Asymmetric action

15th June 2012 – 5.48 pm

My glorious leader tells me we have two wormholes again today. Our static connection to class 3 w-space is joined by a K162 from class 5 w-space. As Fin found them, Fin gets first pick, and she chooses to head upstream to C5a. Me, I float downstream like a dead fish and get flushed in to C3a, where I see six little ducks. My notes place me in J222222 three months ago, but is it really so soon? It feels like much longer since I was last here. Even so, there's not much to see, particularly as the tower is out of range of my directional scanner. I'll loiter on the wormhole for now, though, as a Cheetah jumped past Fin's decloaked ship from the C5 in to our home system. Maybe the covert operations boat will now come my way.

Fin has a whole range of ships visible on d-scan in C5a, with only industrial ships piloted. It's a shame the Cheetah saw her, as any of the Mammoth hauler, Hulk exhumer, Orca industrial command ship, or Rorqual capital industrial ship would have made a good catch. At least she has ships and pilots to watch, I'm just sitting on a K162 with no one obviously in the system. I have launched probes and blanketed the system, and although the tower still looks to be on a far planet there are no ships appearing on my combat probes, nor has the Cheetah come past me. Oh, right, probes. I may as well scan if there's no one here.

Gravimetric sites, magnetometric sites, ladar sites, and a static exit to low-sec empire space. I resolve or ignore the staples of class 3 w-space scanning until I have checked each signature. And with that, I blanket the system one final time to see ships. Ships! Three have appeared in the system now, probably at the tower, and if they don't have pilots I'll eat my monocle. The Cheetah from the C5 isn't coming my way, so I warp away from the wormhole to check the tower, where a Probe frigate, Manticore stealth bomber, and Legion strategic cruiser all sit inside the force field. That's almost exciting.

I open the system map to orientate myself with the wormholes, so that should a ship warp away I can follow it, only for the Manticore to warp as I'm doing this. Naturally, I don't see which way he went. In a move more pointless than training hybrid weapons I warp off to check both wormholes, and surprisingly fail to spot a cloaked stealth bomber at either. Returning to the tower has the Legion running a refinery, apparently by holding down a button on top of the structure with its prow, and it looks like little will happen. I may as well jump to low to get the exit, and maybe prompt a trigger-happy Manticore to lob a bomb my way.

Hello Aridia! And hello three Hurricanes! The battlecruisers are not local to the C3 or the C5, and neither are they paying much attention to the wormhole. I move away and cloak without any fuss, and only a minute later do any of the pilots launch drones to try to flush me out. Then again, if they are on this wormhole it's likely they will know about others in this system, so there seems little point in scanning. There's also little point in returning to C3a until I know I won't be polarised, not wanting to make myself vulnerable for no good reason, so I bounce off a planet to get in to a healthier range from the wormhole.

I get back to the wormhole in time to see the two remaining Hurricanes warp towards a stargate and leave the system, so maybe I can scan after all. Three extra signatures only give me a gravimetric, ladar, and radar site, though, which is pretty dull. I jump back to w-space only for no one to molest me on my return, although I now see core probes moving around the system. I sometimes refer to probes as 'whizzing around', but these certainly aren't doing that. We all have to start somewhere, I suppose, and I remember not being at all fast at scanning for a long while.

Assuming it is the Probe scanning, and knowing that the frigate can't warp cloaked, I am keen to see if I can catch him on the U210 static wormhole. The probes get closer, closer, clustering around the wormhole, then—far! How disappointing. This repeats a couple of times before I get bored, and I consider checking the tower to see if the Probe is there, which would let me see which way he leaves the tower, but I know the moment I warp to the tower will be the same moment the Probe warps to the wormhole, so I sit and wait. And wait. And wait a bit more. I'm going to the tower.

There's no Probe, and the Legion is gone too, but a new contact has appeared in a Nemesis stealth bomber. The Probe returns, apparently from basking in the heat of the star, and the Manticore finally reappears, from wherever it went. Having completed his function the pilot of the Probe goes off-line, and the Manticore warps out again, in a direction I don't recognise, before mentioning my name in the local communication channel. Fame at last! I suppose he saw me exit to low-sec and return, which probably means I won't surprise the locals. Then again, the Nemesis warps to the U210 and, following, I see him decloak and exit w-space.

I jump behind the Nemesis, knowing I have little chance of catching him, and decloak and get my sensor booster active. The Nemesis appears, I try to lock on, and he cloaks. Ah well. Again, I wait for any polarisation effects not to be an issue before jumping back to C3a, where still no one tries to engage me, and my anticlimactic evening effectively draws to a close. I even manage to comically run over the cosmic signature when withdrawing from the wormhole, decloaking me for a few more seconds, but nothing happens. It's all rather quiet and disappointing.

Fin, on the other hand, saw a Chimera carrier appear and crawl out of the tower's force field to launch fighters. Despite it soon returning to the safety of the shields a whole bunch of ships warped out shortly after. Fin searches and finds them all in empty space, which is only a shame because that empty space is where the wormhole was that connected to our home system. Fin is isolated, and apparently intentionally so. She scans for the new static wormhole, racing with the locals who are not only doing the same but send a Tornado battlecruiser, Manticore, Hurricane, and Basilisk logistics ship to the other side of the connection as a welcoming party.

Naturally, Fin evades the fleet and continues scanning ahead of them, diverting in to class 2 w-space briefly but ignoring it's static connection to null-sec, until she finds an exit from w-space to low-sec. Of course, this is yet another day where our end of the constellation appears in Aridia, and Fin faces a forty-hop trip to get home. Perhaps sensibly, she decides to dock for the night and get back home another day. My glorious leader gets all the excitement.

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