Wreck on a wormhole

12th February 2010 – 5.38 pm

Alone at the w-space tower, it must be time for more scanning. I find the wormhole leading out of our system quickly, looking for the 'most likely percentage' result. I have my doubts about that method in general, but it seems to work well for our home system in particular. Jumping through the wormhole finds me in an unoccupied system, but one without too many signatures to resolve. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, though. The system looks unoccupied from an initial pulse of the directional scanner, but I don't know if I'm seeing everything. D-scan only operates to approximately 14 AU, so depending on my location and the size of the system there could be plenty hidden from the scanner.

Opening the system map shows me that d-scan cannot cover the entire system in one sweep, and that a couple of planets are currently out of range. Whether the system is occupied by capsuleers or not won't stop my looking for an exit wormhole, so I remain in the system map moving probes around and scanning as I warp cloaked from planet to planet to get fuller coverage from d-scan. I quickly get confused. The system map shows distances relative to your position, so it is easy to see if planet X is within the 14 AU range of d-scan. At least, that's the idea. When a planet I am orbiting is still 20 AU from my position but the star in the centre of the system is only 4 AU distant, I suspect the readings have gone awry.

A bit more warping around shows the only distance to dynamically update in the system map is that of the star. Other cosmic bodies keep their relative distances to your ship from its position when the map is opened, despite the map accurately reflecting ship movement across the system. Closing and re-opening the map resets the ship's relative distance information. Regardless, d-scan always gives updated and accurate information. But the system map distance bug needs to be taken in to account, otherwise systems may appear to be much vaster or more compact than they are. It is curious that the star's distance is updated, though. What I find as the result of my warping around, apart from the bug, is that the system is indeed unoccupied.

My scanning finds a wormhole leading to a lower-class of w-space system, which holds the possibility of then leading back to New Eden. Jumping in to the new system, d-scan reveals the wreck of a Minmatar cruiser and a drone, the system map that the system is big. A bit of warping around shows the system to be unoccupied and, despite almost two dozen anomalies, relatively few signatures to resolve. It appears that someone has cleared the interesting sites, although it means the next wormhole is soon found. Although the wormhole leads to low-sec New Eden it is reaching the end of its life, so I am not keen to rely on it as an exit. I continue to scan, and find a further wormhole. Warping to this wormhole finds me the cruiser wreck that was visible on d-scan, and the drone floating inertly nearby.

The wormhole leads to dangerous w-space, unlikely to give a convenient exit, and the presence of the wreck sitting on the wormhole suggests that it is indeed dangerous space beyond. I don't think I'll venture inside. But the wreck is there, and the systems to reach it are empty. Although it has been looted, the wreck can still be salvaged. It is the kind of decision that really bears no scrutiny, as the salvage will certainly not be worth the cost of any salvaging boat, but the idea of salvaging from a wreck the is 'owned' by another corporation is oddly alluring. As my scanning expedition has ended, I find myself flying an uncloaked Catalyst through w-space towards a wormhole with a wreck sitting on it.

I am feeling pretty reckless right now, flying a flimsy destroyer towards the site where a larger hull than mine has recently been popped. I think the freedom appeals to me, being able to salvage the wreck with no added repercussions except all those normally assumed. I need to assert this freedom. Sadly, the wreck is gone by the time I make the short, two-system jump back. Or maybe it's lucky, as it means the assailants are two hours less interested in this location. Either way, I only loiter long enough to recover the lonely drone before heading back home to the tower. For a simple flight, it certainly got my pulse racing with the possibilities.

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