Four threes equals four

19th January 2011 – 5.11 pm

There's a new ladar site at home. We only just killed a couple! Thankfully, scanning naturally finds me our static wormhole too, and I can ignore the new gas harvesting site and head out to explore further afield. Jumping in to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system sees cans, bubbles, and planets, oh my! There is nothing else on my directional scanner, and checking the system map shows the whole system is visible to d-scan, so I am seeing all there is at the moment. I launch probes and scan this unoccupied C3. Seven anomalies and a couple of dozen signatures are here to be discovered. A particularly chubby signature turns out to be a wormhole, but isn't the K162 I expect to find for such a strong signal, instead being the static connection which leads out to low-sec empire space.

A second wormhole in this C3 is interesting, more so that it is an outbound connection to another class 3 system, giving me more w-space to explore. There are no other wormholes in this first C3, so I jump through to the second. D-scan is clear again, but this time only one planet is in range of my scanner. I bookmark the wormhole and warp off, finding a tower but no ships in the system. Perhaps the occupants will be active later. For now, I can continue scanning. My first hit is a wormhole, which smells like an exit to low-sec. But my senses are off again, finding a K162 coming from high-sec. Maybe I have a cold. The K162 is also sitting at half-mass, indicating plenty of ship movement through it already and that I have probably missed whatever action has occurred. But the system holds sixteen anomalies and a bunch of signatures, so there are still opportunities here.

Hunting down the signatures gets a lucky break, finding three more wormholes sitting almost on top of each other. The first is the static connection, leading out to low-sec empire space. The second and third will keep my exploration continuing, both being outbound wormholes to a C3. It's not often a random outbound connection is found and discovering three today, so far, is quite exciting. A busy constellation leads to a busy Penny, and hopefully some ships to shoot. But before I delve deeper I consider checking the high-sec destination beyond the K162, still looking to buy the heavy missile specialisation skill book. It won't take long to check, so I poke my nose out to find myself in the Minmatar Republic and only four jumps from an academy holding the skill book. A short diversion is all it takes to queue the skill, and I return shortly to w-space.

I pick one of the two outbound connections and jump in to what I designate as C3c. Navigating w-space is generally straightforward, a single inbound and outbound connection in a system being common. Even when an additional connection is found, if it connects two different classes of system then discerning the route remains uncomplicated. But being in a C3 and having connections to two more C3 systems can become confusing when trying to guide others, or follow directions. Making a note of the signature identifier in the bookmark can help, but that is still a clunky method. Adding a unique identifier to each system, and annotating bookmarks to show the links, simplifies navigation in this respect. And so I am in C3c, having jumped in from what is now known as C3b, which connects from C3a, our neighbouring class 3 system. C3c is not terribly interesting, only holding two off-line towers, and I jump out to check the other outbound connection for activity before scanning here.

C3d at least holds an on-line tower, but still I see no ships. With no one home, it's time to scan further. Six anomalies and five signatures are in C3d, and once resolved I find the static connection leads out to low-sec empire space. The exit comes out to the Molden Heath region, which doesn't look convenient for anything but getting shot by roaming gangs, and I return to C3c to scan there. I bookmark the nine anomalies I find and start sifting through the six signatures. The static connection naturally leads out to low-sec space, but a second wormhole catches my attention. Resolving and warping to the connection doesn't give me a warm feeling, despite the red lava glow emanating from the wormhole. The K162 clearly comes from deadly class 6 w-space, although I call up the information screen to confirm this. I quickly check the exit to low-sec, finding it also to be far from anywhere, before having a speculative look in the C6.

I've been in the C6 before, and only two weeks ago, surprisingly enough. I don't remember the last visit, despite it being recent, but I have listed in my notes the two towers I see on d-scan. I also see forty-two off-line towers, which is now jogging my memory. They are all small and of the same type, and no doubt anchored on each and every moon to prevent any quick installation of a tower by a potential invading force. But I'm not looking to move in, I'm just here to take a look around. I visit both towers to gawk at the big and scary ships, one holding three carriers, three dreadnoughts, and capital industrial ships, but all unpiloted. The second holds ships of similar size but fewer of them, although a Moros dreadnought and Apocalypse battleship are piloted. It looks like they are not doing anything, though, and I am inclined to leave them to it.

I head homewards, not even bothering to launch probes in the rather daunting class 6 system. I check each system for activity as I go, still finding them all sleepy but hoping they'll wake up a little later, and finally getting the destination of our neighbouring C3 system's exit to low-sec space. It appears I got so involved in exploring deeper that I forgot closer to home. It turns out to lead to the Khanid region, and is closer to Aridia than civilisation, but it is good to know all the same. I jump home and make a copy of the nineteen wormhole and thirty-eight anomaly bookmarks I've accumulated, dropping the copies in our shared can for Fin to potentially make use of. Hopefully I can make use of them too, but later. For now, after a good afternoon's exploration, I take a break.

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