Scanning to the sister system

4th May 2012 – 5.10 pm

If no one's around again tonight I may just go home early. Well, come back home early. I am home. And it looks like it's just me here. But I more meant about there being no one in the w-space constellation, and to find that out I'd better start scanning. It's just more rocks and gas temporarily cluttering up the system at home, with no K162s to bring in pilots wanting to shoot me, so I resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system to explore.

A bubble and two off-line towers are all that my directional scanner shows me, and my system map adding that there's nowhere to hide, dammit. I'm in an unoccupied and inactive system. Apparently, the last time I was here I popped a Helios in my Malediction interceptor, which I find a little hard to believe, and not because there were other pilots flying around that day. And as I have the system listed in my notes I know I've got a static exit to null-sec k-space to resolve here, which makes more sense of the off-line towers. I'd better get scanning.

Hello, chubby wormhole signature, you can't be the static connection. Oh, you're not anything, just empty space. Well, thanks for that glimmer of hope that my evening will be more interesting than sifting through a dozen signatures looking for action. It was inspirational. I keep looking for more wormholes and find a weaker signature that is probably the exit to null-sec, although a second weak-signatured wormhole makes me wonder if the static connection has also died before I reach it.

Thankfully I've actually resolved two wormholes, and the static exit to null-sec is in pristine condition. The other wormhole remains in space by the time I get to it, finding a rather attractive outbound connection to class 5 w-space. In I go! And it looks like exploring is going to be a bit of a chore tonight, as I'm greeted on d-scan by five towers, with only a Rorqual industrial command ship and Armageddon battleship to show for the occupation. My notes, however, perk me up a little. But only a little, because even if there are pilots here I don't think I'll be able to shoot any of them, not without some drama.

It seems that I have stumbled headlong in to our sister w-space system, rather more expanded than the last time I was here. And thank goodness for corporate bookmarks, as it lets me warp directly to the appropriate tower where I can think about taking a dreadnought home with me. I don't think the Revelation will fit through our static wormhole, though, so I'll have to wait for generous donations that—hello?—I still haven't received yet. Instead I cram my scouting ship's hold with some missiles that we're a little short of, thanks to my having to rat to atone for shooting idiots in low-sec empire space.

Even though I've found our sister system and there are supposed colleagues on-line, no one's talking to me. I can't really blame them, as it's not like we have much to do with each most of the time, what with the capricious nature of w-space connections. At least I can have a quick poke around the constellation as my colleagues have scanned, also thanks to corporate bookmarks, but warping to the current bookmark for the static wormhole only lands me in empty space again. I suppose they haven't quite got around to scanning yet.

I could scan this C5 myself and plonk the bookmarks for the rest to find, but I can now see a Proteus strategic cruiser and scanning probes on d-scan, so I think I'll leave the sister system to it. The scout notices my burbling in the corporate communication channel and says hello, so I tell him about the dullness that is the K162 from C3 w-space connecting in to their system, as I return to that same dullness. I warp across C3a and poke my nose in to null-sec, where seventeen capsuleers are waiting for me in a system in Pure Blind. Not on the wormhole, thank goodness, just loitering here and there.

There's no chance of my ratting in the busy null-sec system, and scanning reveals no signatures beyond the wormhole I jumped through, so that looks like it for tonight. That is, unless I collapse our static wormhole, by myself. I could, I suppose, but I had planned to thumb my nose at w-space if it was being dull, and it certainly is. Ah, what the hell. The worst that can happen is I get isolated from the home C4, and I could even make my way to the C5 system and wait for a decent exit there instead of trying to get safe through the C3's connection to null-sec. Circumstances are in my favour.

I prepare an Orca industrial command ship, make sure I'm counting the mass going through the wormhole as it happens, and make the first round trip. I wait for the polarisation effects to end and make a second, pausing another few minutes before jumping out and back for a third. And the wormhole reaches critical instability when I'm not quite expecting it to. As much as I have a safety net of the C5 system I don't really want to be isolated from home, so I don't risk pushing the Orca or a battleship through the wormhole. Instead, I pull out the wormhole-collapsing Devoter heavy interdictor, because using the HIC worked out so well for me the last time.

After my current polarisation effects end I warp to the wormhole, activate all three warp bubbles to reduce my mass to be lighter than a frigate, and jump. Naturally, the wormhole doesn't collapse behind me, because I'm really not that unlucky, and so I activate the over-sized reheat and jump home, massing close to a battleship. The wormhole doesn't collapse. I suppose that's only to be expected, given the overall mass allowance of the wormhole and what I've pushed through. Still, I've got sour memories of the last time I tried a second trip in the HIC, and after losing a Tengu, getting isolated, and losing another Tengu, maybe I ought to hedge my bets occasionally. I cut my losses and tonight err on the side of caution, swapping back to my scouting boat and hiding on the edge of the system.

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