Rats one way, tower fuel the other

27th April 2012 – 5.17 pm

It's just me and my Tengu. Or is it? Man, that's genius writing, setting the tension like that. I'm actually curious about the Ghostathema covert operations boat that Fin spied in our home w-space system recently, and whether it remains here and has been active. As a precaution, after collapsing our static wormhole yesterday, prior to shooting some Sleepers, I resolved the replacement wormhole and bookmarked it without visiting it. Today, the wormhole should be in the same place and healthy, but only as long as no one else opened it. It's a simple check, and far from a guarantee, but hopefully it could give us a little peace of mind.

Launching scanning probes finds a wormhole signature exactly where it was yesterday, give or take a few kilometres of drift, which is a good start. A second signature is merely some new gas, and that's all there is to be seen. If the Anathema is still here, and not just passing through, he's not particularly dedicated to scanning his fleet in. I think we're okay for now. I activate the ladar site, then warp to the wormhole to explore in to our neighbouring class 3 system.

In C3a my directional scanner lights up with a tower, Orca industrial command ship, a corpse, some drones, and core scanning probes. That's quite a mix. The tower and Orca appear to be in roughly the same place as the tower that was here fourteen months ago, the last time I came through, but the drones and corpse are elsewhere. A passive scan of the system reveals a substantial twenty-one anomalies, but none that hold a body. It looks like the frozen capsuleer could be orbiting a planet, if d-scan is to be believed. I'll leave him for now, as the probes are more interesting at the moment.

The probes disappear but no ship appears, so I think it's about time I moved away from this K162. Exploring the system finds the tower moved one moon across from where I last saw one here, with the Orca unpiloted, naturally, and the corpse indeed near a planet, floating amongst drones and the wreck of a battlecruiser. Quite what he's doing here, or what he was doing here, I can't say. And as the scout is doing well at not being seen I have little else to do but launch my own probes and scan the system.

Twelve signatures don't take long to sift through, giving me two wormholes amongst the usual suspects of rocks, gas, and radar sites. My glorious leader wakes up and comes in to inspect the corpse more closely as I take a look at the wormholes. I'm expecting to find a static exit to low-sec empire space, so it's only the K162 from high-sec that interests me, and for low values of 'interest'. At least it comes from the Tash-Murkon region, making it convenient should we need to visit high-sec, whereas the low-sec exit leads to the desolate region of Aridia. Actually, that may be good for a bit of ratting, although I remain unconvinced that any ratting can be good.

The connection from high-sec makes me ponder the wreck and corpse more. I wonder if the pilot got scammed a little, by being asked for a duel and then persuaded to fight in w-space instead of high-sec. That let the scammer pop the ship and pod the pilot instead of holding fire at an agreed damage limit, like when hitting armour for a shield-tanked ship, without Concord poking their busybody noses in to the matter. That's speculation, but fun to consider. Fin scoops the corpse for our collection and loots a few missiles from the wreck, before tidying up to make the system look clean once more.

I head to Aridia to bore myself, Fin boards an Orca back home and goes to high-sec to buy and sell. I am by myself in the low-sec and see from my atlas that there is a little circuit of systems I can take a jaunt through to pop rats and increase my security status. Meanwhile, Fin lets me know that the previously empty high-sec system has 'three in local now'. Unfortunately, she tells me this after inadvertently saying it in the local communication channel first. And also after she jumps out of the system with three in local to appear in a system with forty pilots, most of who were only too pleased to make fun of her apparent lack of counting skills.

I make my circuit of low-sec, even finding a rat battleship or two out here, where I was only expecting to find cruisers. The battleships offer greater bounties and greater gains in security status, but these also suck my capacitor dry pretty effectively. It's good that they balance this neutralising by hitting like an industrialist, otherwise my poor strategic cruiser would be in trouble. I pop the rats, get back to the starting system, and return to w-space.

The class 3 system looks just as boring as before, until I realise that without the corpse, wreck, and drones it actually looks even more boring than before. But as boring as it looked, there was a corpse here earlier, so we probably shouldn't do anything too reckless. When Fin gets home with an Orca full of fuel and supplies there's not much left to do but hide in the home system and get some sleep.

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