Killing a dying wormhole

24th October 2012 – 5.35 pm

I'm out for a scout, putting in some legwork for hopefully a successful later roam. A new signature appears under my probes in the home w-space system, and as it resolves to be a second wormhole I may get an earlier start to my roam than I expected. But the K162 from class 3 w-space is reaching the end of its lifetime, and probably not worth risking isolation for. I ignore the wobbly wormhole and warp across to our static connection, at which point I curse the earlier douchebags, as I see this wormhole wobbling too.

A quick peek probably won't hurt, I suppose, particularly as I'm in a scanning boat. I poke my nose through to the neighbouring class 3 system, update my directional scanner to see three towers and no ships, and note from the system map that only one planet lies barely out of range. Yep, I think that will do for me, and I jump right back home, satisfied that I've seen all I need to. But I suppose I could also peek in C3b, through the K162, and as the wormhole's still present when I warp to it I do just that. C3b is not much better than C3a, with a single tower and lack of ships on d-scan.

In fact, C3b looks worse than C3a. A corpse on d-scan means that I've obviously missed any activity that happened. I jump back home, warp to our wobbly static connection, and wait for it to die. But this could take a couple of hours, and I'd rather be more active than that. So it's good that, with the power of logic, Mick convinces me to force the wormhole's collapse instead of simply waiting. As he reasons, the K162 will have been opened first, and it will have taken time to scout and scan our system, so as long as the K162 remains the static wormhole should be safe to jump through.

I try not to mention potential tolerances on wormhole lifespans, but Mick points out that I will only be outside the home system for a little more than ten seconds at a time, so the actual risk is slight. Okay, I'm collapsing our wormhole! This will be fine. I take the Widow black ops ship through first, ostensibly because it lacks scanning power and I don't want to have to self-destruct it and me because of that. But rather than rely on luck I pause and fit a probe launcher anyway, because apparently the Widow has a spare high slot and the capacity to just throw one on, negating my reason for taking it first. A belt-and-braces approach seems appropriate for w-space operations, though.

I jump out and back in, completing the first round trip. The second is made in an Orca industrial command ship, which combined with the Widow has pushed half the wormhole's total mass through the connection. The wormhole remains stable. That's actually good, as the slightly chubby connection lets me complete the collapse with confidence, giving me two more Orca round trips without a concern about getting isolated. At least, not from the mass-stress. I make the penultimate trip, so that in a few minutes the wormhole will be dead. Mick points out that the wormhole will be gone 'one way or another', showing that he is truly wise and I should listen to him more.

The few minutes I have spare is used to feed my cats, which is about as good a use of polarisation time as I can muster. And, what with a serendipitous polarisation message and Mick's testing with a stopwatch, we determine that the polarisation time is five minutes from the first jump. That's good to know, rather than the wooly thinking that polarisation lasts four minutes from the return. And the last jump goes without problems. I take the Orca out, the wormhole destabilises critically, and it lives long enough only for me to return and kill it with mass.

A new static wormhole pops up elsewhere in the home system, which I resolve and jump through to the replacement C3a. A single tower and still no ships appears on d-scan, which I suppose is fine for a scouting expedition, so I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan. I bookmark eleven anomalies and sift through the ten signatures to find gas, and more gas, which should make Aii happy. And wormhole, wormhole, wormhole will make Penny happy. A radar site, some rocks, and two more wormholes rounds off a blessed set of signatures.

I feel less blessed when warping around the wormholes. A K162 from class 5 w-space is okay, a second one that's EOL is not so enticing, and a T405 outbound connection to class 4 w-space would be great if it weren't also EOL. That leaves a static exit to low-sec empire space, and a K162 from null-sec k-space. That's less than stellar. But a healthy K162 from more w-space waits for me, so I jump to C5a. Eight months ago I had five towers listed in this system, and I can see four on d-scan from the wormhole. Exploring further finds two more towers on the farthest planet, and one more in the inner system, with the only ship visible being an unpiloted Drake battlecruiser. How dreary. I won't scan here, nor locate all of the empty towers, but see what I can find in low-sec instead.

Two pilots, five anomalies, and no extra signatures. The low-sec system in Derelik is pretty boring too, even if rats camping near a local tower strikes me as pretty weird. I would say my scouting is done and that it's time for a sammich, but I've clearly forgotten about the null-sec connection. I detour in C3a through the K162 to appear in a system in Tenerifis by myself, so I launch probes and warp to a rock field. Scanning finds no other signatures, but ratting pops a battleship to continue the tedious task of keeping my security status increasing. And, with that, I officially declare it's time for some food.

  1. 5 Responses to “Killing a dying wormhole”

  2. WOah. How the hell are rats that close to a tower?

    By Planetary Genocide on Oct 24, 2012

  3. It was a couple of hundred kays, but still. No idea. I suspect hax.

    By pjharvey on Oct 24, 2012

  4. It's because a ship was there I think. I've seen something similar before, twice. Once, a drone PvE site had spawned on one of my safes within a few AU of a planet, and another time belt rats (who couldn't be targeted because they were in warp for 30 seconds while standing still) were at my safe in the middle of a cluster of asteroid belts.

    I figure it has something to do with the number of available grids per unit of of devoted server load (or something) to each system and a roll of the dice.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Oct 26, 2012

  5. I've seen Rats on a POS before a number of times. In most cases they seemed to "follow" a player warping out of a belt / site. The image above shows structures in space, and given the number of red crosses, it looks like a site spawned on the same grid as the POS. Rather cool - and something I have never seen before.

    By evehermit on Oct 26, 2012

  6. I suppose it was just a coincidence. And the range involved probably meant there was no automatic aggression. Even so, it would startle me to arrive at a corporation tower with red crosses on my overview.

    By pjharvey on Oct 26, 2012

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