Too much space, not enough stupid

5th June 2011 – 3.46 pm

Like day-old bread, the bookmarks in our shared can have gone stale. Instead of having an easy ride to explore w-space I first need to scan, which thankfully our sparse system makes easy. I resolve our static wormhole and note that no other connections are present at home, before jumping through to explore today's constellation. My directional scanner shows no occupation or ships, so I launch probes and blanket the system. The initial scan shows no ships either, so I can filter through the mere seven signatures to look for further wormholes whilst warping around to find the tower I now know is here.

As I resolve the class 3 w-space system's static exit to low-sec empire space, Mick arrives and catches up to join me in scanning. There may not be much left to do, though, as the exit wormhole is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, not even offering an empire system to roam or scan. But a second wormhole here is interesting, even more so that it leads to further class 3 w-space. Mick jumps onwards and, when he reports no ships in the system, I follow. C3b is occupied, just empty at the moment, and we combine our efforts to scan through the fifteen signatures.

A static exit to high-sec looks like all we will find in this second C3, until Mick locates two more wormholes on top of each other. And by 'on top of each other', he really means that, and he's just kidding about there being two wormholes. What we actually have are two deadspace signatures for the same wormhole, which is a little peculiar. Peculiar doesn't matter, we have an outbound connection to class 5 w-space to explore beyond. Mick goes ahead but I jump out to high-sec to get the exit system first as a safety precaution.

I don't think I hear Mick correctly. He's told me that there are twenty-one on-line towers in that C5. I understand that some corporations anchor cheap towers to all the unused moons in an occupied system to prevent usurpers gaining a quick foothold, but on-line towers need fuel to stay active and supplying over twenty of them in a system must be a logistics nightmare. He's not imagining it, of course, and there are twenty-one force fields visible on d-scan. They're not all new either, as I was last in this C5 some eight months ago, where I have seventeen towers listed in my notes. I don't think I'll bother confirming their locations now, or finding the new ones, particularly as Mick has discovered that the occupants are blue to us. At least we can scan and pass through here without hassle.

The C5 turns out to be well-maintained by the locals, with only one site of specific Sleeper interest in the system. There are eight signatures in total, however, which means we find seven wormholes, which is quite a few even if we're including the K162 heading back the way we came. Mick scans a K162 coming in from null-sec k-space, an outbound connection to null-sec, a K162 from class 4 w-space, two K162s from class 5 w-space, and the system's static connection to class 5 w-space, which is reaching the end of its life. That's a lot to explore, and Mick picks the C4 to jump in to first.

I head back home. Glorious leader Fin has arrived and I can copy the bookmarks so she can come and join us. But rather than take back scanning boats we'll board stealth bombers instead. Mick can continue to scan and scout, whilst Fin and I can provide firepower if we see any targets, so we don't have any delay in having to make several jumps home and back to change ships. I don't think we'll go much deeper than our current mapped constellation anyway. We're not going deeper in the direction of the C4, that's for sure, as it is unoccupied and lacks another K162, perhaps whoever opened the first link having collapsed it already. Mick returns to C5a to pick another wormhole to jump through.

C5d is the next choice for us. Again, the system is unoccupied, but there is a K162 present. Three, in fact. The first two come in from null-sec, deflating our spirits a little, but the third is from class 4 w-space and definitely worth exploring. A Chimera carrier and Tengu strategic cruiser are on d-scan in the C4, both turning out to be at a local tower and only the Tengu piloted. Fin volunteers to keep a watch on him in case he moves, as Mick backtracks to C5a and then pushes in to C5c. This system is occupied but empty, becoming something of a theme of the evening, and the only other connection to be found comes in from null-sec again.

There is almost no one around, the only piloted ship we've seen still sitting stationary inside his tower's shields, and most of our links lead to null-sec. We're going home. It comes as a pleasant surprise, after finding nothing ahead of us, for Mick to see a Tengu out and about in our neighbouring system, C3a. He's shooting Sleepers too, although perhaps in a radar site that we don't have bookmarked. That's easy enough to remedy, given a little time and careful positioning of probes, the only problem being that Fin and I are the wrong side of home to swap ships, and the wormhole connecting C3a to C3b is in d-scan range of the Tengu. But unless the pilot is updating d-scan every two seconds we should be able to sneak in with our bombers, and I jump in to the system, move away from the wormhole, and cloak, ready to continue homewards to warm up a Legion strategic cruiser for combat.

It turns out the Tengu pilot is being rather vigilant with d-scan, saying hello in the local channel to both Mick's Loki stratetic cruiser and my Manticore. He bugs out from his Sleeper shooting to swap in to a Buzzard covert operations boat, leaving us with no one to shoot. We could loiter a bit longer and hope he returns to his Sleeper slaying, but given his keen watch of d-scan to spot us entering the system it seems unlikely he'll make a target of himself. Instead we simply head home and collapse our wormhole, disconnecting ourselves from another extended w-space constellation, albeit one with little current activity. Maybe the next connection will offer us better opportunity.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.