Calm before the storm

4th January 2013 – 5.46 pm

Hello, I'm a bit late. Poking through to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, after ambushing a pair of gassing ships and bagging me a cruiser podding, has an interesting sight on my directional scanner. There's not much unusual about a pair of towers, plus the Hurricane battlecruiser, Hound stealth bomber, Drake battlecruiser, or Claymore command ship. But the Minmatar elite frigate wreck and corpse in the system shows hostile activity, and recent too.

The two towers are also recent additions to C3a, although probably not within the last couple of hours like the wreck and corpse. There was no occupation seven months ago, but I suppose the static exit to high-sec made it inevitable that some corporation would move in sooner or later. I start looking for the towers at about the same time as the Hound is swapped for an Anathema, the covert operations boat then launching probes and presumably scanning. And sweeping d-scan around shows that the wreck and corpse are apparently outside one of the towers. Either that, or a nearby moon. I can check.

Warping to the right tower sees the wreck and corpse near the defences above the force field, and a Buzzard cov-ops outside of the tower. But before I can think about whether my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser could engage the Buzzard without getting caught by the tower, a Sabre interdictor and Hound decloak to do the job for me. Or, at least, try. The Sabre launches an interdiction sphere, but the short-lived warp bubble doesn't appear to have trapped the Buzzard too well. The cov-ops burns away from the Sabre, the Hound gives up and cloaks, and the interdictor crawls from its own bubble before cloaking too. That was... mildly interesting.

There's nothing else to see here for now, so I warp around, exploring the rest of the system. The Claymore sits alone in another tower, piloted but probably only providing lazy boosts to other ships in whatever fleet it has assembled. The pilot also belongs to the same corporation of the corpse and wreck at the first tower, which is peculiar indeed. Maybe I'm in the midst of a hostile takeover. And two more towers sit elsewhere in the system, as shown by d-scan, where a Hound and Drake float inside the force field, whilst the Hurricane is in empty space. If my hunch is right, I imagine the battlecruiser will be near a wormhole, where a warp bubble has also been anchored. Let me take a look.

I launch probes, blanket the system, and bookmark nine anomalies that are unlikely to see any action soon, and resolve the four signatures. Two ladar sites, the static exit to high-sec, and the K162 home. There is a bubble at the high-sec exit, but not on it. It's a drag bubble, positioned to catch ships warping from the presumably targeted tower to the wormhole, to prevent easy egress from the system. The Hurricane has moved on by the time I get here, though, but a Loki jumps to high-sec as I assess the situation, followed by a Manticore stealth bomber coming in and leaving again. It's all go.

I'm curious to see where the exit wormhole leads. A high-sec connection could easily bring support, or additional danger, given the ease of travel that high-sec affords. And I am not above sharing the information with anyone who would like to stir the hornets' nest. Woah, it's better than I thought. Or worse. I leave C3a to appear in Gallente central, the wormhole being in the market hub of Dodixie. That can't be good for someone. I'm not sure who at the moment, but I probably won't be doing a fuel run.

It's time for food. I was only meant to look for activity, but I didn't really consider what I'd do if I found any. Get curious and poke around, apparently. I'm happy with what I've uncovered, though, and there could be fun to be had later. All I need to do is get home, which shouldn't pose a problem on a high-sec wormhole. I return to C3a, see an Onyx heavy interdictor decloak and inflate its warp bubble, and give exactly zero shits as I speed invisibly away from the wormhole. I warp across the system, see no ships on our connection, and jump home to make myself a sammich.

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