Stalking no one

20th March 2010 – 3.43 pm

Scan man mines gas, and lets me know that the wormhole signature is RYE. Mmm, rye. I find the wormhole quickly enough and jump through to J113456. Again, so close to harmony. The system is unoccupied and quite big, my probes having to be split to cover maybe a third of the system. My attention is grabbed by the GCU signature, wondering if I'll find a Banksian mass of artificial intelligence, but I just get gas. A wormhole follows more gas, but it is at the end of its natural lifetime and not worth risking jumping through. I keep scanning.

Gas, gas and more gas. I think CCP overestimates the amount of gas reserves any one capsuleer needs, or at least the motivation to mine it. A few more scans still doesn't get me a wormhole, but at least I find some rocks, which are somewhat more tangible than gas clouds and provides a change of signature to resolve. After six ladar and two gravimetric sites I finally get another wormhole, my intuition about likely wormhole signatures clearly failing me today, and I jump through to an occupied class 2 w-space system full of anomalies. This looks like a good place to clear sites, if enough capsuleers to make a fleet turn up. We may even be scary class 4 w-space system pilots to these class 2 inhabitants.

I find the tower in the system. There is a piloted Raven inside the shields, which shortly gets swapped for a shuttle and he warps off. That's a good indication that there is an exit to k-space nearby. I start my scanning and find three wormholes in quick succession. One leads to dangerous w-space, the second also continues in to w-space, the last is a low-sec exit. I don't check where the exit leads, as I doubt I'll be using it today. With only one unresolved signature left in the system I scan it to be thorough. Its initial strength is too low for it likely to be a wormhole, and the last signature unsurprisingly turns out to be a radar site. And with that I return to our tower to change in to my Manticore before coming back to loiter on the low-sec wormhole.

By the time I am back in the exit system the Raven is back at the occupier's tower. I shouldn't really mind, as I realise it would be a little extravagant to throw a million ISK bomb at a shuttle worth maybe ten thousand ISK. I quite like flying my Manticore, though, as it combines the stealthy and agile nature of the Buzzard with a deadly payload of bombs and torpedoes. There is still no one else around for a fleet to form, so I'll sit on the low-sec wormhole for a while and see who comes through. But how patient am I? The wormhole may lead to New Eden, but I still haven't had the good sense to see where it leads. If it throws me back out in to the deep low-sec of Aridia there may not be any travellers, and there are two other wormholes leading outwards of this system. One of them may lead to a high-sec exit to New Eden. If I am to be an effective stalker, I really need to be more thorough with my reconnaissance.

I ponder my options, sitting on the low-sec wormhole. Nothing comes through, and the directional scanner shows that the system remains undisturbed as a whole. Sometimes w-space can feel very quiet indeed. I take one last look at the tower in the system and, finding no activity and no ships, head home for the night. I've had another exploration adventure at least, and I certainly enjoy finding these new systems, towers, and wormholes.

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