Tracking local activity

2nd June 2011 – 5.48 pm

Finding the static wormhole is easy when it remains in the same place as yesterday. And as much as a time saving as that is I remain happy that jumping in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system is different each time. Today I see a Buzzard covert operations boat and Badger hauler in the system, thanks to my directional scanner, both of which I suppose to be at the tower also detected. I locate the tower to see if there are any pilots present, warping to it as a Reaper frigate turns up, making a second pilot to go with the first, who has now swapped Buzzard for a second Badger. I think it's time to lurk in my stealth bomber and see what the hauler will do.

I jump home, having scanned nothing of the C3, and stow my Buzzard to swap to the Manticore, heading back to our neighbouring system to loiter cloaked near the tower. Both pilots are in Badgers when I get back, but they don't look to be going anywhere. Examining the system map shows it to be quite large, certainly big enough to hide ships from d-scan in several areas, but for now I'll keep eyes on the Badgers in case they warp off to collect planet goo. That is, until a Tengu strategic cruiser appears on d-scan and launches combat probes. I think I should start looking for a second wormhole here, even if I haven't yet looked for the static connection.

Once more in my Buzzard I return to the C3 to see the Tengu still on d-scan, his reluctance to cloak making me suspect he's acting as bait. Even if he is, it would be good intelligence to have, as would the location of any wormhole he's entered through. I launch probes discreetly and perform a blanket scan of the system, returning twenty-one anomalies and twenty or so signatures, giving me plenty to wade through, but the number is reduced considering I am aiming for the Tengu and its wormhole. At least, it would if the Tengu hadn't disappeared from d-scan. And now a local Tengu arrives at the tower, so I am back to monitoring the ships I can physically see.

I repeat my blanket scan occasionally, not expecting new site signatures to appear but rather checking for new ships. And I have one, I just didn't realise. There are five ships in the tower and six returned on my combat probes. I probably ought to find where and what that unknown ship is. I repeat the scan to get a second impression of the extra ship, and now there are only four in the system. It looks like the Badgers have gone, and not just out of the system. Never mind, I look to have found the scanning Tengu, having warped to a distant planet probably to hide from other pilots' casual scanning efforts. My probes have him, though.

The Tengu seems to be near the planet itself, but warping there finds nothing. The Tengu is still on d-scan and, as I suspect it is not a ship that is configured to cloak, a quick adjustment to my scanner puts the strategic cruiser within 1 AU of the planet. That's really easy to resolve, and I position my combat probes in a tight pattern around the planet and hit 'scan'. One attempt is all that is needed for such a precise estimation of the Tengu's location, and I have his position. I warp in to see him sitting stationary in a not-very-safe spot off-grid of the planet. I hope he remains there and inattentive for a couple of minutes longer, as I'd like to introduce him to my Legion.

I warp home, swap to my strategic cruiser, and head back to the C3. Warping across the system gets my heart pumping, as I don't know if the Tengu will be there, if he is paying attention, or how his ship will withstand an attack from my own, and I am alone in this endeavour. But it is all worry for nought, as the pilot has logged off. I drop out of warp in to empty space with nothing to do in my Legion. I keep the bookmark of this location in case the pilot returns to the same spot, but it looks like I'm back to scanning this C3 again. I head home, note from d-scan that the C3 is now probably empty of pilots, and climb back in to my Buzzard at our tower. Maybe I'll stay in it for more than five minutes this time.

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