Taking a guilt-trip to low-sec

25th January 2014 – 3.30 pm

Leaving our static wormhole behind, I see a pretty standard tower lacking ships on my directional scanner in the neighbouring class 3 system. Warping in what I hope is the opposite direction in order to launch probes flings me in to a second tower, but as this one is also without ships I launch probes anyway and start scanning. Five anomalies, seven signatures; three wormholes, one gas, relic, and data site each. My exploration options are a K162 from class 5 w-space that's at the end of its life, a static exit to low-sec that, huh, has a Navy Vexor cruiser warping to it.

Navy Vexor drops on to the exit to low-sec

Where did he come from? His approaching vector makes it look like he just warped from the EOL C5 K162, which I suppose is interesting. Wondering if any other ships will come this way, or if the Vexor will come back, I lurk on the U210 for now. The wait gives me a chance to reference the lensed nebulae in the wormhole with my table of images, determining that the other side is in the Sinq Laison region. And that's about as interesting as my waiting gets. I float and wait, wait and float, and get bored enough to poke my prow through the wormhole.

Sinq Laison it is. Everything looks normal, with no ships on the wormhole, which I suppose is a result of there being no one else in the system with me. As I'm here, I may as well scan the two other signatures, which turn out to both be wormholes. I'll call the K162 from deadly class 6 w-space Plan B, because obviously it's more my scene through the K162 to C3b.

A tower, a Heron, and a mobile depot. I start from scratch looking for them, as my last visit to this system a couple of months back had no occupation, but finding towers is pretty straightforward. Finding frigates is equally straightforward when they are floating unpiloted in the tower you've just found, which just leaves the mobile depot somewhere in the system. That it has a two-day period of reinforced mode makes it somewhat pointless to actively look for them outside of a system you're staying in, making them another object designed without w-space in mind, so I'll just scan for wormholes.

The thirty-two anomalies and fourteen signatures are indicative of a system only recently occupied, and from them I get an unexciting K162 from low-sec and rather more interesting K162 from class 4 w-space. Recalling my probes and jumping to C4a sees a tower with two Orca industrial command ships and a Cheetah covert operations boat on d-scan, which rather dulls my excitement, even when I find the Cheetah piloted. I suppose I could watch a Cheetah do nothing, or maybe watch him warp away and disappear with almost no chance of my catching him, or I can head back the way I came.

Head back it is. In to C3b, out to low-sec, and I get close to the C6 K162 when I see a Venture mining frigate and mobile depot in the system in Sinq Laison. Are they together, the Venture refitting for low-sec mining? I launch probes and resolve the depot's position, understanding that I won't find the ship there when the Venture leaves the system, and warp to see the depot has already been attacked. It only has five hours left before becoming vulnerable, but that's still a bit too long for me to care about in one session.

The new signature in the system is more interesting, though. I resolve the relic site to bookmark its location, knowing how that kind of site attracts attention, and finally run out of excuses not to jump to C6a. Updating d-scan on the other side of the wormhole sees two towers, no ships. It looks about the same as four months ago, so I'm happy to say C6a is scouted. Back to low-sec, and what else can I do but find a rat to shoot? A battleship rat, no less. The only circumstance that will stop me popping this fellow is, hello, a new contact jumping in to the system.

D-scan is my friend. I keep shooting the rat in the rock field, and when d-scan shows me the new contact is in an Imicus frigate I don't stop until it pops. And the Imicus remains in the system. In the relic site, perhaps? I can't see his ship on d-scan, even if I can see the pilot in the local channel. Maybe he's cloaked, waiting for me to leave. I dunno, man. I don't think I have anything better to do. And that kinda gives me time and makes me re-evaluate my space life choices.

Okay, there are core probes in the system now. The Imicus is scanning. I doubt he's looking for wormholes, so that relic site is the most likely destination for the frigate. I warp my Loki strategic cruiser across in preparation and watch d-scan for the probes. There they go. And here comes the Imicus, dropping out of warp close enough for me to catch. I'd prefer to catch him hacking, though, as he'll be more off-guard. So I wait and watch as he scans each container and moves towards his first choice. I shadow him and, when all looks good, decloak to strike.

Imicus warps in to a low-sec relic site

No more Imicus in the low-sec relic site

Naturally, the basic frigate crumples under my autocannon fire, leaving a pod to warp away and me to loot, well, basic modules and nothing of value. That makes me feel a bit guilty, particularly as this pilot probably learnt nothing. In a fit of altruism, I apologise in the local channel, check the kill report, and donate some ISK for a replacement ship before jumping back to C3a. Back to C3a where a pair of Dominix battleships are on d-scan, along with some Sleeper wrecks.

Abandoned Sleeper wrecks in class 3 w-space

I would rue my time spent chasing a crappy empty frigate in low-sec, were it not for the fact that the Dominices disappear within seconds of my entering the system, and finding and warping to the anomaly sees the Sleeper wrecks looted. They must have been alert to potential threats of the system, and made their ISK on-the-fly. Good for them, I suppose. And as I don't have to hunt them, I can accept this conversation request from the Imicus pilot.

Why did I shoot you? Because I can. You were in low-sec, that makes you a target. I didn't take in to account your Sisters core scanning probes when reimbursing you? Well, la-di-da, Mr Ungrateful. I throw some more ISK his way, regretting the first payment already so why not regret it a bit more, and vow to never again feel guilty for engaging a valid target. If you want the greater rewards available outside of high-sec, you have to accept that with them comes risk, even if it's risk from douche pilots like me, flying a far more expensive ship, who just happen to be bored.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.