Nothing but a nomad

12th October 2013 – 3.43 pm

Signatures, anomalies, no ships. Our home system looks just like any other w-space system from outside our tower. I resolve the new signatures whilst floating cloaked in a safe spot far from the safety of the force field, wanting to give as little information away as possible should anyone be watching. Two new pockets of gas are resolved, plus a second wormhole to accompany the static connection. Maybe someone is watching.

Combat scanning probes appear on my directional scanner as I recall my own set. They don't warp back this slowly, so someone is in the system with me. I warp to the the K162, seeing as I land that it leads back to class 4 w-space, and then warp to and loiter by our static connection to see if the scout comes this way. The probes disappear from d-scan. A minute later, an Anathema covert operations boat jumps past me to C3a.

Anathema jumps past me through our static wormhole

Where did the cov-ops come from? The pilot is the director of a five-capsuleer corporation, but that doesn't tell me too much. He could be from C4a, as many small corporations have staked their claim to a tiny share of w-space. He could be a tourist, or even from our neighbouring class 3 system. I think I should explore through the K162 to find out.

Jumping to C4a sees nothing of interest when updating d-scan, which isn't much of a surprise considering just the one planet is in range. A previous visit from two weeks ago gives no occupation, but I've seen ownership of systems change in shorter time periods, and an empty w-space system is easy to populate. Even exploring and confirming a continued lack of occupation isn't much of a surprise; another w-space system could connect to this C4, which is merely bridging between our home and another occupied system. I will find out by scanning.

Only one of the seven signatures in the system is chubby enough to be a K162, which would be the only feasible way another system's pilots could find their way in here to open the connection to our home. It's gas, though, so there are no other wormholes to be found. That's still not unusual, as it is likely that whoever connected to this system didn't like the route, or lack of activity, and so collapsed the wormhole to look for better opportunity through another one. My remaining curiosity concerns the origin of the Anathema.

Anathema jumps back to our home system

I head home and through our static wormhole to C3a, where d-scan shows me an Iteron hauler amongst fifteen towers. I forget the Anathema for the moment to look for the Iteron, then am reminded of the Anathema as the cov-ops jumps past me to return to our home system. That's odd. Why did he do that? And did he see me enter this system? But why did he jump back that way? There's nothing to see, nothing to do. I'm now thinking that he actually comes from C4a and is living a nomadic lifestyle, augmented and supplied by a hidden, larger ship. But back to the Iteron.

One planet has eight towers around it, another five. Two planets have one tower each, and the Iteron is not only at one of those towers but at the tower around the planet with just one moon. That's handy. I warp directly to the hauler, without needing to fiddle with pointing d-scan at every moon around a planet, twice, like trying to fit a lead in to USB port, and see that the Iteron is piloted. I'm half hopeful that the hauler will go somewhere, but as my notes point to a static exit to high-sec I'm also half expecting not having a target even if it does move. And it doesn't.

With no movement from the Iteron I make my own, warping out of d-scan range to launch scanning probes. I bump in to two more towers, no more ships, and perform a blanket scan to reveal eleven anomalies and eight signatures that I may as well scan as the Iteron sleeps. Data, data, wormhole, data, data, gas, and a second wormhole. The high-sec wormhole is skinnier than K162s, so it's obvious which wormhole has opened in to this system abnormally, but it's going to have to wait. An Oneiros logistics ship has warped in to the tower with the Iteron.

The Oneiros logistics ship promptly logs out after warping in to the tower with the Iteron. That's okay, as its vector looks like it came from the high-sec wormhole, where any transit would be difficult to catch. And back with an unmoving hauler being the only obvious ship in the system, I warp to the K162 I resolved to see, bah, a K162 from low-sec that's at the end of its life. Poking through shows its EOL state to be far from subduing my explorer spirit, as the originating system in Kador is boring, inactive, empty.

I have another route to explore, back in C3a and through its static connection to high-sec. Or I would, if that wormhole weren't also EOL. The exit system is a bit more interesting, in that it holds loads of DUST bunnies, but only a bit, and I'm not getting isolated out here. I return to C3a and do what I tend to do. I loiter outside the tower and watch the Iteron.

The Iteron idling inside its tower's force field does what Iterons do idling inside its tower's force field: it idles inside its tower's force field. I head home and, out of curiosity, poke through to C4a again. I'm not sure what I'm expecting to see, but an empty and unoccupied system looks about right. It seems like time to go home and off-line. Nothing is happening, and there's nowhere to go.

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