Early exploration

7th June 2011 – 5.13 pm

I'm jonesing for a kill. There has been an awful lot of w-space to explore and roam, but what little activity we've actually seen has done well to evade us and now I'm getting a little frustrated. This isn't good, as the tension is making me a little impatient and probably trying to press for combat, whereas the rational side of me knows that patience has been one of my biggest assets in successful encounters. Even so, I am up early and out scanning our constellation, hoping to find occupied and empty systems which I can map thoroughly for later ambushes. If I can know where potential targets are going before they do I can stay one step ahead.

Our neighbouring class 3 w-space system looks like it has potential the moment I check my directional scanner, but sadly the three Ogre II drones are by themselves in space. My notes list occupation from seven months ago but all I find is an off-line tower with incapacitated defences. I suspect the static exit to null-sec k-space worked against this corporation at some point, and now the C3 is empty. I launch probes and scan, picking up nine anomalies, seven signatures, and the three drones, which I resolve and scoop for our own use.

An empty and unoccupied system is an unfortunate start to the day but I am not undeterred yet, the null-sec connection I'm looking for perhaps offering further wormholes to find. In fact, a rather chubby signature turns out to be an unexpected wormhole which, in case it is an outbound connection, I leave unvisited until I have resolved the rest of the signatures here. I find the weaker-strength static connection and ignore some rocks and gas, then warp to see what turns out to be an N968 wormhole, a wormhole to further class 3 w-space. This could be good. I jump through to continue exploring.

I'm spat out over eight kilometres from the wormhole, which is just dandy for remaining covert. I don't really need to be too careful right now, as even though there is a tower on scan there are no ships to go with it, many capsuleers probably still brunching. Launching probes shows me another twelve anomalies, which I bookmark for later reference, and a mere five signatures to resolve. The tower here is on-line too, so I resolve each signature as a site of potential ambush for future targets. I hope my optimism isn't going to be horribly dashed again.

I resolve and bookmark a gravimetric site, wormhole, second wormhole, magnetometric site, and is that a new signature? The fifth signature is the K162 heading back to C3a, and I'm sure there were only five signatures in the system and that I can count accurately when it involves only one hand. Sure enough, the signature is new and a wormhole, perhaps the most overt sign of activity so far. Instead, I find myself warping to the system's static exit to low-sec empire space and, as I suspect, warping to one of the previous two bookmarked deadspace signatures places me in empty space, the previous static exit having died during my scannning. The actual second wormhole is a K162 coming in from low-sec and although reaching the end of its natural lifetime is not actually dead.

The w-space constellation stops early, which actually makes a nice change from recent expedititions that almost had us resorting to cannibalism on the long journey home. I get the low-sec exit systems for reference and find myself in Molden Heath, which may offer opportunity later, and perhaps a bit of ratting now. At least there is one occupied w-space system to, um, I need to check something first. As I head homewards I punch d-scan in the first C3, sitting on the wormhole to the second, and see what looks like the defences on a second tower in here. I thought I saw something different on a routine check before I jumped out, but wanted to scan C3b first. Now I can confirm that C3a is occupied too, which is a poor oversight to have made, but one I have corrected, and there are two occupied w-space systems to hunt in later.

To let off a little steam, and continue to recover my security status, I take a Drake battlecruiser out to low-sec through C3b and indulge in a bit of ratting. It is only me in the system, making it fairly relaxing, and I pop rats for a little while before turning around once core scanning probes appear on d-scan. There is one other pilot in the system now and I am pretty sure he's in a Cheetah, but I'll leave him to find the wormhole and maybe get comfortable before I come back to crush him mercilessly. The Tengu strategic cruiser I spot in C3b, which d-scan places at the tower, can also wait for now. I've done the legwork, I am taking a break. I jump back to a quiet C3a as the Tengu disappears from scan, and warp and jump home to take a break. With any luck, when I return later I won't be alone in space.

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