Either too quiet or too busy

13th September 2011 – 5.40 pm

My magnetic personality continues to work its charm, except for somehow reversing the polarity and repulsing instead of attracting other pilots. Alone in our empty home w-space system I scan for wormholes. I have six bookmarks to sites I know about, and there are seven signatures to be found in the system. That's the six known sites plus our static wormhole, which makes scanning short and sweet before I'm jumping to our neighbouring class 3 system.

All I see on my directional scanner in the C3 is an off-line tower and some wayward warp bubbles. Capsuleers really need to tidy up after themselves. The system is unoccupied and empty, there being no anomalies even, leaving me only sixteen signatures to search through for the possibility of activity. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Scanning goes more quickly when you're not concerned to bookmark rocks or gas for potential ambushes. I resolve two wormholes, though, one more than I was expecting, but the second connection doesn't offer much in the way of opportunity, the static exit to null-sec k-space being joined only by a K162 also from null-sec.

I exit the C3 through its static exit to turn up in the Outer Passage region. There are a few pilots in the system, obvious from the populated local channel, but I'm more interested in looking for more w-space. I won't find it here, just drones, lots of drones, and the one signature that is the K162 I'm sitting on. I jump back to the C3 and warp across it to explore the null-sec system beyond the K162. I am once again in Outer Passage, a mere eight hops from the other system, and this time there are two extra signatures to resolve. I suspect the Raven battleship on d-scan is shooting drones in one of them, but that still leaves one potential wormhole.

Yay, it's a wormhole. No, really, the signature is 'YAY' and it's a wormhole. In fact, both signatures in this null-sec system are wormholes, the Raven being somewhere else entirely. I am feeling rather lucky, actually, as each wormhole is an outbound connection, one to class 3 w-space and one to class 5 w-space. They may not be as likely to lead to occupation as a K162 would, but their static wormhole remains yet to be discovered so I have more exploration to do. I choose to visit the C3 first, both for potentially softer targets and because it will probably only lead back to k-space, letting me engage in or disregard the system quickly should the constellation beyond the C5 get convoluted.

Erk. I jump in to the class 3 system only to be greeted by five ships. Three Vagabond cruisers and two Curse recon ships are waiting on the wormhole, which is a nasty welcoming party. Even if I thought I could evade these ships normally, which I'm not convinced I can, I have not really jumped in to the system but stumbled, my Tengu being less than two kilometres from the wormhole. I have little choice but to jump back to null-sec and flee. The good news is that the ambushers have launched drones, no doubt trying to make it more difficult for me to move away from the wormhole and cloak, but they have actually done me a favour.

The session change timer ends, I break my cloak, and jump back to null-sec. Back in k-space I move immediately, there being no point waiting for the timer to expire this time, and easily clear the wormhole and cloak before any of the ambushers follow behind me. By launching their drones the pilots had to wait a couple of seconds to recall them back to their bays before they could jump, those precious seconds being all I needed to make good my getaway. In null-sec the Curses and Vagabonds once again launch drones and try to flush me out, but it's too late. I'm at a comfortably safe distance from the wormhole where I casually watch their futile search.

My only problem now is working out where to go. Checking on the information of the ambushing pilots shows them to be null-sec residents, part of a large alliance too, and unlikely to be w-space denizens. I could still explore the C5 here, but I don't know if a second squadron is planted on the other side of that wormhole. I could jump out to evade them too, but if the C3 ambushers are called to sit on the null-sec side of the wormhole I could be toast. I've had one more near-death experience tonight than is on my quota, so would be happy to go home for an early night. But that's a few 'what-if's, and as the ships don't appear to be keen to warp around to check the other two wormholes in the system, to see if I head through one of them, I am probably worrying about nothing. I'll explore the class 5 system.

In warp I check my notes for the C3, finding out I'd been there three months earlier, and that I'd only be looking for another connection to null-sec. I'm fine with leaving it alone. Jumping in to the C5 to has only a clear wormhole to greet me, and a tower and four ships on d-scan. That's it, not even any hangars, arrays, or defences, just a tower and four ships. I locate the tower to find the four ships sadly but inevitably unpiloted. Launching probes and scanning has one anomaly sitting lonely amongst seventeen signatures, and I perform the quick quick scanstep to resolve the only wormhole here, a static connection to more class 5 w-space. It's worth a dekko whilst I'm in a frame of mind to explore.

Core scanning probes are visible on d-scan in the second C5 in the constellation, so is an Orca industrial command ship, Occator transport ship, and Hurricane battlecruiser. A tower floats around a moon somewhere, that somewhere easily located to let me see the Orca piloted, just as the Occator and Hurricane drop off d-scan. I warp away to investigate the one planet stubbornly sitting out of range of d-scan to find a second tower, this one with a sadly unpiloted Covetor mining barge. I spotted an Enyo assault ship on d-scan whilst I was in warp but it is gone by the time I've found the third tower out here. Something is happening, but I can't yet tell what. A Daredevil frigate appears somewhere too, and my best guess is that a wormhole is being camped, or maybe some combat is happening on the other side of it. Either way, I'm going home.

The wormhole back to the first C5 remains clear, as does the first C5 itself, and I exit to null-sec with no surprises waiting for me. I am a little concerned that the null-seccers I left behind are now waiting for me in the other C3, the one I need to use to get home, but luckily Mick and Fin have turned up and I can use their ships as remote sensors. Mick is kind enough to locate and jump through our static wormhole to check the C3 from the inside, where he detects no ships. And with this information I jump in from null-sec to a clear wormhole, letting me get home safely. In retrospect, maybe my ambushers are from the null-sec system on the other side of that other C3, which is why they were reluctant to move away from the wormhole, but it's nothing I thought about at the time.

I update my colleagues on the night's constellation, which Mick neatly sums up as 'either too busy, or too quiet', and we decide to isolate ourselves from the current systems. Fin's Orca pairs with my Widow black-ops ship to collapse our static wormhole, those two-to-three months of specialised skill training really coming in handy for me to pilot a ship that has little other function out here than be a wormhole killer. At least I still enjoy its styling, and it is really effective at collapsing wormholes with the Orca. The wormhole dies on schedule to give us more w-space to explore, but I stay behind. I've had my fill of action and am feeling sleepy, so hit the sack as my colleagues scan the new constellation looking for targets.

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