An afternoon in null-sec

10th September 2012 – 5.50 pm

How does w-space look after our billion-ISK loss? Pretty much the same as any day, really. Empty, but potentially hiding a serious threat. And as it's business as usual I start by scanning the home system, finding no obvious incursions and two new signatures to go with the six that are known and the one assumed static connection. The new signatures resolve to be more gas and a second wormhole, a K162 linking class 4 w-space to our home system today. I'll see who made the connection.

Jumping in to C4a has me appear over six kilometres from the wormhole, which given my relatively early appearance in space makes me think I won't find anyone in the system. That, and the fact that the wormhole is near the outermost planet and 107 AU from the star. From here to the other side of the system is 175 AU, so it could be tricky finding another pilot in the system, even if they are here. And rather than warping around blindly I consult my notes to see that a tower was around one of the planets a little over a year ago. I'll go there first.

What tower was here has been torn down one way or another, perhaps because the locals got frustrated with too much empty space, and I am reduced to warping around looking for occupation where there is none. Someone must have opened the wormhole, though, so I launch probes and start sifting through the twelve anomalies and fifteen signatures looking for K162s. Bouncing my probes from planet to planet has me disregard the weaker, obviously non-K162 signatures, and ignoring the rocks and gas that pop up, until I find the wormhole I'm looking for. There is just one K162 and it's on the opposite side of the system to the static connection I warped back to, some 178 AU distant. Let me get a drink as I warp there, as I may be some time.

Oh, that's hilarious, w-space. I drop out of warp next to a wormhole that's at the end of its lifetime, which means whoever opened it is probably long gone even if I wanted to risk the connection. Then again, maybe it wasn't EOL when I entered warp. I'd better get back to the wormhole home quickly, in case it dies on my travels across this ungainly system. Thankfully, the connection remains stable and I leave one unoccupied system to explore another, crossing the home system to jump to our neighbouring C3.

A lack of occupation in a class 3 w-space system generally means the static wormhole connects to null-sec k-space, which is soon confirmed when scanning reveals a mere four signatures to resolve. I get gas, more gas, and a wormhole that is nullish by its signature strength, nullish by its K346 type, and nullish by sending me to a null-sec system in Stain. I'm alone in the system, so I rat and scan. Or just rat, as scanning sees no other signatures besides that of the wormhole I just jumped through. But I find a couple of battleships flanked by a pair of frigates, and my Loki strategic cruiser seems more capable of popping them now that I have a better choice of ammunition.

With little more to do, and not much motivation to collapse our static wormhole, I think I'll say hello to the Sansha rats in one of the anomalies in this null-sec system. But I'll do that in a Nighthawk and not my covert Loki, which I don't think will fare so well. I go home, swap for the command ship, and head back to null-sec to pop a whole bunch of rats. I bug out once as a new contact enters the system, but return to the anomaly when it looks like he was just passing through. But a second new contact, followed soon after by the first, has me bugging out not just to the wormhole but all the way home, as a Tengu strategic cruiser blips on my directional scanner. Cloaky or passing each other in warp, I don't really care to find out.

I don't get to see if I luckily have a True Sansha ship warp in to the anomaly, or the opportunity to loot the wrecks in a Noctis salvager, but that's okay. I made some pocket iskies from the bounties and got to fly the Nighthawk again. It's been a quiet and relaxing afternoon in space, and it's time to take a break for a while. I get home, swap back to my covert Loki, and hide shortly before Aii appears. I update him on the constellation and lack of good exit to replace the lost Tengus, which gives Fin time to turn up too. But despite now having company I really am taking a break. I leave my colleagues to their plan of collapsing the wormhole to look for a better route to empire space.

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