Visiting empire space

9th April 2010 – 5.38 pm

Scanning is complete before I even turn up. The bookmarks of all wormholes and exits are sitting in our can ready to be copied. I am even told that there is nothing of interest in the systems, as they are clear of sites and targets. My Manticore makes me eternally curious, though, and I am always happy to head out for adventure, the journey being just as important as the destination. I jump to our neighbouring system and find a Megathron battleship inactive in a tower's shields, the next system across has a Mammoth hauler just as inactively sat at a tower, and the only wormholes here are two low-sec exits, one high-sec exit, and a null-sec exit. Yes, there is nothing happening.

I think I'll poke my nose in to the null-sec system. I am a little disappointed that my previous appearances in null-sec don't show up on my star map of where I've been, my intuition being that the star map only records jumps through stargates. But it is precisely this intuition that guides me now, for if the null-sec system is quiet I could risk jumping through a stargate and get a blip on my star map out in null-sec. Small things still please me. I warp to the null-sec exit wormhole and jump through, turning up in B2-BCK in the Kalevala Expanse region. I break my jump-cloak to get my covert operations cloak active, and take in the view. My attention is drawn to the four people in the local channel—a luxurious warning not afforded in w-space—and decide not to try jumping through a stargate just to get a red dot on my map, heading back through the wormhole instead.

I'll try to the low-sec exit instead. At least, the wormhole of the two that isn't reaching the end of its natural lifetime. I pop out to find myself in the Misaba system in Domain, where I am quite surprised to see well over a dozen capsuleers in the local channel for a system that is five jumps from high-sec space. Checking my atlas highlights a possible reason for the numbers, as Misada is a system on the border of the Providence null-sec region. A gate-camp may be in effect. Seeing some mining ships on the directional scanner I wonder if I can ambush any in a charted asteroid field, as I have an excellent escape route home. I remember to bookmark the wormhole leading back to w-space before warping away to investigate.

The mining ships aren't active and are inside a tower's shields, which is probably for the best of all involved. Whilst I am out and about I check activity around each stargate using d-scan, finding no one on the incoming gates. The stargate leading to null-sec is out of d-scan range from any celestial body, which is a mean location to build it, so I leave it alone, particularly as I think I detect a Drake ratting at a belt somewhere. I am able to find him soon enough, warping to see him salvaging the wrecks of some rats. I can't steal any loot he leaves behind, as my hold is full of bombs and torpedoes, and I doubt my Manticore could defeat a Drake without more skill than I could bring to bear, so I just watch instead.

The Drake warps off, leaving me little else to do. I'll take a look at the stargate to null-sec anyway, curious to see where all the pilots in the system are. I warp from the wormhole at range from the gate and apart from a Taranis interceptor that warps away as I land, still cloaked, it is completely quiet. I'll head out of empire space again.

Back in w-space, a Drake has appeared, but it sits inactive in the system's tower. At least someone has woken up. The Drake pilot swaps to a Heron and warps off. I wonder if he's a target and camp the low-sec exit for a while. After a bit of activity at the tower, which I detect from monitoring the directional scanner, the Heron warps to the wormhole, but on the far side of it, too far for me to catch him easily. The Heron jumps through and I ponder my options. A bomb probably won't be enough to destroy the ship, or even catch the Heron before it is able to warp away, but if I get closer I can perhaps lock and disrupt its warp drive quickly enough.

I crawl towards the hole and wait, but when the Heron returns he warps off too quickly for me to become a threat. I warp around a bit, so as not to be easily discovered, before returning to the wormhole from hopefully an unpredictable direction. Two Drakes from the tower land on the wormhole and jump through, looking awfully like bait to me. I consider the possibility of creating a proper ambush for when they return, but with a pilot remaining at their tower in this system they will be made aware of any uncloaked ships turning up. The two Drakes jump back in, entrances staggered slightly, and warp off. And that's what I do, heading back to the home system and the safety of our tower after an afternoon's exploring.

  1. 2 Responses to “Visiting empire space”

  2. Low-sec is more populated than many would lead you to believe; 12 is not a terribly large number, especially for low-sec space near Providence -- even before the large-scale war. I lived on Hoshoun for a while (2 jumps from Misaba) and there was quite a bit of traffic through those systems.

    By paritybit on Apr 9, 2010

  3. Thanks for the information. I have travelled through low-sec a number of times, mostly in my Crane, and have been struck by how empty the systems have been. I suppose such short-cuts would be less populated than systems with towers and leading to null-sec.

    By pjharvey on Apr 10, 2010

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