Spotting the signs of hauling

5th August 2013 – 5.22 pm

Tonight I shall focus, and not be as careless as I was yesterday. That's the plan anyway, and my plans always go so well. At least they generally start well, and my focus in the home system is exemplary, the sole signature of our static wormhole not giving my mind an option to wander about what I'd like to snack on. Maybe some Angel Delight. Butterscotch, naturally. Right, focus. In to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system with me.

My directional scanner is clear from our K162 but, blimey, so many anomalies litter C3a. My notes from fifteen months ago suggest a couple of towers are around, but I dunno, not with so many sites left dormant. My notes are half-right, I suppose, as one tower remains, with bloody idle owners. I'll be activating these thirty-four wasted anomalies soon, and it will be soon with only five signatures to resolve.

Gas, wormhole, data, gas. That wormhole will be the static exit to low-sec, and my best current option for more exploration, so out I go, appearing in a system in the Sinq-Laison region. A couple of pilots share the system with me, one from a wormhole corporation, and there are scanning probes visible on d-scan. I take a look at the three extra signatures too, resolving two more wormholes. The K162 from class 2 w-space could be good for finding activity, and the X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space may help me surprise someone. I'll try C2a first.

D-scan shows me a tower and some ships, mostly industrial ships too. Notes from three months ago give me a location for the tower, but the base isn't on Dantooine any more. I find the tower moved a few moons across. Or, at least, I think I do, until I realise I've warped to entirely the wrong planet. I could blame a lack of focus for my wayward warping, but I did actually locate the tower. And I see that an Iteron hauler, Venture mining frigate, and Buzzard covert operations boat are all piloted. Piloted, but inactive.

With no movement at the tower I explore the system and launch probes quickly. What a messy, messy system. Sixteen anomalies and twenty-eight signatures, now reminding me that I didn't activate the mess in C3a. Shall I scan or not? Not, I think, as the Buzzard moves and its pilot swaps to a Fleet Issue Hurricane battlecruiser, warping out of the tower to the low-sec wormhole as a Viator transport warps in to the tower from the same direction.

Clearing up the anomalies in a class 2 w-space system

The wormhole tag-team seems to do nothing. The Viator comes to a floating halt, and the Hurricane loiters on the exit, as far as d-scan tells me. So I won't scan, but instead see what the battlecruiser is up to and then check out C3b from low-sec. I warp to the wormhole to see I've missed the Hurricane's departure and, pausing in C2a only to activate all of the anomalies before I leave, he's gone from the other side of the wormhole too. The pilot remains in the low-sec system, though, but I can ignore that. I warp to the X702 and jump through.

D-scan is clear and, hullo, my notes say the system is unoccupied and holds an exit to null-sec. How lovely! I probably shouldn't get excited about a chance to do some tedious ratting, but it's still an opportunity, I suppose. Now, if only that wormhole is the only one in the system. Which, of course, it isn't. The first wormhole from the eight anomalies and seven signatures is not a bad find, being a dying, half-mass K162 from high-sec, and easy to disregard. The second is weak enough to be and is the static exit to null-sec. But from there I get a rather enticing K162 from class 2 w-space, and also a half-mass K162 from class 4 w-space. W-space calls me.

The mass-stressed C4 K162 tempts me. That the wormhole has had plenty of mass passed through it suggests activity, and although it could have been from hours ago there is a possibility that the hauling is current. Whether I'll find it is another matter. I jump through to see two towers on d-scan and a complete lack of ships, which isn't a positive start. This may be a bridging system, though. There are anomalies in the system but only one other signature, which suggests the locals are industrialists and harvest their resources efficiently. And as I am pondering all this, the wormhole I'm sitting on crackles.

Catching a hauler heading home through a wormhole

Please be a hauler, please be a hauler, please be a hauler... Ah, it is. An Iteron decloaks and aligns away from the wormhole, prompting me to reveal my Loki strategic cruiser and get my offensive systems hot. The sluggish industrial ship can't enter warp quite quickly enough, as I get a positive target lock and start shooting, disrupting the hauler's drives. I surge forwards, hoping to give the Iteron a nudge away from the wormhole, but its pilot realises there is little point in trying to escape. If he jumps back he'll be polarised, probably caught anyway, and end up in his pod outside of his home system. Instead, he ejects.

I'm not quick enough to prevent the pod from warping clear, which is hardly a failing, and my guns finish off the Iteron as I wave my targeting systems in the pod's direction. Once the explosion dies down I loot and shoot the wreck, too far this time to consider collecting the surviving minerals, and I pause for a quick chat with the local pilot before heading back the way I came. I got my lucky kill, sticking around will only likely result in making a stupid decision.

Can't carry the ore left in the Iteron wreck

Chatting with the fled pod pilot

C4a holds a second K162, and the class 2 w-space system is familiar if only because of the tower with the Rickrolling defences. It's off-line now, unsurprisingly for having such taunting defence names, and replaced by a more sensible tower. There's no one home, though, and rather than scan further I head back to C4a and, well, not out to null-sec just yet. An Orca industrial command ship, Tempest battleship, and Iteron hauler are all on d-scan now. It's the C4b occupants collapsing their wormhole, which I stick around to watch, for some unknown reason.

Now it's out to null-sec, where I find myself alone in a system in The Spire. Time to rat! I warp to a rock field, pop a rat, and hop to the next system. Pop a rat, hop through a stargate. Pop and hop, pop and hop. Ah, hello other pilots. They're not on the stargate but they are in the system, which is enough to convince me I've done enough ratting for one night, and I hoppity-hop back the way I came. Still, it should recover some of my lost security status. Along with the exploring and destruction of an industrial ship, it's been a good evening.

W-space constellation schematic

  1. 2 Responses to “Spotting the signs of hauling”

  2. Hah, I love that starwars reference, and I am not sure if killing rats in nullsec works for sec status any more, since tags. But I am probably wrong, might be thinking about what someone suggested in a blog once.

    By Dredastttarm on Aug 5, 2013

  3. Thanks, and I'm still getting sec gains from belt rats. I check any gains at the end of the evening. The new tag rats just give bigger bonuses for their size and threat.

    By pjharvey on Aug 5, 2013

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