Scanning from w-space to low-sec

10th July 2010 – 3.07 pm

There are bookmarks waiting in the can again. I copy them to my nav-comp and go out exploring what has already been found. My retracing of steps is surprisingly quick, because the incoming connection from a class 2 w-space system is now at the end of its natural lifetime, encouraging me not to jump through it, and the class 4 system beyond our static wormhole hasn't been scanned yet. I consider the possibility that the system's static connection is left undiscovered for potential undisturbed Sleeper engagements at some point, but it is a reasonable hour and there is still no one around. I launch probes in the C4 and begin exploring anew.

Our neighbouring system is unoccupied, just as it was a month ago when I last found myself here. I resolve the inevitable rock and gas mining sites out of the signatures present in the system, and second-guessing which signature is likely to be a wormhole has me finding it last of all. But I find it and it's a static connection to another class 4 system. Jumping through the wormhole shows an unusual presence on the overview, that of a territorial claim unit. These units are used in null-sec space to claim sovereignty, I believe, but are useless out in w-space. At least, they cannot claim system sovereignty, but they can be effective lures.

The TCU makes me think I have visited this system before but my notes show otherwise. And rather than warp directly to the TCU I instead locate the moon it is presumably anchored around and warp to that moon instead, recalling that the previous system with a TCU had it set as a trap. Indeed, this TCU is also installed to trap unwary capsuleers, with the unit encapsulated by a warp bubble. But it is a poor trap, as there is no tower or any other presence nearby to witness anyone caught by the bubble. Maybe the bubbled TCU is merely meant as an irritation or a distraction, but it seems like a lot of effort to go to for no benefit.

Leaving the TCU behind lets me locate the tower in the system. Eleven ships float inside the shields of the tower, only an Iteron Mark III piloted. As I scan the system I bookmark a couple of gravimetric sites, in case this chap will be mining and hauling ore at some point, before warping to see the static wormhole leads to a class 3 system. There are no more signatures to find and I jump through to the C3. I soon find the lone tower in this C3, with lots of bubbles around it but no ships, and no activity in the system. I ignore the wealth of gas in the system and one site of rocks, finding the static low-sec exit to empire space as the final signature. And that's the route for today with no more wormholes to find.

I check the low-sec system to see lots of pilots in the local channel but nothing of interest apparently occurring in space. I see what looks like a couple of carriers somewhere in the system, but the lack of wrecks and presence of towers makes me think the ships are unpiloted. I jump back to the comfort of w-space and start heading home.

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