Back to normal

24th April 2013 – 5.52 pm

We're not going to beat yesterday's Tengu kill any time soon, so let's get a disappointing evening's lack of adventure out of the way quickly, shall we? The home system looks clear tonight, or clear of ships, at least. Five new signatures have cropped up rather suddenly. Well, three, as one ladar site and our static wormhole are known and expected. The others are all more gas, making me glad to have Aii back home and leaving me just one way to go.

Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a tower with no ships appear on my directional scanner, and a black hole puckered beneath me. Yep, it's back to normal all right. Warp out, launch, blanket. Four anomalies, twelve signatures. Looking for the static exit to low-sec empire space has me ignoring the usual sites, although no rocks this time, and has me find only the wormhole exiting w-space. I still have just the one way to go.

The low-sec connection takes me to a faction warfare system in Metropolis, far from a market hub. Scanning again takes its time, as the system is big enough to require multiple scans just to see the two extra signatures, and all to resolve a radar site and a Minor Angel Annex. Never mind, the night's still young, I can go home, crash our wormhole, and start again. Some big ships, polarisation delays, and a bit of maths implodes our static connection without issues, and I get back in to my scanning ship to look for the replacement wormhole.

A new neighbouring system looks clear on d-scan from our K162. That's fine, as it lets me launch scanning probes covertly, and the system may not be unoccupied. Indeed, my notes from four months ago point me towards a tower. A tower with a Badger. A piloted Badger. An active piloted Badger? Not at the moment, but I float outside the force field waiting to see if the hauler is building up the enthusiasm to collect planet goo.

Another look at my notes, as a blanket scan reveals one anomaly, eleven signatures, and the one ship, reminds me that the system holds a static exit to high-sec empire space, and that an extra tower was present during my last visit. That second tower was off-line, with short-lived hangars out of which popped a Rifter frigate and Drake battlecruiser, all whilst a Badger sat in this on-line tower out of d-scan range. Is it the same Badger? I don't know, but he's about as active.

Wait, wait, wait. There's no movement from the Badger, but a new contact appears in an Orca, the industrial command ship warping in to the tower and—kapwing!—bouncing hard off a hangar. The poor pilot goes off-line to hide his shame, or perhaps to avoid the interminably slow manoeuvring of the Orca back towards the hangars. Whatever, he's gone, and there's not even a chuckle or facepalm from the Badger. I'll scan.

The high-sec wormhole is easy enough to identify when resolving it, but a second wormhole catches my attention. I leave the Badger to its night of nothing and warp to what turns out to be a K162 from class 2 w-space. That's pretty neat, although jumping in to the system to see an Orca and two towers doesn't fill me with optimism. The towers are the same as from nine months ago, although a third is now missing; the Orca is, of course, unpiloted; and the static wormholes lead to class 3 w-space and high-sec. I came here through the w-space connection, and I don't care to look for the other.

I think that's it for tonight. A bit of scanning, killing a wormhole, and some waiting for an absent pilot to do something. That's a pretty standard evening, and nothing to be disappointed about. Returning to C3a has the Badger still on d-scan, but gone when I fly past the tower. He's not collecting planet goo, though, but gone off-line. I'll do the same, when home and in a safe spot, with the evening having gone as planned for once.

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