Scanning for targets

2nd April 2010 – 3.06 pm

The galaxy has been reset and is ripe for scanning. It looks like the irrepressible Fin has been here before the reset and has scanned the neighbouring systems, leaving some handy bookmarks for me to copy. Instead of looking mostly for wormholes I can instead go out scouting for activity, whilst enjoying a chocolate muffin. What a pleasant start to the afternoon.

I am informed by my ship's systems that the 'wormhole exit is stabilising', indicating a system devoid of activity and occupants since the reset, which is not a good start to my scouting. I wait the few seconds for the wormhole to stabilise and jump through, finding the system to be occupied even if there is no one currently awake. I locate the tower for reference, with its cloak-breaking containers scattered around a warp bubble, and find a Mammoth hauler in the shields. I make a quick scan of the system, in case these chaps become active later, and any bookmarked sites will let me find them quickly. Before I spend a while hunting signatures, I may as well check for any activity in the next system across. This wormhole is also stabilising, so I can stay here and scan without missing any exciting opportunities.

I grab as many signatures as I can bear to stand and, with no signs of activity at the tower in this system, head over to the next system. There is a tower in the new system, with a Harbinger, Drake and Buzzard sitting in its shields, all unmanned, and nothing else showing up on the directional scanner. I take a quick scan and find few signatures in the system, which may be enough to let me be thorough here. And thoroughness pays off, as the final signature turns out to be another wormhole, unmapped from earlier. The current system's tower remains boringly quiet, so I jump onwards.

There are loads of anomalies in this new system, but with two occupied intermediate systems between here and home it is unlikely we'll attempt any PvE with the Sleepers. There is also a tower with an unmanned Raven sitting idly inside its shields. I scan, looking for wormholes, employing my 'most likely percentage' method. With an initial probe range of 16 AU I look for signatures with a strength of around 4%—which must be noted is a value based on experience of my ship, its rigs, and my skill training—and find a wormhole on my first attempt! It leads further in to w-space and is at the end of its lifetime, so I keep scanning the current system. FUN sounds like a good signature, but it lies as leads to gas mining, but it points me to the JKK signature which turns out to be a static wormhole leading to low-sec space. I keep looking.

I find another wormhole leading to w-space, and then another, and I think that's it for wormholes in here, which admittedly is already plenty. I jump onwards, picking one of the two stable wormholes I have found that lead further in to w-space. I quickly find two towers in the system, sitting on adjacent moons of a single planet, but with no ships in them. A bit of warping to cover the system finds a third tower, and I notice that a Bestower industrial and Occator transport ship are somewhere in the system. Those are viable targets. I manage to find a wormhole exit leading to high-sec space and warping to it reveals the Occator sitting on the wormhole. The Occator jumps to the high-sec side, then the Bestower jumps through to this side and warps off to what looks like planet ten, where I found the third tower. Haulers taking loot to sell in high-sec, or bringing back goods from the market, these are juicy targets. I rush back home to jump in to my Manticore stealth bomber.

Home is several systems away now, and despite being in agile ships it still takes a little while to traverse the wormholes, change ships, and set myself up to bomb the promising high-sec exit. It is quite possible I have missed my chance at an opportunistic strike, even if the haulers were making more than one run. I could have caught just the tail-end of their operation and I wouldn't know. There are no ships visible on d-scan, which could as soon mean they have logged off as are out in high-sec and likely to return. I wait for a while but it doesn't look like the haulers are still active. At least, not within my current level of patience. With a couple of new systems mapped and some sites bookmarked for reference I head back to the tower for a rest.

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