Covert cruisers avoiding each other

5th September 2013 – 5.34 pm

Bleary-eyed scanning may not be good for my health, but I'm rather hoping that bleary-eyed planet-gooing will be worse for others. I just have to find some. Our neighbouring class 3 w-space system looks as sleepy as me though, with my directional scanner showing me nothing from the wormhole. The one planet out of range holds occupation at least, and although there is also a ship I don't think the Gnosis battlecruiser will be wanting to collect planet goo, certainly not without a pilot.

Scanning C3a resolves three wormholes, which looks initially promising. The static exit to low-sec leads to a system in Devoid, which neatly describes my interest in it, a K162 from null-sec is handily at the end of its life, so I don't have to consider it further, and the rather lovely V301 outbound connection to class 1 w-space would be better were it also not dying. I imagine I have the null-sec tourist to thank for opening that early. Still, I can't resist a look in to C1a, particularly as I have a route home should I need it.

D-scan shows me a tower, Rorqual capital industrial ship, Orca industrial command ship, Badger hauler, and mining drones. It all looks rather pleasantly harmless and, appearing around eight kilometres from the wormhole, unlikely to be active. But whilst the distance I'm thrown in to the system may not be a positive sign it isn't definitive. Locating the tower to see all the ships empty is pretty definitive, though. At least I manage to avoid the nicely bubbled tower by sneakily almost flying in to the force field instead.

Bubbled tower in w-space

Returning to C3a and bouncing off the tower there sees no change, so it's back to low-sec with me to scan. And there's a bounty of signatures, which must surely take me to more w-space. Wormhole, data, relics, data, data, relics, relics, relics, data. I suppose I'm technically correct, the best kind of correct, but it's still a crappy result. But never mind, warping to the wormhole sees a welcome sight, as the K162 from class 2 w-space will give me its own w-space connection inside.

Once again the system looks inactive just by entering it, appearing over five kilometres from the wormhole and seeing nothing on d-scan. I try to remain positive, though, and launch probes to blanket the system. Eight anomalies, thirteen signatures, and a lack of ships mean I am scanning again, although I locate a tower to loiter around as I do so, in the hopes a local pilot will wake up. Nope, no one comes, but a ship appears under my probes as I resolve a wormhole, which I spot too late to hide my probes and not quickly enough to see on d-scan what it is. Super.

I finish scanning and reconnoitre the wormholes in C2a. The K162 from class 5 w-space is probably the source of the ship I detected, the connection to class 2 w-space will be the second static wormhole, the class 4 w-space behind the K162 that's at the end of its life is probably dead, and who cares about an EOL K162 from high-sec. I'll loiter on the C5 K162 for a bit to see what happens. I think we can guess nothing, but it's good to find out that, yep, nothing happens. They are probably waiting for me, whoever they are. I'll find out.

Loki waits on a wormhole in class 5 w-space

Hello, Mr Loki waiting on the wormhole. He may be waiting for me, it's hard to tell. I move and cloak without a problem, and then his strategic cruiser cloaks too. Maybe he was expecting a smaller ship to come through. Checking d-scan sees two towers and a few more ships, nothing too serious, but a second check also has a Hurricane battlecruiser and Broadsword heavy interdictor in the system. Maybe they are getting serious.

The bubble of the Broadsword doesn't really trouble me, my interdiction-nullified Loki unaffected by it, but the more ships that can target or bump me makes circumstances more troublesome by itself. I think I should head in another direction whilst I can. And that turns out to be simpler than I expect. I crawl cloaked back to the wormhole and return to C2a without another ship turning up or following me through the connection. Maybe they are bleary eyed too, and don't want to make mistakes. Either way, I think I'll take a look in to C2b.

Two towers and a lack of ships is no surprise, but a bit disappointing, and although I'm getting peckish I can't quite resist racing through the mere five signatures in the system to look for a soft kill in the next w-space system. And, with each signature a wormhole, I'm feeling optimistic. I can poke each in turn to see what they hold.

Jumping through the static connection to a class 1 w-space system has a tower, no ships, and my appearing seven kilometres from the wormhole. Okay, that's this system scouted. Back to C2b and through one of two K162s from class 2 w-space, where bubbles, one planet, and nothing else are on d-scan. At least I'm under two kilometres from the wormhole. I bookmark my way back and warp off to explore, finding two towers and an empty Cheetah covert operations boat. I'm finished here too.

Back in C2b I spy a Proteus strategic cruiser briefly on d-scan, but it's gone and I can't tell where, so it's through the other C2 K162 to C2d. And right back to C2b I come. D-scan was clear, I was over eight kilometres from the wormhole, and the system was 100 AU across. I don't have time to warp that far. It's time to go home and get some lunch. And as I head back to C2a I see the Proteus on d-scan again, accompanied by a Phobos heavy interdictor, which makes me think that there's little more than cloaky strategic cruisers out to get me at the moment. Maybe circumstances will swing in my favour later.

W-space constellation schematic

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