Salvaging behind a Tengu

18th June 2010 – 7.28 pm

The home system scan is not clear. Before I leave our tower to warp to or scan for the static wormhole I check the directional scanner for extra entities. My check is made easier by everything either being in range, by virtue of my being at the tower, or a celestial body, so I can easily see unexpected objects by their distance being indeterminate. This time, there are several unexpected objects in the system and, to add a sense of impending doom, they belong to a second tower. Before I panic I check with the alliance and find out that the second tower belongs to a sister corporation and is installed to allow greater numbers of allies in to the system without risking compromise of our main tower's security. It's a good plan. As for exploring the neighbourhood, there is a bookmark for our static wormhole in the shared can.

Jumping through the wormhole in to the connecting class 4 w-space system puts me in d-scan range of only a single planet. Warping around reveals no occupants and scanning registers few signatures, letting me find the static connection to a class 3 system easily. I jump in to the C3, again to a clean d-scan return. I last visited this system about three months ago and noted that it is occupied but not where the tower is. I find the tower and add its loaction to my records, creating a convenient bookmark too. There are no ships around, which makes scanning safe, and an exit wormhole to low-sec empire space presents itself, one that is reaching the end of its natural lifetime.

Another day with a short route ending in low-sec is not terribly interesting, particularly with no activity in either of the systems on the route. I keep scanning, hoping to find another wormhole, and I do. Unfortunately, the wormhole is a K162 coming in from null-sec empire space, which doesn't help my continuing exploration. For completion, I continue scanning and am amazed to find another wormhole in this system! There are only anomalies and wormholes in here. Warping to it reveals another low-sec exit, or maybe it doesn't. I warp back to the previous wormhole leading to low-sec and end up in empty space, indicating that the EOL static connection collapsed and I have simply scanned it again in its new position. There is nothing happening for now. I visit null-sec for the exploration dot on my star map and head back to the tower.

A colleague turns up a bit later, which would allow for some shenanigans if only the capsuleers in the C3 would wake up. Or my colleague could take his new Tengu strategic cruiser in to the C3 and test it solo against some anomaly-dwelling Sleepers. He asks if I could watch his back, which I agree to even if I don't think I have any ships that would help defend against any fleet ready to attack a Tengu. I choose to hang around in my Manticore stealth bomber, because it can pass unnoticed when cloaked and could possibly become a minor irritation to other ships. The Tengu defeats the Sleepers in the anomaly slowly but with little threat of losing, at which point I return to the tower to swap in to a salvaging destroyer, coming back to clear the anomaly of wrecks whilst my colleague flies off to engage Sleepers in a second anomaly.

The class 3 w-space system remains quiet and I am enjoying myself flying around and grabbing loot and salvage. I have this niggling thought fighting its way from the back of my mind telling me that our most recent successful acts of piracy have been attacking lone salvagers and stealing their loot. I try to suppress the thought, but not so much that I forget to keep a keen eye on d-scan. The C3 occupants may wake up or we could get visitors from low-sec. A new wormhole could even open up in to this system. But I clear the anomaly of wrecks without being ambushed. Rather than flee to a safe spot whilst waiting for the second anomaly to be cleared of Sleepers I keep the micro-warp drive engaged and burn off in an arbitrary direction, fairly sure that any cloaked ship will simply not be able to catch me. I also jink occasionally to hopefully make it more difficult for ships trying to close the distance to warp in 'bouncing' off planets.

A second anomaly is cleared by the Tengu pilot and I warp to his position. He doesn't have time to attempt a third anomaly and so stays in the site with my as I salvage, which would make an opportunistic ambush less likely. All the wrecks are looted and salvaged easily enough and we make our way back to the tower with a hold full of profit. The new alliance tower needs some fuel and a convoy is arranged to travel through the low-sec exit to bring some back. I swap in to my interceptor to help out but change my mind when I remember that our own static wormhole has just started its EOL cycle. The wormhole may well have a few hours of life left before collapsing, but I consider it a little reckless to send almost everyone out of the system in such circumstances. I stay behind just in case the wormhole doesn't behave itself and a new route home needs to be found.

The convoy has a bit of fun being chased by a Curse recon ship and a couple of hostile vessels, the slow and vulnerable industrial haulers logging off briefly rather than risking running in to an ambush in one of the low-sec systems. Some scouting gives enough reassurance for the journey home to be completed and everyone returns safely. The static wormhole in to our system persists too. I didn't have too much fun vaguely monitoring the wormhole's status, but it seemed prudent to stay behind to do so.

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