Dead ends in each direction

21st December 2010 – 5.35 pm

The tower can again run unsupervised for a while, like a kitten high on catnip, leaving me free to explore the w-space constellation. I scan and resolve our static wormhole and jump in to the neighbouring class 3 system, seeing a tower with silos on my directional scanner, but no ships. Locating the tower makes the situation even more interesting, as I note that it has almost no defences, only a single thermal hardener active and no weapons batteries at all. The wolf-rayet phenomenon in the system reduces the effectiveness of the tower's shields too. An option for fun vandalism today would be to put the tower in to reinforced mode, if my cohort turns up later.

But my plans for mayhem are deflated quickly, warping away to launch scanning probes revealing two more active—and defended—towers in the system, one with a piloted Viator transport ship inside its shields. I suppose I may as well leave the defenceless tower unscathed and simply scan instead. My scanning probes show me a fair number of gravimetric and ladar sites to ignore before finally revealing a wormhole, and then a second for good measure. The first wormhole is an exit to low-sec empire space, the second a K162 coming in from null-sec k-space and not, unfortunately, deeper w-space. As it looks like my exploration is complete, I may as well check the exit systems before heading home.

I jump through to low-sec first, finding the exit leads me to Exit. I am fairly sure I've been here before, or at least close, as it is in the original constellation of stars that holds EVE gate, the now-closed wormhole that uncovered New Eden. Whilst I am close, I take time to visit the system of New Eden again, which is historical and as exciting as that sounds. Jumping back to w-space and out to null-sec puts me in another dead-end system, this one in The Spire region. There are plenty of capsuleers in the system, visible through the local communications channel, and I warp around a bit to survey the system but don't find any activity of interest.

Just as I am jumping back to the class 3 w-space system one pilot says 'J102143 get the carriers in there', apparently indicating some intention to enter the C3 themselves. But I think it's just bluster, letting me know they know where I came from, at least indirectly. I loiter for a short while on the wormhole, hoping to see a carrier jump in to w-space, but no one appears. Instead, I simply warp and jump homewards, copying my collected bookmarks to our jet-can for sharing, and take a break.

Fin arrives later, and we collapse the wormhole connecting us to the rather uninteresting C3. The collapse goes smoothly, our calculations worked out between Orca and Widow jumps, the masses of the industrial command and black ops ships complementing each other nicely. We don't look for the newly spawned wormhole but decide to make some iskies at home, particularly now that Sleepers are writhing in a full twelve anomalies in our system. They can't take advantage of us like this!

Two Tengu strategic cruisers are launched, and missile launchers primed. What I don't expect is for my shields to drop to below 20% on the second wave of a frontier barracks, the Sleeper battleships slicing through my defences like I have never felt before. It's a little concerning, but I recover to curse them, as well as reduce their ships to wrecks. The other anomalies don't cause such problems and we clear three sites of specific Sleeper interest before swapping to salvage boats. A tidy 260 million ISK of loot is returned safely to our tower, lower than desirable because of some poor salvage, but enough to pad our wallets some more and keep us in fuel a while longer.

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