Not trusting a truce

11th November 2011 – 5.35 pm

I'm back and keen to know what's happening. Glorious leader Fin is here, which is good, but she's unresponsive, which isn't as good. Whilst I wait to get a response I warp across to our home system's static wormhole and jump in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, looking for changes from earlier. A pod at the tower is a change, and positive one, as is a combat probe appearing on my directional scanner, although I can't tell if the probe is from a local source or a tourist coming in from the wormhole leading out to high-sec empire space. Neither, as it turns out, as Fin is responsible for having launched the probe, which I find out when she notices my arrival.

The pod at the tower disappears after having done nothing I can discern, shortly to be replaced by a Viator. The transport ship's pilot is a new contact, the vector of the Viator's entrance in to the tower clearly showing it not having come via the wormhole to high-sec. A new pilot could mean activity, but I am progressively coming to the conclusion that some capsuleers come on-line simply to tease other capsuleers in to thinking something will happen, this one adding to my growing body of empirical data. As Fin needs another short break I pass the time watching the Viator and hoping he makes himself vulnerable in a particularly stupid way, but the biggest move the transport ship makes is a slight axis correction, probably little more than space dust bumping in to the ship, before heading off-line again. Thanks for joining us, Viator pilot.

At least Fin's back again, which means we can collapse our static wormhole connecting the home system to this dreary C3, without even any decent sites to plunder, and look for better opportunities. We board Orca and Widow, the industrial command ship and black ops ship pairing shown to be generally efficient at killing our wormhole, but this time an Onyx heavy interdictor has to be pushed through twice as well, the wormhole being a little on the chubby side. But soon enough we have empty space where the wormhole had ripped through to another system, and I am scanning again for the new connection that has opened up elsewhere. I also confirm that no other wormholes have appeared before guiding Fin to the wormhole and jumping through to explore another class 3 system.

I have a tower on d-scan but no ships, which is a fairly common sight. Launching probes and blanketing the system gives us loads of anomalies to plow through, but more interesting is the ship and drones near the centre of the system. Thoughts of having a capsuleer to fight instead of Sleepers slip through my fingers when I warp in d-scan range of the ship, seeing it to be an Anathema covert operations boat, the drones ECM variants, and a second tower to be present. Sure enough, the Anathema is unpiloted in the tower and the drones are elsewhere, not even in an anomaly. Whatever combat there may have been it was a while ago.

The lack of other pilots gives us opportunity again to shoot Sleepers, although it is best to check for other connections to try to prevent any surprises. I sift through the twelve signatures in the system for signs of wormholes, happy to find a fat signature on the edge of the system that looks just like a static exit to low-sec empire space to me. And if only that's all there was to find, but my probes return a second wormhole, which feels like a K162, and then third wormhole, that last one being the only other signature in the system that is likely to be a wormhole. I ignore the rest of the weak signatures for now as inconsequential, as we have connections to investigate.

The signature I supposed was the exit to low-sec is indeed just that. The K162 turns out to be a K162 as well, this one from class 4 w-space. Spider-sense tingling, I predict the third resolved wormhole to be an N968 outbound connection to further class 3 w-space, and I'm right again. I may be getting the hang of this scanning lark, and not a moment too soon after having spent a couple of years relying on it for survival in w-space. I'm also assuming that the C4 was opened a while back and may be the source of the ECM drones, launched to evade an attack by other capsuleers, whereas the N968 may not have been active when they were here. The C4 will be quiet, C3b is unknown.

As Fin heads in to explore C3b I jump out of w-space to at least note the exit system, if only for insurance purposes in case circumstances turn against us, and bookmark the wormhole in the Khanid region. I don't scan but jump back and warp across C3a to explore the connected class 4 system. Jumping in has three towers and no ships on d-scan, a d-scan result that has only three moons visible. Opening the system map makes the C4 look more familiar, as the system is small and there's nowhere to hide, although I think I've encountered two similar systems so I can't be sure I've been here before. My notes remove all doubt, reminding me that I was here three months ago, with the same three towers listed. All is quiet, I jump back to the C3.

Fin found four ships in the second class 3 w-space system, all of them unpiloted and floating inside the force field of a tower. It looks like we have buffer systems to either side of our neighbouring C3, which whilst not as safe as no other connections at least puts more space between us and other pilots. We both head home, swapping scanning boats for our Sleeper Tengu strategic cruisers, and jump back to the C3 to start making profit from the death and destruction of the local population. We rip through one anomaly and move to the second, where we get to the final wave of ships only to see a Buzzard covert operations boat appear on d-scan. Judging by the ship's name the boat is local, but even if it means he is alone his knowledge of the system could make him just as deadly as a scout for a fleet. I initiate the warp command and get Fin and myself home immediately.

The question remains of whether we loot and salvage, but it is an easy question for Fin to answer. 'Yes', she says, matter-of-factly. It's just one ship so far and there are two of us, and it would be unfortunate to have spent so much time this evening with nothing to show for our efforts. So Fin dusts off her Noctis salvager and I board a pointy ship to provide protection. Of course, my recent engagement is still in mind, having viewed the situation from the other point-of-view, but hopefully we aren't quite so reckless in our approach. As it turns out, the local pilot tells us that he sees we are ratting and that he'll leave us to it.

That's a kind sentiment, but if only capsuleers were trustworthy, particularly those in lawless space. It may be that he is only here for the gas or ore mining, and that he is happy for us to take advantage of the available anomalies. The problem is that we cannot really tell the difference between a noble gesture and an underhand tactic. Sadly, it's best to expect the worst. Still, it is through this adversity we learn to cooperate to the fullest, to trust each other and put our clones in the hands of our colleagues. The consequences of lawless space aren't all bad.

As it turns out we are not ambushed and Fin returns home safely with a little over thirty million ISK in loot, which is a relatively poor return for our time. But we both get home safely, and we have a little more ISK to keep us going, which is positive result. And, with that, we settle down to get some sleep.

  1. 2 Responses to “Not trusting a truce”

  2. I operate under the theory that capsuleers are as peaceful and as trustworthy as their current set of options permit and/or require.

    By JamesT on Nov 14, 2011

  3. That's a good policy.

    By pjharvey on Nov 14, 2011

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