Nine systems deep

26th July 2011 – 5.35 pm

The end of our w-space constellation still hasn't been found. Glorious leader Fin is out scanning and is 'in C5d jumping in to C3a', or in the fourth class 5 w-space system we've encountered in our path and jumping in to the first class 3 system. All I need to do to help is catch up with her, once I remember how to get to C5d. Thankfully the constellation is fairly linear today, most K162 legs coming directly from k-space, so I just need to follow the bookmarks with arrows leading outwards. I like to think my bookmark-naming convention makes navigating easy.

I take my covert Tengu strategic cruiser out of our home class 5 w-space system and through the neighbouring class 4 system, onwards to the connecting C5, past the next C6, and in to the second external C5. This puts me in C5b and there are two wormholes in this system, one coming from null-sec k-space and the other heading out to more class 5 w-space, or C5d. C5c is actually behind me, connecting in to the C6 and essentially a dead end. Once in C5d Fin guides me to the wormhole leading to the C3 and, as all class 3 w-space systems lead to k-space, it appears we have found the end of our constellation, nine systems wide at its theoretical strongest.

Of course, there could be more connections incoming to this class 3 system, and we still need to resolve the exit wormhole, so with a clear directional scanner from our position we launch probes and scan. Consulting my notes I see that Fin and I were in this system only a short while ago, losing two Legion strategic cruisers to a bait Tengu. But that puts the system occupied, and occupied with gas miners, which is good information to have. I locate two active towers in the system but no pilots, giving us time to sift through the fourteen signatures that are sprinkled amongst the fourteen anomalies.

The exit to low-sec empire space is found and the destination system checked, putting Fin out in the Lonetrek region. I take a bit of time to resolve the rocks and gas I find, hoping for the locals to turn up and make targets of themselves, and am able to determine that there are no other wormholes to find. Although it seems that the w-space constellation finally ends and can be mapped we may be a bit premature, as one system behind a K162 hasn't been explored yet. And heading in that direction Fin spies core probes on d-scan in the class 5 system, indicating an active scout.

I go back to sit on what looks to be the next wormhole on the scout's route, turning up just in time for Fin to call the contact. A Buzzard decloaks at the wormhole in C5c and jumps to the C6 where I am sitting. I have my Tengu decloaked and systems hot, waiting for the covert operations boat to reveal himself, even though I don't rate my chances at catching him in my comparatively large cruiser. And indeed after the pilot's session change timer ends and he makes a break for it he gets away cleanly. It looks like I was close to bumping his Buzzard but I was probably miles away. Or kilometres, to use futuristic space terms.

The Buzzard isn't fazed by our ineffective ambush and can be indirectly seen launching probes to continue his exploration, and more power to him. There seems little point in his turning around just because a clumsy fool tried to make a nuisance of herself. I go back to my original plan of hoping the capsuleers in the C3 wake up and go gas mining, whilst Fin scans C5c to resolve the wormhole the Buzzard used, which turns out to be a K162 from null-sec space. And that is the end of our constellation. Because I like visualising our connections I map out the constellation, ignoring that the connection between C6b and C6a has been collapsed.

I wait patiently in the C3 for a pilot to turn up, rewarded by a new contact in a Buzzard. A new contact with connection issues, coming and going from the tower like a yo-yo. Eventually she stays long enough to start scanning, and as there is only the static exit to low-sec and the K162 back to C5d some colleagues and I are hoping that this pilot's curiosity will get her to jump out to investigate her new neighbours. A new ambush is planned, one a little more professional than a vaguely awake strategic cruiser, and a heavy interdictor and interceptor are brought across as a welcome party. Sadly, the universe has other plans for us and dies itself instead. It looks like I'll be waking up in a class 3 w-space system tomorrow.

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