Seeing a Buzzard pop on d-scan

27th March 2010 – 3.24 pm

No one is around. I'll head out scanning in my Buzzard to the sounds of disco. The previously destabilised wormhole has disappeared, creating me a new one to find, which I manage easily enough. I jump through to the neighbouring system, punch the directional scanner, and warp to a planet. Oops, I forgot to bookmark the wormhole home. Oh well, at least it appears on the system map so I don't need to hunt for its signature. There is a Covetor, Iteron and Orca on d-scan too, but although they'll see my probes on d-scan when I look for the return wormhole I wouldn't have been able to find them without probes anyway. I may as well look for their tower first, to see if they are active.

Finding towers in w-space is relatively easy using d-scan. Towers need to be anchored to moons, and the angular resolution of d-scan can be narrowed finely enough to locate the right moon. Point d-scan at each planet in range until the tower is revealed, and warp to that planet. Then sweep around with a 60° resolution, reducing it to 30°, 15°, or lower, until the tower only shows on d-scan along with a single moon. That moon must be where the tower is anchored. Warping to the moon at range normally reveals some good information. In this case, all the ships on d-scan are inside the tower's shields. There is now a Harbinger battlecruiser visible too, and both it and the Orca are piloted. The Harbinger warps off and, as it disappears from d-scan and the system is relatively small, jumps out of the system. I'll start scanning.

I grab the wormhole home first, for safety, then a wider scan reveals the system to be almost empty. There are only two anomalies present and one further signature to resolve, which must be the system's static wormhole. I scan it down and jump through, remembering to bookmark both sides this time. The Harbinger is present in this system, as are a handful of probes. It seems unlikely that the battlecruiser is scanning, though. I drop some combat probes to try to find the uncloaked ship, and he soon exits the system again. I'm not sure what he was up to, but scanner probes are still present in the system. There must be a few of us in here. And now for some combat to break the monotony, but with the interface and not other ships.

The probe range bug bites me, I chase a signature around for no apparent reason, then my cloak drops for some reason without my noticing. The latter glitch is made worse by my sitting at range on the wormhole at the time I have no active cloak, as the Harbinger comes back through. He doesn't engage, and I get my cloak up within a few seconds, but I must look like a dreadful newbie. The Harbinger comes and goes, so I wonder if he's mining gas. I start looking for and bookmarking ladar sites, just in case, visiting each one to see if I can find him. I quite like that the ZAP signature is a ladar site with two Sleeper Sirius gun turrets installed, and am glad to be cloaked when I warp in. I visit half-a-dozen ladar sites without seeing the Harbinger before deciding to get combat probes out again to find the ship directly, as well as to gain some practice in using them.

I get an initial hit for the Harbinger using the combat probes, then he warps out and I wait until he returns before continuing the scan. Of course, this is when he decides he's finished whatever he's been doing and doesn't return. I recall the combat probes and swap back to scanner probes to look for wormholes. I keep an eye on d-scan anyway, in case the Harbinger returns and because it is good practice. I note the appearance of a Buzzard, and then a few seconds later an elite frigate wreck and Valkyrr's capsule, oops. I wonder what he bumped in to. My scanning reveals a low-sec exit to empire space, and a wormhole leading in to dangerous w-space, and that looks like it from here. I have spent long enough scanning that I shan't head deeper in to w-space for the moment, so I'll go back to the tower to watch a DVD instead.

On the way home I stop off at the neighbouring system's tower, where I find Valkyrr now sitting inside the shields in a Manticore stealth bomber. I pause for a minute, wondering how any enquiry would be received, before asking in the local channel what happened to his Buzzard. Unsurprisingly, I get no reply. The Manticore moves out of the tower's shields and cloaks, shortly followed by a colleague of his boarding a Nemesis stealth bomber and warping off. Something definitely ruffled their feathers, and it doesn't look like it was Sleepers judging by their choice of ship. Perhaps they will continue their day's adventure, I'll just head back home to our tower.

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