Scouting lucky

4th July 2010 – 3.51 pm

The system looks quiet when I arrive. Opening the bookmarks can brings a surprise, though, as twenty-seven references to current wormholes reveal themselves to me. I copy them all to my nav-comp, trying to be patient as the kludgy bookmark system slowly copies individual slices of data, and head out to scout. My first choice is to visit a class 2 w-space system that connects in to our own, but warping to the K162 wormhole shows it to be reaching the end of its life and so I leave it alone. Instead, I warp across the system to our static connection, jumping through the wormhole to the class 4 system beyond.

The C4 is occupied and the tower feebly protected by a warp bubble. With no objects in the bubble to decloak me I calmly move away and make a more convenient bookmark in case I want to return here, noting the unpiloted Hoarder industrial ship inside the tower's shields. There is no activity in the system, but there is a wormhole coming in from another C4, which I jump through. The initial result from my directional scanner is clear at the wormhole but there are two planets out of range of d-scan. Warping to the planets shows that the system is unoccupied. Without any other connections leading away from this system I head back to our neighbouring C4 and jump through its static wormhole.

An Iteron industrial ship and tower is spotted on d-scan after jumping in to the class 1 system. I use d-scan to locate the tower, which also reveals the Iteron to be unpiloted, and a bit more warping around finds a second but off-line tower with a few defences scattered around. The system is quiet. The static low-sec exit to empire space that has been bookmarked has collapsed and I'm not particularly interested in finding the new one, so I jump through a K162 in to another C1 system.

An Oneiros logistics ship, Iteron, and tower are seen on d-scan, as well as two drones, the presence of the latter suggesting some kind of activity occuring. But the distinct lack of combat ships or wrecks of any kind makes me think the drones are abandoned somewhere. Finding the tower in the system finds the ships, unpiloted, and the drones being elsewhere proves my suspicion. There is no activity so I poke my nose through an incoming connection to a class 5 w-space system. The C5 looks interesting, with a pod and tower on d-scan being the first sign of activity today.

I locate and warp to the tower in the C5, seeing the capsuleer slot his pod in to an scanning ship. He moves slowly out of the tower's shields, launches probes, and cloaks. I wonder if I could decloak him, by getting our ships close enough, but the thought comes after he has cloaked and so I don't have an accurate approach vector, even assuming he is now stationary. I make a guess anyway and start moving my cloaked and armed Buzzard covert operations boat towards his Gallente equivalent. I think my manoeuvre works when my Buzzard decloaks but when I don't see his Helios anywhere I realise I have approached the amorphous bubble of the tower's shields a little too closely. I quickly alter my direction, activate the ship's reheat, and re-activate the cloak before the tower's defences can lock on to my small ship.

'Lucky!', says the Helios pilot in local, clearly having seen my brush with the tower. I imagine he wouldn't have spoken if he knew my intentions were hostile. Maybe my predilection to shoot first and talk much later is why I don't make friends out here. Naturally, these thoughts occur to me only later, whilst reflecting on events, because I am still keen to snare this pilot. I head back to our home system and swap my Buzzard for the Malediction interceptor, returning to sit on the wormhole on the other side of the C5, along with a colleague in a heavy interdictor, in the hopes of trapping the Helios. But it looks like the pilot is scanning his home system for sites, not wormholes, and because recent experience with waiting for people has produced a lot of wasted time I bore quickly. I call off the operation and head back home to be more productive in other ways for a while.

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