Ore from an ice field

14th September 2012 – 5.32 pm

Home looks pretty clear, and only the static wormhole stands out as an unresolved signature. It doesn't stay that way for long, letting me jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to look for activity and opportunity. I'm hoping that if the C3 is quiet, which is likely, then there will be more w-space to find than yesterday's high-sec odyssey. Even though there are generally plenty of ships in high-sec I'm not sure I can shoot much without consequence.

One tower and a lack of ships is all my directional scanner shows me in C3a, and my notes from almost two years ago list two towers. The one d-scan's showing me could be one of them, and as the other is out of range it could still be here and maybe hold ships. But, no, even though the first tower is in the same location as on my previous visit the second has been stripped, and I find no obvious signs of activity. No problem, I can scan.

A blanket scan of the system reveals four anomalies and eight signatures, which won't take long to sift through. The first signature is obviously the static exit to low-sec, from its signature strength. Following a couple of gas pockets a suspicious signature is so far above the ecliptic plane that it must be a wormhole, and it's chubby enough to be a K162 as well. Scanning is looking to give positive results already, and a third wormhole that also feels like a K162 is giving me a good feeling. I ignore one last ladar site to complete scanning, and warp around to see what the wormholes are.

In reverse order, I bounce around a K162 from null-sec k-space, a second null-sec K162, and the static exit to low-sec. All the positivity has drained from me in a few short warps, damn it. On top of that, exiting to low-sec puts me in Aridia, a perfect destination from a dreary C3, and scanning has a tantalising signature of the 'unknown' type resolve to be some stinking rogue drone asteroid infestation. That's just not cricket.

I return to w-space and cross C3a to see where the first null-sec K162 leads, appearing in a system in the Branch region. I'm alone, so I rat and scan, which quickly becomes merely ratting when my probes return only the one signature, but at least I find some rats. Too many, it seems at first, when I drop out of warp at an ice field to see five chunky red crosses on my overview. Thankfully only three are battleships, as the other two are industrial ships.

I've encountered rat haulers before, and they were stuffed full of minerals, so this could be vaguely profitable. I pop the ships and their battleship escorts, opening the wrecks to see one full of pyrerite and the other mexallon. That'll do nicely, although I was kinda expecting to see ice products instead of the standard rocks. I head home, through a still-empty w-space system, and grab a Bustard transport from our hangar. This will need two trips, but as long as space stays empty it won't be a bother. So of course space doesn't stay empty, and I return to null-sec to see a new contact in the system.

The capsuleer in null-sec probably doesn't know what I'm doing in the system, and even if he's out for blood he may not be able to get the drop on me before I can get to and from one of the wrecks, which I've bookmarked. I make a dash for the first wreck and am looting it as the other pilot leaves the system. That was easy. And the second trip is just as easy, bagging me two jet-cans' worth of minerals and some increase in security status for some simple ratting. And I think I'll have to make do with this minor achievement for the evening.

I return to my scouting cloaky Loki strategic cruiser and poke my nose through the other K162 from null-sec, appearing in the Cloud Ring region. Three additional signatures are soon discarded as a ladar and two radar sites, and this time another pilot in the system will stop me ratting. If the system in Branch stays quiet I could probably take a ship in to one of its anomalies, but I have only recently scratched that itch and I don't care to mindlessly launch missiles at sequential targets by myself again quite so soon. I just head home through the still-still C3a and hide in a quiet corner to finish watching Gamera. That film is too scary for one sitting.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.