Null-sec connections

21st November 2013 – 5.41 pm

A new signature in the home system resolves to be merely a pocket of gas, maintaining our string of days without an incoming wormhole. But as we cleared all of our combat anomalies yesterday we have little reason to stay at home, and certainly not to suck on gas, which means opening our static wormhole to see what we can find elsewhere.

Jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system sees a tower on my directional scanner, along with a Helios covert operations boat but no probes, and a Vexor Navy Issue cruiser but no wrecks. Opening the system map and locating the planet holding the tower makes it look like there's nowhere out of range to hide from it, so on the assumption that no one but me has found this wormhole yet I push away, launch probes, and cloak, sending my probes in to their blanket-scanning configuration far above the ecliptic plane.

Now hidden, both probes and me, I locate the tower properly, whilst performing a scan of the system. Four anomalies, four signatures, the two ships, and the tower is in a different location from three months earlier. The new tower is straightforward enough to find, where I see that not only are both ships empty of capsuleers but, given a fresh look at the system map, there is a planet sitting out of d-scan range from here. It's good that no one is watching after all, or I'd have felt a bit silly giving away my presence for no reason. Not that the discovery scanner wouldn't have already done that, but let's not overly dwell on it.

As is generally the case in systems otherwise bare of signatures, what's left for me to find is wormholes. The static exit to low-sec is joined by a K162 from class 5 w-space and a dying K162 from null-sec. Exiting to low-sec places me in a faction warfare system in Essence, where a couple of signatures wait for me should I need them. Let's hope not. Back to C3a to check the null-sec region, but I've already visited Stain recently, and that the wormhole is at the end of its life is enough to convince me not to stay. Now for more w-space.

I warp to the other K162 in C3a but don't quite manage to jump through, not when I see core scanning probes in the current system. They're new, there aren't many signatures, and I'd prefer to stalk the new contact than be stalked by him. Where better to wait than on the temptation that is our recently opened K162, particularly as the null-sec K162 has now collapsed—lucky me—so wait I do. The probes go, but no ship comes past me.

A Helios covert operations boat appears on d-scan, but trying to place him at one of the other wormholes fails. Not so when pointing d-scan at the tower. The Helios is local. I warp across to see what the pilot will do but, perhaps predictably for an insecure system, she floats idly for a few minutes before going off-line. No alternative capsuleer replaces her either, so I continue with my plan and head to C5a.

D-scan is clear from the wormhole in C5a, and it takes me a little too long to realise why it's taking me a little too long to warp away from the wormhole: the system holds a black hole. Great. I bet no one lives here. Sure enough, my probes reveal thirty-two anomalies and eleven signatures, but no ships and no occupation. Still, at least K162s are chubby and easy to resolve, so scanning backwards should be a doddle.

There's a wormhole, but sadly it's just a K162 from null-sec. Thankfully that's not all, as I resolve two, no three, more wormholes. The first is a hilarious Z142 outbound connection to null-sec, with the dancing man of Malpais indicating a link to Outer Passage. The second wormhole is an equally hilarious Z142, leading to an empty system in Immensea where I pop a rat whilst it remains empty. To round off a disappointing system, the third wormhole in C5a is another K162 from null-sec.

Okay, null-sec, let's see what you can do for me. I jump through the K162 to appear in a system in Paragon Soul, which gives me a new image for my collection. That bit of progress keeps me engaged a little longer, and I scan the two extra signatures to resolve a combat site and a wormhole. It's a weak wormhole, though, and naturally is an outbound connection. As much as they lead to nothing these days, it's worth a look, so I jump to C3b with minimal expectations.

D-scan is clear, exploring finds a tower with no ships, and scanning, well, scanning reveals a ship somewhere. But it's a brief glimpse of w-space possibility, and not a local pilot being active in the system. A subsequent blanket scan is back to anomalies and signatures only. Even so, a ship passing through may make another journey, if they still don't know about the dumbscovery scanner or care to count the signatures in each system, so I start poking for K162s.

One wormhole appears amongst the gas, and it's not a K162 from null-sec. This one comes from low-sec, which is still not quite w-space. But that's okay, as there is a w-space K162 to be found, from class 5 w-space, just like in C3a. And just like in C3a, there is a null-sec K162 to be found, and scanning is rounded off with the static exit to low-sec. I get the feeling I'm not really going anywhere tonight. Even checking the null-sec systems and finding a stray Procurer seems too good to be true, so I ignore it to check C5b from C3b.

In a similar fashion to earlier, in the previous C3, I pause on my return to w-space. This time a Tengu strategic cruiser is on d-scan, but there are no wrecks and he's gone again soon enough, and bouncing off the tower doesn't see the new contact. So it's in to C5b, where two towers and a bunch of ships light up d-scan, none looking particularly welcoming. The Moros dreadnoughts and Archon carrier probably won't be doing anything, neither will the Legion strategic cruiser and Eos command ship in a C5, which just leaves a handful of scanning frigates and cov-ops boats, which I often don't care to chase even if they happen to be piloted and active. I'm ready to call it a night. There's not much w-space to roam, and what I've found is uninspiring.

W-space constellation schematic

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