Low trading

30th March 2013 – 3.30 pm

There have been no invasions for X days. Super! Aii tells me that we have our static wormhole and an inbound connection that's at the end of its life, but that he hasn't been further than that yet. That's cool, although the corporate bookmarks look like yesterday's. Then again, that's also cool, as it gives me an excuse to gently wake myself up by scanning the home system. By the time Aii's made his way to our static wormhole so that I can warp to his position, I have resolved both wormholes, the only two signatures in the system, and am on my way to the static connection anyway.

Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a tower visible on my directional scanner, along with a Scorpion battleship, Orca industrial command ship, and Archon carrier, which I suspect are all empty of pilots. The tower looks to be in the same location as from my previous visit of a year ago, so I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan of the system, returning with the aim of landing outside of the tower. I do, and confirm the ships are indeed lacking pilots, as my combat scanning probes reveal seven anomalies, nineteen signatures, and just the three ships that are currently on my overview.

There's so much gas in this system, and just the one wormhole. At least scanning is quick with only chubby signatures to sweep over. I go forwards the only way I can, exiting w-space to appear in a low-sec system in the Lonetrek region, where I launch probes to continue scanning for wormholes. Seven extra signatures look promising, and I sift through them to see a ladar site, wormhole, some Guristas, rogue drones, another ladar site with added Hurricane, a third ladar site, and, finally, a second wormhole. The wormholes interest me, obviously, but so does that battlecruiser.

Hurricane in a low-sec ladar site

I don't think there's much point aiming for the Hurricane at first, as I've not exactly been subtle with my combat scanning probes, but he doesn't seem to be running to make me chase him. Then again, he's not been ignoring my scanning efforts either, as he tries to strike up a conversation in the local communication channel. Now, talking in w-space is generally frowned upon, and I tend to carry that attitude over to k-space, even if my mug is apparent in the channel. I don't really want to advertise I've come from w-space, even if my corporation kinda announces that well enough. But it seems the Hurricane wants to make a deal.

It would be rude not to at least find out what the low-sec pilot is after before I shoot him, so I reply as Aii and a newly on-line Fin get some ships to the other side of the wormhole, ready for me to tackle the battlecruiser. Minerals. The pilot wants some minerals. He may be in luck, as we have them. I pass the message to Fin, who comes back with a price for me to offer, which she got direct from Jita just yesterday. Nope, the price isn't low enough, according to a colleague of the Hurricane's, saying that they can get it cheaper in Jita. Well, in that case, maybe they should.

No need to be scared of you? That's a weight off my mind

I am still watching the Hurricane clear the ladar site. He says we don't have to fear his corporation, which is jolly decent of him to say, considering the ships we're thinking of dropping on top of him. But I'm conflicted. He seems friendly, but he's flying a ship. Do I shoot him or not? I am aware of the two-to-three colleagues he has in the low-sec system with him, here or there, but that will just make the fight more interesting. Saving me from having to make an immediate decision, my glorious leader drops the mineral price a little, letting me make a second offer. This one is accepted. Will there be explosions when we bring a ship to deliver the goods?

The exchange is all quite honourable. Fin swaps to a transport, brings the minerals to a specified station in the system, and we get a chunk of ISK in return and some thanks. I feel dirty. And the Hurricane's gone, although I really would feel guilty shooting it now. But a Venture mining frigate is now on d-scan, and looking to be in a standard rock belt. I warp in to take a look and see the Venture looking quite vulnerable indeed, just as a Condor frigate drops on top of the Venture. There's no shooting, and I think I have a twofer until I realise the Condor pilot is who we've just contracted the minerals too. I probably ought not to shoot him, or his colleague in the Venture. It's good that I resolved a pair of wormholes in this system.

Venture and Condor in a rock field that I probably shouldn't shoot

Back to w-space with me to look for targets, as Fin and Aii aim for Sleepers in C3a's anomalies. The first wormhole I found in low-sec is merely a K162 from more low-sec space, which doesn't work for me, but the second is an X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space. Jumping to C3b puts me almost six kilometres from the K162, with only a can visible on d-scan. It's not looking good, and my notes from a year ago indicate no occupation then and that the system holds a static connection to null-sec. It's not looking good at all.

Three anomalies, nine signatures, and no occupation indeed. I pull my probes in from their blanket scanning configuration to sift through the signatures, resolving what looks like the static wormhole, some rocks, a pair of gas sites, a K162—but only from null-sec—another gas site, and a second weak wormhole. That is interesting. The first does turn out to be the K346 static exit, and the second is an N770 outbound link to class 5 w-space, continuing the constellation nicely, and potentially indefinitely through class 5 w-space.

A visit to C5a two-and-a-half years ago doesn't give me hope in finding my notes relevant, but knowing the static wormhole leads to class 4 w-space is encouraging. One of the two towers listed is in the same place too, although that could be coincidence, and launching probes to find the second tower and the Moros dreadnought inside it turns out to perhaps be a mistake.

Standard operating procedure for locating towers is to warp to the right planet, then sweep d-scan across each moon. It's also possible to concentrate combat scanning probes on the planet and resolve the position of the tower directly, which would work really well for finding multiple towers too. Using probes makes your presence somewhat obvious, though, so I tend not to use this method often, particularly as using d-scan is quick enough in most cases. Having a dreadnought as a target for my probes is about as easy as it gets to scan a ship, so I take the short-cut route in finding the second tower today, only to warp to it to see the Moros piloted. How was I to know? It's the only ship in the system.

Revealing myself to the Moros via my probes probably doesn't matter anyway. It looks like the capsuleer is simply trying to control his dreadnought after bouncing off a structure, as he disappears shortly after the ship stalls. That leaves me with a straightforward scanning task, with just four anomalies and two signatures in the system, which will be the K162 I came through and the static wormhole. I warp to the E175 connection and jump to C4a, which turns out to be unoccupied and inactive, and rather unvisited with twenty-three anomalies and nineteen signatures. It's getting late too, so rather than waste time scanning I head back the way I came, passing by Aii and Fin exporting more goods to low-sec, after having cleared a few anomalies for a little under two hundred million ISK in profit. At least some of us have been productive tonight.

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