Getting a gift

18th September 2011 – 3.02 pm

Unlike yesterday I have loads of time today. I aim to make the most of it by turning up early like this for some preliminary scanning and reconnaissance, so I can take advantage of having a mapped w-space constellation later. And, with any luck, I won't make any silly mistakes today. Scanning the home system is nice and easy, the fifth signature above the four bookmarked sites being the static wormhole, and I jump in to our neighbouring class 3 system to explore.

I was in this C3 a year ago and now there is at least one new tower. I can't tell much more from the wormhole because only the outer planet is within range of my directional scanner. As there are no ships in view I launch probes and perform a blanket scan whilst warping to explore the inner system. I find only the one tower in the system, along with seven anomalies and eight signatures, and no ships. There are no visible ships, at least, the core scanning probes here suggesting there may be a sneaky scout hiding somewhere. And now there's a Prorator somewhere in the system.

I warp back to check the tower for the transport ship but it is nowhere to be seen. I am perhaps looking for a K162 here, the C3 acting as a bridge from some other w-space dwellers. I start scanning, ignoring the other scout but bookmarking rocks and gas, along with the system's static exit to low-sec empire space and, unsurprisingly, a second wormhole. The extra connection is a K162 from null-sec k-space and reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and it's possible the Prorator left the system this way.

It looks like the other scout here is resolving the wormhole connecting to our home system, judging by the probes converging on the K162 and, despite not having quite completed a full scan of the C3, I jump home and plant an interceptor on the wormhole to try to catch him. It's worked so well for me up until now, I see no reason not to sit and wait for no one to come once more. And indeed no one jumps through the wormhole to be startled but ultimately unthreatened by me, although swapping back to my covert strategic cruiser to continue exploration and returning to the C3 shows they visited the K162.

I'm not going to take such obvious bait. Not yet, anyway. I leave the can alone and, bouncing off the tower to see a refinery now running for a few hours, head out to low-sec to continue scanning. I appear in the Molden Heath region and have an encouraging six signatures to resolve, an impressive four of them turning out to be wormholes. I resolve an outbound connection to class 3 w-space, a K162 connecting from high-sec empire space, an EOL K162 from class 1 w-space, and a lovely-looking outbound connection to class 2 w-space.

I try to jump in to the C2 to get a jump on the locals but the system is stabilising, which means no one is home. I instead turn around and poke my nose through to the C1, hoping to see some action before the wormhole dies, but despite there being a tower on d-scan there are no ships and I decide not to linger. The class 3 system connecting from low-sec doesn't need to stabilise but it is as inactive as the C1, with two towers and no ships present. I scan the system looking for more connections and find two, but they both connect back to low-sec. One is a super-stable static exit to low-sec, the other a K162 that is also in good condition. But there's nothing else to find.

I go back through low-sec to explore the C2, knowing that I'll have another connection to w-space to keep myself going. I am greeted by an empty and inactive system, a blanket scan showing the two dozen signatures and anomalies indicative of an unoccupied w-space system. I wade through them to resolve static connections to null-sec k-space and a class 1 w-space system, continuing my journey through w-space hoping to find activity in the C1 but finding none. It is another unoccupied and empty system that is null terminated. At least that lets me know when I've reached the end of the constellation.

I jump through the various connections to empire space I found, ending up in Genesis and Metropolis in low-sec, Genesis again in high-sec, and I do the same for the final exit to null-sec I encounter, putting me in Outer Passage. Exploration has all been a bit boring and I'm not keen to scan this null-sec system for more disappointment, but I see that I am in a dead-end system and there is a short ring of null-sec I can warp around for a few more red dots of exploration.

I'm amused and far from surprised to see the stargate in this dead end to be thoroughly bubbled, but it doesn't stop me. There isn't even anyone else in the system to see me. I continue along my route, a Ferox battlecruiser jumping past me on a stargate but otherwise encountering no one, and I even pause to shoot a few Sansha rats sitting on a stargate in another system empty of capsuleers. I keep a watch on the local channel and listen for the stargate activating whilst I shoot the two battleships and three cruisers, but space remains quiet as I increase my security standing a little.

The rats are dead, I make it back safely to w-space and head homewards. I check each system in turn for signs of life as I pass through them, finding none, and only pause when I get to our K162 in the C3. The jet-can is still there, still addressed to me, and it surely has been long enough that it can't be a trap. My curiosity is piqued, and I take a look inside. Aww, isn't that sweet, the other scout has left a set of bookmarks to all the sites and wormholes in this C3. How thoughtful. I'm not quite sure why he did it but, before jumping home safely, I gobble up the bookmarks for reference. Maybe they'll come in handy.

  1. 2 Responses to “Getting a gift”

  2. Your w-hole constellation diagram is awesome! What program did you use to make that?

    By zlehmann on Oct 4, 2011

  3. Thank you. It's just a basic paint program, and it takes a while for me to copy-and-paste the systems and arrows around, but I like the results.

    By pjharvey on Oct 4, 2011

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