Lightening the load

23rd June 2012 – 3.31 pm

The class 3 w-space system I'm in is quiet. It's not our neighbouring system though, as I've already strayed and had a bit of adventure so far tonight. I suspect popping a Badger, and then a salvaging Thrasher and hacking Manticore, has exhausted my options in this direction, so I head back to the class 4 system that isn't our home, and on to the class 2 w-space system that is finally connected to the home system. But before I return I'll poke my nose through the K162 from high-sec that's here. I have some loot to sell that I thought was better with me than the Thrasher and Manticore.

Jumping to high-sec has an Ibis frigate on the wormhole, but empty. Even so, I have to remind myself that I'm out of w-space, and not even in low-sec this time, and that I really shouldn't pop the frigate for fun. It most certainly would not be. Then again, a Heron frigate appearing on the wormhole as soon as I move away and cloak is a fair target, once it jumps past me in to the C2. I go back to give chase, apparently blasé to my holding a quarter of a billion ISK in my hold and now being polarised in lawless w-space. There's no time to think about that now, because there's the Heron. I decloak and watch him warp away a split-second before I can gain a positive lock.

The Heron looks to be warping to the tower. I go there myself, safely cloaked now, but don't see the ship. I think his choice of destination was arbitrary and coincidental. He also says hello to me in the local channel, although I'm not actually local myself. Some scout he is. I ignore him for now, not getting distracted again with my lucrative haul from earlier combat, and wait for polarisation to end before heading back to high-sec. There is a buyer of Sleeper loot in the Lonetrek region a few hops away from the exit, and I make my way there to sell what I've got. I keep the salvage, not wanting to trade it too far below the market price, but I've halved the value of what I'm carrying as I return to w-space.

Lonetrek is encapsulated in a rather dreary grey cloud, but its neighbouring regions look spectacular from a distance. Flying through k-space can be breathtaking, and it's not an experience we get in w-space. But I leave it behind for my natural territory, crossing the class 2 system to get back home. I make sure the system looks clear before going to the tower to drop the unsold salvage in to the tower, and I realise I've not been through our static connection yet. Maybe I have more activity to find. Jumping in to the class 3 system has a tower and no ships on my directional scanner, but that's not a bad result when only one planet with one moon is in range. I'll explore.

The tower is easy to locate, being anchored to the only moon d-scan shows me, and my notes inform me that it could be the same tower from two years ago, almost to the day. There were six other towers in this system then, piled high with silos, but exploring finds none of them. There are two more towers, though, and still no pilots. Scanning plucks a K162 from high-sec out of the dozen signatures, with a second wormhole feeling like the static exit also to high-sec. We're spoilt for choice for high-sec access today, if we only needed it. I check the exits to appear in the Kor-Azor region through the static wormhole, which has two extra signatures in the system, but only a magnetometric site and a K162 from null-sec that's at the end of its life.

Going back and crossing C3a takes me out to Tash-Murkon Prime, and even closer to Amarr than I was in Kor-Azor. But I'm not doing logistics now, and the evening is late enough without my moving haulers around. I'll restrict myself to scanning, which with thirty-one anomalies in a 0·9-sec system is far from restrictive. There are only two other signatures, though, which makes resolving what turn out to be two more wormholes fairly speedy. Both results are interesting too, one being a Z971 outbound connection to class 1 w-space, and the other a V283 wormhole to null-sec. I'll be sticking to w-space, and hopefully a system with some soft targets.

I see a tower and two Drake battlecruisers, an Anathema covert operations boat, and a pod on d-scan from the K162 in C1a. There's also a canister, but no wrecks. And also no corporate hangar array, which probably means something about the tower here, and as I won't know what until I find it, that's what I do. Looking for the tower shows the can to be elsewhere, but with nothing else to accompany it the can loses much of its interest. The ships at the tower are curious, however, as is the tower itself. It's owned by a one-member corporation, whose one member is in the Anathema. So who are the others? One Drake and the pod are in an Amarrian state corporation, and the other Drake is a member of Ivy League.

The affiliations of the pilots here are curious, but not terribly compelling. A passive scan of the system reveals over twenty anomalies, but the ships don't warp out to engage Sleepers. I loiter for a little while to see if the ships are doing anything, like configuring the tower or hauling in supplies or new pilots, but they're not. And as I know from a previous visit that the system's static wormhole leads to high-sec I imagine that any hauling would involve that, and little opportunity to disrupt it meaningfully. That's okay, I've had quite a full evening. I leave these dozing pilots to their catnap, and head home for the night.

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