New and dying wormholes

15th October 2013 – 5.47 pm

I'm back for another look around. What's still here, what's imploded, and what's new? I imagine there will be some changes, as that was an intricate sammich I made and it has kept me away from my controls for few hours. And, indeed, the first change is in the home system, with a new signature for me to resolve. It's a wormhole, how exciting! The K162 comes from class 5 w-space, which is not only a fairly standard feature of living in our class 4 system but seems to be the order of the day today. This is the sixth class 5 system I'll be exploring.

Jumping to C5f doesn't look like it offers much opportunity. My directional scanner only shows me a tower, with no ships to see, so I launch probes to look for more K162s amongst the nine anomalies and thirteen signatures. But belay that scanning, cadet! Locating the tower has a Probe warp in to its force field moments later, giving me a scanning frigate to sit and watch. So I sit and watch the scanning frigate, sitting and watching it do nothing for a bit longer than perhaps I should. Silly me, thinking a pilot would come on-line to do something.

Thinking I can be more productive than doing nothing, a lofty goal some days, I ignore the frigate and call my probes in to the system to scan. One signature in particular looks conspicuous, being many AU from the nearest planet, and resolves rather obviously to be a wormhole. It's another K162 from class 5 w-space. I recall my probes and continue backwards along the new chain in tonight's constellation.

Buzzard jumps past me on a wormhole connecting class 5 w-space systems

C5g has more to offer than the other systems so far, with nine towers and plenty of ships visible on d-scan. And shortly after I move away from the wormhole and cloak a Buzzard covert operations boat warps to the wormhole and jumps to C5f. I let him go, not being interested in frustrating myself by failing to catch a cov-ops, and certainly not when there are twenty-five other potential targets I would rather not alert.

Hound follows Buzzard to the wormhole

A Hound appears behind the Buzzard, dropping on the wormhole as I am still getting my bearings. The stealth bomber doesn't follow the cov-ops, though, and instead warps away from the wormhole, in to empty space suggestive of another K162 backwards in this chain. I wonder if the Hound was chasing the Buzzard, or if they are simply splitting their attentions in different directions? I doubt it will be easy to tell, not without locating all of the towers in this C5 and noting each owner corporation. I'm not doing that, it sounds too much like work. But I will at least locate the more vulnerable-looking ships.

I bounce around planets and moons, finding towers and warping to the ones with industrial ships, but seeing capsuleers only in combat ships. Whilst this perhaps suggests that the locals will mobilise to engage some Sleepers soon I don't think I have the patience to potentially catch a salvager at the moment, particularly as the only Noctis I can see is also empty. I think I'll just go. I have more systems to explore in the other direction, which I uncovered earlier. If they're still around, of course. But it will be more straightforward than trying to keep track of a dozen pilots spread across half-as-many towers.

Returning to C5f has the Probe still floating inertly in its tower, and although passing across the home system and jumping to C3a sees probes on d-scan I think I'll ignore them too. I'm not waiting for a scout to maybe show himself briefly. I just point my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser towards the K162 to C5a, and let myself get pulled through.

The system looks clear from the wormhole, but, then, I suppose it would. Bouncing off the tower sees no one home still, and checking the signatures in the system against my bookmarks and notes from earlier has one extra that is begging to be scanned. I oblige, resolving what looks like a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space but is actually empty space. The wormhole just doesn't realise it yet, even if I do.

Buzzard drops on to the C6 K162

As I drop out of warp by the K162 a Buzzard persists on d-scan, shortly appearing on my overview. The cov-ops is still hurtling towards the wormhole when the connection crackles with a transit, and I know wormholes don't work that way. Sure enough, although the Buzzard soon leaves the system, the first transit was by bigger ships, a Bhaalgorn faction battleship and Moros dreadnought having come through to destabilise the wormhole to its half-mass state. This wormhole is not long for the universe.

Massive ships are already collapsing the new wormhole

Another massive ship appears to finish killing the wormhole

An Orca industrial command ship sheds it session-change cloak too, and all three massive ships jump back to C6a in the requisite order, Moros last, to force the collapse of the wormhole within a minute of my finding it. There is no K162, just Zuul empty space. Still, there's always the rest of the constellation, including two as-yet unexplored class 5 systems connected from this system. Well, kind of. The K162 leading to those systems from here is at the end of its life, and although its often worth a quick poke through EOL wormholes I prefer not to use them for extended exploration.

Finding dying wormholes was always a risk with the length of break I took. Finding newly spawned wormholes is the possible benefit, but only if they aren't a sprawling mess of towers, ships, and idling pilots, or quickly disposed of like an improper browser tab when your boss walks up. And not only have I failed to find anyone to stalk effectively, it looks like someone has found me. Maybe. If they have, it's been a fairly poor session in w-space for me, but the wording of the communication in the local channel is rather ambiguous., on a date?

I don't answer, of course. Even if the question is directed at me it would be imprudent to reply, and I don't have the practiced charm required to lure the pilot in to an ambush. I simply lurk near the wormhole back to C3a waiting for another message, any ships appearing on d-scan, or a transit through the wormhole. Nothing comes. I make my own transit back to C3a, where I cloak and loiter again. And again nothing comes. Whoever was in C5a is staying there. A quick check of the two exits in C3a finds deterrents in both directions: null-sec pilots one way, a dying wormhole the other. So what now? An early night, I would say.

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