Rats in Fountain

28th May 2013 – 5.57 pm

I'm hoping for more luck tonight, after yesterday's rotten exploration. Too many systems, not enough pilots, and a diversion through high-sec. It wasn't much fun. But maybe entertainment will come to me today, with two extra wormholes in the home system. The K162 from class 5 w-space that's at the end of its life isn't great, but the K162 from the class 4 system is stable and beckoning.

My directional scanner is clear on the wormhole in C4a, and although my notes from four months ago point to occupation it's moved on since then. Well, as it turns out, the tower remains, but is off-line and plundered. My overview is configured to show only the force field and hangars, which gives me all the pertinent information about occupation status, so I missed the rest of the lingering hardware. I can't do anything with it, the tower or any of the defences, which is pretty much why my overview is configured to ignore them and keep d-scan clear.

Plundered tower in w-space

Scanning C4a has a dozen signatures but no K162s that I can determine, so whoever came this way has since collapsed their connection. That's cool, and I still have more to explore. I head home and through our static wormhole, to the neighbouring class 3 system, where there's occupation but no ships visible on d-scan. That's almost a step up from the C4, I suppose. My notes from nine months ago are helpful too, pointing me towards the tower and letting me know I'm looking for a static exit to, ugh, null-sec. Well, I'd better get looking for it.

Five anomalies and twelve signatures turn out to be mostly rocks. In fact, it's all rocks apart from the single wormhole, which is pretty dull. The one wormhole also only gives me the one way to go, so it's out to null-sec to see if I can find more wormholes. An empty system in Fountain waits, where scanning reveals a lack of extra signatures and warping around the rock fields finds a couple of battleships to pop for security status gains. I've not done that for a while, but I've also not lost any security status either. It's good to build it up, just in case.

Engaging a null-sec Gallente rat battleship

Null-sec can be pretty quiet, so I hop a system across to see if it stays that way. Yep, still alone in the system, and still no more wormholes. I rat and scan my way through four systems in total, travelling a small ring back to my origin system, where I give up looking for wormholes in Fountain and head home. My glorious leader has appeared and, after updating her on the current situation, we decide to kill our static wormhole with fire. Or massive ships.

The wormhole puts up little resistance and is soon gone, to be replaced by one looking eerily similar. Jumping through sees nothing of interest on d-scan, and exploring the three planets sitting out of range in three directions doesn't change that. But for a C3 that's unoccupied and inactive it is pretty bare, with one anomaly and four signatures. They resolve to be a wormhole, some rocks, and another wormhole, with our K162 adding to the wormhole tally. The system's static exit leads to low-sec Domain, and the second wormhole is a K162 from class 2 w-space that could hold promise.

Ships! And a tower. And also a lack of wrecks. But ships! A Manticore and Hound stealth bomber, Heretic interdictor, Iteron and Bestower hauler, Dominix battleship, and a Cormorant destroyer. Surely some of them must be piloted. That's almost true. The Hound is, but that's it, which is less than 'some'. I doubt a solo stealth bomber will do much, or at least much where he'll be caught doing it, but it's all I've got at the moment. I won't just rely on the Hound, though. I warp out, launch probes, and blanket the system to see what else may be out there.

I think the locals are industrialists, if the wealth of anomalies and dearth of signatures is any indicator. Twenty-three anomalies and three signatures, at least two of which are wormholes, is a lop-sided result I don't often see. It also means scanning won't take long, and I resolve the two other signatures pretty quickly to be a radar site and the static exit to high-sec, leading to a system in Everyshore.

Back to C2a and watching the Hound, and after a while it even moves. Not just any movement either, but aligning for warp. That's odd. It appears to have gone to a distant planet, but I see no reason to do that. Surely it can't be collecting planet goo, can it? But I've seen odder occurrences, so warp to the customs office to see that, indeed, the Hound is not collecting planet goo. Opening the system map shows the source of my confusion. I didn't twig that the high-sec connection is just beyond and almost in-line with the planet out here.

The Hound must have gone to the high-sec exit, but apparently only to check something. The bomber didn't exit w-space, as it returns to dwell in the tower a little longer, which is curious but there's nothing I can do to determine its motivation. But that was fun, I guess? I saw a ship move. But that's it. I can wait for a bit longer to see if the Hound will move again, but I think I could be more productive elsewhere.

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