Scanning the spectrum

30th November 2011 – 5.09 pm

It's time to see what's out there today. And it will have to be 'there' because here at home it all looks the same as yesterday. Scanning probes tell a slightly different tale, with a few new signatures cropping up. Although I'm expecting a new static wormhole, there is also a new radar site, and a second and third wormhole. I have options today. Warping to visit each wormhole shows me what I have found: the static connection to class 3 w-space, a K162 from class 5 w-space, and a K162 from class 6 w-space. The K162s look a bit dangerous to me, still feeling a little rough around the edges from even a short planetside break, so I warp to the C247 and jump first to our neighbouring C3.

There is a tower visible on my directional scanner in the C3, which I find quickly enough. This being my fourth visit to the system, the last time being six months ago, I have the tower's location listed in my notes and I simply confirm that it hasn't moved. There are also no ships around, so I warp away, launch probes, and take a virtual look around. Four anomalies and ten signatures is manageable, but with two more systems behind me to explore I'm only going to be looking for more wormholes right now. Hey, there's one. My first hit picks out the static exit to low-sec empire space, which would be lucky if I didn't then get an outbound connection to class 4 w-space with my second hit, and another one the same with my third. It seems wormholes are easy to come by in this system.

Here come the rocks. One, two, three, four gravimetric sites ignored, leaving me with a lovely outbound connection to class 1 w-space to resolve and, as the final signature, yet another wormhole, outbound to class 2 w-space. This C3 is a nexus, the only K162 present being our own, the other five wormholes leading outwards. Not only that, but I realise that I have wormholes leading to all classes of w-space, from the lowly C1 up to the deadly C6, although class 4 w-space is overly represented. And here's a Fin.

I head home and copy all the wormhole bookmarks for Fin to use, before I return to the C3 and head towards the class 1 system, happy to look in the lowest class of w-space for the weakest targets, whilst Fin is happy to explore the more threatening space linking in to our home system. I don't find much in the C1, six ships picked up by my combat probes all being empty in a tower, and the seven signatures present being mostly gas. I resolve a wormhole leading out to more class 3 w-space, but it's the exit to high-sec that interests Fin. 'If it's close to Amarr', she says, 'maybe we can stock up on fuel'. I jump out to get the exit system only to find myself two jumps from Amarr. Fin has strange powers.

It would be convenient indeed to get fuel, but only if we can safely bring it back to our tower. So far we have only explored a few of the many systems all linked together in a rather bristly clump, and until all systems can be deemed at least visibly inactive should we consider hauling our way to and from high-sec. Next stop for me is the second C3 system connecting from the C1. Jumping in has a few bubbles on d-scan and nothing else, but exploring further finds four towers that would be ominous if it weren't for the silos present at each one. More ominous is the second ship that disappeared from my combat probes before I could get in d-scan range, as I don't know if he's cloaked and scouting or gone off-line. I'll have to ignore it, assuming for now it was an industrialist checking on processes, but keep it in mind.

I go back to the C1, then C3a, and across to the C2. I've been here before too, and although I have a tower listed it's no surprise that it has moved. This is where we rather surprised a Caracal cruiser helping to lay siege to the system, and although we won a small battle we probably didn't influence the war. There's no one home at the moment and, still with more systems behind me to explore, I don't bother scanning for further wormholes. Instead I jump back and head onwards to the first of the two class 4 systems, which turns out to be unoccupied, but with an off-line tower floating somewhere, and inactive. Again, I refrain from launching probes and jump back.

I am heading towards the second C4 when I spot not only core scanning probes on d-scan in C3a but a Helios covert operations boat too. I narrow d-scan's beam and confirm that the Helios is not in the tower before trying to locate where the still-visible Helios is sitting. My first guess is on one of the many wormholes here, a scout having found the K162 and jumped through, but d-scan shows them all clear. And still the Helios sits uncloaked, indeed long enough for me to find his location around a planet, but not quite long enough for me to warp to his position. The Helios is gone and so are the probes. Without knowing where he came from there is no way I can follow, so I ignore the sighting for now and continue along my original direction and jump in to C4b.

Why, there he is. Not on the wormhole in C4b, looking nice and vulnerable, but the Helios I just saw in the C3 is on d-scan, along with a second Helios and a tower. I locate the tower and warp to it to find that, bastards that they are, the two piloted ships are blue to our corporation. I suppose it wouldn't have mattered if I'd found the Helios in time in the C3, as I probably wouldn't have shot him. I make a note that the system is occupied by blues and head to the C3 again. Fin, meanwhile, has determined the C6 connecting to our home system to be initially inactive but now has pilots waking up, whilst the C5 has a Naglfar dreadnought shooting Sleepers in an anomaly whilst a carrier sits waiting to escalate the engagement. I've seen how long this kind of combat can take, and even if we were to wait for a salvager to come out the C5 has four pilots loitering in a tower, potentially ready to launch a counter-attack. It's probably not worth our time.

We have a convenient exit, but a rather inconvenient w-space constellation. The route outwards looks safe enough but we cannot be sure that pilots won't be waiting for our return to the home system. We also can't collapse either K162 at home without a significant risk of being spotted and interrupted, which prevents us from doing much domestically too. As such, I take a second look in the C1, an occupied system that I scanned thoroughly, but find it just as inactive as earlier.

There are more systems to scan for wormholes—a connection to class 4 w-space to find in the C2, and the non-blue C4 must contain a w-space wormhole—and if I find an exit to null-sec in C3b I'll have connections to all classes of space, but I'm not up for scanning for scanning's sake. If we find anything to shoot it would have to be a soft target or we again risk being ambushed ourselves coming home in our pointy ships. It's okay, there's been plenty to explore, and finding all classes of w-space connected together was interesting. I'm heading home to settle down for tonight.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.