Dashed by old age

6th September 2011 – 5.40 pm

Pengu's coming home! Okay, maybe not right away, as I haven't even scanned the home system for wormholes yet, but I am optimistic about retrieving my strategic cruiser from high-sec. W-space can't keep sending me to null-sec forever. So with a positive spring in my probe launcher, I resolve our static connection and jump to the class 3 w-space system, which no doubt contains an exit to high-sec empire space. I'm so excited!

Three drones and a warp bubble are visible on my directional scanner, but nothing else. Expanding my search of the system beyond the range of d-san, by launching probes and blanketing the system, finds only empty space. That the system remains unoccupied since my last visit six months ago, along with the large number of anomalies and signatures present, strongly suggests I am not looking for an exit to high-sec but one to null-sec k-space. Poor Pengu, so many Sleepers to shoot, but so far away from them all. I scan anyway and resolve the weak-looking signature to indeed be an exit to null-sec, but I'm not giving up yet.

I sift through rocks and gas in this empty C3 looking and hoping for a random outbound connection to continue exploration, and I find something. Sadly it's not an outbound link but the more likely K162 I see before me when I drop out of warp, and the inbound connection from class 5 w-space is not exactly helpful. In all likelihood, even if there are more K162s to find heading backwards through w-space, the starting point will probably remain in w-space and I'd only be wasting my time scanning in that direction.

There are still more signatures in this C3, though. I ignore rocks and gas—in fact, radar and magnetometric sites mostly—to see a Probe appear near the K162 I'm sitting on. And by 'near', I mean 200 km away, but that's nose-to-nose on an astronomical scale. I think about trying to get closer when a Prorator decloaks on the wormhole itself before jumping through. The Probe then warps to the wormhole and jumps too, probably following his colleague in the transport ship home.

I am close to resolving another wormhole in this C3 when the K162 flares again, the Prorator coming back and warping off in roughly the direction of the wormhole I am scanning. If I didn't know any better I'd say there was a convenient connection to empire space here, which the C5 occupants are using. I'm almost tingling with expectation. I resolve the wormhole and warp to it to find a K162 coming in from high-sec! But it's very wobbly and reaching the end of its lifetime, which isn't encouraging. I check the exit anyway, as I could risk the remaining life of the wormhole for a short trip, but I end up in Minmatar space and two dozen jumps from Pengu.

A fourth wormhole in the C3 is an oubtound connection, but the wormhole to more class 3 w-space, and its guaranteed exit to k-space, is also at the end of its natural lifetime. I'll have more hope looking for additional wormholes in null-sec, and I jump through the static exit to do just that. There are lots of drone sites in this system in the Malpais region, and the four signatures here look promising. Two of them turn out to be gravimetric sites, one is the K162 back to the C3, but one is indeed a wormhole, leading out to more class 3 w-space. This newly found C3 could have a stable connection to high-sec!

Or maybe I've gone around in circles. I'm sure C3a was unoccupied, so the unpiloted ships in the tower here are a hint I'm in a different system, but the K162 from class 5 w-space gives me a feeling of deja vu. At least the static connection doesn't lead to null-sec—there's a K162 present that does—and instead exits to low-sec empire space. It's not quite high-sec but it could offer a good route to Pengu. Or I could end up in the Devoid region, still two dozen jumps away from my desired ship. Right, I'm scanning this low-sec system too, there is a route to be discovered.

It is the day of the C3. Two wormholes are resolved in this low-sec system and, despite hoping for a low-to-high-sec connection, both are K162s from class 3 w-space. I think that's the end of my hopes, I may as well explore the two C3s here to look for ships to take out my frustrations on. And you never know, I may find a K162 coming from a class 2 w-space system that has a second connection to high-sec. Picking one of the two wormholes at random to jump through I find myself in an occupied system with scanning probes on d-scan. I launch my own probes and blanket the system, finding three ships. My notes put me here four months ago and list two towers, which remain in the same place and hold the three unpiloted ships. My interest is waning.

With probes launched I may as well scan, and my eerie influence over my own destiny finds me a K162 from class 2 w-space. My tenuous grip on reality also means this K162 is very wobbly indeed and, even if it would last long enough for me to scan in the C2, the wormhole probably will die before I even get back to our tower, if I can find it still. I leave this system to check the other C3 found from low-sec, hoping I'll have better luck there. And although I get an even more direct sign that I am destined to get Pengu today, resolving a K162 from high-sec itself, the wormhole is again wobbly. Maybe I have a problem with my graphics card.

I check the exit system anyway to find myself closer to Pengu than through the other exits, but still fifteen jumps away. Mind you, even if I had ended up in the system holding Pengu I would not be confident of the wormhole living long enough for me to warp 160 AU across this C3 more than once. That's it, I've run out of systems to explore and wormholes to find. There's not much more to do but head home, copy the twenty-one bookmarks I've made to our shared can, and take a break for food. I gave it my best shot, but I'm going to have to wait a little longer until I can get Pengu back to w-space.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.