Performing an exorcism

11th July 2012 – 5.37 pm

I'm looking for someone to shoot. Maybe Fin's found a suitable target already, but unless they're in the home system I suspect not, as there are no new bookmarks created today. It looks like my glorious leader has arrived at the same time as me, so we can share tonight's adventure together. Let's hope we have one. Rocks, gas, and a wormhole are all as expected at home, and we resolve the static connection and jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to roam for some action. For once, a tower visible on my directional scanner also has some ships with it, but the eclectic mix of industrial command ship, frigate, and command ship makes me think nothing is happening.

I locate the tower before launching probes, if only so I see what ships are piloted and assess the likelihood of activity. And having only been in this C3 two weeks earlier I warp directly to the tower, where I confirm that none of the ships are piloted. That's a shame, as I suppose we won't get another opportunity to ambush a battleship crashing our wormhole, but with nowhere to hide in the system a lack of pilots means we won't be noticed when scanning. Two anomalies and sixteen signatures gets reduced to rocks, gas, one magnetometric site, and one wormhole. That looks good for Sleeper combat. But, hold on, one last signature is being coy far from a planet. Yep, we've got a second wormhole, and more exploring to do.

The static exit to low-sec leads me out from C3a to the Black Rise region, the less-deformed cousin of Aridia, whilst Fin sticks to w-space and heads through what turns out to be a T405 connection to a class 4 system. The low-sec system is used for faction warfare, and the anomalies here reflect that, but one additional signature breaks the mould and resolves to be a K162 wormhole, from class 1 w-space too. I get a little excited and jump in to the C1 to appear eight kilometres from the wormhole, which probably means I'm sitting on the cosmic signature and that no one has been in this system since the great galactic reboot.

Sure enough, I can't cloak until I have manoeuvred my way off the invisible but still interfering cosmic signature, and, despite there being a Buzzard covert operations boat in one of the two towers here, there are no pilots to be seen. Still, scanning for further K162s won't take long, not with a mere three signatures in the system, but all I resolve is a ladar and radar site each. There's nothing to see here, move along. Jumping back to low-sec has the one pilot from before gone, so I pop a rat in a rock field before returning to C3a. Fin, meanwhile, has found nothing in C4a besides the dreaded H900 wormhole to class 5 w-space. So what now?

We could crash our wormhole, engage Sleepers for profit, or scan our way down a chain of class 5 w-space. Or we could compromise, and shoot some Sleepers before crashing the connection and looking for targets in a new neighbouring system. That sounds all well and good, until warping back through C3a has me notice the Wolf-Rayet phenomenon present, which I actually remember from the last time that it limits our shield boats and bolsters the Sleepers' armour. Let's just collapse our wormhole.

Hullo, scanning probes in our home system gives us another option, to wait for and ambush a scout heading our way. We don't have much time to think about this, as the probes vanish and an Anathema cov-ops appears on our static connection. He jumps and I follow, but he's quick and cloaks as I appear in C3a. Assuming he's coming back, Fin plants a Flycatcher interdictor on the wormhole, but shared bookmarks means the cov-ops can relay route information back to colleagues without having to return. We'll have to watch both sides of the wormhole. Actually, that's a good point, as I should probably scan the home system for the new wormhole, so that we can have as much information as possible before it hits d-scan.

I jump home, scan, and find no new signatures. That's rum. 'Maybe it's the Ghostathema', says Fin. Good point! And now that we know he's out of our system it may be a good idea to collapse the wormhole and keep him out. I stow my scanning boat and board an Orca, pushing the massive industrial command ship through our static connection a couple of times, with Fin keeping watch in her Flycatcher. With one round trip remaining, Fin swaps roles with me to avoid the polarisation delay and speed the process along. The wormhole dies, with Ghostathema out of the system.

Our guest didn't seem too bothered about being isolated from our system, though, if he was even paying attention to what we were doing. I don't suppose he was a scout for another corporation, particularly as we haven't seen any sign of other ships loitering with intent, even when we have been careless enough to mine rocks or harvest gas. More likely the capsuleer is a simple wanderer, roaming from system to system as his scanning takes him, but it's better he's gone than continuing to loiter in our home system. That's some kind of accomplishment for the evening, I suppose.

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