Using stargates to find wormholes

4th December 2012 – 5.45 pm

Let's see what's changed with the constellation, such as it was. Our static connection to class 3 w-space led to three wormholes to and from high-sec empire space, and a K162 from class 5 w-space that was stressed to critical levels before I took a break. I would hope that C3a has woken up, but even if they have I suppose they may not be too keen to engage in risky endeavours with so many connections, so I already suspect I'll be hitting high-sec to scan for more wormholes. First, a quick check of the home system, which shows no new connections, letting me head out to roam.

No ships are visible in C3a, but some combat probes light up my directional scanner. I consider waiting for the scout to come my way, but there's no guarantee he will, and if he's in a covert operations boat then I doubt I will do much but have my targeting system flail wildly in his direction for the split-second it takes for the ship to cloak again. And knowing from earlier that there are seventeen signatures in the system means the scanner may be a while. I'll swing past the C5 K162 to see if it's still there, then hit high-sec to scan.

The probes disappear as I make a pre-warp d-scan check. A Buzzard decloaks somewhere in the system, and I stop to look for him. The cov-ops looks to be coincident with the bookmark I made to the C5 K162, so I suppose the wormhole is still there, and head over there with my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser. I'm not really expecting to catch the Buzzard, but I can still look. I land near the tiny wormhole, looking like it could barely even take the Buzzard through it, but with no other ship in sight. The cov-ops persists on d-scan for a while, although nowhere I can pin down, and disappears. I think I can ignore him.

Heading through one of the K162s to high-sec puts me in Aridia. High-sec Aridia, that's funny. But it's probably good to scan, as no one else is out here, and it looks like no one comes out here either. Sixteen anomalies and nine signatures is a bounty in empire space, particularly high-sec empire space, and if only one of those signatures was a wormhole I'd be happy. The best I can manage is to resolve two identical 3/10 DED sites. The sites may offer a little distraction, perhaps with a small reward, so I aim my Loki towards the first and see what awaits.

Frigates. Frigates with tracking disrupters. But nothing serious, and my autocannons pop, pop, pop the rats with little fuss, letting me activate the acceleration gate to move to the next volume of deadspace. 'Expect more frigates', warns my computer, and she's right. Fifteen frigates in this wave, and twenty-eight in the next, and still my shields don't get plinked to below 93% integrity. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, in that case, that getting to the final wave and popping the Dark Blood target, I only loot a meta 3 webifier module. You win some, you lose some. I don't think I'll bother with the second site.

At least I'm in high-sec, where stargates pose no risk to law-abiding capsuleers like myself. Making sure I am not about to make a jump to low-sec, I hop one system across and scan again. Out of habit I warp to a rock field to launch probes, as I tend to look for rats when scanning in unpopulated systems, but this is high-sec and I bump in to some Hulk exhumers. I suppose the miners are taking advantage of the isolated Aridia existence in this high-sec island, and I resist the urge to play with them a bit. Instead, I just warp away, launch probes, and scan. And recall my probes on resolving just the same site as before, hop one more system across, and try again.

Five signatures greet me, but I'm not expecting much any more. A magnetometric site, radar site, drones, drones, and, thank goodness, a wormhole. The sight of a K162 from class 2 w-space is lovely, even more so considering it will hold another w-space connection inside. I jump in to take a look around. D-scan shows me two Orca industrial command ships, two shuttles, and two towers, which doesn't look positive, but my notes tell of a static connection to class 4 w-space, which again will guarantee another w-space connection, so the constellation is opening up. I scan through the eleven anomalies and thirteen signatures, ignoring a critically destabilised K162 from class 5 w-space to look for the weak second static wormhole, and continue through this inactive system to C4a.

The class 4 w-space system doesn't look much better than C2a. A tower shows occupation, a lack of ships means no activity, and I'm again left scanning the eleven anomalies and sixteen signatures for wormholes. I feel lucky in resolving a weak wormhole on the third signature, leading to the inevitable static connection to class 5 w-space, but less lucky when warping to it shows it to be at the end of its life. I'm not getting stuck in a chain of C5 space this late in the evening, so don't touch the wormhole and continue scanning, looking for K162s. I don't expect much, but get lucky. A K162 from class 3 w-space pops up just as I'm thinking I'll be heading home.

Pushing deeper in to the constellation puts me in a system where, according to my notes from eighteen months ago, three of our Manticore stealth bombers engaged a Drake battlecruiser, and although we don't get the kill we end up looting a site whilst a fleet is elsewhere. That sounds like fun times. Not so much today, where a tower sits empty of ships and pilots, and the fifteen anomalies and twenty-five signatures makes me feel tired of scanning. But I press on, performing a coarse search for K162s, and finding two wormholes.

The first wormhole is a K162 from null-sec k-space, and not really that enticing right now, and a second chubby wormhole that turns out to be the static exit to low-sec. Okay, that's it for me for tonight. I've scanned my way through enough systems and found pretty much nothing, with the only signs of activity being critically destabilised wormholes. On other occasions I may risk poking through to perhaps catch capsuleers unawares, but the evening has drawn on and I'm not going to dig my way through w-space this late at night to get home should I suffer some bad luck. I simply head home, get some rest, and hope for better connections tomorrow.

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