Scouting and selling loot

7th March 2012 – 5.31 pm

The first step in exploration is getting out of the home system. That's pretty easy to accomplish with two wormholes here, our static connection to class 3 w-space and a K162 from class 4 w-space. I'll go backwards, hoping to run in to activity early in the evening. A Noctis salvager, Iteron hauler, Hulk exhumer, and Anathema covert operations could all provide me a tempting target, although with no wrecks, jet-cans, drones, or scanning probes on my directional scanner to accompany the ships I imagine they are all sat inside a tower. It just so happens that d-scan is showing me one of those too. Locating the tower is pretty easy today, what with a territorial claim unit lighting the way, and the TCU isn't even ensconced in a warp bubble to make it even vaguely threatening.

I drop out of warp safely outside the tower to see the Anathema and Iteron piloted, but not for long. The Iteron pilot swaps ships, boarding a Viator transport ship and warping away. The transport warps to empty space, which a quick check confirms to be in the general direction of their connection to our system, but a bit too late for me to think about catching the ship. Not only is it faster than me but it can warp whilst cloaked, making it a slippery catch. Well, slippery for my Tengu strategic cruiser, perhaps less so for a stealth bomber, which is more agile, doesn't suffer recalibration delays when decloaking, and has a higher scan resolution for quicker targeting. All I have to do is wait for the Viator to return.

Waiting for a ship to return from wherever it went to is a pretty tedious lack of activity, which is why I'm not going to do that. At least, not right now. I may as well head back home and scan our neighbouring class 3 system, as that gives me more to explore and greater opportunity to find other capsuleers. And if I find the route the Viator has taken, presumably to empire space, I will be able to pursue the transport earlier and for further. With all that in mind I jump home, warp across the system, and jump to C3 to take a look around.

There are lots of core scanning probes in this C3. My notes put me in this system a mere month ago, where I listed a tower's position and that the static exit leads out to low-sec empire space. I warp away from the wormhole, launch scanning probes ready for a blanket scan, and then swing past the tower. It's still there but no one's home, so I'm probably better served by sitting on our K162 to watch for further movements, and specifically the Viator's return. I am just about to start sifting through the fifteen signatures here, having bookmarked six anomalies, when a Proteus strategic cruiser appears a few kilometres from me, inspecting the wormhole.

The Proteus is acting a little inexperienced. He's decloaked and not moving, as if bookmarking the wormhole's position, which makes him really easy to spot and rather vulnerable, neither circumstance being a good trait for a scout. I sit and watch as he deliberates and then jumps in to our home system. Despite his somewhat careless behaviour I am not about to pit my Tengu against his Proteus and I get back to scanning. Two wormholes jump out at me, being in rather obvious wormhole-like positions in space, but before I get any further the K162 flares ahead of me. I throw my probes out of the system and wait. The ship holds its cloak for a long while then reveals itself to be the Proteus again. Curiously, he jumps back to our home system. Maybe he got lost, or scanned this wormhole and accidentally thought it a different one. I don't know.

More poking around the C3 with scanning probes finds a third and fourth wormhole, which will do for me. I recall my probes and see what I've found. The N968 outbound connection to class 3 w-space is interesting, the U210 static exit rather less so, although it could be the route the Viator used. As I land on top of the exit wormhole I use that as an excuse to see where it leads, which turns out to be Aridia. I doubt the transport came this way after all. Jumping back to w-space reveals the third wormhole to be a K162 from class 5 w-space, which I also land on top of and so jump through immediately. Inside the C5 I see a lot of ships, big and dreadnoughty mostly, which I find all unpiloted a tower, thanks to my notes from eleven months ago still being relevant. It doesn't look like anything is happening here, so I head straight back to C3a to check that last wormhole I resolved.

The fourth wormhole in C3a is a K162 from class 2 w-space, which is nifty. I bet the transport came this way, heading through the C2's second static exit for a more convenient connection to empire space. I jump in to find out, seeing a whole load of drones on d-scan as I do. I ignore the drones, there not being any ships or wrecks to accompany them, and warp away to explore. A local tower holds some impressive ships for class 2 w-space, with two marauders and two strategic cruisers floating inside the force field, a Vargur and Proteus piloted. It's the same Proteus I saw scouting earlier, so I've found his home. There are no anomalies in this C2 so I'm curious to see if the two pilots will hit the C3 for some Sleeper action, but they may be nervous to do so with so many wormholes connecting in to it, and rightfully so.

I scan this C2. Six signatures don't take long to resolve, and I stop once I resolve a wormhole and confirm it's the second static connection. The exit heads to high-sec, and so do I as I jump through, ending up in the Kor-Azor region. This is much more convenient for logistics runs. In fact, I should make one myself. I meant to convert our loot and salvage to iskies yesterday but ran out of time. Now I have the time and the route. I head home, swap boats, stuff the hold full of loot, and make my way to empire space. Now, I realise that putting almost a billion ISK of loot in to a stealth bomber is perhaps not the wisest decision I could make, but the route looks clear, I can warp cloaked, and I'd quite like to roam once our loot is sold, which would be easier to achieve and more covert if I don't have to make a second stop at our tower. It will probably work out just fine.

Hmm, core probes are on d-scan in the home system. I may have been spotted swapping ships, but never mind. I'd rather be productive than stalk shadows, but as a precaution I warp out of the tower in an arbitrary direction before heading across to our static wormhole. That should keep anyone watching guessing. Travelling through w-space is simple and empty enough, and high-sec is even easier. I don't even need to cloak. I find buyers of loot and buyers of salvage, unloading all of our accumulated wealth to make our wallet look healthy again, and notice in the system a couple of pilots from the C4 connecting to us. One disappears, perhaps the Viator making the trip home before I am ready to chase it, but that's okay. Lots of iskies is better than a fruitless pursuit.

I head home too. Choosing the stealth bomber has worked out okay, thankfully. Maybe I won't do that again, though. I get back to w-space, bounce off the tower in C2a to see a complete lack of change with the two pilots there, and travel backwards through C3a, home, and in to C4a. Home looked quiet, with the probes having disappeared, and this C4 looks just as quiet. Only the two unpiloted ships remain on d-scan. A bit of exploring, neglected earlier when I tried to follow the Viator, reveals a second tower in the system. A Golem marauder, Orca industrial command ship, and Mammoth hauler are all piloted here, the Rorqual capital industrial ship and Buzzard cov-ops empty. I watch the Mammoth for a minute but from his attitude it looks like he's completed his planet goo collection. That's bad scouting, Penny, maybe we could have ambushed him earlier. The pilots here aren't doing anything and, by association, neither am I. I'm heading home.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.