Substandard scouting

27th August 2011 – 3.57 pm

Another day, another gravimetric site to lazily mine. I resolve the new site, warp in, and warp back out again. That'll teach those rocks to appear in my system. Now I'll see if I can stir up a similar storm outside of home, warping to the only wormhole present and jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. I find myself in a C3 I visited about three months ago, and knowing that it holds a static exit to null-sec k-space makes it unlikely I'll be bringing any more ships home. No ships visible on a blanket scan of the system isn't a good sign for hunting either, although I am early enough that I only really expect to do some preparatory scanning.

I locate the two towers in this C3 and pick one to loiter nearby as I scan the system. I bookmark the sole anomaly and have little trouble resolving the six signatures. The first is a wormhole, but one that is far too strong to connect to null-sec. It turns out to be a K162, but only from low-sec empire space. A weaker wormhole looks more like the static exit to null-sec, even more so when I visit it and see the familiar K346 designation. I finish scanning with a gravimetric site, a second gravimetric site, and, hello, a third wormhole. This last wormhole is outbound connection to more class 3 w-space, and well worth exploring.

This second C3 is also in my notes, from six months earlier. Fin and I popped a Badger hauler here back then, and it doesn't look like we stayed for long as I don't have the static wormhole listed. I have the tower in my notes, though, but there have been some changes in the intervening months, one tower moved and at least one more erected. A Dominix battleship and Buzzard covert operations boat sit in the tower in range of my directional scanner from the K162, the Dominix piloted but inactive. I warp off to launch probes and accidentally bump in to a third tower, warping past the second and a shuttle, but it doesn't look like anyone but the battleship pilot is around.

My combat probes show me the three ships I've already seen, along with two anomalies and three signatures. With the Dominix pilot dozing off I scan the signatures, ignoring the K162 to C3a, and find two more wormholes. The first is the static exit to high-sec empire space, which could be handy, the second an outbound connection to class 4 w-space. I am keen to bring back my Tengu or Crane to w-space and, having time to make a journey today, check the high-sec exit beore exploring deeper in to w-space. And even though I have time for a journey the thirty jumps from Metropolis is a little discouraging. Maybe another day.

Jumping back to C3b finds a change on d-scan, the Dominix replaced by an Imicus frigate. I've apparently forgotten about that connection to the C4 already and instead warp to the tower to keep an eye on the tiny target. Sadly, my Tengu decloaks at some point during the flight to the tower and I don't notice until I am dropping out of warp in front of the Imicus. It's quite likely he's seen my strategic cruiser appear and then cloak, and I imagine the element of surprise is gone. A potential target lost to a newbie mistake, how embarrassing. I may as well head home.

Before I get home I remember about the K162 from low-sec in C3a and jump out to see if that lands me any closer to my ships. It does, but a check of d-scan before jumping out of w-space saw a Tengu in the C3 and, again, bloodlust overcomes my desire to run logistics. I'm odd that way. I jump back to the C3, warp my Tengu over to the tower—making sure I'm cloaked this time—and watch the other strategic cruiser for movement. He does little to start with, then swaps ships to a Buzzard. He warps around four hundred kilometres from the tower, launches probes, and warps back in to the force field. Scanning means he'll find the wormholes here, and he may investigate them. Glorious leader Fin has turned up and is happy to jump in to her Crow interceptor to arrange a welcome party for the new scout.

Eventually the scanning probes in the system disappear and the Buzzard sets out to survey what he's found. His first visit is not towards our K162, unfortunately, but the N968 to the second class 3 system. I follow behind, hedging my bets and dropping far short of the wormhole, but he's aimed right for the wormhole and is diving straight in. Rather than hope he comes back still full enough of curiosity to check our K162 I drop my cloak and burn towards the wormhole, calling Fin to jump in and warp to my position. The Buzzard may not want to visit our system but he'll definitely be coming home, and we can move our welcome wagon to him.

As I am on full burn, and Fin is in warp, the wormhole still fifty kilometres away from me flares. The Buzzard has returned rather sooner than expected, and we are nowhere near in optimal positions. Perhaps because the pilot sees my Tengu bearing down on him he ignores the session change cloak and warps back to his tower, moments before Fin drops out of warp in her interceptor. It looks like I've blown my second opportunity of the day too. I don't think there is much more for us to do here for now, so I head home, dump the bookmarks I've accumulated, and go off-line to watch a vid. Let's hope I don't disappoint as much tomorrow.

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