Quietly scanning and shooting Sleepers

26th November 2011 – 3.31 pm

Fin's found a wormhole as I arrive, but it's not our static connection. It's easy to assume that the first wormhole you resolve will be what you're expecting to find, especially in your own home system, but we're staring at the bloody pustule that is a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space. That's a little foreboding, particularly after recent events, but there aren't any ships visibly causing trouble in our system and the wormhole looks quiet from this side. A second scan finds our static wormhole and we decide which way each of us wants to explore. My glorious leader chooses the glorious option and jumps in to the C6, I take the less risky route to the class 3 system.

My directional scanner shows me a tower and a lack of ships in the C3. I warp out to a distant planet, where I hope I can launch probes covertly, during which time I consult my notes. I was here for my second visit five months ago, and I have the location of two towers listed. That should save time, and as a bonus I know I'm looking for a static exit to high-sec empire space. I don't think we need a convenient exit currently, having only just bought some new ships and skill books, but having a good exit is always an opportune time to buy tower fuel.

I've launched probes safely and am now back in the centre of the system, floating outside the larger of the two towers. I had to look for the second, it having been moved since my previous visit, but it wasn't difficult to find. Arranging my probes to perform a blanket scan reveals little of interest. There remains no ships, and I see a paltry three signatures to go with eight anomalies. I know two of the signatures will be the K162 home and static connection, and the third resolves to be a radar site.

I warp to the exit wormhole, which is super-stable and suggestive that no one, not even the locals, have been here today, and jump out to high-sec. Well, shit, it's Aridia. It's good that we don't need a convenient exit, because this certainly isn't one. I launch probes and scan, the only other signature in the system also being a wormhole. Poor buggers, connecting to high-sec Aridia too. Or not, as the wormhole is an outbound connection to class 2 w-space, which would be much more exciting if it weren't stabilising as I try to jump through.

There may be no one home in the C2 but there will be a wormhole linking to more w-space, so I push through to explore. I find a tower, my probes find three anomalies and eleven signatures. I get no further than ignoring some rocks when I recall my probes and head home. Fin found occupation in the C6 but no activity and is nearing the end of collapsing the connection between our system and theirs. I head back to add my Widow black ops ship to the accumulated mass to pass through the wormhole, happy to help sever the link and keep us safely isolated from whatever may come that way.

A final pair of jumps is only enough to destabilise the wormhole to a critical degree, not collapse it. Fin pushes a supercruiser through the wormhole for one final effort, but still the wormhole clings on to life. 'Anything coming through will kill it', says Fin, which is probably true, but is she okay with that? I have to ask, because it seems I am not the best judge of safety. We decide to leave it. It seems that any ship that manages to come through the wormhole will end up a target for us, not a threat, and have no way back to run. And so, with the wormhole in its deathly state, we swap ships to our Sleeper Tengu strategic cruisers and head out to the C3 to make some more ISK.

I make a pit stop in Aridia, of all places, as the high-sec system has a station. I managed to buy the wrong subsystem for my replacement Tengu, thanks to the stupidly limited number of stored fittings causing me to pay much less attention to the previously useful service and instead have the wrong one saved. I waited for a high-sec connection to fix this, instead of risking another flight through low-sec in a ratting boat, because we're still not able to refit subsystems in w-space. Not that I'm bitter about these niggles.

Sleeper combat passes uneventfully through one, two, three anomalies, the only change in the fourth being a lack of Argos guns and an absent first wave of Sleepers. The barely started anomaly is not a portent of hostile intervention and is cleared as smoothly as the others. D-scan is watched studiously the whole time we fight, today no ships or probes appearing at all, and we even push our luck by bringing two Noctis salvagers in to sweep up twice as fast in separate anomalies. We get home safely, 185 Miskies better off, there being no excitement today. But having experienced excitement recently the relative lack of extra-Sleeper stimulation is welcome.

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