All talk and no action

19th September 2010 – 3.37 pm

With no one around w-space is my oyster and I have fresh systems to scan. I jump to our neighbouring class 4 w-space system and find an occupied but inactive system. My probes pick up only three signatures amongst the seven anomalies, so scanning will be quick. I resolve a radar site and a wormhole to a class 3 system, the final signature being the connection home. The C3 holds a couple of carriers, an Archon and Thanatos, although they both sit unpiloted in a tower. Depending on how accessible the carrier pilots are this system may not be a good place to hunt for targets, if there happened to be any around. Then again, the last time I was in this system, several months ago, I popped an Orca industrial command ship, but the changed location of the tower suggests the system is now under new management.

A scan of the class 3 system reveals only five signatures and one anomaly, as well as a second tower around an outer planet. There are still no piloted ships to be seen, though. I resolve all of the signatures and find just the one wormhole, a pristine exit to low-sec empire space. Both systems are thoroughly scanned and there is no further connected w-space, which ends my exploration for now. I jump to low-sec, checking where it leads, and appear in Molden Heath. There are a few pilots in the system, as is clear from the oddly transparent local channel, and scanning probes visible on the directional scanner make me hope that perhaps someone will find the wormhole and venture through, giving me something to shoot at.

I go back to our tower to swap ships, trying to choose between a stealth bomber or interceptor to loiter on the wormhole, picking the former for its capability to cloak despite its main weaponry being verboten in empire space. I see no probes when jumping back in to the C3, so the scout hasn't entered the system yet, and I lurk silently on the wormhole waiting for him to find it and expose himself, but after a while I exit to low-sec only to find no probes visible there either. There is nowhere to explore and no one to hunt. Some colleagues turn up as I lament the lack of activity and they talk of collapsing our static wormhole to reset our opportunities, so I head home and, as is the way of w-space living, delete my hour-old bookmarks.

After a short break I'm scanning again, out with a colleague looking for targets. Our new neighbouring system is less interesting than the previous one, again holding only three signatures but with fewer anomalies dotted around. A K162 wormhole coming from a class 5 system may explain this, particularly as the connection has had half its mass allowance passed through it already, but jumping through finds an unoccupied system. Scanning finds a wormhole leading in to null-sec k-space but no likely looking K162 to explain the weary wormhole. And there are maybe thirty anomalies waiting to be plundered, which are more profitable than those in the C4. I suppose this C5 is an intermediate system and the connecting wormhole has since been collapsed.

I return to the class 4 system where my scouting colleague has found a second wormhole, the system's static connection to a C4. It again isn't particularly interesting, occupied but lacking activity, and holding only three signatures and five anomalies. We resolve a ladar gas mining site and a static wormhole to a C3, which despite having a bunch of ships on d-scan turns out to be inactive, all of the ships sitting unpiloted in one of the two towers in the system. The static wormhole for the class 3 system is found, an exit to high-sec empire space, but a second wormhole is also found. An outwards connection to another class 3 system keeps our hopes alive for w-space activity and jumping through finds just that.

There is a conversation occurring in the local channel in this C3. It is a little peculiar to see open chat occurring in w-space, particularly as it seems friendly. I suppose it happens occasionally, like after I hunt a heron, but this is the first conversation I've stumbled upon. I'm tickled by one of the two saying that 'it's alright, not too many people come through' the system, no doubt oblivious to the entrance of my colleague and I. The chatter appears to be between an inhabitant of the system sitting in his tower in a Heron frigate and another pilot elsewhere in the system in a Nighthawk command ship.

The conversation suggests that the Nighthawk pilot has been pillaging sites of specific Sleeper interest and is perhaps preparing to leave. We can't find the site he's running before the Nighthawk leaves the system but perhaps the inhabitant will come out to play later. A few sites are bookmarked in case of later ambushes but it turns out to be academic, as one of the wormholes along our route enters its wobbly stage of reaching the end of its natural lifetime, limiting our access to the farther systems. And so another evening of scanning ends with little to show for it. I head home and get some rest.

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