Scanning in two directions

6th August 2011 – 3.03 pm

The bivouac is being taken down, to accommodate a lull in corporate activity, exits permitting. So far, today's scouts have scanned as deep as a class 6 system and are thinking about stopping, a route through deadly w-space not ideal for exporting ships. There's no harm in taking a look, though, and as they jump in for a shufti I grab a copy of the current bookmarks available at the tower and head in the opposite direction. There is a class 2 w-space system connecting in to our C5 and a lack of further bookmarks in that system suggest it hasn't been scanned. That's a little odd, because the C2 should have a second static wormhole leading out to k-space and if we're after a quick route out of w-space I would have thought it was the best place to start looking.

When I mention I'm in the C2 and scanning I am told that it only has an exit to null-sec, which explains why everyone flew off in the other direction, but not why a bookmark to the second wormhole wasn't made and copied to the shared can, particularly as there are only two signatures in the whole of the C2. I resolve the wormhole and bookmark it, at least so we know where it is, in case the locals wake up and use the exit themselves, and then jump out myself. K-space does not have to be an end to w-space, and if we are hitting a dead end in one direction we can still look this way for a route to high-sec empire space.

The null-sec system is in the Spire region, which is populated by drones and uninteresting for ratting, but there are a few signatures to resolve. Amongst them I find a wormhole that connects this null-sec system to low-sec empire space, which is a step up. Not involving stargates on the journey is always handy too. I jump through the wormhole to be back in the Citadel, the Kubinen system being only one jump from high-sec. That's not a bad result from the corporation initially believing the C2 not to offer a viable route.

I launch probes and scan again, happy to have found a path to high-sec but really after some activity to hunt, but there is only a gravimetric site in the system. There are also some ships around, and I easily get a strong hit on a Typhoon battleship meandering around in empty space. I warp in close to his position and alert the fleet, but they are now much deeper in w-space in the other direction, having passed through the C6, across two C5s, a C4, and are scanning another C2. There are ten wormholes between me and them, which is a fair distance to travel even if the Typhoon decides to stay where he is for now.

There's more to consider about a battleship sitting in low-sec with a red-skulled pilot in it. He could be waiting for an aggression timer to end, or loitering mid-system until tacklers in his fleet call him in to blow the crap out of a hapless target. I'm beginning to learn how to perform some basic intelligence, checking the local channel to see five other members of the Typhoon's corporation present in the system. This is a basic check that we can't do in w-space, the local channel keeping you hidden until you decide to speak, so thinking to do this doesn't come naturally to me. But knowing that the Typhoon has reinforcements nearby, which could be safely assumed given his and the system's security status, as well as the class of ship he's in, means I am best served just watching the battleship align out and warp away.

Heading home has one pilot in the null-sec system now, making it less safe to pass through ourselves, but at least we would not be using the stargate. Even so, and with no activity anywhere along the w-space constellation, the other corporation directors decide to shoot some gas for now to make some iskies. I pass the time by trying to fit a Crow interceptor half competently, given the lack of fittings for frigate-hulled ships in our hangars, so that I can sit on the K162 in our system to wait for no one. A Probe frigate was spotted in the tower in the C2 whilst the gas harvesting operation was starting up and hopefully he'll come out exploring again, but all he does is slump drunk in his pod and go back to sleep. That was predictable. I leave my colleagues hoovering space dust as I head back to the tower to sleep.

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