Trying to ignore distractions

18th November 2013 – 5.34 pm

I have no expectations for this evening. I'll just get myself on-line and see what's out there. Of course, that's not to say I won't be disappointed, but with any luck my level of disappointment will be greatly reduced. For example, it's disappointing to find that all but two of our combat anomalies have been stripped from the home w-space system, particularly when we've been trying to clear them for profit ourselves. But with lowered expectations for doing them this evening I can't regret their absence quite so much. I even have a vague sense of optimism that perhaps my colleagues cleared the anomalies of Sleepers when I wasn't around. But probably not.

Just the one signature accompanies our new dearth of anomalies, which means I cannot follow the perps back to their home system to give them another easy target, as the signature will be that of our static wormhole. Where will it take me today? To class 3 w-space, curiously enough. I almost didn't expect that, with my lack of expectation, but maybe I've somewhat overcompensated on that front. Still, it's class 3 w-space with a tower and no ships visible on my directional scanner, so it's a fine line between lowered expectations and disappointment.

Warp out, launch probes, blanket the system. It's messy out there, with thirty anomalies and nineteen signatures. Maybe it's a good kind of messy, the kind with a few K162s from w-space scattered around, particularly as the static wormhole leads to null-sec and will take some fiddling with probes to resolve its weak signature. In fact, there's one now, a signature chubbier than a K346. Of course, it would be a K162 from null-sec. W-space has a sense of humour, after all.

A second K162 actually comes from more w-space, this one from a C4 system, and with the two extra wormholes combined it looks like we won't be able to take advantage of the combat anomalies in this C3 either. But I can explore. Heading backwards through w-space and in to C4a doesn't find much to start with, d-scan showing me a tower and a lone drone, but I take that to be indicative of having another wormhole to uncover. I launch probes to do that.

The sparse system is in contrast to C3a, with a mere one anomaly and three signatures, which, coupled with this being class 4 w-space and almost certain not to have any random outbound connections, makes it straightforward to look for chubby K162s. One is, one isn't, and I ignore the data site for the wormhole from class 5 w-space, leaving this dead system for hopefully one more vibrant. It almost looks it too, if I only mention that there are ships on d-scan with the tower. The type of ships makes me think otherwise.

An Orca industrial command ship and three Archon carriers aren't going to be particularly active by themselves, and the Magnate frigate and Anathema covert operations boat don't look much like capital support ships to me. I'm back to scanning, but still quick scanning, with two anomalies and two signatures. As I jumped through one of them, it leaves just one to check, so I resolve the almost-inevitable wormhole and have my probes recalled before I've even found the tower.

The Magnate is piloted at the tower, but who cares? I can't see any probes, and without them visible I don't see the frigate moving any time soon, so I warp away to check the wormhole. It comes from more class 5 w-space, so I leave this system for hopefully one better, but come up short. Updating d-scan in C5b reveals six towers, a Falcon recon ship, and a Buzzard cov-ops. My perkiness levels are dropping, cap'n.

The Falcon is annoying, the Buzzard almost impossible to catch, and I have the locations of the six towers listed in my notes from a recent previous visit. I don't think it's doing me any good continuing this journey backwards through w-space, so maybe I should go back to C3a and poke null-sec instead. Maybe I can find a K162 leading back to an actually active system. I jump back to C5a, across to C4a, and to C3a, where the static exit has wobbly visions of the Cloud Ring and Verge Vendor, suggesting it leads to the Syndicate region. But before I can confirm my guess a Buzzard appears on d-scan.

It looks like the Buzzard is local, in the tower, so I warp across to see what it might do. Of course, I've just left a potentially piloted Buzzard and easier-to-catch Magnate behind me, and it's natural to wonder why I'd bother to watch this one. But the ship is a new contact, so the pilot's either been exploring and has returned or is newly on-line with the exciting possibility of being just about to act impetuously.

Nope, it looks like the capsuleer is just here to flip her skills. The cov-ops floats for a minute then blinks out of existence. But I hold for a minute longer. Sure enough, here comes another new contact. With any luck, the first pilot just needed a skill training update, and this one will want to be active. But, no, the Probe frigate copies the more expensive Buzzard, disappearing shortly after warping in to the tower. I think she comes back again and that I missed her warping, but this is a second Probe now at the tower.

This is a pleasant distraction, but still a distraction. And not that pleasant, thinking about it. And as the second Probe blinks off-line a Cheetah cov-ops appears briefly on d-scan, along with some combat scanning probes. Actual activity is almost interesting, except for it coming from a cov-ops, and that it is probably scaring the now-appeared Drake battlecruiser new to the tower in C3a. Damned amateur scouts, caring only for the signatures and not the pilots. They're the radiologists of w-space. It looks like I'll be checking the null-sec connections after all.

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