Afternoon scanning

12th August 2013 – 5.44 pm

Maybe today I can aim higher than a Heron. Popping frigates is a fun distraction, but that's all it really is. More new signatures at home could offer different directions to head, to look for opportunity, but it's just gas, gas, gas. And a bit more gas. I have no idea what to do with that. Our static wormhole, on the other hand, I know what to do with. I jump through to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

A tower and no ships is a pretty unremarkable sight on my directional scanner from our K162, although having it sit in the same location as two years ago is mildly interesting. That's commitment, but given that the corporation lists itself as RPers it's less of a surprise. Even so, there's no one home, so I sift through the nine anomalies and twelve signatures, ignoring data and relic sites, what seems like lots of gas, and still resolve six wormholes.

The N968 to class 3 w-space is good, the K162 from class 1 w-space enticing, the U210 static exit to low-sec expected, a second N968 also good, a C5 K162 interesting, and the K162 from null-sec a last-ditch option to rat if I find no pilots in any of these w-space systems. I'll check the class 1 system first. Updating d-scan after the jump sees a tower and no ships, and opening the system map has nothing out of range. Okay, I'm calling this system explored for now. Maybe there's someone to find in that C5 instead.

Three towers appear on d-scan in C5a, along with an Ibis frigate and Bustard transport. Flicking d-scan across the planets sees that both ships are at one tower, which will make lurking initially easier, and locating the tower sees the two ships are piloted. I think it's worth watching the Bustard for a minute or so. No, I'll scout the rest of the system first, in case there are more ships and pilots. Nope, just these two. Okay, I'll watch and wait.

Watch and Wait, wait and watch. He's boring. You're boring, Bustard pilot. I'm off to see what's in those class 3 systems. C3b seems like a good next destination, at least alphabetically, as d-scan shows me nothing from the K162. I launch probes, blanket the system, and explore, finding a tower with, naturally, no ships, and revealing eleven anomalies and five signatures. And a Prowler on d-scan! But where? Who knows, the transport is gone before I can even hope to trace him. As he didn't come from or go to the tower, I'll look for K162s.

I resolve the system's static exit to low-sec, followed by a dying K162 from class 2 w-space, and a K162 from class 4 w-space that is more likely to lead to the Prowler's home system. Jumping to C4a sees a tower on d-scan, plus an Orca industrial command ship that maybe has the same insignia as the Prowler. I think. Locating the tower sees the Orca empty, so I warp back to the wormhole to loiter as I scan, having nothing pass me as I whittle down the signatures to resolve a K162 from class 5 w-space. That'll do.

C5b is the Prowler's home, as the insignia on the two Helios covert operations boats and Daredevil frigate definitely matches that of the transport. This time I'm sure. And even though all three ships are piloted at the tower, I have no idea if one of the capsuleers is the Prowler pilot returned and re-shipped. As there is nothing of much interest to watch at the tower and nothing to shoot in space I'll head back the way I came. Maybe I'll bump in to the Prowler. Given that thought, I jump to C4a, across to C3a, and out to low-sec, as the transport more likely came this way than through the dying wormhole to C2a.

There's an orange in the system. It could be the Prowler pilot, as the capsuleer's corporation matches that occupants of C5b. Now what do I do? I could try to engage on this wormhole, but I will be following the Prowler back to w-space, polarising myself and giving the transport an easy route to escape back to low-sec. I think my best bet is to return to C3a now, warp to the C4 K162, and wait for him there. That is, assuming it is the Prowler pilot, he intends to come back, and he hasn't just seen my cloaking Loki jump to low-sec and back to w-space.

The more I wait on this K162 the more I'm convinced a Prowler isn't coming my way. It doesn't matter the reason, as either way it just leaves me floating in space doing nothing, so instead of waiting even longer I head back to C3a and press on to the as-yet unexplored C3c. A tower, Helios, and Bestower hauler light up d-scan, and although I was last here only a few days ago my notes are a little garbled. The location of the tower doesn't exist, there not being enough moons around the listed planet. But it's a simple transcription error, easily corrected, and I am in warp to the tower soon enough.

The Helios is piloted, the Bestower empty. That's the wrong way around, dammit. And I'm getting hungry. I've done plenty of scanning and seen some idling pilots, and the only active ship I've witnessed I probably missed chasing owing to some bad timing. Still, I've mapped a decent-sized constellation so far, which I can roam and even delve in to empire space to look for more wormholes if necessary. But that's for later. Right now, I head home to grab a sammich.

W-space constellation schematic

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