No sites, no exit

3rd May 2010 – 3.25 pm

The local systems have been reconnoitred. There is little of interest for us in neighbouring systems except perhaps in the class 2 system, but the connecting wormhole is reaching the end of its life. The only other connection heads in to a class 5 system inhabited by potential hostile capsuleers. We have enough pilots available to get a fleet ready for action, so we decide to collapse our static wormhole and hope that the replacement will lead somewhere with more opportunity.

It is a little risky to jump Orca industrial command ships through the wormhole when we have possible activity in the system on the other side. For protection, we sit some combat ships on our side of the wormhole to repel any attackers. Our Orca pilots see combat probes on the directional scanner in the other system, as well as a Harbinger battlecruiser and Caracal cruiser. Weapons are made hot in preparation, but no one follows the Orca's home. Either they are not looking for us or are not willing to jump through a critical wormhole. And although the wormhole is now critically unstable it still exists. We can't push another Orca through it and hope for the ship to return, so instead a battleship is prepared.

The battleship has a probe launcher and probes fitted, just in case the wormhole collapses on the outwards journey, which it does. Our pilot is now stuck outside our system and potentially has other ships to travel past. As he updates d-scan Sleeper wrecks start to appear, so it seems that the other capsuleers in his system are otherwise engaged and he makes a safe run through the previously scanned route to empire space. What we need to do is scan a new route for his return, which means first finding the new static wormhole.

Scanning a new exit looks promising. Our new neighbouring system is unoccupied and, although it is quite big, with the third planet orbiting 72 AU from the star, there are few signatures. I resolve a wormhole on my first hit, jumping through the pristine connection to another unoccupied system. Unsurprisingly, considering both systems are unoccupied, the second system's static wormhole is also in pristine condition, having had no one visit it before me and making our outwards connection otherwise untravelled so far. It's a shame we got a pilot isolated, as these systems would be ideal for Sleeper combat. The next system along is occupied but there is no sign of activity. I check the EMO signature and want to cut myself when it turns out to be a gas mining site, but quickly move on to resolve a wormhole instead. This one leads in to a class 6 system.

Jumping in to the class 6 system shows it to be occupied and the Orca, Rorqual and Revelation suggests that the inhabitants are well-equipped. Going from dangerous to deadly w-space doesn't suit our purposes, as well as reducing the likelihood of finding a suitable exit to k-space. It is decided to collapse our static wormhole again. At least this time we have complete information about what ships have passed through, letting us be more confident about our calculations. And we are. A few Orca jumps through the wormhole and it collapses, with all of our pilots on the right side this time. Now it is getting late and the general concensus is to leave our static wormhole untouched for now and rescue our stranded pilot tomorrow. Our fleet disbands and our home system settles down for the night.

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