Bridging through null-sec

18th May 2011 – 5.39 pm

It's a new day with a new w-space constellation to explore, but I'm not going to scan just yet. Mick's left us a message saying that when checking the previous static wormhole had collapsed of old age he actually found it to still be there. Jumping through put him in a different class 3 w-space system than we were connected to, making it look like the new wormhole spawned in exactly the same location as the old. I use what should be a stale bookmark and warp to the wormhole, confirming it is indeed in the same position. We've had consecutive wormholes connecting to the same system, Fin's even encountered a wormhole that connected to the other side of the system, and now we have seen a wormhole spawn on the corpse of its predecessor. Randomness is weird.

The position of our static wormhole may be interesting, but our neighbouring system is not. There is no occupation or activity, and only one anomaly present. Mick left a bookmark to the static exit to null-sec k-space, which I have copied to my nav-comp, but that was a few hours ago and my limited supply of optimism urges me to scan again in the hopes that a new connection has opened in to this system. I start sifting through the twenty-seven signatures, finding mostly the rocks and gas that builds up in uninhabited w-space, only to end up discarding every signature as not being a wormhole. It's us and null-sec today, so I may as well see where the exit leads.

Jumping out of w-space lands me in the Wicked Creek region, and alone in the system. A populated local communication channel is quite the luxury compared to the paranoia of w-space. As no one is around I could peacefully scan the system, maybe finding another connection to w-space here. And, despite a false start with an 'unknown' signature that turns out to be an Angel Base, I resolve a second wormhole, an outbound conncetion to class 5 w-space. I jump in to the C5 to see four ships on my directional scanner, a Tengu strategic cruiser, Orca industrial command ship, Drake battlecruiser, and Charon freighter. There is also a tower on d-scan, but no wrecks to indicate combat. I bookmark the wormhole and warp off to locate the tower.

The Tengu is piloted at the tower in the C5, and even though that is the only ship with a capsuleer aboard it could still be promising if he decides to do anything. I warp away to launch probes, in case the Tengu becomes active, and perform a blanket scan of the system. My combat probes reveal a fifth ship in the system, which could be interesting, and warping around to find it also finds two more active towers. The Iteron hauler is piloted and sitting in one of the towers, and I am tempted by the prospect of an industrial ship collecting planet goo. I recall my probes, head home through the null-sec bridging system, and bring a stealth bomber back to the C5 to shadow the Iteron.

On my way out of the C5 the Tengu is gone from d-scan, the pilot most likely asleep now, and he hasn't come back when I warp my Manticore towards the tower with the Iteron. There is no change in the Iteron's status either, it still cocked at a januty angle inside the tower's shields, so now I wait to see if he moves. And I wait, and wait, and screw this, he's really boring. I'm fairly sure I have better ways to spend my time than watching a stationary Iteron, I just need to think of them. Noticing on my way back to our tower that the null-sec system remains quiet tempts me to getting my Tengu out there and seeing what lurks in an Angel Base. I know I perhaps ought to shoot some rats in k-space in order to help repair my security status after recent low-sec engagements, and this should help. I don't really know what to expect, though.

I've seen reports of null-sec complexes before, with swarms of frigates, cruisers, and battleships all blasting away at ships, and it looks rather overwhelming. I try to find some information on the Angel Base and find its difficulty rated as 'moderate' by some, which makes me hope I am not throwing my Tengu in to a tough situation where I lose it in an embarrassingly unprepared way. And it comes as quite a relief to see that the Angel rats are nothing compared to Sleepers. I indeed get swarmed by a dozen or so, but I am barely having to pulse my shield booster, my missiles are ripping through the rats' ships, and on top of that I don't need to worry about d-scan. Keeping an eye on the local channel will show me should anyone enter the system. For now I remain alone.

I clear the Angel Base a bit too easily, almost relying on only my Tengu's puny passive shield recharge, and getting a bit of pocket change from the bounties along with a pitiful increase in my security standing. I come back to loot and salvage, using my Noctis salvager to make it quick, getting a lot of mostly worthless modules that would look better melted in to minerals. At least I know that null-sec ratting can be fairly straightforward, and if I encounter another empty system I will probably opt for increasing my security status a bit more. For now, it's back in a stealth bomber and lurking at the tower holding the Iteron, who still hasn't moved. But that's okay, as Fin and Mick have turned up, and with little prompting I can get Fin over to this C5 in a Crane.

I earlier spotted a couple of unanchored defences around the Iteron's tower in the C5. 'Unanchored' means 'stealable', and if the occupants are going to be so careless as to leave loot lying around I think it's worth a few minutes of our time to claim it as our own. And as unlikely as it probably is there is a chance the Iteron pilot will see what we're doing and try to stop us, at which point my Manticore can greet him with open launchers. Fin and I coordinate our movements, making sure we are both aiming for the same defence at the same time, and she swoops in, scoops, and swoops out again. The same is repeated for the second defence, and still the Iteron just sits there. I wonder if his corporation will even notice the two missing defences.

Mick meanwhile scans further than me, bringing his scouting Loki strategic cruiser in to the C5 and finding out where it leads. We get a chain of w-space leading through a class 4 system where according to a named can a capsuleer is stuck, in to another class 5 system, and then in to deadly class 6 w-space. The wormhole leading in to the C6 is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and I am happy to stop here, but Mick the Daring carries on, finding the C6 to be occupied but inactive, and resolving another wormhole to a C5. Jumping ahead sees mining ships somewhere in the system, but when they turn out to be sat pilotless in a tower Mick wisely decides to turn around and come home, which is where Fin and I already are.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.