Busily inactive

26th August 2012 – 3.56 pm

Having passively killed off more Sleeper sites in the home systems makes the maths easier, so I am confident there is only one extra signature today. It's just new gas, and I resolve what thankfully turns out to be our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system without any embarrassing mistakes. Two warp bubbles appear on my directional scanner from the K162, and nothing else. It's my fifth visit to the system, the last being a little over three months ago, and it looks like the tower has gone since then. I'm sure the static exit to low-sec remains, and hopefully there will be more to find, so I launch probes to take a look around.

Straightforward scanning resolves two wormholes, and as the first I warp to is the static connection I exit to low-sec to bookmark the wormhole leading from empire space. Returning to C3a and warping across the system has me land next to a potentially interesting T405 connection to class 4 w-space. I won't know how interesting if I don't jump through it, but that's why I'm here, so in I go. A Vengeance is visible on d-scan, which I unsurprisingly find to be at the tower also in range. The assault ship is piloted, but I don't expect him to be doing anything by himself in that ship in a class 4 w-space system. That's okay, as warping around finds three more towers and a whole bunch of ships.

Three strategic cruisers, a Rorqual capital industrial ship, Pilgrim recon ship, Drake battlecruiser, Anathema covert operations boat, Hulk exhumer, and Orca industrial command ship are scattered about the towers, which all look like offering some potential. The Orca, Pilgrim, and Drake are piloted at the second tower; two Proteuses, a Tengu, and the Hulk, Anathema, and Rorqual are piloted at the third; and the fourth looks empty until a Loki strategic cruiser warps in to it. There are plenty of pilots, but little activity. Or, at least, little activity outside of the towers.

Ships are swapped here and there, with a second Drake and second Anathema appearing on d-scan, but no movement that I can detect. It's quite hard to tell with four towers spread out around the system, with only a maximum of three remaining in d-scan range at any one point in space. The Rorqual goes, a Hurricane battlecruiser appears, along with a Buzzard cov-ops and second Orca, followed by a Drake leaving. It seems every time I update d-scan there is a new ship appeared or missing, and as much as I want to keep track it is difficult to record the changes at the same time. I'd be better off finding if anything is actually happening.

A Vigilant cruiser, Pilgrim, and Rapier recon ship all seem to be out of a tower now and sitting in empty space. Those don't seem to be ships to take to Sleepers, at least not in anomalies, which puts them in a mining site or, more likely, on a wormhole. An Orca joining them makes me think it must be a wormhole, and perhaps one they are collapsing. A Buzzard on d-scan with newly visible scanning probes looks rogue, judging by its ship name, and it could be that the locals have taken exception to his appearance and are killing his route home. That's worth investigating, so I warp to a safe spot out of range of all the towers and launch my own probes, clustering them around where the ships were.

Three scans to get a result from the information I had is a little clumsy, and although a signature appears initially the final scan returns only ships. I get a solid hit on one of the ships at least, but it seems immaterial now that the wormhole looks to have been collapsed. That's pretty efficient. I take advantage of having my probes launched to perform a blanket scan to see there are only five signatures in the system, but I've been in systems before where the locals aggressively collapse wormholes used by unwanted visitors and I'd rather not get in to yet another scanning race. I recall my probes, turn my ship around, and head back to C3a.

Somewhat surprisingly, there are no ships on the K162 back to C3a, nor any in C3a itself. It's possible the C4 locals were merely collapsing their own static connection and weren't actively looking for intruders. Holding on the wormhole for a few minutes and still seeing no activity suggests the same explanation, but I still see little reason in heading back to find a static connection that leads from a busily inactive system. Instead, I exit to low-sec and scan, but the single extra signature in the system is just rocks. It looks like that's the end of tonight's exploration. Locating and stalking the four towers in C4a took its time.

Before I head home I see if I can pop a quick rat in the low-sec system. The number of pilots in the system has dropped to one, and d-scan looks clear, so I think I can get away with it. All I find to start with are frigates, but I get bolder and keep looking, moving up to a couple of cruisers until finally stumbling in to a rat battleship. I doubt my efforts will be enough to clear my negative security status, though, but each small gain will push me in the right direction. And with that done, I can head home and get some rest.

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