Becoming part of the problem

13th December 2013 – 5.36 pm

Me, myself, and I in the home system. That's just one person, though, but there's an extra signature keeping me company. Scanning to find out what the signature is resolves a wormhole, the K162 from class 2 w-space being potentially exciting. I resolve our static connection to class 3 w-space too, but ignore it for now to go exploring backwards through the constellation, hoping to find activity.

C2a may even give me a quick burst of action, with four ships visible on my directional scanner, two of them haulers, as well as a single tower. A previous visit to the system doesn't help me find the tower, my notes being well over three years old, and once I have d-scan pointed in the right direction the Tayra doesn't appear to be at the tower. Sadly, widening d-scan's beam to full coverage once more still has the Tayra missing, but maybe that's good.

Two planets lie out of d-scan range of the wormhole, and if the hauler is out collecting goo then he will be at one of them. I send my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser in to warp to the furthest of the planets, hoping to find the Tayra and catch it by surprise, but instead only bumping in to a second tower, plus a Bestower. The Bestower is at the tower and only visible on d-scan, not near the customs office I land next to, and finding this other hauler sees it empty. Warping back to check the first tower has the three remaining ships lacking pilots too. The Tayra has left the system.

Out of the system or off-line, I can't tell, but with no Tayra and no other pilots I settle down to scan. Two anomalies and five signatures don't take long to sift through, so I get to the disappointing result of a data site, wormhole, and two pockets of gas soon enough. Still, we work with what we're given, so I warp to the high-sec exit, and see that it leads to Domain. But where in Domain? Nowhere special, but the system has anomalies where I can pass the time whilst scanning the six additional signatures.

Wormhole, combat site, combat site, combat site, combat site, combat site. Well, one wormhole is okay. And, in fact, it's a K162, making it quite dandy. That it comes from class 1 w-space is just the cherry on the top. Jumping to C1a sees two towers and no ships on d-scan, but I should perhaps not expect more from this system than it being a bridge, so launch probes to scan the two anomalies and four signatures for K162s. There are two, plus a third tower I find on a distant planet, and both come from class 4 w-space. That should keep me busy a while longer.

I land at the K162 to C4b second, so go to C4b first. D-scan is clear from the other side of the wormhole, and exploring has one planet has a tower with a Navy Scorpion battleship, Miasmos and Epithal haulers. Locating the tower is easy, as is discarding the ships, now I see them floating empty. Back to scanning, it seems the locals are industrialists at heart, the twenty-eight anomalies looking ignored when compared to the mere three signatures that are probably going to get some attention fairly soon. And one of the signatures is one more wormhole leading backwards.

Back to class 2 w-space, and C2b is emptier than C2a, with just one tower on a far planet that lacks even disappearing ships. A visit only three weeks ago convinces me that I don't need to expend any time in locating the tower, and instead I turn around to try my luck in the other class 4 system. C4b, C1a, and in to C4a, where seeing a tower and no ships on d-scan is starting to feel a little tedious. Performing a blanket scan reveals seventeen anomalies and fifteen signatures too, to which I say balls to it.

I'm ready to give up in this direction, but I can't help at least exploring all the planets in C4a, which actually finds me a second tower with a Bestower. A piloted Bestower too. Piloted by a red. It could be worth loitering here for a while, if it means catching this capsuleer, if it weren't for the hauler being perfectly aligned with his hangars. The pilot either has excellent manoeuvring skills or is asleep, and I suspect I know which circumstance is more likely.

I leave the slumbering pilot to check my last resort. I still have one more option, already scanned, and that's to look through our static wormhole. I'll do that, as rubbish as outbound wormholes are, or would, if the dumbscovery scanner didn't make a new signature in the home system immediately obvious on my return. I scan it and resolve, unsurprisingly, a wormhole, the K162 coming from class 5 w-space crackling as I drop out of warp nearby. It's perhaps good that I finished scanning and recalled my probes when I did.

Proteus jumps to our home system from class 5 w-space

A Proteus strategic cruiser enters our home system from C5a and cloaks. I don't see where it goes, assuming it actually leaves our system. It doesn't look like he went to C3a, and although the high-sec exit in C2a seems like a good reason to go that way I'm really not paying that much attention any more. This evening has got me used to moving probes and ignoring ships. Maybe that's a good sign that I shouldn't do much more tonight. But how much harm could a quick peek in to C5a do?

I take a look. Updating d-scan from the wormhole in C5a shows me plenty: five towers, three dreadnoughts, six carriers, and numerous smaller ships that I don't care to list. I'll just say that there is much that could me some harm in this system. There are twenty-one ships in total, with no wrecks to be seen, and as there's nothing out of range I have to wonder at my decision to warp away from the wormhole. More so, when that Pilgrim recon ship looks new on d-scan, as is that Proteus.

Did the Proteus come back from our home system when I just happened to be foolishly away from the connecting wormhole? Did he see me enter his home system and is concocting a plan with the Pilgrim pilot to catch my little Loki as I try to leave? I'm not entirely comfortable with the thought that I am about to be hunted, so make a bee-line to the wormhole and jump through, warping to a distant corner of the home system to go off-line. I'm sure it's time for sleep by now.

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