Staying isolated

7th May 2010 – 5.24 pm

Our home system is deserted when Fin turns up, shortly followed by me. There is evidence that if a static wormhole is not activated, by warping to and thereby loading its grid, the K162 side does not appear either. Knowing this, Fin suggests that 'if we don't open our wormhole, we could mine!' I suppose we could. 'Or we could open the door and go after whatever we find.' My Buzzard is already launching probes, and the system's static wormhole is soon located.

There is no one around at all, our neighbouring system being empty of anyone. Being unoccupied explains this a little, but w-space has felt rather quiet of late. I continue scanning, using my comparative method of part-resolving the signature for the wormhole home and then using subsequent scans to compare signal strengths with that known wormhole. In this case the initial scan of the wormhole home, to get its signature reference, also identifies three ladar sites, which I ignore immediately. After that, I find rocks, rocks, and more rocks, before a wormhole presents itself. I warp and jump through the static connection to a class 4 system.

This next system is occupied, and quite aggressively. A Thanatos and Chimera carrier, Widow black ops ship, as well as the Tengu, Loki, and Legion strategic cruisers all show up on scan, amongst other less-intimidating ships. I find them all sitting in the shields of one of the four towers in the system, thankfully all unpiloted. I know I am looking for activity but I don't think I want to run in to this much. I already manage to run in to one of the many jet-cans floating strategically in a warp bubble around one of the other towers, decloaking my Buzzard. This is the first time I have seen this tactic to reveal visitors work, although there is no one around to see me and I can move away and re-engage my cloak before the tower's defences lock my ship.

I am not entirely happy scanning in this capital-infested system. I doubt I'll be caught, but I am not sure I want to engage anything in here or pilot a ship in the open to a connecting wormhole. Then again, I have my stealth bomber, and just in case there are easy targets in the next system across it would be prudent to take a quick look. Launching probes and scanning reveals a lot of anomalies but only a few signatures, and I find the only other wormhole in the system. It is a static connection that leads to a class 3 system, but is EOL so I won't go in. Instead I return home and suggest we collapse our wormhole to start afresh, cutting off the large force from finding our system and perhaps getting a more fruitful connection. Fin agrees.

An Orca industrial command ship is primed and warped to the wormhole. I fit a web module to help in my own small way. A ship enters warp when it is pointing in roughly the right direction and its engines reach 75% velocity. A web drastically reduces the targeted ship's maximum velocity. If a ship is webbed when pointing in the right direction, that ship's current velocity instantly becomes several hundred percent of its webbed maximum velocity, easily exceeding the 75% mark, and it enters warp immediately. So I sit on the wormhole and wait for the Orca to jump back to our side, where it then has to warp back to the tower to wait for the polarisation effect to dissipate before it can jump again. When the Orca is almost aligned, I web it and it enters warp significantly quicker than it would otherwise. It provides some defence in case there are some nasty pirates watching the Orca collapse the wormhole.

The wormhole collapse looks like it is going according to plan, right until the last Orca return trip doesn't actually collapse the wormhole. It may be as unstable as a Minmatar frigate, but the wormhole is still there. We don't risk sending through anything bigger than a covert operations boat, activating its micro-warp drive on the jump back for the increased mass, and that doesn't quite complete the job either. We decide to leave the wormhole in its state of being on the verge of collapse, happy to feel that only a fool would jump a ship through there and thus effectively isolating us anyway. There isn't a new static wormhole to find, and with it new neighbouring systems, but neither do I have to scan for a route to empire space to bring back yet another stranded colleague.

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