Rolling rampage

9th March 2012 – 5.43 pm

Today is a perfect day to go on a rolling rampage. Fin and I have been looking forward to it for a while, and now it's time explore systems quickly and systematically in a hunt for newly off-line towers. I'm keen enough to get started that I get on-line early, only to see Fin not only here first but already ahead of me in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. A system that has an on-line tower, sadly, but also one that holds more wormholes. I jump through our static connection to join my glorious leader and warp to the exit to low-sec empire space to see what I can find.

There's nothing out here in low-sec. I jump back to w-space and warp across to our best prospective wormhole so far, a T405 outbound connection to a class 4 system. Entering the C4 has my directional scanner show me little of interest, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan. One anomaly accompanies seven signatures, and there looks to be a tower on the other side of the system. I warp across to see the tower on-line and empty, though, so I turn my attention to scanning. My probes pick up mostly gas here, with just the one wormhole to continue the constellation. The static connection leads to more class 4 w-space, but is reaching the end of its natural lifetime. I'll need to be quick.

The wormhole is stabilising as I try to jump through, meaning that no capsuleer has been in the system for hours, which today is a good sign. I try again and this time jump in to the system, a system with a dash in its J-number! That's pretty neat. I've been in a dash system before, twenty-two months ago, and Fin tells me that she thinks there's only one anyway. It's still fun to see it again, particularly if its unique. Despite its curious number the system hasn't attracted any occupation, as it remains as empty today as it was the last time I was here. Rather than get myself isolated from the wormhole behind me collapsing I jump back to C4a, then to C3a, and through a K162 to class 5 w-space.

I've been in this system before too, a couple of months later than the dashed C4, and I'm not expecting my notes to be current. All I can find is a tower that has already been looted, although I can't tell how recently. If there are any more K162s here I can only assume that other off-line towers would be similarly looted by now. It's time to collapse our static wormhole and start again, pausing only to quickly pop a random rat in high-sec through another K162 in C3a. Now it's home and replacing our wormhole, which collapses when enough Orca industrial command ships are pushed through. That's an easy enough task. The tricky bit is calculating the jumps so that we both end up in the home system. Tricky enough that instead I'm left in an Orca in C3a.

I told Fin I'd reveal a dirty secret about her if I got isolated, but it really doesn't matter. Accidents happen, and as accidents go this is pretty benign. I point my borrowed Orca to the K162 to high-sec, warp across C3a, and jump out to the safety of Concord-protected space. I am even close to our old corporation headquarters, where I have a Drake docked and forgotten about, so I'll go there, blow the dust off the battlecruiser, and go looking for rats. The few hops to the base don't take long and I soon find that my Drake, Excession, is really quite old indeed. I'm sure it was used in w-space operations from when we first started exploring and brought out during a move, at which point I left it behind. My skill training has advanced a lot since then and I could probably do with upgrading the fitting.

The local market doesn't offer much in upgrades, so I try the aged Drake as fitted in an anomaly I find in the system. As my basic launchers cycle so tediously slowly with each launch I ignore the rats and point myself towards Amarr, where I buy better equipment to prevent my going doolally. Now I get my atlas out and find a neat collection of just about high-sec systems nearby that I can trawl for rats, and go out looking to increase my security status. I bounce from system to system, popping a rat here, a rat there, as Fin scans w-space. She finds another disappointing class 3 neighbour, collapses our static wormhole again, and starts a third time. Another neighbouring system, another on-line tower, but at least this system has a static exit to high-sec, one which leads to a system also near to our old HQ.

I take my Drake back to base, swap in to the Orca, and head home after a peaceful diversion. The tower in the current C3a is far from the wormhole, the w-space system vast in itself, and I get from empire space back home without interruption. And the first order of business on getting back together is staying back together whilst collapsing our wormhole again. All goes according to plan, as it usually does, and we're soon scanning the home system for the fourth time this evening. The next class 3 neighbouring system we jump in to has a tower with a force field visible on d-scan, along with a Drake, Devoter heavy interdictor, and Arazu recon ship. Only having been here a month ago I warp directly to the tower given from the location in my notes to see the three ships unpiloted, and scanning the system has only the one wormhole from four signatures, which is an exit to low-sec.

The exit leads to a system in the Devoid region, a suitable name for a system devoid of interest. Man, I must be the first capsuleer to make that joke! I scan to look for more wormholes, finding an outbound connection to class 3 w-space that could lead to treasures, but instead I only find yet another unfortunately on-line tower. A quick scan shows a mere three signatures amongst the eight anomalies, tempting me to resolve them. I find a magnetometric site and the static wormhole, also heading to low-sec space and this time our favourite region of Aridia. I've gone far enough from home for now and head back, narrowly missing the opportunity to pester an Anathema covert operations boat that found the X702 in Devoid system a few minutes after me. Never mind, I'm heading home for one last collapse of our wormhole.

Fin's already stressed the wormhole to critical condition by the time I get my scanning boat home. All she has to do is jump the Orca home behind me and we're isolated again. But not for long. I scan, resolve the new static wormhole, and fling us both to whatever riches await. I jump in, punch d-scan, and see pay dirt! So many hangars, so many arrays, so many big ships! I giggle with girlish glee and call Fin in. 'What shall I come in?', she says. How about a crushing sense of disappointment, I tell her, as I realise I've somehow reordered my d-scan results and, only now, see the active force field that protects all the goodies from my lustful grip. That's it for tonight, as I'm clearly getting giddy from the galloping gallivanting. We've explored a dozen systems and come up dry, not getting the riches some others have reaped. But that's the way it goes. Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes he eats you.

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