Not getting involved

17th June 2011 – 5.03 pm

Two holes to penetrate sounds like fun! One is our static wormhole, leading to class 3 w-space, the other is a K162 coming from class 2 w-space. As the K162 must have been opened from the other side there is more likely to be activity in the C2, so I head there first. Jumping through and punching my directional scanner in to life shows nothing of interest, but launching scanning probes and blanketing the system reveals four ships. I soon locate three Harbinger battlecruisers unpiloted at one tower, and a fourth unpiloted at a second.

I start to scan the C2, resolving a ladar site, the second static wormhole, and a radar site before the wormhole I warped to flares. I fling my probes out of the system and hold position until a Heron frigate appears and warps away. I don't try to engage the ship because the recalibration delay to my targeting systems from decloaking would have scuppered my chances, and there is no point giving away my position just yet. But the Heron disappears instead of heading to one of the two towers here. Wondering if he came from our neighbouring C3, and is using the exit here as a convenient connection to high-sec, I warp home and jump in to the C3 to look for him.

But if I've only just opened our static connection then the Heron can't have come from this C3. I'm not thinking straight. I take a look around anyway, finding a tower, no ships, and handful of signatures to scan. As the Heron clearly is not here I head back to the C2 to scan for more wormholes. At least, I would if there weren't a Legion strategic cruiser, Deimos heavy assault ship, Tengu strategic cruiser, and Breacher frigate on d-scan now. I easily place them sitting on the only other wormhole I know about here so far and warp in to take a look.

Camping a connection between w-space and high-sec empire space is a fairly futile endeavour. Even if a ship stumbles in to your fleet they can hold the session change cloak until the session change timer ends and then simply jump right back out to safety. But it can work to deny entry to the system, I suppose. And, it seems, it can catch haulers. The wormhole flares as I watch and before long an Iteron appears. Missiles fly and guns bombard the hauler as it turns sluggishly back towards the wormhole, before exploding in a flash of light. Huh, I didn't expect that.

I doubt the firepower was that overwhelming to give the pilot no chance of escaping, even if industrial ships are generally quite flimsy, and I imagine the hauler would have escaped if he could. My best guess is that the Iteron was dropped in to the system over five kilometres from the wormhole and the black hole phenomenon, which decreases ship agility significantly, made turning the bulky ship too slow to return to within jumping range of the wormhole in time. His pod gets away cleanly, warping away from the wormhole and disappearing without jumping back to high-sec.

There must be another wormhole in the C2 but I am not going to scan for it. I doubt the passers-through will be coming out to play any more, and I see no benefit in alerting the locals to my activity. I head back the other way and scan the C3, finding the static exit leading out to high-sec itself but reaching the end of its natural lifetime, a K162 from low-sec also at the end of its life, and a stable K162 coming from class 5 w-space. A quick exploration of the C5 sees a pilot in an Anathema covert operations boat disappear, a pilot in a dreadnought go to sleep, and seven gravimetric sites to accompany the lone signature of the static connection to the C3. There's not much to do at the moment, so I turn around and grab a bite to eat back at our tower.

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