Ship spotting

7th February 2012 – 5.50 pm

I'm going to take a poke around w-space, once I've determined which way is 'up' in the home system. I seem to be pointing in a rather curious orientation and I never can find our star quickly, but I get my bearings and launch probes to see the Sleepers starting to repopulate again. One new anomaly is present, and a new ladar and radar site each are resolved. I activate the gas then warp to today's static wormhole, jumping to the neighbouring class 3 system once I bookmark the connection for reference. My directional scanner shows me a tower and a bunch of ships in the C3, but there are no wrecks to indicate activity as such. Locating the tower confirms the lack of activity, there being no pilots here. So much for the carriers, battleships, heavy interdictor, electronic attack ship, and stealth bomber d-scan showed me.

I warp out, launch probes, and scan. I ignore the ships confirmed at the tower and bookmark the fifteen anomalies, leaving twenty-three signatures to be resolved. I don't think the locals get out much, and maybe just keep their tower as some kind of presentation garage for their collection of ships. I start sifting, as there must be something out there to find. Yep, two wormholes is a fair result, the first being the system's static exit to low-sec empire space. I jump out to be in the Genesis region, the system a dead end and empty of other pilots. A passive scan reveals a single anomaly and I take this quiet time to pop a few rats for another slight gain in security status.

I return to the C3 to investigate the second resolved wormhole but stall when I spy scanning probes on d-scan. I assume they belong to the Legion also on d-scan, which they do and don't, as the number of probes doubles before the Legion disappears. It looks like there are two scouts here, at least one in a covert strategic cruiser. I note their presence but ignore them for now, warping to the other wormhole to find a K162 from class 2 w-space. That could even be the source of the new scouts, who are now hopefully far enough away from the wormhole not to notice me. I jump in to take a look.

All looks clear in the C2, a blanket scan finding one anomaly, seven signatures, and some mining drones, but no occupation. With no tower to monitor I sit on the wormhole to scan, which soon flares to signal the entrance of the Legion to the system. He launches probes and vanishes, and is followed by a Buzzard covert operations boat from the same corporation also launching probes before cloaking. Those would be the two scouts I saw in the C3. It looks like we're all here scanning, and I resolve a wormhole as the Legion and Buzzard warp to it, their ships appearing on my combat scanning probes on top of the wormhole. I warp there to see an exit to high-sec but no ships, until the Legion returns from high-sec and warps away.

It's possible this will become a route to export loot, or import fuel, and that a squishy industrial ship will come this way. I probably ought to scan C3a for a new K162, to map the entire route, and as there may be a few minutes before any ships head back this way that's what I do. The new signature is fairly obvious and resolves to a K162 from class 5 w-space, and rather than heading in to explore I sit on the wormhole for now. I can identify a ship here and follow it across C3a to C2a, where I can still engage in w-space before it can warp to the exit to high-sec. That is, if any ships actually come, and it doesn't look like they will.

I wait a little longer but still no ships come from the C5, so I head out to low-sec and scan properly, using probes this time. Six signatures are in this dead-end system, only one of which is a wormhole. The outbound connection to class 3 w-space is good, though, and I jump through to see a tower and no ships on d-scan. It's my fifth visit to the system, the last being a mere two months ago, so I warp across to the tower in my notes to find that it is no longer there. The tower I see is new and I have to locate it the long way to keep my notes up-to-date. A blanket scan of the system reveals plenty of anomalies and far too many signatures for me to care about when there are radar and magnetometric sites in low-sec to plunder, so I ignore w-space for now and return home to swap to a ratting Drake battlecruiser.

I am a bit wary of the C5 capsuleers. I haven't seen them since they scouted, but if they are not moving ships they could easily be in a position to intercept my Drake and cause me problems. It's worth a peek in the C5 to gauge the risk. I jump in to the C5 to see a tower and no ships, which looks innocent enough and I don't care to poke any deeper, although I realise it's possible this isn't the home system of the pilots seen earlier. But I can still check C3a and C2a, as well as visiting the high-sec system to check the local communication channel. But I don't quite get that far, in one of those wonderful coincidences, as the wormhole to high-sec flares as I crawl the last few kilometres towards it, bringing one of the pilots back in to w-space.

The pilot doesn't hold his session change cloak, and as he's in a shuttle I'm not surprised, the tiny and agile ship able to avoid most threats that don't involve a warp bubble. A second flare from the wormhole brings a rather better target, a Bhaalgorn! The faction battleship is a rare sight, and probably a bit too much ship for my covert Tengu to engage successfully. I watch wistfully as it warps across C2a towards C3a. It looks like the pilots are indeed using this high-sec connection to bring ships in. All I hope now is that they bring in a ship I feel my strategic cruiser can cope with.

An Anathema cov-ops is no match for my weapons, but it could easily evade my targeting systems and I let it go. Well, it goes, I don't suppose I had much choice either way. A shuttle passes back out to high-sec, bringing hope that more ships will come my way, and I settle down for what could be an evening of waiting. Another cov-ops and shuttle head out to high-sec, all from the same corporation, making at least four pilots hauling ships back-and-forth. More pilots means more trouble, but also hopefully shorter waits. A flare from the wormhole has an Anathema return, no doubt scouting ahead of another ship, but what? A second flare and a Proteus strategic cruiser appears. Okay, I'll let that ship pass too.

I wait longer, watching a pod go out to high-sec, followed a minute later by a second pod going the same way. I'm just watching ships here, I should be productive elsewhere, but the lure of a kill is keeping me here. I'm not going to get it with a Sleipnir coming back from high-sec, the command ship potentially being a tough cookie, and it is followed a few minutes later by a second command ship, this one an Astarte accompanied by a Helios cov-ops. The final straw is the Vindicator faction battleship coming from high-sec, another big and expensive ship I have no chance of destroying, one I don't even recognise by name initially. I've clearly wasted enough time here and there is not going to be a slow and squishy ship heading my way. I'm going home. Oh well, some days you get lucky, others you don't. At least I've seen some expensive and rare ships today.

  1. 5 Responses to “Ship spotting”

  2. Hey Penny, it seems you morph from a Drake into a covert ops Tengu within this post. Could you let me know which skill you need for that? :-)

    By Vodelus on Feb 8, 2012

  3. Funny to see there was someone watching us bring our ships back in !
    Wormholes are such a wonderfull thing.

    By Quantieme on Feb 8, 2012

  4. And kinda creepy, Quantieme. There's always someone watching.

    Vodelus, I have How to Write Badly Well trained to level II. Maybe I need more ranks.

    By pjharvey on Feb 8, 2012

  5. More importantly, Quantieme, were those ships fit at the time? ;)

    By Boschala on Feb 8, 2012

  6. Yep, the ships were all PVP fit. :)

    By Quantieme on Feb 8, 2012

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