Bumping in to blues

2nd September 2012 – 3.38 pm

I appear to be early. What can I do with myself? There's nothing to do in the home system but mine, which means there's nothing to do in the home system. I resolve our static connection and jump through. The neighbouring class 3 system looks much more interesting, not because of the tower and Legion strategic cruiser visible on my directional scanner but the corpse that also shows up. A tweak of d-scan's settings reveals the wreck of a Scythe cruiser, which I'm going to assume used to be the ship that the used-to-be-a-capsuleer was in before she became a corpse. How she became a corpse interests me, and even though I suspect it will remain a mystery finding the Legion may hold some answers.

The Legion isn't out shooting Sleepers or loitering on a wormhole, but is sitting stationary inside the local tower's force field. The strategic cruiser is piloted, but I'm not about to ask what happened to the Scythe and its capsuleer, as that could just make a target of myself, or prevent the Legion becoming a target for me. A little sweeping around of d-scan shows the wreck and corpse to be at a planet or customs office, which gives some more information as to the circumstances of destruction, but that the pilot is in a state corporation and not obviously affiliated with the locals means I probably won't understand what happened without making contact. I'm not going to do that.

Exploring the rest of the system finds no more occupation or ships, nor any more signs of combat. I launch scanning probes out of range of the tower and Legion, blanket the system, and return to lurking. I bookmark the single anomaly, in case the Legion fancies his luck, and nine signatures hold rocks and two wormholes that I can resolve without my probes being visible. One connection is the static exit to low-sec empire space, the wormhole at the end of its life, and the second is a healthy K162 from class 5 w-space. Maybe this is the system that holds the pilots who caused the corpse.

Jumping in to C5a has a Tengu strategic cruiser, Occator transport ship, and three towers on d-scan. As d-scan only reaches as far to show a single planet with three moons finding those three towers can't be more straightforward, and I quickly see that the two ships are piloted. Warping around to see what else I can find discovers four more towers, with a whole bunch of ships scattered amongst them. A Helios covert operations boat, Navy Scorpion battleship, Guardian logistics ship, and Prorator transport are all piloted and mostly in different towers, with some more massive ships floating empty in one of the towers. Despite all the pilots little seems to be happening, and as a passive scan reveals a lack of anomalies I think I'll leave this inactive system behind me.

Returning to C3a has the EOL exit to low-sec inexplicably still alive, even after my extended fifteen minute absence, the Legion in the tower is still doing nothing, and the corpse and wreck aren't up to much either. It looks like it's going to be a quiet night of watching pilots do nothing. But speak of the devil and a wild Aii appears. Shall we collapse our wormhole? 'Sure.' Okay then.

Aii throws an Orca industrial command ship through our static connection as I sit in our tower waiting for my polarisation effects to end, then it's my turn. I take the Orca out, activating it's micro warp drive for the gain in mass, and update d-scan reflexively to see a Mastodon transport and Badger hauler unexpectedly appear alongside the Legion, tower, and corpse. A Noctis salvager even wafts across d-scan briefly, as I wonder why all this would have to happen when I am in an Orca that I really ought to take home, after which I'll again be polarised. But Aii's on the case, swapping back to his covert Tengu and coming to C3a to stalk the apparently now-active tower.

As quickly as they appeared, the industrial ships are gone. A second pilot lingers, though, and the Noctis in the tower gives hope that the Legion will become active for about ten seconds, after which the Legion pilot swaps to a Buzzard cov-ops. What interests me most is where the haulers went. The dying connection to low-sec persists, and it's possible the locals have a good estimate of how long it will live, so the haulers could have come this way, but it's also possible that a better exit sits amongst the signatures in the centre of the system, unscanned by me so that I wouldn't alert the Legion. I don't care now, as the Legion isn't coming out to play, so I warp out, launch probes, and scan more thoroughly.

Gas, rocks, and a weak wormhole are all resolved, and although I am expecting to find a connection to class 2 w-space, which could offer a good exit to high-sec, I drop out of warp in front of a T405. Class 4 w-space systems never connect to k-space, so I find it doubtful that the haulers came this way, but my curiosity and general affinity for exploration pushes me through the wormhole to see what's in the system. Nothing, that's what. D-scan is clear from the K162, and hopes of distant activity are dashed when the system map shows the C4 to have an 8 AU radius, it's five planets and five moons all very much in range. Even so, I'm still wrong that nothing's here. Or, rather, that no one's here.

A pilot pipes up in the normally vacant local communication channel. It's almost universally considered verboten to talk in w-space local, but this capsuleer is blue to our alliance, an ally, and is letting me know of his presence. He and his fleet saw my Loki and probes in C3a and were hoping to bait and catch my strategic cruiser, and are a little disappointed when we turn out to be blue. I'm sure they could have shot me first and then apologised, just for a bit fun. As it is, they intend to shoot Sleepers in this C4 instead and are letting me know so we don't interrupt them or get spooked ourselves.

We share intel on the known constellation, including occupation and activity, before Aii and I decide to complete the collapse of our wormhole. We can leave our allies to their fun, and hopefully find some fresh opportunity for ourselves. One last push with the Orca and a Widow black ops ship isolates us from the constellation, and leaves me wondering what to do next. I ended up having my fun—looking for the haulers, scanning the C3, and bumping in to other pilots—and am happy to leave our system isolated so that Aii can have his. I hide myself in a corner of the home system and go off-line, as Aii boards an exhumer to chew on some expensive rocks.

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