Missing a planet

16th July 2010 – 5.41 pm

To scout or to roam, my decision is made when the bookmarks in the can turn out to be old. I'm going nowhere without scanning first. Our static connection is easily found and I jump through to an unoccupied class 4 w-space system. There are signs of capsuleer presence, though, an abandoned tower named 'Do Not Shoot' is anchored around a moon but with no modules or defences. The system is almost as bare, only a few signatures to scan. I soon resolve a connection leading in to deadly w-space, the HAL-like glare of the wormhole daring me to jump.

The class 6 system is unoccupied and there are quite a few signatures to resolve as a result. But what is peculiar is the outer orbital path that doesn't appear to have a planet. The system map shows the ring but for all my looking I cannot see the planet. I hope the system's static wormhole is not to be found near this missing planet or I could be here a while. I start scanning, ignoring gas and rocks as usual, until only three signatures remain unresolved. At this point I pick the weakest of the signals to resolve, hoping to find an awkward wormhole, but get only more rocks. And now I see the outer planet! I wonder if a bug in the system map prevented the planet from showing on its orbital ring previously but examining a screen grab I took shows it was always there. I must be suffering from space blindness.

A wormhole is finally found by a process of elimination. Every other signature in the system is accounted for, so it must be this last one. At least it is indeed a wormhole and I haven't missed anything else as obvious as a planet. I jump through the static connection to a class 4 system. As were the previous two, this system is also unoccupied, making w-space fairly quiet at the moment. The next wormhole on my route is quickly found, a strong signature around an outer planet leads me to another C4 and occupation at last.

There are two towers in this system. The directional scanner also shows a host of giant secure containers, each individually named apparently after capsuleers. This seems like easy intelligence to gather and perhaps a little foolish of the occupants, but then I run in to a warp bubble protecting one of the towers, with all of the GSCs scattered inside it. It's a good trap and I have no idea how I manage to avoid every one of the containers, my Buzzard covert operations boat remaining cloaked. I have to be careful manoeuvring out of the bubble, though, as I am awfully close to a GSC or two. There is even a Proteus strategic cruiser piloted in the tower's shields ready to see if someone decloaks in their trap. A piloted Buzzard also floats in the shields.

I crawl out of the trap and make a more convenient bookmark before finding the second tower, where a Legion strategic cruiser and Drake battlecruiser sit piloted, joined by a Probe frigate. I make a convenient bookmark for this tower too but don't launch probes to scan this system. I have no need to head out to empire space and there are no colleagues around for the moment. Maybe later there will be softer targets to ambush, or more pilots to help attack Sleepers or harder targets. For now, I jump back and head home to take a break.

  1. 2 Responses to “Missing a planet”

  2. Didn't that missing/hidden Planet show up on the overview showing all the Planets and orbital distance?

    By Galo on Jul 17, 2010

  3. That's clever thinking that I didn't consider to check. But, no, the planets are not on my standard overview display, although I have a tab available that displays them. I could have switched to that tab, warped to the 'missing' planet, then seen where the 'you are here' label appeared in the system map.

    Some days, I'm not too smart.

    By pjharvey on Jul 18, 2010

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