Exiting exhumer

11th February 2013 – 5.15 pm

What's up, space? Not much. A few new anomalies in the home system, that's about it. And what about our neighbouring class 3 w-space system? Also quiet. There's a canister named 'D's stuff' visible on my directional scanner, but nothing else of interest. The small, 10·5 AU diameter system even manages to be packed with empty space, with a mere six planets and three moons. Thankfully, the same is true for sites, with four anomalies and nine signatures on my blanket scan, giving me little to sift through.

The static exit to low-sec is expected, from a previous visit, but the weak wormhole isn't, which is nice. A third wormhole is even better, and a fourth makes me feel blessed. Popping out to low-sec first has me bookmark the other side of the wormhole in a faction warfare system in the Verge Vendor region, before heading back to C3a to reconnoitre the extra wormholes. The K162 from high-sec empire space that's at the end of its life can be forgotten immediately, but the pair of wormholes coming from and leading to class 5 w-space gives me options. Backwards first, I would say.

Jumping through the K162 to C5a has two towers and ships of all types appear on d-scan. Most of the ships appear to be at a tower, judging by d-scan, with one notable exception. A Hulk exhumer looks to be in empty space. I like that. I warp out, launch combat scanning probes, and return to hunt the miner. It's not as straightforward as I'd like to pin his position down, nor as straightforward as it really ought to be. The Hulk is almost directly above the planet I'm orbiting, a little under 3·5 AU away, but because of a limitation with the system map I cannot rotate my view enough to get him in a tight d-scan beam.

Restrictions aside, I think I've got a good enough bearing on the Hulk to scan his position. Unfortunately, my fiddling with the interface has cost me time, and just as I am ready to scan the Hulk has disappeared from the site. With any luck he's just dropping off a load of ore, soon to return to mining, so now is a good time to locate the towers. I'll leave my probes where they are. Seventeen ships sit inside one tower's force field, including the Hulk, and five are piloted, still including the Hulk. None of them are moving. Yes, that includes the Hulk.

Fair first scan on a class 5 w-space gravimetric site

If no one's paying attention I may as well scan. 73% is a fair result for a first scan of a class 5 w-space gravimetric site, and I'm sure it would have resolved the Hulk perfectly. A quick adjustment and a second scan has a 100% result on the rarified core deposit, letting me recall my probes. Now I watch and wait. Or I could reconnoitre the site, which sounds like a better use of my time. I warp in to create a strategic monitoring point, but think I may be wasting my time, as the Sleeper guardians have appeared in the rock field. They are what sent the Hulk away, not a hold full of ore.

With still no movement at the towers, and the Hulk pilot not swapping to a combat ship, I don't think anything else will happen for now. It's time to explore through the other wormhole in C3a, leading to C5b, where d-scan shows me nothing. Launching probes and blanketing the system, however, also shows me nothing. I'm in an empty and inactive class 5 system, which would be a little demotivating if it weren't for a previous visit informing me of the static connection to class 2 w-space there is to find. I just hope that's not a mis-classification in my notes. An easy way to check is to scan.

Four anomalies and seven signatures are whittled down quickly to hold just the one wormhole, which confirms the static connection is indeed a D364 that leads to class 2 w-space. How lovely. Jumping to C2a doesn't offer much, though, with two towers and no ships around, but again my notes give me hope, with static wormholes to class 2 w-space and high-sec empire space to be found. I hope it's worth scanning through this mess of fourteen anomalies and twenty-five signatures, and luckily I pluck the D382 out of the noise early. That'll do. I ignore the rest of the signatures and press on.

C2b is much like a combination of C5b and C2a, taking the worst elements of each. Unoccupied and inactive, and sprawling with signatures. My notes come to the rescue once more, this time saving me some effort, as an earlier visit tells me that this C2 system holds static wormholes to class 5 w-space and null-sec k-space. If I'm heading for a C5, it will be the one behind me with hints of activity, thank you. I recall my probes and make the few jumps back through C2a, C5b, and C3a.

Once in C5a I check the gravimetric site first, seeing the Sleepers remain there and unmolested, and hitting the towers shows the Hulk off-line. It looks like I saved myself a valuable thirty minutes of doing nothing, and filled it instead by scanning. That's probably good. But the Hulk's leaving is my cue to go too. Had I just been a few minutes earlier, or the system map interface not quite so clumsy, maybe I could have bagged another miner. Never mind, the exploration itself can be an end.

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