Running in to trouble

5th April 2013 – 5.23 pm

Fed and watered, I'm curious about the current state of the w-space constellation. Glorious leader Fin's out and about, but mostly in Amarr buying and selling, so I'll be relying on my own reconnaissance and earlier scanning for the moment. Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system sees a change to my directional scanner result, with three drones visible that weren't around earlier. 'There was a tourist from high-sec sitting on the wormhole when I exited', says Fin, 'in an Ishtar'. The drones may well have belonged to the heavy assault ship, and been abandoned when the going got too tough. They appear to be in an anomaly, anyway.

Moving on from an otherwise unchanged, and so inactive, C3a I jump to the only other connected w-space system, C6a. I'm not too concerned, as the deadly w-space system was unoccupied earlier and I don't expect much to have changed in a few hours, which lets me cross it and transit through its static wormhole to C5a. The class 5 system is also unoccupied, but gives me options. I head through a K162 to class 4 w-space, and from there, ignoring the other C4 K162 through which I popped a salvager earlier, to a K162 coming from class 3 w-space. C3b is my first waypoint, and the start of currently unexplored space.

D-scan is clear from the other side of the wormhole, and exploring finds a tower with an Apocalypse battleship floating empty inside its force field. A poke with probes reveals three anomalies and four signatures, which won't take long to resolve. I call my probes in and, what are the odds, a Buzzard covert operations boat warps in to the tower just as they become visible on d-scan. Hoping the pilot is a little lackadaisical with d-scan I hide my probes outside d-scan range of the system again, and watch to see if he decides to leave the tower.

I notice a couple of signatures are out of d-scan range of the tower, which will let me scan them whilst waiting for the Buzzard to move. One of the signatures even resolves to be a wormhole, which may come in handy if the cov-ops moves, which, of course, he doesn't. I patiently watch him debate going off-line for a few minutes before, yup, there he goes. That was time well-spent for me. I scan the remaining two signatures expecting two ladar sites, but end up with rocks and a second wormhole. That's a nice surprise. The U210 static exit to low-sec is pretty normal, and the T405 outbound connection to class 4 w-space could be interesting, if it weren't at the end of its life.

I head backwards through the constellation to C5a, where warping to the static connection to C6b sees the wormhole also EOL. That's a bit of a shame, as the second class 6 system hasn't been explored yet, and I'm not risking getting caught in C6 w-space purely out of curiosity. Instead, I warp to the outbound wormhole to null-sec, but don't jump through that now-EOL link either. It looks like the constellation is dying. I turn myself around and head homewards, diverting in the C3a, which remains quiet, apart from Fin's returning Orca industrial command ship, to exit to low-sec to scan.

Three extra signatures in the system in Aridia gives me another wormhole. What a surprise that another class 3 w-space system connects to Aridia. I jump to C3c to a clear d-scan result, where exploring finds two towers with five ships split amongst them, and only a Buzzard piloted. A blanket scan shows a scant three anomalies and time-consuming twenty-three signatures. Ignoring all but the chubbiest, I sift for K162s, resolving one from the chaff of gas and rocks. Continuing the constellation, I jump through the K162 to class 4 w-space, right in to a waiting fleet.

A fleet waits just for me, how sweet of them

The Onyx heavy interdictor has its warp bubble inflated, and his pals in a Loki strategic cruiser and Hawk assault frigate look alert. A Wolf assault frigate warps in to join whatever fun the fleet is expecting, and clearly they are expecting something. My luck isn't good either—as evidenced by jumping in to a hostile fleet—as I am a mere 1·2 km from the wormhole, too close to safely cloak. In warp three Drakes and a Cyclone, the battlecruisers all hitting the edge of the Onyx's bubble, at least keeping the additional ships from chasing me quite so effectively, whatever I do. And I'm not quite sure yet.

I hold as the Loki moves away from me, and consider making a break for shit, the Loki comes back, ending up sitting almost on top of my own strategic cruiser. It's not just the wormhole stopping me getting clear any more. I'm not getting out of this mess easily. Just to make my predicament a little more obvious, my session change cloak fades before my resolve comes in to focus. Being actively targeted, pointed, webbed, and attacked by a bunch of aggressive ships at least makes up my mind, and I dive back through the wormhole to C3c.

Attacked by the fleet on the wormhole

Once through, I barely pause to insult the wormhole and its parents for once more spitting me 1·2 km away from it, and burn away from the locus as the connection flares menacingly. Despite the virtual chasm to cross, I am able to cloak and jink as four ships appear as one, the Onyx inflating its bubble in an effort to hold me. I'm fairly safe now, but I'd prefer to be safer than just fairly safe. Rather than hang around to see what the ships do, I pick an arbitrary moon around a planet roughly in the direction I'm moving, and warp to it. Now I'm much safer.

Fleeing the wormhole fleet

That was a bit too close for comfort. I remain curious, however, and warp back to the wormhole at range to see what the fleet will do. I see no ships around the wormhole when I return, and even checking with my good eye doesn't see any. A couple of minutes later, though, the wormhole flares and several Scorpion battleships appear and jump straight back to C4c. They're obviously killing the connection, which is fine with me.

Having missed me, the fleet takes out their frustrations on the poor wormhole

'Better the wormhole than you', agrees Fin, once I have caught my breath and updated her as to my still-alive situation. I think I'll head home to relax, and warp away from the fated C4 K162 as d-scan shows me a Broadsword heavy interdictor no doubt finishing the wormhole off.

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