Causing ripples in null-sec

5th October 2010 – 5.34 pm

There are two ways out of our system but only one is viable. Our static wormhole is reaching the end of its lifetime and isn't worth travelling through, so it's convenient to have an incoming connection from a class 3 w-space system. I am told there is a tower in the C3 and a wormhole leading to null-sec k-space, and with little else to do I aim my Buzzard covert operations boat towards the K162 to take a look for myself.

The class 3 system is indeed occupied but it is devoid of activity, not even an unpiloted ship loitering inside the lone tower. I have the bookmark to the exit to null-sec space which I may as well visit to get a red dot of exploration on my star map. I warp to the wormhole and jump in to YQX-7U in the Querious region which, checking my atlas of New Eden, is only two hops to a dead-end system. With only one other pilot in the system, easily discernable from the open local channel, this looks like a good opportunity to visit that dead-end system, as I don't know when a wormhole will next open up near here. One day I'll have visited every system in New Eden, even if it looks to be ten years away at this rate.

Entering BX-VEX gets me one step closer and the lack of any other capsuleers in the system encourages me to visit the dead-end system of B-7DFU. Jumping in shows eighteen pilots in the system with nowhere else to be, which is a little unsettling for someone used to isolation. A reflexive check of my directional scanner suggests that a Maelstrom battleship and Cerberus heavy assault ship are ratting, but I don't care to look for them or any other ships. I turn my Buzzard around and leave the system as quietly as possible, which is difficult when activating a hulking stargate.

I warp back across the intermediate system and jump in to YQX-7U again, finding a Vulture command ship sitting on the gate. This is little threat to my agile and stealthy ship and, after pausing to see how the Vulture reacts to the gate activation, I warp off to the wormhole and cloak. I get back in to w-space and make the short hop home, where a couple of colleagues are interested in what turned out to be my little reconnaisance trip. There is talk of heading out to engage either the Vulture or the ratting Maelstrom and Cerberus, which seems like a bit of a lark to me as well.

I choose to take my new Sacrilege heavy assault ship, keen to see its firepower, joining a Vagabond heavy assault ship. We move out to sit on the exit wormhole as a third pilot in a Pilgrim recon ship scouts null-sec ahead of us. The exit wormhole is now in its EOL stage but we should have a few hours before it collapses, which is plenty of time to get blown up. The Vulture is no longer sitting on the gate in YQX-7U, which isn't surprising given the time it took for us to return, but there is activity as a Crow interceptor passes our colleague in his Pilgrim. The scout moves in to the next null-sec system and our two HACs jump in to null-sec and warp to the stargate he vacated.

Two unfamiliar pilots are now present in this null-sec system, my partner HAC pilot thinking one is heading towards us and telling me to get off the gate. I warp off to the planet nearby as an Ishtar HAC drops on the gate. It looks like he warps away again, as the pilot remains in the local channel but his ship disappears from d-scan. As there is 136 AU separation between stargates here it is easy to lose track of a ship using the 14·1 AU range of d-scan. I warp around looking for the Ishtar, as it presents a decent change of target for us, but can't find it anywhere obvious.

All this moving and manoeuvring is starting to make space-waves. One of our fleet conveniently has access to intelligence communication channels for this region and our presence has been noted. More than noted, in fact, as it appears that a fleet is being scrambled to intercept our ships. I consider that to be our mission accomplished and, as we aren't equipped for anything but a small skirmish, we warp to the wormhole and jump back to w-space. We may not have engaged any other ships in this corner of null-sec but I am pleased enough to have caused a minor stir. The class 3 w-space system remains quiet and we simply return home, still waiting for our static wormhole to choke on its own vomit.

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