Showing my ship to a shuttle

7th October 2012 – 3.47 pm

I've grabbed a fancy module from a frigate in high-sec and podded a careless cov-ops pilot in a C1, and have still only scratched the surface of the w-space constellation. As the locals of the class 1 system set about looking for my entrance I leave them behind to find more activity elsewhere, returning to low-sec to take my choice of three more wormholes. One of the wormholes only connects to another system in low-sec empire space, which will mean more immediate scanning, but the K162 from class 3 w-space could find pilots warping around collecting planet goo with no scanning required.

Jumping in to C3b has an Orca industrial command ship, Tengu, and Legion appear on my directional scanner, along with two on-line towers. There are no wrecks nearby, so I suspect the strategic cruisers aren't up to much and probably just sat in the towers, which a bit of exploring confirms. The Legion is by itself in one tower, the Tengu and Orca in the second, all three ships piloted. There's more space to explore, with the C3 being 70 AU in radius, but nothing else to find. No more towers, no more ships. And the pilots here aren't looking like they'll move either. Rather than scan for potential wormholes I head back the way I came and choose the other connection in low-sec.

The outbound wormhole to class 5 w-space has already been stressed so that it is sitting below half mass, which could mean that whatever has passed this way has been and gone, or that the wormhole is in the process of being collapsed. As I resolved the wormhole before podding the Cheetah earlier, and it is still here, I feel safe in assuming that there is no one actively trying to crash the connection. This just means that I'm unlikely to find activity, but I'm going to take a look anyway.

Another Orca and tower are in range of d-scan from the K162 in C5a, and with just one planet also in range it is trivial to find the pair of them. Naturally, the Orca is unpiloted, and sweeping the rest of the system also finds nothing of interest. I'm tempted not to scan, particularly as C5 w-space has a tendency to lead to more C5 w-space, but I would be remiss not to at least see what's out there. And two anomalies and three signatures is far from a chore to resolve, particularly as I already know one of the signatures, and in no time I have ignored a radar site and am staring at the inevitable H296 connection.

I found it, I may as well use it, and I jump through the wormhole to C5b. D-scan is clear, and as quickly as I launch probes I recall them again. Opening the system map to arrange my probes for a blanket scan has me realise that no planets are out of range, so what I see on d-scan is what I get, and I fear for my sanity in scanning an unoccupied and inactive class 5 w-space system this late in the evening. I should get back home, and not just because my glorious leader, back from running logistics, has a couple of pilots flitting around our neighbouring C3.

A Cheetah covert operations boat looks to be scanning C3a, and a shuttle is somewhere in the system, a somewhere that isn't the tower. I head back across C5a to low-sec and return to C3a, where I update d-scan to see if I can help find either ship. Yes, yes I can, but not with d-scan. As I sit under the session change cloak on the U210 the shuttle appears, dropping out of warp about twenty kilometres from the wormhole, and from me, which puts it nicely in warp disruption range. And as the session change cloak doesn't burden my ship with a recalibration delay I even have a chance of catching the shuttle.

Knowing I need to be quick, I shed the session change cloak and activate my sensor booster immediately. My timing looks to be good, as my first attempt to lock on to the shuttle is met with warp interference, so it hasn't even stopped yet. But despite this giving my second attempt maximum time to get a lock, and having a sensor-boosted targeting system, the shuttle still turns and warps away before I can stop it. I know shuttles are agile, but I didn't think it would turn on a sixpence like that.

The shuttle disappears for a minute before returning to drop on top of the wormhole this time, jumping to low-sec after it lands. I see no point in giving chase, given that I couldn't lock the shuttle in better circumstances, but I can't resist waiting on the wormhole with my sensor booster active in case he comes back. Which he doesn't. I give him a few minutes, during which I update d-scan in case of surprises, but all I end up doing is watch a wormhole wobble. I think I've had all the fun I'm going to have this evening. I turn my ship around, warp across C3a, and jump home to hide and go to sleep.

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