More decay without death in w-space

13th June 2012 – 5.50 pm

I'm looking forwards to some more mining today. No, the other one! Slaughtering miners. I just need to make sure I don't spook them. And that I find some in the first place. Scanning the home system has no traces of miners taking advantage of the bountiful rocks we currently have, so I resolve our static wormhole and look beyond. Jumping in to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a tower and some ships visible on my directional scanner for a change, but I suspect the Archon and Thanatos carriers, Phobos heavy interdictor, Megathron battleship, and Falcon recon ship aren't up to much. It's my fifth visit to this C3, the last being only six weeks ago, so my notes let me warp directly to the tower where I see that, yep, the ships are all here and empty.

I warp out, launch probes, and scan. With four anomalies and nineteen signatures in the system I think the locals should use their carriers occasionally, but with most of the signatures resolving to ladar and radar sites I can empathise with them preferring to let their ships collect space dust. A couple of rock sites crop up too, to join the only wormhole, which is the typical exit to low-sec empire space. And, as a typical exit, it leads to Aridia. Unlike a normal visit to Aridia, I appear in a system that is almost bustling, with eighteen pilots around, and there are core scanning probes on d-scan. When in Aridia, do as the Aridians do. I'll scan.

Three extra signatures appear under my probes, and they resolve to be wormhole, wormhole, wormhole. Maybe there are good sides to Aridia after all. Nope, dropping out of warp to see a K162 from class 5 w-space that's at the end of its life, and then an X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space also at the end of its life, I can only conclude that Aridia is still a toilet. Not even the third wormhole being a stable outbound connection to class 5 w-space can change my mind back again, as I get the sinking feeling that I'm about to spend my evening scanning my way through a chain of unoccupied C5 after unoccupied C5. Deep breath, Penny. In I go.

What a surprise, d-scan is clear from the wormhole. One planet is out of range, which offers some hope, but not much. But we can all have our expectations challenged. My notes may indicate that the system is indeed unoccupied, but when I was here around four months ago I resolved a wormhole to class 3 w-space, which I'm hoping is the static connection. So it may not be a chain of class 5 w-space after all. On top of that, warping to the distant planet finds occupation! A corporation has moved in and planted two towers out here. There are even ships on d-scan—battleships, strategic cruisers, and a scouting frigate. No one's home, but I'm just happy to see the tower holding the ships. I could kiss its force field.

Amongst w-spacers' least favourite sites that are radars and ladars, the eleven signatures indeed give me a static connection to a C3. But I only find it after resolving a K162 from null-sec and all the other signatures first, and even then I drop out of warp next to yet another wormhole at the end of its life. If I want to continue exploring, it will be through null-sec k-space. So be it, and I once again exit w-space to appear in the Stain region, sharing the system with no other pilots. Time to scan and rat, baby. Launching probes finds three extra signatures, which is good, because the arrival of a new pilot reduces me to scanning alone.

I resolve another wormhole in the null-sec system, which would be nicer if it didn't come from high-sec empire space. At least it's healthy, I suppose. The interloper in to the null-sec system—the other one, not me—has left, so I bounce around rock fields again until I find a rat battleship, at which point a different pilot appears in the system, this one in a Stiletto! I don't fancy my chances of evading an interceptor, so turn my boat around and warp to the wormhole, only for the pilot to leave the system before I have even managed to cloak again. That's a good way to make me feel sluggish in a half-billion ISK boat. Okay, back to ratting, and I return to the relieved battleship to ruin his day after all, popping it and, with few further options, heading through the wormhole to high-sec.

The wormhole originates in the Tash-Murkon region, and a mere five hops to Amarr. That would be more convenient if there weren't null-sec, w-space, and low-sec before we even got to our actual w-space constellation. And with little else to do here I may as well scan. One extra signature turns out to be one more wormhole, which would be great if it weren't yet another dying connection. As it's an outbound link to another C5 system—with coppers bustling around it too—I should maybe thank it for being sickly, as I can't get so lucky twice in one night about chains of class 5 w-space. It's time to go home.

Heading back through null-sec gives me another exciting opportunity to rat, and how can I pass by another laser light show from the locals, gaining me a little nugget of positive security status, and entering C5b has core probes on d-scan. That's almost interesting, but if it's the same scout as from the low-sec system in Aridia I don't think it's worth waiting for him. It took him a merry while to get here, and the signatures are much weaker than in low-sec. I return to low-sec and jump back to C3a, where the same empty ships float in the tower, and get myself home after an evening of disappointing decay.

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