Empty ships and dying wormholes

9th April 2013 – 5.47 pm

Someone's been scanning in our system. The bookmark folder looks current, which isn't much in itself, but the naming convention isn't ours and the home system is referred to by our names. If I didn't know any better, I'd say our class 5 sister w-space system connects to us today. But I may not know any better, as I can't parse the bookmarks to see how they connect to the other system, even when opening their subfolder of wormhole bookmarks. I suppose the best way to find out is to take a look around.

Warping to the bookmark for our static wormhole indeed lands me next to our static wormhole, which is a good start. Jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system, however, gives me exits to high-sec empire space and null-sec k-space, which don't tie up with the connections leading to the class 5 system. The breadcrumbs have ended, leaving me wondering why the names of the bookmarks are so different. Actually, the best way to have found out would be to talk to someone, and still is, but that's not my style. I'll just check out the exit to null-sec.

C3a is familiar to me from my notes, and although the occupation is new since two years ago there's no one home, so I warp to the system's static wormhole and exit to null-sec. I appear in the Curse region, where one other pilot in the system discourages me from ratting but not scanning. It's finding nothing but the wormhole I'm sitting on that discourages me from scanning. I still have another connection in w-space to check, so return to C3a, warp across the system, and exit through a K162 to high-sec empire space, where scanning may reveal one extra signature but it resolves to be merely rocks.

At least I'm in high-sec space, where stargate-hopping is generally safe. I point my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser towards an arbitrarily chosen stargate, hop, and try again. This time there are three signatures in the 0·5 security system, which I feel bodes well. And it almost does. A K162 from class 2 w-space sitting at half-mass is decent enough, and looks much better when compared to the K162 from class 1 w-space at the end of its life, and the outbound wormhole to class 5 w-space that is both EOL and critically destabilised. The C2 K162 wins, for almost guaranteeing to stick around if I jump through it.

Entering C2a has a tower visible on my directional scanner, plus an Iteron hauler. The ship turning out to be empty is a shame, but not the end of the world, as the class 2 system has another static wormhole to find, this one connecting to w-space. I like C2s for this reason. There may even be a K162 leading to activity. Oh, stop it, I'm getting myself excited. I warp out, launch probes, and sit on the high-sec wormhole as I sift through the two anomalies and six signatures, on the assumption that the locals didn't stress the wormhole and that I'm better off watching for transits than pilots appearing at the tower.

Ladar, ladar, radar, wormhole, wormhole, ladar. The outbound connection to class 1 w-space is nice, the EOL K162 from class 3 w-space not so much. I head through the healthy connection, updating d-scan to see not much at all once in C1b. Twenty-six anomalies, picked up on a passive scan, suggest the system is unoccupied, but the tower appearing on d-scan as I explore the system suggests otherwise. There are even ships, quite a few of them, and industrial too. They're empty, of course, and floating inside the tower's force field.

The few signatures revealed in a blanket scan reinforces the idea that the locals are more industrial than combat-orientated, which makes it a shame they are antipodean in origin and probably sleeping one off. I sort through the signatures anyway, in case there is more to find, and, amongst the rocks and gas, there is indeed a second wormhole. The static exit to low-sec is uninteresting, but the K162 from low-sec that's at the end of its life is even less interesting.

Okay, that's it. I got some scanning done, explored a few w-space systems, and found exactly no one. I didn't even explain the mystery of the curious bookmarks, but I didn't open my yap to do so either. The best I've done is found shadows of activity, through dying and destabilised wormholes. As if to prove this, heading home has C2a's static exit to high-sec now wobbling away, in its EOL stage, indicating that I really did choose the wrong rabbit hole this evening.

W-space constellation schematic

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