Down a mostly empty chain

26th June 2013 – 5.40 pm

The locals have been pacified by my offering of autocannon rounds. It is safe to find passage through their system. I already know there are no anomalies, as the only one that was here is now gone, after my successfully ambushing their salvager in it, and so a blanket scan reveals just the five signatures. Gas, the static connection to high-sec, a radar site, and a K162 are all resolved, but the K162 isn't much cop. It comes from class 4 w-space and is at the end of its life, leaving me one direction to go.

Jumping to high-sec puts me in Kador, not particularly close to anything and in a dead-end, stationless system. It's pretty dull. Scanning finds rats, rocks, and a weak wormhole, which is the apparently standard M555 connection to class 5 w-space that high-sec likes to have. It's good enough for me, so I leave empire space behind and head to C5. I think it's safe to say I'll be scanning again. Not only do I appear over eight kilometres from the wormhole, but one planet is in directional scanner range out of a total of two, and the other doesn't have moons. It's bit of an unusual system.

Bare class 5 w-space system

C5a isn't unusual in one respect, and that's in having a static connection to more class 5 w-space. A previous visit informs me of that, as digging through the three anomalies and twenty-one signatures has me finding other wormholes first. I'm looking for K162s, but first find a Z142 exit to null-sec, followed by another Z142, then the H296 static connection, a third Z142, and finally a fourth. So, no K162s. Thanks, C5a. Okay, C5b, what have you got for me?

D-scan is clear from the K162 in the second class 5 system too, and again its just the one planet that's out of range. I launch probes, blanket the system, and warp to see if it holds occupation. Nope. And now I see the black hole lurking beneath me, which perhaps explain the lack of anyone making this system their home. C5b's been quiet for a while too, as my scan reveals a mighty thirty-one anomalies and twenty-two signatures. I focus on the chubby ones again to look for K162s.

There's a wormhole. Does it lead to null-sec? No, this looks to be the static connection, and it is taking me out of class 5 w-space. The wormhole goes to a class 4 system, which itself could lead to a perpetuating chain, but it will be a change of scenery at least. And there are more wormholes. Two actual K162s crop up, both coming from class 5 w-space, because where else would they come from? I'll poke a K162 before heading forwards.

C5d has nothing on d-scan and two planets out of range with nothing to find at either. I won't scan for K162s, not with other wormholes already waiting, so return to C5b and head through the other K162 to C5c. D-scan is again clear, but now I see a Proteus. The strategic cruiser is on my overview, though, some two hundred kilometres above the wormhole. But not for long. As I watch, the Proteus warps away to empty space, presumably another wormhole. The pilot's name catches my attention, and it takes me a little too long to realise that Efraya has commented here occasionally. Maybe I should have said hi.

Efraya's Proteus in class 5 w-space

The system itself is unoccupied and inactive, and although it's possible Efraya was scouting the wormhole I don't think she'd be an effective scout by warping away like that. I think my entrance was missed, and the movement was coincidental. But, again, I'm not going to scan for wormholes backwards just yet. It's back to C5b and on to C4b, although d-scan still refusing to show me anything is getting tiresome. Exploring the system finds a tower with an empty heavy interdictor inside its force field, and my notes indicate that there is a static wormhole to class 3 w-space to find.

It would be time to scan, except time is pressing on. I have a few jumps before I get home, so rather than waste any more time looking for nothing I turn around and, hello, a Cheetah appears on the wormhole back to C5b. The covert operations boat is heading my way, so I give chase, because why not? I jump to C5b, decloak and get my sensor booster active, and see the Cheetah make a break for it. The black hole should help me here, decreasing ship agility as the cov-ops aligns to enter warp, and the cov-ops doesn't look to be wanting or able to cloak.

Locking on to a Cheetah

Even though it looks like I get a positive lock, unfortunately appearing a kilometre out of warp scrambler range possibly denies me a cheap kill. The Cheetah warps clear. I follow, assuming that he's heading back towards C5a, but either he wasn't or the black hole now hinders me. I tried to close the gap between me and the cov-ops, so am not pointing towards the wormhole, adding seconds to my time to align, By the time I enter warp and cross the system the Cheetah is nowhere to be seen. He's found his cloaking button. Never mind. Back I go. In to C5a, out to high-sec, across to C3a, and home.

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