From Buzzard to Bestower

2nd May 2013 – 5.23 pm

It's all quiet at home, just the way I like it. ...but boring, I'm going out. No new sites makes resolving the static wormhole child's play, and I'm warping to it in seconds, jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system looking for other pilots to play with. No one's around, though, with only a tower visible on my directional scanner from the wormhole.

A tower with no ships in class 3 w-space is pretty normal, really. But my last visit, five months ago, had a second tower, and as there is nothing out of d-scan range there has clearly been some change in the system. Ah, I see. Warping to where the second tower was finds a few incapacitated defences still floating in space, so I'm supposing there was some kind of hostile takeover of the system at some point.

Invasion or not, there's nothing happening now, so I launch probes and scan. The first of the twelve signatures resolves to be a wormhole, as is the second, denying me a future whingeing session about the first also being the last. It's a weak signature too, making it an outbound link and not a K162. The third signature is also a wormhole, but as it's our K162 it's kinda cheating to count it. The fourth signature is a legitimate wormhole, though, and now I finally hit the sites. Well, one site. Then it's another wormhole, sites, a sixth wormhole—another weakling outbound connection—more sites, and, blimey, the final signature is a wormhole too. I've hit pay dirt.

Plenty of wormholes in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system

Warping around the wormholes gives me quite the spectrum of space. The system holds a K162 from high-sec, a static exit to low-sec, and a K162 from null-sec, and there are outbound connections to class 1, class 4, and class 5 w-space. What to do with myself, and where to go first? I pop out to high-sec first, getting me a safety net in case of trouble, this one in Hulm, a 1·0 sec system in the Heimatar region, five hops to the Rens market hub. But I care not for shopping, not with plenty of w-space behind me to explore.

Back to C3a and onwards to C1a, where a tower and no ships greet me via d-scan, and a black hole by virtue of it being a vast gaping hole in space. Despite there being only one planet in range from the wormhole, and exploring finding two more towers, the system is inactive. I could scan, but as there probably is only a static connection to k-space hidden here my time is perhaps better spent diving in to the class 4 and 5 w-space systems that will guarantee further w-space exploration.

In to C4a next, and four drones are on d-scan, nothing else. No tower, ships, wrecks. One planet sits out of range, where a tower, Buzzard covert operations boat, and Mammoth hauler are all detected by d-scan, but by the time I locate the tower to see the Mammoth empty the Buzzard has disappeared. Has he gone towards the wormhole? Who knows. Warping in that direction doesn't see him, but a Bestower hauler is now somewhere in the system.

I frantically sweep d-scan around the planets, looking for the Bestower at customs offices, and see him at the fourth planet. Go, go, go! Of course, I'm too late, as it takes time to warp even a short distance, but I should be quicker than the hauler and maybe I can get close enough to get the jump on him. I just need to be quick with d-scan. Sixth planet's customs office, go! Missed again. I could keep this up but I fear I'm not going to win this way. Instead, I'll see if I can pick an unvisited customs office and wait for the Bestower to come to me.

I thought I was better than this at waiting patiently, but the Bestower being vulnerable somewhere has me sitting at an empty customs office for only as long as it takes for me to locate the hauler's current destination. Eschewing my considered plan and knowing that I may well be crossing the Bestower in warp, I surge towards the hauler anyway. This time, I get lucky. The hauler remains at the customs office I saw on d-scan, and I think I've got him. If he warps now I will see where he goes and be able to catch him. If he doesn't warp, well, I've got him. The only way I'll not catch him is if the pilot is already aligning back towards his tower, in which case I'll miss him whatever happens.

Bumping in to a Bestower around a w-space customs office

Feeling I have my prey already, I decloak when decelerating, activating my sensor booster as I do. Once out of warp the target lock is good, I burn the couple of kilometres I need to close to get my warp scrambler active, and the Bestower's as good as dead. I rip open the ship to get to the pod inside, but my prize warps away before I can stop him. That's okay, I made another pretty explosion. I loot and shoot the wreck, reload my guns and cloak, and warp back towards the tower.

Bestower becomes a wreck, with a little help from my guns

The dispossessed pilot's back in the force field and in the Buzzard—presumably back in the Buzzard. I would guess that the Buzzard's disappearance was the pilot swapping ships and warping away to collect planet goo between subsequent d-scans whilst I was locating the tower. Now he warps away again, definitely in the Buzzard this time, and disappears. That's cool. I have more w-space to explore.

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