Fake-forming up with a fleet

18th October 2013 – 5.44 pm

All looks quiet in w-space. So very quiet. I think I need some company. I won't find it in the persisting gas clouds in the home system, so I'd best resolve the other signature and open our static wormhole to the neighbours. Or a lack of neighbours, perhaps. It depends on what else lies beyond the range of my directional scanner from the K162 in this class 3 system.

My notes from three months ago suggest occupation is just out of reach of d-scan, but warping towards what should be a tower finds nothing. Well, planets and moons, but otherwise nothing. There's not even the detritus of an off-line tower, so whoever was here was involved in a clean move, or a thorough eviction. Naturally, the static exit I'll now be scanning for leads out to null-sec.

The first choice plucked from the twenty-seven anomalies and thirteen signatures is a weak wormhole. I hope that's not the highlight of my evening. It's followed by relics, relics, and, ah, another wormhole. That's good. Or not, as warping to the chubbier connection, and so definitely not the exit to null-sec, merely finds a K162 from low-sec. I think I'd prefer the K346. I keep scanning. Relics, data, gas, gas, relics, gas, data, and, finally, a third wormhole. This one's a T405 outbound connection to class 4 w-space. I'll go there.

Wormhole spawns 5 AU from the nearest planet

D-scan is clear again from the K162, and again so many anomalies light up the system map like moss on a rock. About the best aspect of appearing in this system is noting the wormhole being 5 AU from the nearest planet. I like details like that, but they only entertain me for so long. I launch probes, perform a blanket scan of the system, and explore. Twenty-four anomalies, eleven signatures, and no ships or occupation. Actually, there's a ship on d-scan, just not on my probes.

I register the presence of the Loki strategic cruiser but have no idea where it is. There are no wrecks, so no combat is occurring, and now there's no Loki either. But someone's out there. Do I scan? There is no ship and no probes. Maybe I should. Or I'll give it a minute. Yeah, okay, I'll scan. It's mostly gas this time, which is much quicker to identify than data and relic sites, and I resolve a wormhole without much difficulty, warping to it as a Sleipnir warps away from it.

The command ship stays visible on d-scan in C4a, but is in empty space as far as I can tell. I consider scanning for his location, not that I think I could do much to the Sleipnir, but before I do so the wormhole I'm sitting on crackles and a Stabber Fleet Issue cruiser appears and warps to join the first ship. Either he's super good at scanning or they know each other.

Stabber joins Sleipnir

I resolve the position of the now two ships, finding the Sleipnir before the wormhole unfuzzies itself, and warp to join the pair around the system's static connection to class 5 w-space. Well, 'join' is a bit strong. Their colleague in a Vagabond cruiser joins them, I just loiter nearby, cloaked in my Loki. The three ships, together at last, jump to C5a and I suppose they get up to some mischief. That ain't no Sleeper-fightin' fleet.

I'm not going to follow them. That would be foolish. But maybe I can sneak behind them. Nothing could go wrong with that plan. I warp back to the C4 K162 and jump through, to a clear d-scan result with two planets out of range. Exploring reveals four anomalies, seven signatures, one tower, and no ships. Checking the owner corporation of the tower says that this is not the fleet's home system, so did they come from further back or have they just gone home to their C5 system?

Fleet returns and continues backwards

The wormhole crackles to answer my question, the small fleet appearing as one and warping away to empty space. They come from further back. Resolving the wormhole is straightforward, having seen their vector of warp, and it's another K162 from class 4 w-space. I think I'll use the excuse of feeling sleepy to ignore jumping in to a possible ambush, and I imagine as the fleet is intact that whatever was occurring in C5a has been successfully quashed. That leaves me with the two exits from C3a to explore through.

Returning through C4a to C3a and exiting via the K346 puts me in a system in Geminate. I'm alone, which is excellent, but there being no other signatures isn't so good. I stick around to pop a rat before jumping back to and crossing C3a to use the K162 from low-sec, which takes me to a system in Molden Heath. The pilots there stop me ratting, but they won't stop me scanning the two extra signatures. But having scanned them I do actually stop, as all I resolve is a relic site and some gas. Unless I'm surprised on my way home, I'd say that's it for tonight.

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