Scanning empty space

7th August 2011 – 3.31 pm

Gas harvesting is almost complete, what excellent timing for my arrival. It seems like rather a long operation, having left my colleagues gathering gas last night, but I have to admire their dedication. As the last of the gas is sucked in to cargo holds, I scan our home system for today's static wormhole and jump through to explore. My directional scanner is clear of contacts in this class 4 w-space system, only one planet and its moons in range, and I launch probes and perform a blanket scan. Only six signatures and four anomalies are present here, and there is no occupation.

Resolving the signatures finds only the one wormhole, the others all being ladar sites, but the static connection leads to class 1 w-space, which could be good hunting grounds. Jumping in only sees a tower on d-scan, combat probes confirming no other ships being visible in the system. There is also only gas to find along with the single wormhole, much as with the C4, and the exit leads out to a high-sec island in empire space, one hop through low-sec needed to get to continguous high-sec. Mick declares the constellation 'boring' and heads home. I hang around in high-sec to see if I can prove him wrong.

I launch probes and scan empire space, finding loads of hideouts for Angels rats, which could give me something to do if I didn't also have a K162 from class 2 w-space to investigate here. I resolve a second K162 exiting from a C2 but this one is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and I choose the stable connection as being a better prospect. The C2 seems promising from my notes, my last visit here seeing me pop two Hulks and pod one of the pilots in my Onyx heavy interdictor, but that was fourteen months ago and a lot can change in that time. All I see from d-scan are four towers and an Anathema covert operations boat, which isn't much of a target, and even less of one when I find it unpiloted at one of the towers.

Scanning the C2 gets me a radar and two ladar sites, and the other static wormhole, a connection to another C1. Maybe I'll find activity at last. Or maybe I'll jump in to an unoccupied and empty system, with only two signatures waiting to be resolved, the third being the K162 behind me. A really weak signature turns out to be the system's static connection, an exit to null-sec k-space, and the other is also a wormhole, a K162 from class 5 w-space. There really is nothing to do in this C1, but maybe there are pilots in the C5 and I jump in to take a look.

There is an Orca industrial command ship on d-scan in the C5, which may be interesting if there also weren't a tower visible, making it a good bet that the Orca is simply floating empty inside a force field. I find the tower, shifted one moon across since I was last here ten months ago, showing that capsuleers will do anything to pass the time, and find the Orca indeed empty. I don't bother scanning further, looking for more K162s, instead accepting Mick's earlier analysis. The constellation is boring.

I head homewards, the operation to collapse our static wormhole already in full swing and pretty much just waiting for me to get back. I jump in to our C5 to have Fin follow behind me in her Orca, killing the wormhole. Once more I delete all my precious, hand-crafted bookmarks, no longer valid with the destruction of our link, and this, along with other recent scanning efforts leading nowhere, makes me feel sleepier than the hour would suggest. But Mick's impetus to find pilots to shoot is still strong and he scans for our new static wormhole. I can hang around a few minutes more, if only to see what's in store when we enter the C4.

'Unoccupied and empty', says Mick. The static connection in the C4 leads to more class 4 w-space, but the wormhole is EOL and not worth venturing through. A second wormhole sounds enticing, a K162 from a C5, but if the occupants of that C5 passed through here over twelve hours ago, in order to cause the wormhole to reach its end-of-life state by now, they are probably all asleep. And even if they aren't asleep, as the only ships visible on d-scan are a Phoenix dreadnought and Nidhoggur carrier there's little we can do, although it's likely both ships are in a tower and unpiloted. The briefest of looks through the aging wormhole to the second C4, in the hopes of a quick opportunistic kill, finds an unoccupied and empty system. All is quiet again tonight, I'm heading back to the bivouac to sleep.

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