Looking for trouble

28th September 2012 – 5.37 pm

I remember now. There's an N968 in this system. I just got a bit distracted by the gas harvesting operation through a K162 to class 5 w-space. But now that I have disrupted the operation, by podding the pilot hauling gas in his Badger, and fleeing from the fairly prompt response, I am free to explore the constellation a little deeper. I jump to the class 3 w-space system to see if I can find any more entertainment. Not directly, with my directional scanner showing me a tower and no ships from the wormhole, but I can always look for more w-space.

The tower I can see survives from almost a year ago, although a second that I have listed from my last visit has been torn down. A system empty of ships lets me scan the fifteen anomalies and eleven signatures, where the first wormhole my probes reveal feels like the static exit to high-sec empire space. A second, chubbier wormhole could be a good find, but the K162 from class 4 w-space is reaching the end of its life and probably not worth peeking through. But that's okay, as the third wormhole actually turns out to be the system's static connection, exiting to low-sec, and the first is a T405 outbound connection to a C4. That'll do.

C4b is less exciting than the C3 I just left. D-scan is clear, and warping around to explore finds no occupation and no activity. I'm back to scanning, and six signatures are reduced quickly to a static connection to more class 4 w-space and a K162 coming from a C5. The K162 is more likely to lead to activity, so I jump in and take a look around, seeing nothing from the wormhole but locating a tower around a distant planet holding a couple of haulers. The pair of Badgers are piloted, making it worth watching them for a bit, but only for a bit, as they blink off-line within a minute or so.

I head back to C4b and jump onwards to C4c, which looks like it could be interesting. Four towers appear on d-scan, along with a Nemesis stealth bomber and Buzzard covert operations boat. One planet holds three towers and the Nemesis, another planet the other tower and the Buzzard. Finding the single tower and Buzzard will be simple and quick, so I warp across to do that, only to have the Nemesis drop off d-scan. Maybe I should have looked for the bomber first. Never mind, the Buzzard is piloted but inactive, and there are no other towers hidden on a far planet, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan to see what's out there.

Three anomalies and four signatures is a pretty tidy system, and despite the uncertainty of the Nemesis's location I scan. It won't take long. I reveal a radar site, Crow interceptor, a second radar site, and another Buzzard, before resolving the static wormhole to even more class 4 w-space. And with an interceptor buzzing around, a stealth bomber possibly somewhere, and a continuing chain of C4 systems I think I'm heading back the way I came. Besides, my glorious leader has got activity in our neighbouring class 3 system, and it's going to take me a few minutes to get back there.

A Hookbill frigate, Sabre interdictor, Taranis interceptor, and a Hurricane battlecruiser have set up a small camp near C3a's exit to high-sec. It's a curious place to try to catch ships, as they can simply jump back to high-sec to avoid any confrontation, and even more curious considering that the fleet is not sitting close to the wormhole and could be caught themselves. Fin's hoping we can do the catching, too, perhaps popping the Hurricane to rout the others, with the convenient exit available to us in case of trouble. But before I get close to the home system a Talos battlecruiser appears, accidentally bumps Fin's cloaked ship, and forces Fin to warp clear.

Being spotted isn't the end of the world, but the Talos and added Drake battlecruiser add to the numbers and firepower available to the other side. It's already looking like any engagement will merely force us to become isolated in high-sec before the Onyx and Broadsword heavy interdictors turn up. On top of that, as I ponder just leaving the whole situation alone whilst sitting in our home system, the wormhole from the K162 I returned through flares. A red Tengu strategic cruiser, allied to the Badger I podded, and so from the C5 behind us, appears and warps away. Aii is monitoring our static connection and sees the Tengu jump through that wormhole, so at least the Tengu's not here to wreak direct revenge.

A second red Tengu follows the first, and after a bit of waiting a red Viator transport ship comes the other way, tailed by the two Tengus. It seems that red scouts found their way to high-sec through our system and the transport preferred that route, instead of the low-sec exit in the C3 connected directly to their C5. Our neighbours must have noticed and set about trying to trap the Viator on its return, 'and they are probably lucky to be alive', says Fin, as the C3ers may not have known who the Viator belonged to.

We're probably lucky too. Had I been closer to home and got back sooner we could be engaged our neighbours only for the reds to intervene and destroy all of us in one massive fireball. As it is, we just watch ships come in to the home system and then go back out again. And in case we still have doubts as to what could have happened, the Tengus despatched to bring the transport home safely are themselves followed by a Legion crossing our home from C3a to C3b, although at least that looks like their last ship. And as they are leaving our system alone, it feels like a good time to find a place to hide and go off-line.

  1. 2 Responses to “Looking for trouble”

  2. I was wondering about these nice little maps of system you are doing: do you use them in game to share in real time with your corp mates the state of the systems discovered (collaborative tool of sort), or it's just for us avid readers ?

    By Chapal on Oct 1, 2012

  3. I honestly can't remember the original intent of the maps, but they are off-line creations that take a while to draw, so I'm unable to share them as I explore.

    The maps spring in to life when the constellation gets busy enough to keep visual track of, and I make a sketch in my notebook of the connections and classes of systems. Whether I began drawing them so that I could include them in my posts, or just so that I could better navigate my way around, I don't know any more.

    By pjharvey on Oct 1, 2012

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