The high-sec exit wormhole is at the end of its lifetime because the Iteron pilots are purposely destabilising it. They apparently don't appreciate the ease with which nosy high-sec pilots can invade their occupied system. Our covert operations pilot opens communications with the capsuleers collapsing the wormhole to find out this information, and is also told that they are aggressively finding every wormhole in their system and collapsing it if they don't like its destination. This is a little amusing in that they don't seem to have yet noticed the wormhole leading indirectly to our own w-space system, and may be under the impression that we are high-sec tourists. It is also rather peculiar in that they seem to be collapsing a static wormhole.

Static wormholes behave like any other wormhole, there is nothing inherently special about them. They are called 'static' because of a curious property of the w-space system, not the wormhole itself. When a static wormhole collapses, it is soon if not immediately replaced by another wormhole, at an arbitrary point in the system, where the new wormhole leads to a similar class of system as did the collapsed wormhole. That there is always a wormhole leading to a certain class of system is what makes a wormhole 'static'. In this case, the static wormhole leads to a high-sec system. Collapsing the static wormhole thus seems rather perverse if the capsuleers' intentions are to prevent high-sec tourists, as a new wormhole will open to high-sec almost as soon as they destroy the current one. Maybe they understand the nature of static wormholes and simply don't like the region the current wormhole leads to, but the conversation our pilot is having with them doesn't indicate this.

Whatever the motivation for collapsing the current wormhole, it is almost doing me a favour. Although the Iteron pilots' actions have prevented my shopping, they are, perhaps inadvertently, creating a new opportunity at the same time. The occupants collapse the wormhole with their haulers, and our covert operations pilot begins a new scan of their system. Sure enough, a new static wormhole to high-sec has opened, one that will last at least a day and allow thousands of tonnes of vessels through it. With the bookmark returned and copied, I can now head back out to New Eden to get what I want, safe in the knowledge that I have time to get everything done. Even if the capsuleers find the new wormhole, they won't be able to collapse it quickly enough to prevent my return. And so it is that I am able to realise my idea, and I bring a new ship home to w-space.

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