Past versus present

3rd July 2013 – 5.54 pm

There's a Hulk visible on my directional scanner. I'd be more excited about seeing the exhumer if I weren't in the home system, and the Hulk didn't bear such a familiar name. Quite why the ship is in space is more of a mystery, as I am the only one on-line at the moment, and we don't tend to leave ships empty inside the force field. But there may be a reason for the ship being out, so rather than tidy up I ignore it, particularly as I don't know who may be watching yet. I simply concentrate on my standard operating procedure of waking up in w-space: launching probes to perform a blanket scan of the system.

Nothing out of the ordinary appears on the blanket scan, although the four signatures provide a second wormhole today. The K162 from class 6 w-space could be ominous, but I've visited enough w-space to know that a C2 could be more deadly than a C6 on any given day. I jump through the wormhole to C6a, where a tower and Venture mining frigate appear on d-scan. That's not scary at all.

My notes from five months ago point towards two towers, one of which should be in range and indeed is, looking to hold the Venture. Even though the frigate is at the tower I warp across to check for a pilot, in case I need to hustle to get probes launched, but the Venture is empty. Never mind, let me check the second tower. But as my notes say it is around the second moon of the seventh planet and the seventh planet only has one moon that will be difficult. This is an easy error to check and correct, though, and warping to the second moon of the eighth planet finds the other tower. There's still no one home.

Scanning C6a reveals seven anomalies and five signatures, and the complete lack of activity makes me suspect I'll find another wormhole. And there it is, amongst the gas, another K162 from class 6 w-space. Jumping through the rather more intimidating C6/C6 connection—living that deep in w-space takes commitment—and updating d-scan sees loads of ships, and loads of towers. What do my notes say? That on our last visit we engaged a fleeing gassing Exequror cruiser, in one of our more strategically interesting hunts. But what about all the towers? Occupation: yes. Thanks, past Penny, that's really helpful.

What to do, what to do. Bouncing around arbitrarily to note the presence or absence of towers sounds reasonable, or maybe I can instead list where there aren't towers. But neither option is particularly appealing, when I see that a couple of planets have a dozen or so towers around planets with many more moons, and I count thirty-four towers in total. I think I'll just list occupation in my notes as 'yes'. I'm sure that will suit future me.

There are ships too, so rather than find the towers I think I'll look for those. I spy a piloted Iteron hauler at one tower, but he's doing nothing; a Scorpion battleship is piloted in another tower; some strategic cruisers are here and there, piloted. It looks like the ships probably all have a capsuleer aboard, but that nothing's happening. I think I'll leave the system alone and head back through the home system to our neighbouring C3a, to see if there is actual activity occurring.

A Tengu strategic cruiser, Orca industrial command ship, and three towers light up d-scan in C3a, but there are no wrecks. Again my notes come to the rescue, telling me that there are 'three towers'. Was I taking lazy pills? The towers aren't even that difficult to locate, which I do, but not before the Tengu disappears from d-scan. There's nowhere to hide either, so he's not shooting Sleepers anyway and has probably gone off-line. That leaves an empty Orca and me, so I'll be scanning again.

I reduce seventeen anomalies and nine signatures to rocks, gas, a pristine exit to low-sec, a less exciting K162 from low-sec, and a weak third wormhole that leads out to class 2 w-space. That last one looks good to me, so onwards I go, spat in to C2a over seven kilometres from the wormhole. That's not a particularly positive sign, so I'm not expecting much more from the Osprey cruiser, Buzzard covert operations boat, or Venture than floating empty inside that tower. Yep, d-scan puts them all together, so I'll ignore them for the moment to warp away and launch probes.

A blanket scan picks up twenty-two anomalies and ten signatures, and, curiously, four ships. Looking for the first tower also gets me close enough to see a second on d-scan, which holds the fourth ship, another Buzzard. All three ships at the first tower are empty, and locating the second tower has an empty red Buzzard to both intrigue and disappoint me. Throwing probes around haphazardly resolves three wormholes, such are my mad skills, and the K162 from high-sec, dying static exit to high-sec, and second static connection to class 4 w-space are all I'm really interested in.

It's late, but I can afford a peek in to C4a. This time, I appear almost eight kilometres from the wormhole when entering the system, so my expectations remain low. A puny four anomalies suggests possible occupation, though, but my notes from three months ago suggest otherwise. And my notes win. And although I get as far as launching probes and revealing twelve signatures I'm not scanning any further. I'm getting tired, and exploration so far has been rather underwhelming. I'm heading home.

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