Looking for some Lokis

16th August 2012 – 5.39 pm

A couple of days away from space has gas go, gas come, and no bookmarks waiting. It's a fresh start for me, with only our static wormhole needing to be resolved at home. Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a tower and no ships visible on my directional scanner, which is terribly normal, so I look to my usual routine of launching probes, performing a blanket scan of the system, and locating the tower. But opening the system map has me think otherwise, as this C3 has three planets, six moons, and is around 10 AU across, leaving nothing already unexplored by d-scan. How dinky. We should get a system like this for our coffee table.

Two anomalies and eight signatures is a simple result to sift through, but bad timing strikes again. As I cluster my probes around the first signature two ships light up, which d-scan shows to be a pair of Loki strategic cruisers. I throw my probes out of the system, but unless the pilots are entirely incompetent they'll already have been spotted. And it looks that way, as the Lokis disappear, without warping to the local tower first. I imagine the ships were coming to shoot some Sleepers and thought better of it with probes visible in the system, which has denied me a possible ambush, and may lead me in to one once I find the wormhole the Lokis used.

Finding the wormhole isn't straightforward, though. It is perhaps unlikely to be the K162 from class 4 w-space that is wobbling for being at the end of its natural lifetime, or the static exit to high-sec. A stable K162 from class 2 w-space is possibly the source of the Lokis, but so could be a K162 from class 5 w-space. And another ship blipping on my probes points me towards a sixth wormhole, a K162 from high-sec empire space that has been stressed to half mass and is at the end of its life. There's plenty to choose from, and activity is somewhere, so I point my covert Loki towards C2a and poke through.

A naked tower and no ships are on d-scan. My notes put me here five months ago, where I pitted my covert Tengu against another covert Tengu, where my strategic cruiser came off second best. The tower in the system is different from the one from my last visit, but that doesn't stop there being no one in it, so I turn around and return to C3a. I take a minute to exit through the static connection and bookmark the other side of the high-sec wormhole, in case I encounter trouble, to appear in Tash-Murkon and close to Amarr. The connection would be convenient if I could remember what I wanted to buy and there weren't two Lokis lurking somewhere, so I simply turn around and jump back to w-space.

A Punisher frigate is on d-scan in C3a, which is a curious ship to see in w-space, but I am too slow with d-scan to place it on any particular wormhole before it disappears. I have little choice but to ignore it. I'm back to looking for Lokis, and have a class 5 system to explore. I tentatively jump through the K162 to see nothing waiting for me on the wormhole and nothing on d-scan, which is a little anticlimactic. Exploring finds no occupation, and a blanket scan shows the system to be remarkably tidy for an empty C5, with a mere four anomalies and four signatures. I ignore rocks and more rocks to resolve the inevitable K162, which comes from more class 5 w-space, naturally. I continue along the backwards chain in to another unoccupied and empty system, this one rather more unkempt, with thirty-four anomalies and sixteen signatures to wade through.

I take a quick look for K162s, which is easier than looking for static connections, as K162s are pretty chubby, and find it without too much fuss. Quelle surprise, it's from more class 5 w-space. Well, I scanned it, I may as well go through it. And, again, it's all clear from the wormhole, although this time only the seventh planet in the system is in range of d-scan. That gives me a little hope of finding occupation or activity amongst the other planets, but, holy crap, I still haven't found the source of this chain of class 5 w-space, as I'm in yet another unoccupied system. I'm heading back.

I return through C5b, C5a, and in to C3a, where still nothing is happening. Whatever the Lokis wanted to do I certainly scared them away, and probably then went down the wrong rabbit hole, getting dragged deeper in to a scanning mire. The K162 from class 4 w-space is dead and gone, C2a remains empty, and so to try to keep my impetus going I exit back to Tash-Murkon and scan the high-sec system. One extra signature could be lucky, and it certainly looks like it, resolving to be an outbound connection to class 1 w-space.

But, following the motif of the evening's exploration, the system turns out to be unoccupied and empty, and I don't care to scan for what will likely be another connection to k-space. It all looked rather promising to start with, and there has certainly been plenty of w-space to scan my way through. But bad timing, stupid C5 w-space, and empty systems has me heading home without having seen any action.

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