Looking the wrong way

18th December 2013 – 5.35 pm

HR has scanned. What has he found? Not much, apparently. 'It's pretty quiet.' I head out to take a look for myself, jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system that simply terminates through a high-sec wormhole. There's a tower at the edge of the system but it lies empty of ships and offers nothing for us to lazily monitor. But a blanket scan revealing six anomalies and four signatures may be important. How many signatures were there earlier? 'Maybe only three, I don't remember.' I'd say it's worth poking around.

There is a new signature in C3a, it is a new wormhole. The K162 comes from class 5 w-space and offers us a new system to explore, although jumping to C5a to see two towers and a Crusader frigate on my directional scanner isn't exactly inspiring. The most exciting part is that my notes from only two months ago list just the one tower, and even that thought of locating a new, second tower has my almost nodding off.

A third tower, on the edge of the system, splashes a little cold water on my face, given that d-scan also shows an Orca industrial command ship, and an Epithal and Sigil hauler. But finding the tower finds no pilots, leaving me just another system to scan. Then again, that's what I normally do anyway, so it's not so bad. I launch probes, blanket the system, and see eight anomalies and five signatures to sift through as I look for the tower with the Crusader.

Hey, the frigate's piloted, how about that. I don't think it matters, he's definitely idling and not about to do much in class 5 w-space, but it's another pilot. And here's another, warping in to the tower in an Anathema covert operations boat. Before my head stops spinning from the whirlwind of activity a Cheetah cov-ops warps in to join the other two ships. I'm positively dizzy now!

Hopefully the scouts have been out, scanned their constellation, and now quite like the look of the high-sec exit in C3a, preparing even now to take out a whole load of loot in an ill-prepared industrial ship. HR and a newly arrived Aii like to think so too, and are scrambling ships to the connection between C3a and C5a, whilst I sit and watch the tower for movement. More comes, a second Cheetah warping in, bouncing out almost immediately to space that certainly isn't the wormhole to C3a. Maybe there's another one to be found.

The Anathema moves too, but only towards the other tower, and actually dropping off d-scan and my probes not to be seen again. That leaves the sleeping Crusader and one Cheetah. I think I'll scan for that second wormhole. I know roughly where it is, I'll be quick. There, got it. I warp across and wonder why the Cheetah cared to come back to a K162 from null-sec that's at the end of its life. Poking through sees pilots in the null-sec system in Stain, but none orange.

Perhaps the Cheetah is monitoring the wormhole for activity, I dunno. Either way, C5a is pretty dull. Our little camp breaks up, and we go our separate ways. Aii goes to high-sec to liquidate some loot, HR loiters, and I follow Aii to scan the high-sec exit system. Or I would, if the stupid discovery scanner would shut the hell up instead of pinging every signature in every system every time you enter it. I can't help but pause and resolve the new signature in C3a, which doesn't go well for me.

My ship decides it hates the discovery scanner more than me and freezes, requiring a restart before becoming responsive again. Great timing, because when I return, my ostensibly cloaky Loki strategic cruiser having been quite obviously visible in w-space for over a minute, I update d-scan to see a Bestower hauler somewhere in C3a. I think he goes to C5a, but I'm in no position to catch him. Chalk up another kill missed to technical issues. At least it spurs HR in to stalking the C5a K162 again.

I resolve the new wormhole. A K162 from null-sec Querious. How dreary. I ignore it, check C5a for new ships, see that it's back to just the Crusader, and ignore that for the thrills high-sec has to offer. Thrills that include an orange Helios cov-ops on a stargate that Aii passes. Maybe another hauler is coming our way. I scan whilst waiting on the wormhole, the five extra signatures giving me a combat site, data site, crappy weak obviously outbound wormhole, and two other wormholes.

The two good wormholes aren't, being a dying K162 from class 2 w-space and a K162 linking this high-sec system to another in Metropolis, perversely leaving the outbound connection to class 5 w-space as the more promising. I dunno about that, but take a look anyway, as the orange Helios returns to w-space and jumps past HR to C5a. In I go to C5b, where a tower and no ships shows that at least I haven't startled anyone in to inaction, not that it being the natural state of the system is much better. 'Scorpion on the C5 wormhole.' Oh really?

Are the C5a locals collapsing their wormhole? 'I think so.' I'm on my way. It won't be quick enough, with two systems to cross, even warping point-to-point and HR calling that the battleship is 'pointed, in the C5'. I'm not even in C3a yet when the Crusader has turned up to make life awkward for HR in his stealth bomber. More awkward still, the Scorpion gets its ECM working. 'Jammed. It warped.'

And, with that, HR jumps back to C3a to evade the Crusader, which was trying to kill him. Why would he do that? 'No idea. Probably some kind of jerk.' No doubt. By this time I have made it to the C5 K162, but the likelihood of a repeat trip by the Scorpion is slight, and grows slighter as the polarisation minutes end and time keeps ticking without another jump. I admit defeat and warp away, ending another evening of passing acquaintances. At least HR had a little fun.

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