Touching the monolith

19th April 2012 – 5.06 pm

Like any good hooligan, I'm looking abroad for a fight. But which direction shall I head? There are two wormholes in the home system today, one leading to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system as usual, and another coming in also from class 3 w-space. A K162 is always a sign of activity, even if that activity happens to be long stale, so I first jump to what I shall call C3b. My directional scanner shows me Anathema and Helios covert operations boats, and a Tengu strategic cruiser, along with a tower. There are no wrecks in the system, but as a pre-emptive measure I activate my ship's on-board scanner as I move away from the wormhole and cloak, which returns four anomalies. Bookmarking them may come in useful, depending on who's here.

My notes place me in this system twice before, the last time a mere six weeks ago, which should mean the tower is in the same place as before. I also have a static exit to low-sec empire space listed, so I know what I'm looking for when I scan. Even so, enough can happen in six weeks, which I realise when I notice that the tower in my notes should be out of d-scan range. I think I should explore. I first locate the tower I can see, which holds the three ships and has only the Anathema piloted, then warp out to find that the other tower is gone. And now that I am out of d-scan range of the active tower I launch scanning probes, spreading them to blanket the system.

Five signatures are all that light up my probes, and with the Anathema pilot probably dozing off at his controls I may as well see what's out there. Gas, gas, rocks, and the static wormhole. That was easy. The exit to low-sec takes me to a dead end. The system Dead End, in fact, in the Genesis region, which places me near New Eden itself. I've been here before, of course, but it is always nice to go sightseeing. I'm sharing the system with one other capsuleer, apparently in a Kestrel frigate. Maybe he's sightseeing too, as d-scan places him coincidental with the Black Monolith celestial beacon. I'll warp in to take a look.

The Kestrel pilot is kind of here, in that a pod is here floating next to the wreck of a Kestrel. Being as we're the only two capsuleers in the system, as easily told by the populated local communications channel, and he can't harm me directly in his pod—names will never hurt—I move towards his wreck, decloak, and loot the modules that survived the frigate's destruction. But I think a get a bit too close to the Black Monolith. My ship nudges in to the strange artefact and... and... I hear voices. No, not voices: concepts. Ideas are fed directly in to my consciousness.

Why, I have missile launchers fitted to this boat. I've never noticed before, but they could be used as weapons. I could attack those similar to me who are potential threats to my existence, and prevail to become stronger, fitter for survival! These unfamiliar thoughts and feelings churn and coalesce in my mind until I am locking on to the still-unmoving pod in front of me, and missiles start spewing from my ship. Explosions flare out from the pod until it is cracked open, sending the capsuleer inside out to the vacuum of space, where he becomes a frozen corpse.

Well, that was a curious experience. I don't quite know what came over me. I scoop the corpse in to my hold, now a trophy of the steepest dive my security status has taken so far, and resign myself to ratting for the rest of the evening to try to make up for it. At least I'm in an empty low-sec system, which is a good place to start, and I managed to click through the warnings about engaging pilots in low-sec, so I won't have to worry about that until the next time I have to reset all my settings. As there are some rats in front of me I pop a couple, then continue exploring through the genesis of the New Eden galaxy looking for more rats to help me resist my continuing decline in security status.

Jump, pop, jump, pop, jump, pop. Repeat until bored, either of the monotony of ratting or the tedious design itself. I manage to make the few jumps to get to the New Eden system, and as I have nowhere to go but backwards I realise I may as well scan. I make a safe spot, as there are few places to hide in this system, before launching probes and starting to scan. There are four signatures in the system, which looks promising, but none are wormholes that offer opportunity for exploration. At least I am entertained by a local idiot who enters the system.

I recall my apparently useless combat scanning probes, which clearly didn't help at all in resolving those four sites, and head back along the string of low-sec systems the way I came, ratting as I go. Despite all the ratting I've done recently, which admittedly may not amount to more than a few hours in total so far, my security status had not by today recovered from shooting a mere two capsuleer-piloted ships. I don't really expect it to go anywhere but down, particularly when I apparently can't resist the temptation of easy kills, but I may as well do what I can to slow my inevitable decline. Or I can try to shoot more pilots.

I get back to Dead End and return through the wormhole to w-space. The Anathema pilot in C3b is now in a Tengu strategic cruiser and has been joined by a new contact in a Prowler transport ship, but neither of them is moving and it all looks as dull as I left it earlier. I loiter for a few minutes, wondering if the transport will leave the tower to collect planet goo, or maybe head to low-sec, but not even a rivet moves. That must be the second-steadiest Minmatar ship I've seen. I may have missed whatever activity has happened here, so instead of waiting any longer I jump back home and warp across to look beyond our static connection.

  1. 2 Responses to “Touching the monolith”

  2. And the guy is a 2006 char... interesting.

    By Quantieme on Apr 19, 2012

  3. Maybe he took a break. And maybe now he's taking another one.

    By pjharvey on Apr 20, 2012

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