Scanning a chain of class 2 w-space systems

22nd March 2012 – 5.29 pm

I pause in the home system to activate a new ladar site, the stupid gas delaying today's exploration of w-space. We're keeping on top of our sites, though, ensuring scanning remains manageable. The anomalies are another matter, but I quite like having plenty of them around as honeytraps for passing fleets. And with the minimal maintenance performed, I jump through our static connection to the class 3 w-space system beyond.

My directional scanner is clean from the K162, letting me launch probes at the wormhole before warping away to explore. A blanket scan of the system shows a mere four signatures amongst the many anomalies, making it feel a bit like home, although I rather hope the locals indulge in mining the traditional way. System exploration reveals a tower somewhere, one that is heavily bubbled if d-scan is any guide. It is, but it isn't. There are plenty of bubbles around but none at the tower, placing them either on moons, for some reason, or discarded on now-collapsed wormholes for a false sense of protection. Pilots really should remember to collect their warp bubbles before deleting bookmarks.

I scan, wondering if it would be worth thinking about shooting Sleepers if there turns out to be only the static wormhole here. However, I have concerns about the stability of our ships and the likelihood of multiple restarts being required for even simple tasks, but maybe thankfully they remain concerns and not realisations as all four signatures here are wormholes. It wouldn't be wise to engage Sleepers without first taking a look around the constellation. The wormholes are our K162 home, a K162 from class 5 w-space, a static exit to low-sec empire space, and a rather delicious outbound connection to class 2 w-space.

I pop out to low-sec to bookmark the empire-side of the wormhole, in case of emergencies, and return to w-space to explore class 2 w-space. Three towers and a Buzzard covert operations boat appear on d-scan in C2a. Locating the towers doesn't find the Buzzard, and neither am I quick enough to spot the Sabre that has replaced it, the interdictor having warped away before I got to the active tower. I warp out and launch probes, passing the Sabre as I do but ensuring he's out of d-scan range before I decloak, and return to the tower to see if the Sabre's returned. He has, and he's outside of the tower in an easily-scanned position. But the bastard's blue. I suppose I won't be shooting him.

I should probably announce my presence here, pointing out that we're allied and not to worry about my combat scanning probes, but I'm really not a people person. I'll just scan and move on. The few signatures here are gas and the two static wormholes, leading to more class 2 w-space and another low-sec system. Whether the locals have scouted ahead or not I don't know, but maybe I can get lucky and find a juicy target. There's not much hope of an easy kill in C2b, with just a Viator transport ship and a tower on d-scan. Although the Viator is piloted, which I discover when locating the tower, the ship can warp cloaked and can be quite slippery. His ship is also pointing in a direction that suggests he's already collected his planet goo for the day. I imagine the best use of my time would be if I ignore him and scan.

There are three anomalies and nine signatures in this class 2 system, and I'm only looking for wormholes now. I find two soon enough, leading to more class 2 w-space and high-sec empire space, which is good enough for me. I recall my probes and continue down the chain to C2c, where a Dominix battleship, Armageddon battleship, and Hulk exhumer all appear on d-scan. So does a tower, which is where I find the three ships unpiloted. Such a waste of a good exhumer when I could be converting it to a wreck. I continue my exploration, launching probes to look for wormholes, and finding a handful. Amongst the eleven signatures are a K162 from high-sec, a K162 from even more class 2 w-space, the two static wormholes mirroring the K162s, and an outbound connection to a class 1 w-space system. Surely I'll find some activity amongst this lot.

My first choice of system to visit is the C1, where I hope to find some particularly soft targets. A Rorqual capital industrial ship doesn't quite fit that bill, and as it is the only ship in the system, floating in the local tower's force field, I scan. Well, kind of. There are only two signatures here and I entered the system through one of them, so it takes almost no time to resolve the static exit to high-sec. It's time to back-track and enter roaming mode. There are still a few systems to explore and time is dwindling, so I'll eschew my scanning probes unless I need them and simply warp around looking for targets.

I return to C2c and head in to C2e, through one of the two static wormholes, where d-scan is clear with only one planet our of range. Naturally, that's where the local tower is hiding and, naturally, where there also are no ships. Roaming complete for this system, cap'n! I turn my ship around, jump back to C2c, and head through the K162 to C2d. Or maybe I got myself confused and this is also C2e, because d-scan is clear with one planet out of range, holding a tower and with no ships in sight. C2e or C2d, who cares, roaming is complete for this system, cap'n! And that's it for this end of the constellation. If I'm not scanning w-space for wormholes I'm not heading out to empire space to do it.

I head home, passing through inactive systems. The Viator is long gone, I don't care what the blue pilots may be doing, and I have one last wormhole to explore through in C3a. But the K162 to class 5 w-space is gone when I warp to its location. It didn't look wobbly with old age when I bookmarked its location earlier, so it seems that its collapse was forced. On the one hand, it looks like I managed to avoid the only activity in our w-space constellation this evening. On the other hand, at least I didn't again stumble in to a fleet of big ships inadvertently intent on isolating me from home. I'm calling this a victory! Maybe I'll get a proper victory tomorrow.

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