Roaming w-space

1st September 2010 – 5.33 pm

The w-space constellation is already scanned and mapped. I can take my Manticore stealth bomber out directly, each wormhole on the route located and bookmarked. I am warned of a cloaking Tengu strategic cruiser having been spotted roaming around, which is good to know in advance. Our neighbouring class 4 system has plenty of customs offices littering the planets but no sign of permanent occupancy. There is no activity in the system either but there is promise with the presence of a K162 wormhole, the connection leading in from another system. I jump through to the C4, as easily discerned from the distinctive orange hues bleeding through the wormhole.

The directional scanner reveals two towers, an Orca industrial command ship, and a bunch of scanner probes in the system. I find the Orca sitting piloted in one of the towers not doing much and warp around to examine the two K162 wormholes bookmarked in the system. Both wormholes are stable, one leading to a class 3 system and the other to a class 4, and I leave the inert Orca to visit the C3. There are more customs offices without capsuleers in the C3, the other wormhole here leading to low-sec space indicating that perhaps an empire pilot is taking advantage of the better resources out here. Scanning probes can again be seen on d-scan but they are not of particular interest, most scanning covert operations boats being quite difficult to catch.

I jump back to the C4 and then through the K162 to the other C4. A tower here indicates occupancy but there are no ships and no activity of interest elsewhere in the system. I return to the previous C4 again where the Orca is now joined in the tower by a Proteus strategic cruiser and two cov-ops boats, a Helios and Buzzard. Maybe they are the scouts implied by the probes seen on d-scan. I loiter cloaked at the tower, wondering if the capsuleers are planning any action. It looks promising, as one pilot swaps to a Nemesis stealth bomber and another to a Iteron hauler, with hints of movement. A third capsuleer changes his passive ship for a Dominix battleship and the intel I am feeding back to my corporation has a fleet preparing for a possible engagement. But it is all for naught, the ships remaining in the tower.

I make one last visit to the adjacent systems to look for any signs of activity. D-scan shows more capsuleers out and about now, and judging by the ship names there is a Russian Heron and Chinese Buzzard floating around. 'What next, an Indian Cheetah?' a colleague quips, as my search of the system suggests the Buzzard cloaks, the Heron frigate perhaps getting in to a safe spot before doing the same. Or maybe it isn't a safe spot as such but the appearance of another wormhole. A colleague scans to check, my Manticore not fitted with a probe launcher, indeed finding a new connection, this one coming in from a class 2 system. He gets me a reference to warp to for the C2 wormhole and I warp there to explore.

The Heron seen on d-scan appears fifty kilometres away from the C2 wormhole. I have dropped out of warp short of the wormhole myself, neither wanting to decloak myself or my scouting colleague, but on a different vector to the Heron and far from being able to engage it effectively. I start to move towards the frigate but it must have a micro-warp drive fitted, as it burns towards the wormhole and is jumping through before my cloaked ship can close the gap much at all. I redirect my ship towards the wormhole and eventually follow the Heron's path.

Inside the class 2 w-space system there is quite a lot to see on d-scan. I count five active towers and a handful of ships. I remember to bookmark this side of the wormhole and warp away to locate the towers, which keeps me occupied for a while. I find a Drake battlecruiser, the Heron, and two Mammoth haulers all inside the shields of one tower or another, a couple of the ships piloted, but there is otherwise nothing happening in the system. A quick check of the other systems shows that they remain quiet too. So much promise, so little activity. I return home and get some rest.

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