Plenty to watch, little to shoot

24th March 2012 – 3.18 pm

Gah, I'm crippled by skill-queue indecision again! I managed to find a skill that I use daily somehow only trained to level III to fill up my queue a few days ago, but now I have to fill it up once more. There are quite a few skills that I could push to level V but few where I'd really see the benefit. I could aim to pilot a Revelation again, and if someone would like to donate an Amarr Dreadnought skill book I'd be more than happy to inject it. Don't worry about buying the ship, I'll take care of that once I can sit in one. For now, I arbitrarily pick a skill that may give the occasional benefit, and stick my head in the sand for another three days. Whee, now I can explore!

There's nothing new in the home system today. Decay, mining sites, decay. I resolve the static wormhole and jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. A tower and three Abaddon battleships greet me on my directional scanner, although there are no Sleeper wrecks to suggest activity. It's my second visit to this system but the last time I was here was just over a year ago, so I'm not expecting my notes to be relevant, particularly as there were four towers in the system then. I locate the tower and the ships, all in the same place, and see that the battleships are piloted. They're not doing anything, though, so I warp out and launch probes to prepare to scan.

Returning to the tower has the Abaddons still stationary. I watch them for a minute but, yawn, they're boring. I bring my probes in from their blanket configuration, pick a signature from the seven here, and start scanning as the locals gaze at their navels. But no sooner do I call my probes in from the Kuiper Belt do the Abaddons start moving, almost as one. They are slow and I'm not sure if the relative movement is theirs or mine to start with, but once I realise my ship is sitting still I throw my probes back out of the system. The battleships warp out of the tower, to what I easily determine to be one of the seven anomalies in the system. There may be an opportunity here to ambush a salvager.

I warp out of d-scan range of the ships, recall my probes, and then make a good monitoring position in the Abaddons' chosen anomaly. They seem to be chugging along rather slowly for three battleships, as there aren't many Sleeper wrecks appearing on d-scan as I warp around to recall my probes and get in to a suitable position. I could be here a while. And if it's just these three pilots maybe I should consider swapping to my Manticore stealth bomber. No, on second thoughts I'll stick with my covert Tengu strategic cruiser. I'll also launch probes again and resume scanning. The battleships aren't being slow in creating wrecks, they are simply being efficient in tidying up, as they are looting and salvaging as they go. That's not playing fair.

I've got no shot here, not by myself. I think the best I can achieve is spooking the battleships in to inaction by scanning. I launch probes again and get back to resolving rocks, gas, and two wormholes, but even with my probes whizzing around the Abaddons continue to shoot Sleepers. More fool them, I say. One day it will be more than a lone Tengu scanning the system and then they'll be sorry. And in new clones. But today I have two wormholes to investigate, and judging by the strengths of them I either have a K162 and static exit to null-sec k-space, or a static exit to low-sec empire space and a random outbound connection. I reckon the latter, as I'm chasing that weaker signature around more than I would for a connection to null-sec.

Warping to the fatter wormhole finds it to be a U210, leading out to low-sec. Yeah, I know my wormhole signatures. Still, I don't quite expect to drop out of warp at the second wormhole to see an A982 designation. The connection leads to deadly class 6 w-space. You know, I think I'll bookmark the wormhole in low-sec first, just in case I need it to get home. I jump to low-sec to be in the Domain region, and by myself in this system. My security status is still on my mind, so after a passive scan reveals five anomalies in this low-sec system I head in to one of them to pop a couple of cruisers, before returning to C3a to see where the A982 wormhole will take me.

D-scan looks promising in C6a. There are two towers, along with a Noctis salvager, Orca industrial command ship, Exequror cruiser, Bestower hauler, and two Coveter mining barges. More excitingly, there are some mining drones and a jet-can labelled with a time somewhere in the system. My distance from the wormhole looks less promising, however, as I am under one kilometre from the locus. I may only need to be two kilometres away in order to cloak but that still leaves me with quite a distance to cover whilst visible to all, even with a micro warp drive on full burn.

I move away from the wormhole as quickly and smoothly as I can, but I think I have been spotted. Ships are swapped for a Falcon recon ship and Occator transport, both suggesting a more defensive arrangement than purely industrial. I'll continue as normal until this is shown to be more than an assumption, and I open the system map to see if it's possible to launch probes covertly. Maybe, maybe not. One tower holds all the ships on one side of the system, with a second tower sitting empty on the other side of the system. I launch my probes near the second tower, hoping no one's watching, but you can never be too sure when cloaked ships are around.

I've definitely been spotted. I warp back to the inner system and start looking for the two Coveters, but although the mining drones remain at large d-scan can only show me the ships being coincident with the tower. The jet-can has even gone, perhaps chomped by a Mammoth hauler also at the first tower. That's a shame, but if the locals spotted my entrance through an unexpected wormhole in to their system then they would most likely have seen my probes, even if I had needed just the one scan to locate them. And now they're looking for me. Well, not me, I suppose, but probably the wormhole I used to get here. I may as well leave before they decide to try to catch me specifically, or collapse the unwanted connection.

I head back to C3a, passing no ships as I do, to see the three Abaddons still out and about shooting Sleepers. I suppose I can scan the low-sec system for more wormholes. Or I could see what this new contact in a Bestower in the C3 is up to. Going off-line as soon as I catch sight of him at the local tower, apparently. My timing isn't working out for me today. Okay, out to low-sec with me, where my probes pick up three extra signatures. I resolve a radar site, a magnetometric site, and some dumb drones loitering with intent. It's going to be another quiet night, albeit with plenty happening in the w-space systems in today's constellation. At least I got the initial thrill of the hunt, if not the hunt itself. I pause to pop another rat in low-sec, then head home to get some rest.

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