One site at a time

9th January 2011 – 3.31 pm

Fully fed, I get back in my ship to glorious leader Fin reporting a sighting of a Probe name 'Lost in EVE' on her directional scanner in the C3. Maybe this means a K162 wormhole has opened in to the system, offering more opportunity for exploration and perhaps combat. I take my Buzzard covert operations boat in to the class 3 system to scan again, knowing I can ignore the sites resolved earlier thanks to noting their signature identifiers. There are two new anomalies in the system and one new signature, which looks promising until Fin points out that the signature has the same identifier as the unvisted wormhole. Oops, I suppose I can stop scanning. But the Probe must have come from somewhere, and the only other system connecting to the C3 is our home system. Maybe a K162 has opened in to our C4.

I scan the home system again, seeing how little difference the full system scan from earlier has made in identifying new signatures. An accurate cluster of bookmarks fuzzily orbited by an explosion of red dots isn't much better than an inaccurate cluster of bookmarks fuzzily orbited by an explosion of red dots. But I am determined to find the new wormhole, and begin to ignore all the local sites again until the fresh signature reveals itself. Indeed, I end up effectively performing a second full scan of the home system, confirming each signature present earlier is still present now, and that there are none new. Fin thinks that the pilot really is lost, and perhaps has parked in the C3 waiting for a better exit to appear, which won't be likely in a system that supposedly has a static connection to null-sec k-space.

The Probe has gone, regardless of his origin. In pondering what to do next I am drawn to join Fin. She got bored in being entirely unproductive in hunting a non-existent wormhole a lot quicker than me and has started the quest to reduce the number of sites in our system. And I suppose harvesting gas is technically more productive than scanning the same forty-two signatures scanned only two hours previously. The only problem is that although I have the skill to use gas harvesters I don't have a ship yet. There is an Exequror cruiser in our hangar but I don't have the skills to pilot it. Then again, any cruiser should do, and there is a spare Osprey—a cruiser built for mining—from our ransacking of another corporation's tower. I may as well use that.

I refit the Osprey with a few gas harvester modules, reconfigure the shield configuration slightly, and warp out to collect gas and relax with Fin. Except it isn't relaxing. I've preyed on several gas miners recently, quite successfully too, and now I am in a flimsy ship, sitting passively in the same spot for an extended time, in a site that is relatively easy to resolve when scanning. I can't help but constantly look around, nervously punching d-scan and getting an update every five seconds, waiting for that dreaded moment when scanning probes will appear briefly, heralding the few seconds available to clear the site before we're both brutally and callously murdered and sent back to empire space to wake up in a new clone. Argh, I'm going to die out here!

Thankfully, gas harvesting is uneventful this evening, although it felt rather more intense than PvP, thanks to my stupid brain. The two clouds get sucked in to cargo holds and jet-cans quicker than I thought they would, and the Sleepers that interrupt us are little more than gnats, although big enough gnats that we have to change ships briefly to deal with them. I end the evening looting and salvaging the wrecks, and collecting the harvested gas. I use my Cormorant to salvage, as the wrecks are close enough together that I don't need to move between them, and the destroyer is more agile than the Noctis salvager and able to warp in and out of the site more quickly. For the gas, my Crane transport ship hauls it all in one trip, also being quick to enter warp whilst having the additional advantage of letting me move cloaked. I feel much safer as a result.

Forty-one sites remain.

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