Getting old reactions

3rd December 2013 – 5.28 pm

I leave one class 2 w-space system for a second, crossing high-sec space to get to the other K162. Except, oh, it's not a K162 but an R943 outbound connection. That's disappointing, as the idiotic discovery scanner will have blinked the signature of this wormhole to any active pilots inside the w-space system, and won't shut up about it. Still, I didn't have much better luck through an actual K162 just now, my entrance seemingly prompting a pretty pointless camp by a fleet on their high-sec exit, and you never know your luck until you try. I jump to C2b.

My directional scanner is clear from the wormhole in w-space. Launching probes and performing a blanket scan of the system reveals eighteen anomalies, six signatures, and no ships, which isn't a good start. Notes made from a previous visit a year ago indicate there was occupation then, and exploring finds one of the towers still around, with a pretty effective mining drone-seeded bubble trap. I only miss it because my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser is interdiction nullified, unaffected by warp bubbles. But that doesn't stop me from warping in to tower defences.

Narrowly missing the tower's defences

Naturally, no one is home, my probes already showing me this, so I scan. I try to ignore some relics, this being w-space making it much easier, resolve a wormhole, ignore a data site, find a signature so far from a planet that it can't be anything but a second wormhole, and finally ignore another data site. The wormholes are the two static exits, one to class 3 w-space and the other high-sec empire space, quelling my initial excitement at potentially having found a K162 when remembering that I entered through a rubbish outbound link.

Checking the high-sec connection first I look through a wormhole that bares a similarity to that of our neighbouring system's exit, but without the tinge of Lonetrek that the wormhole to Everyshore had. That would make this wormhole lead to Sinq Laison, obviously. And it does. But thinking about region colours, and the two regions our constellation connects to, stirs a memory. Didn't I steal some reactions, by blowing up the silos of an off-line tower, and dump them in a system in Everyshore? Yes, Penny, you did.

Looking at an atlas shows that my plunder, stashed where 'X' marks the spot, is only a few hops from our exit system. That's got to be worth collecting and returning to our tower, for transfer to a better market given a future convenient link. Sod scanning, I'm getting me some booty! I return to C2b, cross to high-sec Everyshore, back in to C3a, and home. Taking a look at what I am picking up it seems I'll need a Bustard transport to haul it all in one go, so that's what I'll take, relying on its increased warp core strength to bring me home safely.

Except I don't quite make it home. I enter C3a and, whilst considering my ship choice, see a Loki new to the system. D-scan places the ship at the tower, and warping across, preferably without hitting a tower defence—not as easy as it sounds—check to see if the strategic cruiser looks active. Not immediately but, given a minute, the Loki warps 150 km from the tower and launches scanning probes. That doesn't bode well for my getting a Bustard out and home safely. But maybe it also doesn't bode well for the expected lifespan of the scanning ship.

Loki warps out of the tower to launch scanning probes

There isn't much to scan in C3a, and although our own K162 will be of interest I am sure that the exit to high-sec will be the scanning pilot's priority. Who doesn't like to see where their static wormhole will take them? Hopefully not this pilot and, with any luck, he'll jump right back, polarised and ripe for an ambush. Thinking this, I warp back to the high-sec connection and loiter with intent, watching the probes hit the wormhole and disappear. It takes a minute of wondering if the Loki has returned to the tower to idle, out of d-scan range from here, but the scout does drop on top of the wormhole and jump to high-sec.

Loki jumps from class 3 w-space to high-sec

So far, so good. I drop my cloak and activate my sensor booster, drawing closer to the wormhole to give myself the best chance of catching the polarised Loki's return to his home system. He doesn't come back immediately, so perhaps he is being cautious with his polarisation. Or maybe he's scanning high-sec, soon to get his own experience with the C2a fleet. Whatever he's up to, the Loki doesn't return within his polarisation period, effectively ending my ambush. Never mind. I back off and re-activate my cloak, waiting a few more minutes out of curiosity. Still no Loki.

I may have lost the chance to collect my reactions. A scout is out and about, and, if he's worth his salt, knows about our wormhole. Or I could just make a run for it. Yeah, that sounds fine. I warp across C3a and jump home, swapping my Loki at our tower for a Bustard, and make it out to high-sec without seeing another ship in w-space, or a sign of the Loki in high-sec. That works for me. A few stargate hops gets me to my destination, I dock and throw all the plunder in to my hold, and turn around to head back to w-space.

Hop, hop, hop, with 290 million ISK in my hold. I am a little disconcerted, in that case, to see two more orange pilots in the high-sec system holding the wormhole to C3a, one more than when I left. So imagine my trepidation when I land on the K162 in my loot-laden Bustard to see one of them there, plus a second ship. The Myrmidon battlecruiser jumps to C3a ahead of me, which can't be good, although the other pilot holds station some kilometres from the wormhole and is actually in a Crane transport ship. That's not as bad as it could be, but it's the Myrmidon now in w-space that worries me.

Returning to the wormhole to find other ships ahead of me

Is it just the Myrmidon now waiting in C3a? Did they see me leave and have planned for my return? Even if I get clear of this wormhole, if they know of our K162 will they follow me there to trap me on a w-space interconnection where I can't simply jump back to the safety of high-sec? So many questions, and so simply answered by just going for it. What's the worst that could happen?

Myrmidon decloaks but doesn't engage my Bustard transport

I jump to C3a to see a clear wormhole and clear d-scan result. That might be good. I spur the Bustard in to warp, knowing that our K162 is out of d-scan range, and rather unprofessionally deciding to slam in to whatever will be there instead of bouncing off an arbitrary object in space to check d-scan first. The Myrmidon decloaks as my ship accelerates but it doesn't seem to engage or follow. And our K162 also looks clear. I jump home. All looks clear here too. I even get in to warp towards our tower, at which point I am almost certain nothing can go wrong. It doesn't. That was surprisingly tense for nothing happening.

I can only assume that I caught the C3 pilots off-guard. Maybe they thought that a Bustard wouldn't fly unescorted through their system, and that their Crane was actually under more threat—despite it being on a high-sec wormhole and able to warp cloaked. I'm also surprised that the Myrmidon didn't at least try to engage me. Surely the worst case for him would be that my escort would force him back to high-sec. But different pilots have different reactions, and, because of the different again reactions I have, I am glad that these pilots were content to let me pass. I dump the recovered reactions in to our hangar and, swapping back to my Loki, go off-line.

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