Another new whale

4th January 2014 – 3.30 pm

HR's been, scanned, and gone idle. Let me see what he's uncovered. Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system spies a tower and some ships on my directional scanner. The two shuttles aren't interesting, but the Drake battlecruiser and Noctis salvager are, at least until I check for wrecks and find nothing. My last visit to this system points me straight towards a tower that remains from fourteen months ago, and, sure enough, all the ships are there, and all the ships are empty.

One planet out of range holds nothing of interest, and so because HR has already scanned I launch probes and scan again anyway. Time has passed, w-space can change, and all I'm looking for is K162s. Chubby signatures only need be checked. And there's nothing new. Excellent. That leaves HR's findings of the static exit to low-sec, the other side of which he's bookmarked already, and an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space that it seems like he hasn't jumped through. Let me do that for him.

Updating d-scan in C3b reveals an uninspiring tower and lack of ships, and a blanket scan doesn't find much more, with no anomalies and only three signatures. Scanning will be quick, at least, and I soon resolve the static exit to high-sec and, as befits an otherwise empty system, a second wormhole. Checking the high-sec wormhole first dumps me The Citadel, a mere five hops from Jita, which seems too good to pass up. But, then, so is a K162 these days. I'll take a look at that before going shopping.

The K162 in C3b is just a wormhole from null-sec. No one is around and there is one extra signature in the system in Great Wildlands, so I find a rat to pop whilst I resolve what turns out to be a wormhole, but a wormhole with a weak signature and so an outbound connection. I wish I could get excited about potentially surprising some unsuspecting capsuleers, but those days are gone, and once the rat I've found explodes I head back home to make use of the connection to high-sec empire space.

I don't take my Loki strategic cruiser out to high-sec today, nor do I drop to my pod. Today I take an interceptor. I've heard they are fun to fly, and I am a fan of fun as well as efficiency. To C3a, across to C3b, and out to high-sec before I've caught my breath. Yep, these are fast. In high-sec I hop, hop, hop systems almost faster than I can type hop, hop, hop, until I hit the stargate in to Jita. Apparently the system is closed. Closed?! knock knock knock It's Penny. knock knock knock It's Penny. knock knock knock It's Penny. Okay, I'm in.

Ah, over two thousand capsuleers are in Jita currently, making it a little busy. I won't be long, though. Dock, buy yet another replacement Orca, empty my Malediction's cargo, and stow the interceptor in to the industrial command ship's hangar. I remember my previous mistake, and don't want to make a potentially ill-fated second journey today too. That is, as long as I get back safely. All looked quiet when I left, but it did the last time I this trip, and I still ran in to a stealth bomber.

Back to space, and a much slower set of hops to return to the wormhole in to C3b. I get there without issue, although there are 'probes in C3a'. HR has woken up and is kindly scouting my way in. He saw an Imicus in the system adjacent to ours, which shouldn't be a threat to my Orca, so I urge him to kill it. Unfortunately, he only saw the Imicus on d-scan, and 'I'm in an Anathema'. But the covert operations boat has guns, right? 'Want me to go back and look for it?' Sure, do the w-space thing we've got going, the whole Not-Us-Shoot-It deal.

But the Imicus is gone from C3a. There are probes in C3b, however. It seems that HR and the Imicus cross-jumped, until he sees that the probes are a different type. There are two scouts out, apparently. It doesn't bother me, at least not in getting the Orca home successfully, but I swap back to my Loki and go out again to help HR look for the scanning ships, as a newly on-line Fin starts making her way home after a short break in high-sec.

A new signature in C3a is probably the source of the scouts, and resolving it finds the expected wormhole, a K162 from class 4 w-space. Whether the scouts came from that system or further back almost demands knowing, but the ridiculously simplistic discovery scanner ruins any sense of adventure almost as soon as I jump in to C4a. There are no signatures apart from the one I'm sitting on, so no other wormholes. I don't know why I bother trying to act like a competent, covert scout, when half the work is done for me with no input. How boring.

Assuming the frigates came out this way we also assume they will come back this way, so HR sits on one side of the wormhole and me the other. But even if they are coming back this way there is no telling when, and once Fin makes it home with no further sign of another ship it's perhaps time to give up the wait. We have pilots, we have anomalies, we should make some profit. HR and I head home, and Fin and I throw big ships back-and-forth through our wormhole until it collapses. Done.

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