Quiet times in low-sec

19th December 2011 – 5.41 pm

Tonight will definitely be a relatively quiet night. Or short, at least. I will find a miner, pod him, then go to sleep, or I'll give up after the first couple of systems. I appreciate having plenty to explore but don't fancy it every night, as the exploration can easily take all the time I have available and there is more to flying spaceships than manipulating scanning probes. Having said that, however, living in w-space demands manipulating scanning probes just to get around, so I have little choice if I want to accomplish anything but to scan the home system first.

The home w-space system is simple enough to scan, made even simpler today by the static wormhole being in the same place as yesterday. Thankfully, the class 3 system beyond is different. My directional scanner is clear when entering the system, letting me launch probes to perform a blanket scan, and warp off to explore. I find a Hoarder hauler and tower on d-scan before my probes show me it is the only ship in the system, and locating the tower shows the Hoarder to be there and unpiloted. Fulfilling my desire for exploration not taking the whole evening there are only two anomalies in the system along with four signatures to resolve. This will be quick.

Ignoring the signature for the K162 homewards, the first two signatures are both wormholes, the final signature a ladar site that I resolve and bookmark because doing so is easy. It seems almost typical these days for class 3 w-space systems to have more than one wormhole to be found, as if they are being seeded with more perhaps because they lead out to k-space and this lack of exploration is being compensated. Then again, as the two wormholes both link to low-sec empire space—the static connection outbound, a second connection a K162—I could be talking nonsense.

The static exit to low-sec from this C3 is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, and rather than risk being isolated from the home system I jump through the K162 from low-sec to continue my exploration. Finding myself in Black Rise with a sole pilot in the system I launch probes and scan again, finding only one other signature to resolve. I don't find another wormhole, keeping tonight's w-space constellation nice and simple, instead resolving a magnetometric site. I could head home and grab an early night, but I think I'll complicate my evening slightly by swapping to a Drake battlecruiser and clearing the site in low-sec.

I face another complication when configuring my Drake, as we don't appear to have any analyser modules in the tower, which I'll need to open some of the containers in the magnetometric site. I know we must have some modules somewhere, as we occasionally run magnetometric sites in w-space, so I board our analysing ship, strip a single module from it, and swap back to the Drake to fit it. I add a salvager module too, apparently needed for this site, and head back out to low-sec. I'm expecting a simplified combat, but warping in to the site and engaging the empire rats has them jam me with ECM before I've fired a second volley of missiles. This may not be a soothing experience.

Once the first ECM cycle is broken I target the jammer and his identical friend, popping them pretty quickly before continuing with the other rats. I clear the first wave at the same time as a new contact appears in the system in a Merlin frigate. He doesn't seem like a threat, as long as he's not the vanguard for a bigger fleet, and I continue in the site, salvaging rat wrecks and analysing containers. The loot is all a bit rubbish, pretty much only basic salvaging components, unlike the radar site I did recently. It seems that the value of radar and magnetometric sites is reversed between k-space and w-space.

More rats come, more rats are popped. A second new contact arrives in the low-sec system and d-scan shows it to be a Rorqual capital industrial ship, and only know my oblivious self sees the cynosural beacon lit no doubt by the Merlin, guiding the massive Rorqual in to the system safely. Neither ship or contact is a threat to me, allowing me to keep calm and carry on. I've got maybe a few million ISK in loot, which is a bit poor, but also a bit of security standing increase from popping rats, which occasionally helps when I get brash and engage a target running to low-sec. I've nothing else to do tonight, which pleases me, and jump back to w-space, warp across an unchanged C3, and get back to the tower unmolested after a quiet night indeed.

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