Red and blue

17th July 2011 – 3.11 pm

All alone, I'll head out to scan empire space and look for more potential friends to alienate with missiles. I won't find any in the two gravimetric sites that comprise the two signatures in our high-sec home system, and I have to scan two more systems before I resolve a wormhole. What I find is quite interesting, being no mere K162 but an outbound connection to class 5 w-space. It could be dangerous, but it should lead to more w-space and further exploration, and I jump in to take a look around.

There is only a single jet-can visible on my directional scanner in this class 5 w-space system. I launch probes and blanket the system, finding it to be unoccupied and empty, so I start my look for further wormholes. There are plenty of signatures to sift through, and the lack of occupation means I can at least ignore the inevitably large number of mining sites. Sadly, the wormhole I find leads directly back out of w-space, being an exit to null-sec k-space. I was rather hoping for more to explore, so I press on with scanning.

My persistence is rewarded with a second wormhole, my optimism deflated when I see it to be a K162 from null-sec. But now I have a ship appear on my combat scanning probes, and switching to d-scan shows it to be another Tengu. I wonder if the strategic cruiser has followed me in from high-sec but he's not at the K162 leading back to empire space. Neither is the ship at either exit to null-sec, so I have at least one more wormhole to find, even if there is a Tengu to get past to explore there.

I don't have much confidence in my ship-fitting capabilities, particularly with the heavy modular design of strategic cruisers, and I suspect my covertly configured Tengu will lose to any other covertly configured Tengu, so I am not keen to get past the new arrival. I scan for the wormhole anyway, for reference, and get a nice surprise when I drop out of warp to reconnoitre the connection. The Tengu sitting still visible on the wormhole is blue, allied with our corporation and not a threat.

I confirm with colleagues who know more than me about diplomatic relations that this corporation is still in good stead with our own, then open a conversation channel with the pilot. I mention I am the other scanner in the C5, and let him know about the exits to null-sec and the one leading back to high-sec. I copy the bookmark I have to the high-sec exit and jettison it near the Tengu so that he can get direct access, linking him the destination system for information. And then I turn around, as there seems little point in jumping in to explore a blue-occupied system that most likely is a dead end.

Back in high-sec space I jump one system across and start looking for more wormholes. I find one that comes from class 2 w-space, but is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and then get lucky with the second outbound connection of the evening. This wormhole leads to class 1 w-space, which has a better chance of holding soft targets than a C5, and as it is an outbound connection I could really surprise any capsuleers that think their system is closed.

Jumping in to the class 1 w-space system makes me realise that I am not the first to find this wormhole, partly because the connection destabilises as I pass through it, which my Tengu shouldn't do on a single jump, and partly because of the red Tengu sitting on the other side in the C1. I could try to evade the hostile pilot and go exploring, but the secret of cat-and-mouse is not being the mouse, so I wait for the session change timer to expire and simply head back to high-sec, engaging my mass-inducing micro warp drive as I do just to stress the small aperture wormhole more than is strictly necessary.

I loiter cloaked in high-sec for a short while, seeing the red Tengu jump back behind me in a casual and not pursuant manner. The wormhole destabilises critically as he jumps, making it useless for any further two-way trips, and my pettiness may have been instrumental in denying the red ship's adventures, although the few tonnes the micro warp drive adds to a ship's mass probably didn't make that much difference. Sadly, all the scanning I have done so far has seen time tick away and, rather than explore further, I turn my Tengu towards our home system and dock to get some rest.

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