Sixty-two anomalies

17th December 2010 – 5.13 pm

The tower is running low on coolant. I have a nagging suspicion that if it isn't replenished something dramatic will happen, like the force field dropping and pirates taking or shooting everything we own. That would be bad, so I'd better get some more, which means scanning my way out to empire space. It is a simple matter to resolve the home system's static wormhole, and jumping through puts me in an unoccupied class 3 w-space system. I launch probes to start looking for wormholes and am greeted by a burst of green.

There are sixty-two anomalies in this system! That's a fair number, making me think that this system is not well-travelled. I bookmark each one, in case a colleague turns up and we can blitz through some, but mostly so that I can count them accurately for this record. It takes a few minutes to do, but is far from a chore. Now I can concentrate on the thirty-odd indeterminate signatures left. About half-a-dozen of the remaining signatures look like possible wormholes—one being the K162 home—and I concentrate on resolving those to start with.

A wormhole presents itself after only three other signatures are discounted as rocks or gas, which saves me the effort of having to scan too many. Or maybe it doesn't, as it is an outbound connection to a class 4 system, not the system's static wormhole. I keep looking, getting a second wormhole soon enough, but this one turns out to be a K162 coming from another C4, which is interesting but doesn't get me closer to refuelling the tower. A third wormhole is another outbound connection to a C4, and makes me double-check that I am resolving discrete connections and not just flying in circles. I am still to find the static wormhole in this class 3 system, and no signatures are looking at all like a wormhole any more.

I scan each signature in turn, ignoring rocks, gas, and the occasional radar site, until I eventually resolve a fourth wormhole. The system's static connection leads out to null-sec space, which makes a change from the normal exit to low-sec empire space but is far from helpful now that I am looking for a convenient seller of fuel. Navigating low-sec would have been just dandy, thank you, Mr Cosmic Joker. As I can't go shopping and have some extra connections available, I may as well explore. My first stop is the K162 from the C4, as its presence implies activity.

Jumping in to the class 4 system finds little immediately, my directional scanner showing only celestial bodies. The lack of occupancy jibes with my notes from seven months ago, but plenty can change in that time and only two planets are within range of d-scan. I bookmark the wormhole—the system's static connection, and perhaps the only wormhole here—and warp away to look for towers. I see two closer to the inner system, along with a few ships. Locating the towers finds the ships, two covert operations boats and a Drake battlecruiser at one, and a third cov-ops boat at the other, all ships piloted. The second tower is curious in that all its defences are incapacitated, but both towers belong to the same corporation, so I am left only to wonder what situation occurred.

As I ponder the defenceless tower, the pilot of the Buzzard inside its shields swaps to a Drake and warps away. I travel back to the first tower to find the Drake now there, and in short order the other cov-ops pilots switch to battlecruisers. Four Drakes sit at the tower now, most likely having spotted the iskiemine of the class 3 system they're connected to, and there's not much I can do about it by myself. That is, until a Dominix battleship turns up, prompting one of the other pilots to switch in to a Catalyst destroyer. Now it looks like a combat fleet trailed by a vulnerable salvager, and that is an operation I can disrupt.

I'm not going to wait here at the tower to confirm the fleet's intentions. I suspect that they will warp out together and the Catalyst will wait on the wormhole to be called in to the first anomaly once it is cleared, and if I wait to see the ships warp out of the tower I will be spotted jumping through the wormhole. I ideally need to remain undetected. I shall make the assumption that this fleet of Drakes and the Dominix are planning to shortly engage Sleepers in the C3, and return home to reship in to a stealth bomber in a bid to snare their Catalyst. If I can get out of the system before they see me this should make for an interesting evening.

  1. 2 Responses to “Sixty-two anomalies”

  2. Have you looked at PI for coolant, or are you producing other PI materials? One 23 hour cycle of PI produces almost 5 days worth of coolant.

    By Durk McGurk on Dec 18, 2010

  3. I vaguely glanced at PI when it was introduced, training a few skills to basic levels, but couldn't get terribly excited by it.

    Maybe I could take another look, particularly if decent exits become hard to find. As it stands, I am happy to pay for fuel, earning the iskies to do so by shooting Sleepers.

    By pjharvey on Dec 18, 2010

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