Scanning leads to a rat

25th March 2012 – 3.31 pm

Fin's can-chasing again, but is willing to try shooting Sleepers. That sounds like a plan. I'll take a look around the home system first, though, to see if we have any potential visitors. Eight signatures are here with all the anomalies, giving us three signatures unaccounted for. Shooting Sleepers may not be quite that safe at the moment, and not just because of continuing disconnection problems, as there are three wormholes here today. We have our static connection to class 3 w-space, a K162 from class 5 w-space, and a K162 from class 2 w-space. Maybe we can't play with the Sleepers, but the C2 K162 looks enticing. I jump through to see if I can find some capsuleers to play with instead.

There is a tower and a fair few ships visible on my directional scanner in this class 2 system, but no wrecks to suggest the combat ships and salvager are trying to make some iskies. Locating the tower locates the ships, and shows them all to be unpiloted, which is a bit of a shame. Warping around finds no other towers or ships, giving me an occupied but inactive system to explore. I launch probes and scan, revealing a manageable ten anomalies but rather messy sprawl of twenty-six signatures. I'm not about to sift through so many sites in the vague hope of finding additional wormholes when I have two behind me I already have bookmarked. I recall my probes and warp homewards, to take a look in the class 5 system.

I don't jump home straight away, as I drop out of warp to see a Drake sitting on the wormhole. The battlecruiser aligns and warps away, and not to the local tower. I try to follow but it's gone, probably out of the system to empire space. That's okay, I got the pilot's name and so have a point of reference. Now I head home and in to the C5, where I see on d-scan a tower along with a Raven battleship, Phoenix dreadnought, Chimera carrier, and Drake. The tower's simple enough to locate, which also finds the ships and the source of the Drake I saw in the C2. There are also plenty of bubbles meant to be protecting the tower, which look like they work without hindering the locals, as more ships warp in as I get in to a better monitoring position.

There are more changes than my scribbled notes can keep up with. By the time the pilots have settled down they are in three Tengu strategic cruisers, a Drake, the Chimera, and a Cyclone battlecruiser. But I don't know what they are doing, or what they are planning. Some ships warp out and return but a passive scan of the system finds no anomalies. I wonder if the pilots are warping between this and a second tower and go out to explore, but find no other occupation. I remain in the dark, but that's okay. See, the thing about space is that it's black. And the thing about black holes is—anyway, it doesn't look like these ships are leaving this system any time soon, and there are no ships here I could feasibly surprise by myself, so I head back homewards to take a look through our static connection.

I was last in this class 3 w-space system six months ago, where I noted a tower and static exit to null-sec k-space. The tower has gone with no other corporation to take its place, and the small system leaves nowhere for pilots to hide. It's 10 AU in radius, with five planets and four moons, which would make it awkward to try to launch probes covertly in order to hunt, but also makes it quite straightforward to scan. The twenty anomalies my probes reveal are an ISK mine that we sadly can't realise today, and thankfully there are only nine signatures to sort through. I resolve rocks, rocks, a wormhole that's too chubby to be the static exit to null-sec, rocks, rocks, gas, gas, and the static wormhole.

I take a quick look through the exit to null-sec, which turns in to a lingering look when I find myself alone in a system in the Insmother region. I take a tour of the rock fields here to find a rat battleship to pop for an increase in my security status, finding one with three friends. One will do. Pop. Okay, back to w-space and to the second wormhole in C3a. Oh, how dull, as it is in fact a connection to null-sec after all, but a K162. I take a look through this wormhole too, again finding myself alone in a system, this time in the Kalevala Expanse, and go looking for rats. Stupid low-sec strikes are still sending me ratting instead of exploring.

More disappointing than the second wormhole coming from null-sec is that it has taken me to a drone-populated region. Drones offer no bounties and so no gains in security status, as far as I'm aware, making this a waste of time. But I suppose it also means I can get back to exploring. I launch probes and scan, revealing three additional signatures in the system. Hierarchy, hierarchy, hierarchy. All three are drone sites, which is about as dreary as exploration can get. I get enough of drones in w-space, thank you. And I've been a bit laid-back in my scanning this evening, so time is pressing on. I'm not going to scan the other null-sec system or the C2, but just head home for the night.

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