Wandering through the constellation

11th August 2010 – 5.13 pm

I thought I saw a Hulk on the directional scanner. Of course, it is an alliance Hulk exhumer mining, being in our home system and the bookmark to our static wormhole indicating the connection is dormant, but it is still a tough choice as to whether I go exploring or gank the friendly miner. After a few minutes of heavy thought I decide to jump through to our neighbouring class 4 w-space system and start scanning. Doing so also makes mining less safe, which I recognise, but I can at least relay any significant intelligence home as well as potentially find new opportunities.

I last visited our adjacent C4 about six months ago and it remains unoccupied, keeping our miner safe for a little longer. There are a bunch of signatures to sift through but I soon find a wormhole. A static connection to a class 3 system makes me optimistic about finding soft targets to poke with missiles. And, indeed, jumping through to the C3 finds it occupied, although the only ships visible in the system are both unpiloted in the tower, an Orca industrial command ship and a Chimera carrier. Even with the carrier present I bookmark the dozen or so anomalies in the system in case their location can be used later for an ambush.

Scanning the C3 finds me a wormhole soon enough, an exit to low-sec empire space that is reaching the end of its natural lifetime. That's not terribly interesting and I keep scanning in the hope of finding a second wormhole. And I'm in luck, as I resolve an outgoing and stable connection to another C3 system. I jump through the wormhole to an unoccupied system, although there are scanning probes visible on d-scan. A cursory scan of the system finds a K162 wormhole from high-sec empire space but nothing else particularly interesting. I'll head home to our tower and take a break. Checking on the tower in the occupied C3 system finds a Nemesis stealth bomber now piloted, which is good to know, but for now I'll grab some food.

When I return there is still no one around. I launch my Manticore stealth bomber to roam the local w-space constellation. Maybe the C3 occupants are clearing anomalies and leaving a vulnerable salvager in their wake. But that's an idle hope. Our neighbouring C4 is quiet, the C3 has the same Orca and Chimera unpiloted in the tower's shields, and there is nothing interesting on d-scan. The EOL low-sec connection has died but I don't care to look for the new one. Checking the other C3 system shows the K162 from high-sec has gone too.

And now that I am looking I notice that the occupied C3, ripe with anomalies, is a cataclysmic variable system. This phenomenon increases remote repair rates but reduces local capabilities, which is good for fleet operations with remote repping ships but rather less ideal for a solo strategic cruiser that is relying on a shield booster, like my Tengu. Even if I thought Pengu could survive such a decrease in defensive capability there is still the concern of the Nemesis I saw earlier in this system. Rather than worry about bringing back and maybe losing a separate salvaging vessel, or refitting Pengu with a salvager module at the loss of 20% of my DPS, I take this as an indication that I can try to get an early night. I return to our tower and go off-line.

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