A chain of dangerous space

13th October 2010 – 5.54 pm

The unknown awaits. A single bookmark in the shared can indicates our home system's static wormhole has been found but nothing else. I point my Buzzard covert operations boat towards the fresh connection and head out to explore today's w-space constellation. The wormhole needs time to stabilise as I move from a lazy orbit, checking the connection's condition for signs of aging and abuse, to gently teasing my way in to the central channel. But once opened I am sent to another world. The wormhole leads me to a system I visited about seven weeks ago, a bunch of anomalies and many signatures indicative of the lack of occupation. I launch probes and begin to scan.

The only signatures that look like they may be wormholes turn out to be rocks and gas, and hardly likely to evoke the same emotional effect as an inter-system connection, and I suspect that I am looking for an H900 or H296 wormhole. I pick a stupidly weak signature from my blanket scan and resolve it, sure enough locating a wormhole that turns out to be an H900 connection to a class 5 w-space system. The C5 also turns out to be unoccupied and full of signatures, and I start to sift through the higher-strength scan results, if only to move ladar and gravimetric sites to my ignored list quickly. A wormhole presents itself soon enough but the outbound link to null-sec k-space doesn't look like the system's static connection, which I find with a bit more scanning, resolving a link to another C5.

Jumping in to the second class 5 w-space system along today's route puts me in another system that remains unoccupied since my last visit. Scanning here is simpler with fewer signatures to choose from, the end result being remarkably similar to the previous system. An outbound connection leads to null-sec space and the static wormhole heads deeper in to class 5 w-space. At least scanning is getting simpler the farther out I get, this third C5 being a small system, only 6 AU across and holding four planets and three moons. The few signatures that are here are straightforward to find and resolve because of the compact size of the system, and it doesn't take long to find an H296 wormhole to yet another C5.

Finding a fourth class 5 system is almost enough to make me turn around but a cursory check of the system finds occupation at last, a tower and a ship turning up on my directional scanner. The ship is only a Probe frigate, though, but it isn't inside the tower's shields. I launch scanning probes to find the wormhole leading to the ship's home system, happy to have the motivation to continue. But the wormhole is not introducing itself politely to me, instead hiding amongst many other signatures leading to the ladar and gravimetric red herrings of w-space. Even once I am scanning the right signature, known to be that of an unstable wormhole, it takes several finicky adjustments before finally fully resolving.

Eventually I am in warp to the C5's static wormhole, a connection leading to a class 2 w-space system looking like a promising hunting ground. Once in the C2 my records make my hunt sound even more promising, noting that on my last visit to this system I popped and podded two ships with the help of my Onyx heavy interdictor. But that was five months ago and any occupation has since moved out, there being no towers or any kind of activity in this system beyond my own. I launch probes and make a quick scan of the system, the two dozen signatures convincing me to turn around and head home.

On my way back to the home system I shove my ship through the two null-sec connections to colour my star map with a couple more red dots of exploration. I visit HM-XR2 in the Delve region and RD-FWY in Insmother, the latter being a dead-end system. RD-FWY is close to another dead-end system and I consider making the short trip to visit it, but one jump finds a bunch of people in the local channel and I abandon my null-sec exploration for the comforting bosom of w-space. I return home, copy the wormhole bookmarks from my nav-comp to the shared can, and take a break.

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