Scanning a route to nowhere

1st May 2010 – 3.48 pm

W-space is mine to explore. I quickly find the static wormhole in our own system and jump in to the C4 on the other side. The neighbouring system holds no surprises, being unoccupied and mostly empty, the outer planet keeping a close eye on the system's static wormhole. The two more signatures left to resolve turn out to be a gravimetric and magnetometric site, and I jump onwards in to a C5. But the wormhole is stabilising, which means no one has visited the system on the other side since the daily galactic reboot, and I need to push my Buzzard a bit harder in order to pop through the wormhole.

It is curious that the system has remained empty for quite a few hours, and means that I am unlikely to find anything interesting. The system is unoccupied, although there are a couple of large warp bubbles somewhere and plenty of signatures to resolve. I get gas and rocks, rocks and gas, and a radar site. I am relaying some of this information back to colleagues in our home system, and one thinks that a 'C5 radar site sounds exciting!'

'Yes', agrees another, 'about as much as the 'self-destruct' button'. I keep looking for wormholes, finding an exit to null-sec space but having trouble locating the system's static wormhole. I whittle down the signatures to a few that look remarkably weak for wormholes and begin to think that I have inadvertently 'ignored' the wormhole at some point. It is frustrating, but I clear my 'ignored' list and start scanning the system again, quickly ignoring a whole bunch of ladar sites again. At least I have Fin to help me, which speeds the process a little. But not enough for us to find the wormhole before my probes disappear in a fizzle of failed electronics. They expire in the harshness of space before I realise I needed to recall them, and I have to launch more to continue scanning.

The last signature in the system, out of two dozen or so, turns out to be the static wormhole and it certainly doesn't look like a wormhole initially. Hoping to find something interesting at last I jump through and take a look around. It's a big system so I need to warp between a few planets to discover any occupants, which I do. There are four towers around one planet, one of which holds a Moros dreadnought, Revelation dreadnought, Kronos marauder, a Rorqual and a few Hulk exhumers. The Reaper sounds quite threatening amongst the collection until I find out it is a rookie ship, a slight improvement over a shuttle. The rest are quite dangerous, though, and I also find a Thanatos carrier and Legion strategic cruiser on the other side of the system. Even a Mammoth industrial ship floating unpiloted by itself near a moon is not enough to tempt me to open fire in such a system, and I head back without even dropping probes.

We are unlikely to attempt any activity with such neighbours nearby, which motivates us to collapse our static wormhole and see what else opens up afterwards. On the way back home, I quickly pop in to the unclaimed system F01U-K in null-sec to get the red dot of exploration on my star map. I consider sticking a flag in it and declaring sovereignty, but I need to get back before our womhole is collapsed. A few round trips with an Orca destroys our static wormhole—and the relevance of all my newly made bookmarks—and the evening starts again, looking for our new static wormhole.

The neighbouring system is familiar, with us having visited it about four months ago, but is unoccupied and empty of targets. The next system is also empty, with the only relief I am getting being that my comparison method for finding wormholes is now working reliably, resolving three wormholes in a row. One leads to higher-class w-space, the second to low class w-space but is EOL, the third a static exit to low-sec empire space. I warp to the stable wormhole leading to dangerous w-space and jump. Another unoccupied system, full of rocks and gas, and with a pristine static wormhole that I jump through to another C5 system. This one is occupied. There is a tower around a moon on the outer planet, but it holds no ships. I start scanning and find a wormhole quickly. The rabbit hole goes deep tonight.

I get another null-sec exit—I poke my nose through to IG-ZAM—and another static leading deeper in to w-space. This next system has two towers but nothing else of immediate interest and, launching probes, I find another wormhole leading deeper in to dangerous w-space. It is too late and too far removed from our home system to find any reasonable path to empire space or potential targets. I make a quick visit to the new system only out of curiosity. It is an occupied system, with two Moros dreadnoughts, a Thanatos carrier, two Dominix battleships, and a few other, less threatening ships sitting unpiloted in the tower's shields. That's it, I'm going home. It has been an evening full of scanning and exploring, but with nothing of strategic interest found.

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