Bait not taken is unfulfilled

18th July 2012 – 5.18 pm

'Some new signatures at home', Fin tells me as I come on-line, and she's not wrong. Seven signatures light up my combat probes where I'm expecting three. I'm hoping they're not wormholes for a change, because we could do with making some iskies from some of our anomalies. I would actually be happy to find rocks in our home system. And I suppose I do, but only one new rock field has drifted in, the other three signatures all being wormholes and putting paid to our plans to shoot some Sleepers. At least we have quite a selection of w-space to choose from, with K162s from class 4, class 5, and class 6 w-space all connecting in to our class 4 home.

Which way to go. Ever the bold, Fin jumps head first in to C6a. Ever looking for the soft option, I go to C4a. And the system looks pretty soft, with nothing on my directional scanner, and indeed nothing to see at all. The eight planets hold five moons in this sparse and compact system, which means I'm scanning for K162s. Unfortunately, I suffer from bad timing, and as I start to sift through the results the twenty-one anomalies and eight signatures are joined by one ship, a pod appearing in the system and getting a good look at my probes. On the positive side, I have a good idea of where to scan for a wormhole.

Two scans later and I am warping to what turns out to be another K162 from a class 6 system, making w-space quite deadly tonight. Deadly and connected, with two more K162s making this C4 a home away from home. The other two wormholes both come from class 2 w-space, giving me a warm and snuggly feeling of security, and I jump in to C2a to take a look around. Immediately there is more to see than in C4a, with a tower around the only planet in d-scan range, and there is plenty more space to explore. Notes from fifteen months ago show two towers in the system, which gives me a good second location to check initially. And I also know that the other static connection leads out to high-sec empire space, which could be handy.

There are at least four towers in this C2 now, with eight Orca industrial command ships split between them, joined by a tiny Crow interceptor. I find four Orcas at one tower, and four plus the Crow at another, none piloted, and nothing else of interest. Unsurprisingly for a system with so much obvious wealth, C2a is lacking in sites, with only two anomalies and four signatures, which turn out to be the second static wormhole, and a radar and ladar site each. I reconnoitre the exit system, appearing in the Essence region, before returning to w-space and heading back to C4a. Now I see a Hurricane.

The battlecruiser persists on d-scan in C4a, although there are no wrecks to be seen, and I narrow d-scan's beam to place the Hurricane on the wormhole from C2b. I warp in to take a look and see the ship sitting motionless on top of the connection. I alert Fin to the presence of the battlecruiser and she heads my way, swapping to a Legion strategic cruiser at out tower, as I manoeuvre to get closer to the Hurricane. After a short while the ship starts moving, but only in a lazy orbit around the wormhole. That's rather careless, I would say, as a stationary target looks tempting, but one entering a slow orbit looks like bait. But I suppose bait is there to be taken, so when Fin jumps in to the system, ready to warp to me, I decloak and engage.

As I engage the Hurricane, the Hurricane engages me. I can't say I'm surprised, having seen it enter the orbit, and I find my cloaky Loki webbed and warp-disrupted. That's only to be expected, and hopefully dropping a second strategic cruiser on top of the battlecruiser will give him pause for thought. In fact, he must see Fin coming on d-scan, as he jumps through the wormhole to C2b before my glorious leader lands. I follow behind, not wanting the Hurricane to escape should it not be bait, and to put my stealthy ship in to harm's way in front of the decidedly unstealthy Legion Fin's piloting. All looks clear, with only the Hurricane on the wormhole still, and I call for Fin to jump.

No, wait! Hold! The wormhole may be clear but d-scan decidedly isn't. I really should have checked before impetuously calling for Fin to join me, particularly as two more Hurricanes, a Harbinger battlecruiser, and two Guardian logistic ships are on d-scan without a tower in sight. It's too late, though, and Fin joins me, as I suspect the other ships are on their way too. I try to keep the Hurricane's attention as Fin appears and negotiates her way back through the wormhole, although as other ships drop out of warp it seems that I am the first to jump back anyway. I'm not terribly brave in the face of overwhelming force.

Back in C4a I move away from the wormhole and cloak. I know I'm polarised and won't be able to help Fin much, and although the baiticane appears before Fin's got clear it can't pin her down quickly enough, and the Legion warps away. The Hurricane doesn't give chase, perhaps unsure which of the wormholes Fin's returned to, leaving me monitoring the reaction of the fleet as Fin gets home safely. That was a bit lucky, and certainly luckier than it should have been. No matter how clear the wormhole itself looked, I should have punched d-scan before calling for Fin to join me, however fast I corrected myself.

All of the battlecruisers and logistics ships jump in to C4 and spend some idle minutes loitering on the wormhole, but there is nothing for them to see. They take another look in C2b, and on their return warp and jump en masse to C6b. I suppose it's good I didn't take the opportunity to explore that system whilst the fleet was back in the class 2 system. Now all is quiet again. At least, in this C4 it's quiet. Fin, on the other hand, swapped back to her scouting Tengu strategic cruiser, explored in to C5a, and found a careless Mammoth collecting planet goo. Now it's the wreck of a Mammoth and we have some more expanded cargoholds for our collection. Job's a good 'un. I think I should find a way to be productive too, instead of watching a wormhole slowly decay.

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