Bumping in to miners

27th August 2012 – 5.42 pm

Two wormholes in the home system still don't provide the fabled random outbound connection, but I get a K162 from class 4 w-space to explore through. Jumping in to the system has a territorial control unit on my overview, some 35 AU away, but closer and within range of my directional scanner is a tower and some ships. My last visit here was six months ago, when I noted the position of two towers. Judging by where the wormhole is in the system, and the location of the TCU, the two towers probably haven't been moved. I warp to the one in range to confirm it remains in the same place, and to see that only the Hurricane battlecruiser is piloted. The Rorqual capital industrial ship, two Orca industrial command ships, and Noctis salvager float empty.

I'll need to warp out of range of the piloted Hurricane to launch probes covertly, so I may as well check the status of the second tower as I do. I find it also where it was on my previous visit, with a Hulk exhumer, Drake battlecruiser, and Chimera carrier all sitting unpiloted inside the force field. The system looks pretty quiet. Launching probes and performing a blanket scan makes the system look even quieter, with no anomalies present and only three signatures. A radar site and gravimetric site accompany the static wormhole I already know about, ending this arm of the w-space constellation and encouraging me to explore in the other direction. As warping past the first tower shows the Hurricane to have gone off-line, leaving this C4 behind seems like a good idea.

Crossing the home system and jumping to our neighbouring C3 has a tower and no ships visible on d-scan, with three planets out of range. Locating the tower shows it to be undefended but well-hardened, and unlikely to fall to any siege I could muster right now, and the rest of the system holds no ships or surprises. Scanning reveals seven anomalies and fifteen signatures, with three wormholes hidden amongst the rocks and gas. They aren't terribly inspiring wormholes, though, being a K162 from null-sec k-space at the end of its life, a static connection to high-sec empire space, and a K162 from class 3 w-space also at the end of its life.

I poke my nose through the exit to high-sec, appearing in a system in the Kador region and relatively close to Amarr. All I'm after is a bookmark to this side of the wormhole, after which I return to C3a and jump through the EOL connection to C3b. But appearing in the system seven kilometres from the wormhole and on its cosmic signature makes me think I won't find anything beyond the tower and obvious lack of ships that d-scan is showing me. I turn around, heading back across C3a and return to high-sec to scan for more wormholes.

A single extra signature in the system turns out to be rocks, which ends the constellation, even if I run in to some rats whilst scanning. The Orca and two Hulks are awfully tempting targets, but I suppose they aren't rats in the traditional sense, even if they will affect my security status if I shoot them. I align out of the rock field to leave the miners alone, but accidentally press the exact combination of commands to activate my micro warp drive and bump one of the Hulks at full speed, causing him to skid out of range of the rock he was shooting. That was clumsy of me.

Being in high-sec makes me lose my stargate anxiety, so I hop one system along and scan again. But the single signature again is a disappointment, resolving to be a site holding Blood Raiders. I think that's it for my exploration for now. But my guilty conscience is playing on my mind. I'm not quite sure why I want to tease miners the way I do, but maybe I can make up for being a dick. I return to the exit system, scan the gravimetric site that I previously ignored, and then locate the same Orc and two Hulks as before. I think they're pleased to see me, but as I don't speak German I'm not entirely sure. A newly arrived Fin thinks they are asking if I have no moral decency.

Aii translates with a bit more authenticity, but it doesn't really help with a conversation. However, copying the bookmark to the higher-grade rocks in the gravimetric site, labelling the canister to be 'rocks', and abandoning it so that anyone can loot the can without consequence hopefully sends the right message.

I don't think they're taking it, probably not trusting me, or caring about the can's contents, but at least I tried. And now, as the w-space constellation is ended, empty, and dull, I'm heading home. I was going to get an early night, but I may be tempted to stay a little while longer, particularly as Fin and Aii start to collapse the K162 in our home system.

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