Third time's not always a charm

7th December 2012 – 5.49 pm

I only have a limited time this evening, so let's see how much trouble I can make, or get in to. There's only one wormhole in the home system, which gives me a clear choice of direction, and I jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. My directional scanner is clear from the K162, and there's only one planet out of range. My notes from seven months ago indicate a tower in the system, which warping to it shows it to still be there, and that there is a static connection to null-sec k-space. That doesn't sound great, but there could be more to find, particularly as the tower I've returned to is actually off-line and a new one has sprung up, with three ships to go with it.

So many assumptions! The old tower turned out to be off-line, and only one of the three ships is at the replacement tower. A Caldari Navy Hookbill frigate floats piloted inside the force field of the on-line tower, but an Armageddon and Scorpion are both elsewhere in the system. Maybe not shooting Sleepers, as I see no wrecks, but the battleship pair are up to something. A blanket scan of the system reveals a complete lack of anomalies, and only six signatures, and now just the one ship. The battleships have dropped from d-scan too, which is only natural, although they return a little later. I imagine they're collapsing a wormhole.

Maybe the null-sec connection isn't ideal, or they want to close it so they can mine in peace. That would be nice, thank you. I sit outside the tower, watching the Hookbill directly and the battleships blink on and off my probes and d-scan, waiting to see the ships return to the tower. But they don't return, and one disappearance lasts longer than those before it. On top of that, there are now only five signatures returned by my probes. The ships were collapsing a wormhole, I have no doubt, but it wasn't locals crashing the exit to null-sec. Another corporation wanted their system to connect somewhere better, and crashed their static wormhole. I feel a bit dumb for not considering that as an option, but in reality there probably wasn't much I could have done about it anyway.

If other visitors don't like this system I should probably take that as a sign. Rather than waste time scanning for non-existent K162s, or a crappy connection to null-sec, I turn my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser around and head home, to get rid of our own static connection. Orca, Widow, Orca, Orca. The third round trip sees core scanning probes appear in C3a, but I don't care. I complete the last trip with no one following me, and get back in my Loki to look for the next wormhole.

A tower and no ships visible on d-scan from the next K162 in class 3 w-space I find myself sitting on isn't a great start, but opportunity can be found by further scanning. Holy moly, another system with no anomalies. Someone's been on a rampage, or—heh heh—a petty scout activated all the sites. It saves me the trouble. I hope for wormholes in the four signatures, and with no skinny signatures at least the static connection won't lead to null-sec. There's a wormhole, but that's the only one. And although it doesn't lead to null-sec the exit to low-sec is about as useful, as it's at the end of its life. This system isn't any better at all!

Orca, Widow, Widow, Orca. The second static connection isn't so tolerant of massive ships, but still collapses when I expect it to, so I'm safely scanning in the home system for another replacement static wormhole. The third neighbouring C3 of the evening looks clear from the K162, but that's with only one planet in range of d-scan. A blanket scan looks optimistic, with five anomalies, six signatures, and ten ships. Ships! Let's hope for pilots too. As all the ships are clustered around one planet I make an educated guess that a tower's out there, and warp across to see two on d-scan. A Drake is piloted at one, floating alongside two carriers and three other ships all empty, and the second tower holds the remaining four empty ships. Maybe the Drake will venture in to the actually present anomalies.

Maybe the Drake will float listlessly inside the force field. At least the signatures are all out of range of the tower, so I can scan without the Drake pilot seeing my probes, if he's even awake. Gas, radar site, gas, wormhole—which from its strength is an exit to high-sec or an outbound w-space connection—and rocks. So the wormhole connects to high-sec, which I confirm by warping to it. From null-sec, to low-sec, up to high-sec. That's some progression there. This time the wormhole is even healthy, so I can use it to look for a system where pilots may actually be active.

C3a's exit takes me to a system in the Heimatar region called Sist. It's a curious spelling, but I agree with the name. Scanning holds one anomaly and one additional signature beyond the K162, but that resolve to just be rocks. I can take the hint. Nothing's happening in w-space tonight, and I'm not going to collapse a third wormhole in succession. Instead, I take my frustration out on high-sec Gistii rats in the lone anomaly, where some Gistum rats also turn up. I think they're just bigger Gistii. No special Gistish rat appears, which isn't a surprise, but at least I end the evening shooting at ships.

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