Exploration finds an exploration ship

6th July 2012 – 5.47 pm

New day, new constellation, and Fin's been mapping it. My glorious leader reports on a dead K162 coming from class 6 w-space in to our home system, as well as a still existent C4 K162. She's in the class 4 system now, looking for occupation and further wormholes, and asks me to 'find those Hulks' through our static connection to class 3 w-space. I don't feel that lucky, but you never know what you'll find on the other side of a wormhole until you look. I warp to our static connection and jump through.

Two warp bubbles appearing on my directional scanner aren't quite as exciting as exhumers, and that's all I see. A clear result lets me launch probes, get them out of the system, and cloak without anyone seeing me, though. I warp across the system as I arrange my probes, and it's d-scan that shows me the ships first. Three legion strategic cruisers, a Prophecy cruiser, Armageddon battleship, Cormorant destroyer, Noctis salvager, and a Bustard transport accompany the rare sight of a Skiff exhumer. As can only be expected with such a diverse selection of hulls and roles, there are no wrecks on d-scan, but there is a tower. I suspect I'll not find any pilots.

I neglected my notes for this system initially, as a span of eighteen months is a mighty long time in w-space, but it appears that the tower is in the same place now as it was then. Good job, chaps! It really just makes me find the lack of pilots more efficiently, and I start scanning through the thirteen signatures that are dotted around the seven anomalies. Resolving mostly gas with a light sprinkling of wormholes, I find that the static exit to low-sec empire space has a friend in a K162 from class 5 w-space, and I'd like to make its acquaintance. Jumping in to the C5 has a tower, Zephyr exploration ship, and Bestower hauler on d-scan. This could be the start of a wonderful relationship.

My notes from twenty-one months ago aren't as useful in this C5 as they were in the C3, with the tower having moved on. I can't say I'm surprised, but I would like to find that Bestower. Thankfully, the tower is around a planet with only two moons, making locating it pretty quick, and warping to it sees the two ships piloted. And the Bestower is even awake, but only long enough to be brushing his teeth, as the capsuleer swaps from the hauler to an Impairor and goes off-line. The piloted Zephyr hangs around, but he's hardly going to be doing much. I don't care to scan this C5 for potential K162s, instead heading out to low-sec to see what I can find there.

Hello, Aridia! This must be my most visited region in New Eden, or maybe it's just confirmation bias creeping in to my exploration. Either way, the system is empty, letting me rat and scan. One anomaly and three signatures looks about normal for empire space, and I locate a puny rat battleship in a rock field I can chew through whilst I resolve what turn out to be two ladar sites. It's not terribly exciting in this direction. At least Fin has found a K162 in the C4 system behind us, also coming from class 5 w-space, and there are ships. She asks me to come back to help look for them, and I am only too happy to oblige.

By the time I've passed through C3a, the home system, and C4a, Fin has located one of the towers, along with the Scorpion Navy Issue battleship and Huginn recon ship unpiloted inside its force field. That still leaves a second tower, Nightmare battleship, Chimera carrier, and whole host of ECM drones to locate. Fin points me towards the right planet for the second tower, and I find the right moon, but warp right past it to approach from an uncommon vector. We suspect the drones are scattered in a warp bubble to make a decloaking trap around this second tower, and I would rather not fly right in to it.

As it turns out, there is no bubble trap around the second tower, just empty space beyond the force field and defences. Both of the other two ships are here too, also unpiloted, but where are the drones? I perform a passive scan of the system to highlight all of the anomalies and start sweeping d-scan around them, but no drones show up. At least, not in anomalies, but I find a couple of drones here, a few there, and all of them in empty space. How they got there and why I can't say, and I don't care to take the time to scan all of their positions to find out or recover them.

Not much is happening again. This C5 is inactive, the C4 is empty, the C3 is inactive. The only other pilot we've seen has been in the C5 connecting in from C3a, and he was in a Zephyr. Still, he is the only other pilot we've seen, which at least indicates the potential for there to be an active system. Before I give up on tonight I take myself back to that class 5 system, where I turn around immediately when d-scan shows me the same Zephyr and nothing more. Now I'm giving up. Or am I? Yes, I am. The wormhole Fin doggedly finds in the other C5 is not more w-space but an outbound connection to null-sec. I'm going to bed.

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