Seeing only a wormhole die

16th July 2012 – 5.45 pm

It all looks clear at home, and although I don't know yet what mischief I can get up to abroad it looks like I have a choice of direction. A second wormhole along with our static connection to class 3 w-space tempts me to stay with class 4 w-space for now, and I jump through the K162 to see if whoever opened the wormhole is still around. Apparently not. Exploring the system has two towers around two planets, but the only ships present are a bunch of frigates scattered haphazardly in a warp bubble, acting as part of a decloaking trap. It's different than the usual canisters, I suppose—or would be if there weren't also cans in the bubble. I'll come back and bomb these ships later, if there's nothing else happening.

There's certainly nothing else happening in this C4, what with the only other signature being a radar site, so I head home and across to our static connection. Jumping in to C3a looks far more interesting, with a tower, Drake battlecruiser, and a whole heap of Sleeper wrecks. If I knew I'd find this, I would have come sooner. The only disappointment is that there are no anomalies in the system, which a passive scan reveals. That, and there being nowhere to hide from the tower and Drake. And that the Drake appears to be coincident with the tower, according to my directional scanner, so she isn't creating more Sleeper wrecks. So three disappointments, then.

Despite having nowhere to hide, and the Drake not being in a site, I try to launch probes quickly before hiding them and me, as I hope the battlecruiser gets swapped for a salvager and makes herself a target. I loiter outside the tower, as the wrecks appear to be close enough for me to find them and I can watch the Drake as I do. Three wrecks are within 2 AU of the tower, and as there are only three I'm guessing I'll be looking for a ladar site. The rest of the wrecks, just over a dozen, are about 4 AU away and in a combat site, although the site may have despawned by now, which could be what the pilot is waiting for. If she's actually waiting for anything, as she's still not moved.

I really need to hold for the ship to move to the sites before scanning, so that I will definitely have a focus for my combat probes. If the sites have despawned then scanning will find nothing, as the probes don't detect wrecks, and if I get a negative result I won't know if I'm scanning nothing or missing the site. At least with the ship sitting passively in the tower I can hunt the wrecks using d-scan, and I narrow down their bearing and range until I can place a single probe roughly where I think the wrecks are. Now I really need the pilot to do something, as I am reduced to waiting again.

I'm not convinced the Drake made these wrecks, if only because a couple of them disintegrate after a while. Maybe she's looted them but doesn't care to salvage, but I am guessing she interrupted outsiders running the local sites. I can only assume her general level of paranoia is preventing her from salvaging the wrecks if that's the case, because it seems silly to let good iskies go to waste. Then again, if it is paranoia it is serving her well tonight, as my Loki strategic cruiser and combat probes are ready to pounce should the pilot twitch. But now that the wrecks are decaying, and there is not much chance of ambushing the pilot, I may as well scan and see what I can find.

I'm curious to see how close I got with my hunt, as practice is always worthwhile. I cluster my unused probes around what I suspect to be the ladar site, in case they actually resolve the site, whilst I leave the solo positioning probe by itself on the bunch of wrecks, not expecting to have a site left there. I'm wrong, as a radar site appears under that probe, but I'm also right as the cluster of probes resolves a ladar site in one scan. I'd say my hunt was pretty good, even without a target. I bookmark the ladar site and move my probes across to resolve the radar site. And now that my probes are well and truly in the system I scan the only other signature, which is the static exit to low-sec.

Swinging by the radar site has a Sleeper battleship still in the site and feeling lonely, which discourages me from trying to steal some loot. I could get away with it, but without battleship wrecks it isn't really worth it. And checking the exit to low-sec shows the wormhole to be at the end of its life, which stops me in my tracks. I'll be going back to blow up those frigates in C4a.

I return home, grab a Manticore stealth bomber from our hangar, and jump back through the K162. Warping to the strategic bookmark I made earlier places me in bombing range, so I line up the frigates, decloak, and launch, holding my position and re-activating my cloak when it's ready. The bomb explodes, taking out all of the canisters but leaving the frigates intact. That's not good enough, so I wait for my bomb launcher to be ready a second time and launch again. Still the frigates survive, and I'm not wasting any more expensive bombs on shooting unpiloted ships in a bubble.

It's not really going my way tonight. I swap back to my Loki and go to watch the Drake do nothing in the C3 again, only to have her go off-line. In a last attempt to have something happen, I warp to the where I hope the wormhole isn't any more, but it's still there. Oh, no it isn't. That sucking noise has the static connection die as I loiter nearby, which means I have a brand new wormhole to find in this system, which could lead to opportunity. I scan, resolve, and jump through the wormhole, to appear in a system in the Derelik region. Scanning the low-sec system has one extra signature which, in a dramatic turn of luck, is another wormhole, an outbound connection to more class 3 w-space.

In C3b d-scan shows me five ships and a tower, although there are no wrecks and no anomalies. I can get to the tower directly, having been in this system four days ago, which lets me confirm the two Legions as piloted, but, again there is nowhere to hide. C3b is looking as dreary as C3a, but with ships even less likely to explode to my solo cloaky Loki. With little hope of shooting the ships here I scan with little regard for my probes being visible, looking for new targets. But the fourteen signatures hold just the one wormhole, which is a static exit to low-sec at the end of its life. I'm flying in circles.

I leave C3b behind me and return the way I came, passing through low-sec to see the Drake pilot from C3a in the system. I suppose she was waiting for the wormhole to die before becoming active, but I can't say what she's doing here. There are no obvious probes on d-scan, and she soon enough leaves the system, although as we are many hops from civilisation I don't know where she would be going. Either way, that leaves our w-space constellation pilot- and target-free. I may as well call it a night.

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