Let wormholes guide me

2nd August 2011 – 5.11 pm

I turn up to find not much happening, mostly some corporation colleagues taking advantage of an exit to high-sec empire space to do some shopping. I have nothing I need to buy and our static wormhole is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, but it should have a couple of hours left before collapsing and I'm in a scanning boat, so I head out to take a look around.

The neighbouring class 4 w-space system is occupied but empty, the most interesting aspect currently being the connection to class 1 w-space. I jump onwards to the C1 and see a tower on my directional scanner, where I imagine the Wolf assault ship, Manticore stealth bomber, and Buzzard covert operations boat also in the system are probably all sitting. Locating the tower, I'm happy to be surprised to find the Wolf and Manticore piloted, but it comes as less of a surprise that they are doing nothing but watching a refinery run. It may well be a quiet day today.

I jump out of the class 1 system to a high-sec system in empire space, which looks like the end of the w-space constellation. But my recent operations have taught me that empire space does not have to mean an end of w-space, and I launch probes to scan. Unlike many other high-sec systems, there are quite a few signatures here. I resolve a radar site, a gravimetric site, four drone sites, three magnetometric sites, and a Blood Raider lookout post, the final signature in the system being the only other wormhole here. New Eden has a flair for the dramatic sometimes.

As if being teased with finding the wormhole last wasn't enough, it turns out to be a disappointing connection between high- and low-sec empire space, no w-space to be crossed. I jump through to take a look anyway, as I prefer wormholes to stargates and it gives me a new system to explore. I pop across to the Genesis region, where I launch probes and scan once more. Only three signatures need to be resolved this time, one of which is the K162 I exited through. More Blood Raiders are here and a second wormhole, the connection a K162 from class 3 w-space, but one that is in its EOL stage.

I'm happy entering the C3 through a dying wormhole. Since suiting up in my covert Tengu strategic cruiser I have the scanning capability and firepower in a single ship to keep me entertained even if I get isolated from wherever I'm currently calling home. The worst that can happen is I have to scan my way out of the system and get guided back by a colleague, which is a responsibility we all share at one time or another. Jumping through unstable wormholes can also catch the locals off their guard. But, in this case, the unpiloted Vexor cruiser and Nidhoggur carrier at the local tower don't seem terribly startled.

I scan the C3 anyway, wondering if perhaps the exit wormhole was opened by pilots living deeper in w-space, but only turn up a single gravimetric and ladar site each in the system. It looks like I've reached the end of the wormhole constellation at last. I turn my ship around and head back to low-sec, then to high-sec, and back in to w-space the way I came. The Wolf and Manticore are both gone, and there is still a distinct lack of anything in the class 4 system, leaving me little else to do but jump home. Space is boring tonight, but at least I didn't die stupidly.

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