Quiet and refined

10th February 2011 – 5.29 pm

The designation of this class 3 w-space system looks awfully familiar. That happens a lot, though, strings of numbers jumping out at me and making me think I've seen them before. After all, maybe I have, it was just when I was ordering a takeaway and not jumping through a wormhole in to our neighbouring system. But today the recognition isn't false, my records showing I've been here on four previous occasions. Before I consult my notes further I check my directional scanner. Seeing a tower, two Hurricane battlecruisers, a Manticore stealth bomber, a Bestower hauler, and a Viator transport ship, I move away from the wormhole and cloak without launching scanning probes. A second punch of d-scan now reveals a Tengu strategic cruiser, so at least one pilot is active.

My notes remind me that I was last here only three weeks ago, when a failed attempt at popping a Noctis salvager results in a successful counter-ambush, and me and Fin needing new ships. That's pretty cool, as it means we may get another fight. I assume the tower remains in the same place, and warp to the appropriate moon to see the Tengu piloted, of course, but that none of the other ships are. The tower's refinery is running too. A strategic cruiser is an ostentatious ship to use to work a refinery, even if it's not out of the realms of possibility, so I am hoping to see more action than ore being turned to minerals.

I warp out of d-scan range of the tower to launch combat scanning probes, sending them out of the system. I like to increase their range to 16 AU and align the bottom edge of the resultant sphere with the system's ecliptic plane, which puts the probes out of d-scan range of the planets and moons. I then increase the range of the probes to their maximum of 64 AU and position them to blanket the system, allowing me to scan the whole system for signatures without the probes being visible to d-scan. Doing so in this C3 reveals one anomaly and six signatures. I already know of all the ships in the system, having seen them in the tower and performed my own check with d-scan, if only to ensure that no one would see me launching the probes.

Returning to the tower sees the situation unchanged. The Tengu is stationary and the refinery running, thirty minutes until completion. I assume the Tengu pilot has noted the time and is busying himself with other matters until there are minerals to collect, which makes it the ideal time to scan the system thoroughly. He won't notice my probes and I can bookmark every site of interest. Except there aren't many sites, as such, my first hit being a wormhole, as well as the second, third, and fourth. The final signature is the only site beyond the anomaly, and is a gravimetric mining site. I resolve all the wormholes and the gravimetric site, bookmarking approximate positions now so that I can complete scanning more quickly, and recall my probes as soon as possible.

Scanning complete, I can check all four wormholes. The first is the system's static connection, leading out to high-sec empire space, and has a warp bubble surrounding it. The second is a K162 wormhole coming from null-sec k-space, and is also bubbled. The third is another K162, this time from low-sec empire space, bubbled. The fourth is... missing from my notes. And bubbled. The last time I was here the locals anchored a warp bubble over the K162 of our static wormhole as I was heading home in my newly bought Manticore, so I am not surprised by all the bubbles and admire their diligence. Maybe they need to be diligent, if they get so many regular connecting wormholes. At least it looks like they remember where they anchor their bubbles and collect them later, when no longer needed, as there don't seem to be any others littering the system.

Back at the tower the Tengu does nothing and the refinery rumbles on, spewing the occasional flame to show it's working, in much the same way I do. I pop home, though our unbubbled wormhole, and swap the Buzzard covert operations boat for my Manticore stealth bomber, returning to monitor the C3 tower as the refinery finally finishes its job. After a couple more minutes the Tengu pilot notices the lack of processing and moves to the refinery. A second job is started, the Tengu moving to a hangar to presumably drop off the newly refined minerals, and promptly logs off. No action for me, it seems. I can at least check the destination of the exit to high-sec.

I navigate the warp bubble, jump to the Metropolis region, see I am far from anywhere, and jump back to w-space. I am tempted to swap to a bigger ship and pop this warp bubble whilst no one's around, but I don't want to arouse any suspicions, particularly as I have no desire to use this connection. Instead I simply head home and take a break, wondering how long it will be before our static wormhole's K162 side has its own bubble.

A return a little later shows there is still no bubble on the other side of our static wormhole, but neither is there any activity in the C3. The same unpiloted ships remain floating inertly at the tower. There are a couple of planets out of d-scan range, which I used to let me launch probes covertly earlier, and I warp to the sole anomaly in the system in the hopes of finding some action. I am not expecting to find any activity, and spite is tainting my actions a little. Even if no one is in the anomaly, and no one is, warping in to it will cause it to despawn on its own, perhaps denying the locals a little profit. So I warp to the gravimetric site too. And then I head home again, to get an early night.

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