Only high-sec rats feel my wrath

3rd October 2011 – 5.02 pm

If I don't find a better w-space constellation today I may just sulk. It all feels rather too quiet of late, but not too quiet enough for innocent haulers to frolic gaily around customs offices. Then again, the home system's getting quieter by the day, it seems, as all our radar sites have evaporated. I suspect they were activated in spite by some recent visitors. Or, seeing as how there aren't any other pilots around, the Sleepers got bored and wandered off. At least it gives me less to sift through when scanning, letting me find our static wormhole easily enough. I jump in to the neighbouring class 3 system to see on my directional scanner an Orca industrial command ship, Chimera carrier, and a tower, as well as plenty of canisters. Those are too many cans for simple storage requirements, I imagine there's a bubble trap around the tower.

Yep, that's a bubble trap accounting for the cans, which I avoid without having to try. And neither of the two ships is piloted. Scanning finds few signatures here, which isn't surprising for a C3 holding a carrier, and only one anomaly is present, probably only having spawned recently. But two of the signatures jump out at me as being wormholes, the static exit to low-sec empire space unfortunately accompanied by a rather dull K162 from null-sec k-space. A third wormhole is more interesting, being a K162 from a C2, and as the last signature is a magnetometric site—good for profit, if colleagues turn up—I jump through to the C2 to explore more w-space.

One very spiky tower is visible on d-scan, but no ships. My notes put me in this system six months ago, where I listed three towers in total. Warping around finds all three to be in the same places, two of the towers empty of ships and one holding three unpiloted Orcas and a piloted Jaguar assault ship. There doesn't seem to be much happening here, even when a Raven battleship warps in to the tower with the Jaguar. The Raven doesn't look like he's been out shooting other ships, with no wrecks visible on d-scan, and has probably just woken up. I'm going to press on and scan, if I can get far enough away from these pilots to launch probes covertly.

I warp to a far corner of the system and launch my scanning probes, blanketing the system to find only three signatures to resolve. There are no other surprises to see, just the ships I know about, although by the time I warp back to the tower the Raven has gone back to sleep. The Jaguar and its pilot remains, so I restrict my scanning to the two signatures out of d-scan range. One is the wormhole to the C3, which I entered the system through, the other a radar site. If I want to resolve the second static wormhole I'll need to risk the Jaguar seeing me. And as the pilot's probably not paying attention I think it's a risk I can easily take.

This C2's second static connection leads out to high-sec, which is almost interesting. I jump out to appear in the Duripant system—for when you need a long-lasting pant—in the Essence region. That doesn't mean much to me so I launch probes and scan, finding no extra signatures and only two anomalies. A Tristran frigate is shooting Serpentis rats in one of the anomalies, and I'm shooting Serpentis rats in the other. Times are slow when I can be found popping rats in high-sec. I clear the anomaly without a scratch to my shields and jump back to the C2 to see no change, continuing to the C3 where, oh, a Mammoth hauler is on d-scan! To the tower, quick quick!

There he is, a piloted Mammoth sitting inside the tower's shields. I hope I'm not late to the planet goo collection party but I may be, judging by the complete lack of movement from the hauler. I sit patiently just in case, and a new contact appears in a Cheetah covert operations boat. With any luck the Cheetah's just finished scanning the C3 and will drop some bookmarks for the Mammoth to use to fly to low-sec. I'd settle for that. Or maybe the Cheetah too has only just woken up, as he doesn't do anything either. A third contact appears, this pilot in an Anathema cov-ops, and as I shift my hopes towards this pilot to have been scanning he burns out of the tower's shields and launches scanning probes. It looks like these pilots' evening has only just begun.

I sit and wait patiently, knowing that there is little to find in the system, but still there is no other movement. Then again, what's this? The Mammoth pilot has swapped ships, hopping across to the Orca. Maybe the Anathema pilot has found the exit to low-sec and they don't like it, wanting to collapse the connection for better prospects. And maybe some anonymous benefactor will donate a Revelation to Penny's New Toys fund, both situations being just as likely to occur. Besides, even if the Orca is used to collapse the wormhole there are two pilots around to provide protection, and I know that even delayed protection is enough to get an Orca home safely.

I'd definitely still take a shot at the Orca if the opportunity presented itself. I don't think there are any surprise counter-ambushes waiting for me here, as the pilots have acted naturally and have little reason to think I've been watching them. And the opportunity may present itself, as the Cheetah poos out a canister that the Orca chomps, but even if he ingested a pile of steaming bookmarks he's still not moving. It looks like the Anathema has gone exploring the constellation, although there really isn't that much to find, leaving the other pilots here waiting for a report. I could wait for longer but I'd rather be entertained elsewhere, and simply head home for the night. Stupid pilots doing nothing stupid. At least I found other capsuleers tonight, giving me faith for future nights.

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