Going backwards finds gooing

13th August 2013 – 5.22 pm

I have a mapped constellation to roam. Let's just hope it is more active than when I uncovered it earlier, as it seemed like what few pilots were visible were pretending their towers' force fields were one-way space hides. But before I go roaming forwards, a new signature in the home system resolving to be a wormhole has me going backwards. Hey, why not? It wouldn't be a session in w-space without some scanning to be done.

The wormhole is a K162 from class 2 w-space, which is pretty nifty. The system itself isn't, being occupied but bereft of ships, so I launch probes to sift through the seven anomalies and seventeen signatures for further connections. Of course, it's mostly gas out there, which I understand is normal for space, but I resolve four more wormholes. The static exit to high-sec is expected, for a C2 that connects to class 4 w-space, but that's joined by a second C4 K162, definitely not ours, I've checked, and an outbound link to class 5 w-space. It seems I have options.

The C4 K162 is the obvious first choice to explore through, given that some pilot must have opened the connection. And jumping in sees a pair of towers plus a Bestower hauler visible on my directional scanner. Is it piloted? Locating the tower says yes, it is. So not two systems in to the evening and I find myself sitting watching a hauler idling. But, actually, this is curiously soothing. I suppose it's a bit like fishing, except I can see the fish I want to catch. And I'm not drinking.

Actually, I am a bit too soothed by the peace and quiet, as I barely register the Bestower's engines firing up. The hauler's movement also coincides with my view of the ship, so I see little relative change as it aligns out of the tower. Thankfully, I'm not so asleep to miss this transition entirely, and swing my view around to see where the Bestower's aiming for, pushing my Loki strategic cruiser in the same direction. I warp shortly after he warps, towards a customs office.

Catching a Bestower at a customs office

A sanity check whilst in warp shows that the planet I'm aiming for is in d-scan range of the first tower, so there isn't a second tower I've not yet found that the Bestower is heading to. That almost ensures he's going to the customs office, so I prepare myself and my Loki. On first sight of the hauler at the office I drop my cloak and activate the sensor booster. I'm here in good time, so it is a simple matter to get a positive lock and destroy the Bestower, the local magnetar phenomenon no doubt helping, although I'm not quite lucky enough this time to catch the pod too.

Exploding the Bestower

I loot and shoot the wreck, and decide to head straight out of this system. I have more to explore, and I doubt the local pilot will throw another ship at me. So it's back to the wormhole where, hello, the Bestower pilot's pod is sitting. Did he warp to the wrong bookmark by mistake? Maybe. I am leaving anyway, so decloak, get my guns hot, and aim for the pod. And, what do you know, I catch it, ripping it apart with one volley of my autocannons to get a new corpse for my collection after all. How lovely.

Accidentally finding the Bestower's pod on the return wormhole

Corpse of the hapless hauler pilot

Now I leave C4c, back to C2b, and carry on down the pipe to C4b. Don't fret the naming convention, it's mostly first-come first-serve as I find the wormholes, with an emphasis on static connections gaining alphabetic priority. But this is why I make maps. Anyway, d-scan is clear in C4b from the K162, and launching probes, performing a blanket scan, and exploring doesn't find much else. Unoccupied and inactive, the three anomalies and ten signatures in the system are whittled down to just the static wormhole, leading to class 5 w-space. Onwards!

Two towers, a Chimera carrier, and Badger hauler are somewhere, but finding them sees a distinct lack of capsuleer. The three anomalies and nineteen signatures don't endear me to scanning the system either, not this late in the day, so I retrace my steps to C2b and see what the other class 5 system has to offer. A clear d-scan result from the wormhole, three anomalies again, and sixteen signatures. No ships, no occupation. No, I won't scan here either. It's time to head home, having explored many systems and popped a hauler. It's been a good day in w-space.

But wait, I haven't even looked through our static wormhole at the constellation I mapped earlier. It would be churlish not to have a quick poke for activity. C3a is quiet, and as the K162 to C5a is now at the end of its life this may be a quick excursion. The C1 K162 is healthy, though, unlike activity levels in the system on the other side. There are core probes visible on d-scan, but whoever owns them has apparently given up on scanning to pursue a career in theatre.

Back to C3a, across to C3b, but nothing's happening there either. Still, the C4 K162 is stable, and even with no change in C4a it leads backwards to C5b, where I know pilots were potentially doing something earlier. And there is change visible on d-scan when entering the system, the frigates now swapped for a couple of strategic cruisers and two Armageddon battleships. But soon after I slink away from the wormhole the Tengu and Proteus disappear from d-scan, perhaps cloaking themselves. That's maybe not a good sign.

Proteus appears near the wormhole I'm lurking on

Pointing a tight d-scan beam towards the local tower sees the battleships there, so they're probably not up to much right now, and when the Proteus curiously appears sixty kilometres from the wormhole and cloaks I decide I'm not really in the mood to be hunted myself right now. Maybe another day, chaps. I return to C4a and down the chain to C3b and C3a, where warping to the other N968 sees the connection to C3c wobbling its way to collapsing of natural causes. This is the way tonight's w-space adventure ends, not with a bang.

W-space constellation schematic

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