Polarisation without purpose

20th February 2014 – 5.44 pm

Let's go! Out to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system, where two drones are all that my directional scanner cares to show me. No tower, no ships, no wrecks. Those poor little drones, left all alone in space few pilots will pass through. At least there are two of them, maybe playing a perpetual game of I-spy that cycles through 'planet', 'star', and 'nothing'.

A blanket scan of the system only adds anomalies and signatures to the d-scan result, fifteen and nine of them respectively. My last visit, twenty-one months ago, was good. Mick and I first podded a Mammoth hauler, quickly following that up with a pair of stealth bombers. Great days. Today looks somewhat barer, without even any occupation in the system.

Scanning at least gives me a gentle start to the evening, particularly as there is just the one wormhole amongst the gas and data sites. I don't care to interrupt whatever the drones are doing, and simply warp to the static exit to low-sec and jump through to be alone in Solitude. Alone suits me fine, I'll rat and scan.

Five extra signatures give me two more wormholes, the good scanning result making up for the crappy rats in the rock fields. Both the K162s look appealing, and I'm drawn to the one from class 1 w-space over the other from class 3 w-space. Jumping in to C1a doesn't look any better than C3a, though, with a clear d-scan result and lots of empty space. A blanket scan reveals an occupation-denying thirty-five anomalies and fifteen signatures, but there's probably another K162 waiting to be found.

Two K162s crop up in my scanning results, from class 2 and class 3 w-space. I'll hit the C3 first, and finally I see occupation, if still no ships, on entering C3c. A blanket scan says more this time, with nineteen anomalies, three signatures, and sixteen ships, although that many ships are probably just floating free in a tower on the other side of the system. Warping across C3c confirms this, with one more tower holding all sixteen ships inside its force field, only a Magnate frigate piloted.

The Magnate looks idle, there are only two unknown signatures, I'll scan. They're both wormholes, the outbound connection to class 6 w-space being Plan B, and a static exit to low-sec that crackles as I approach. A Viator transport enters the system and promptly cloaks. He doesn't reappear in the local tower, though, giving me a minor mystery to uncover. The C6 system is worth a look first, I suppose.

Viator jumps in to w-space from low-sec

Jumping to C6a doesn't see much, just a tower and Zephyr exploration ship on d-scan. I think I can disregard this system as the destination of the Viator, so return to C3c, go back to C1a, and head to C2a. Just as I jump through the wormhole to C2a an Executioner frigate warps to the wormhole in C1a, dropping short by seventy kilometres. That's rather rumbled any attempt of mine at staying covert. Still, the Executioner has a name similar to that of the Viator I saw, and indeed of the Viator now on d-scan in C2a, along with six towers and some other ships. Mystery solved, I suppose.

Well, I've been spotted, and time is drawing on, it's probably a good point to call it a night. I sit on the wormhole waiting for polarisation effects to dissipate, during which time the Bestower hauler in the system doesn't accidentally come my way, although a Magnate drops out of warp a hundred kilometres from the wormhole. I watch and wonder what the frigate will do, and see the ship turn towards a distant planet and warp away. Curiously, a Cheetah covert operations boat jumps through the wormhole from C1a and looks to follow the Magnate. That piques my interest.

Cheetah jumps between w-space systems

Scanning is easy, I can do it with little effort. Clumping my probes near where the two scouts disappeared to finds a weak signature, a weak wormhole, a weak wormhole with a Magnate on it. I resolve the signature as the Magnate drops on to the wormhole I'm still sitting on and jumps to C1a. Well, that's easier than going to the other wormhole, so I recall my probes and give chase.

Executioner loitering far from a wormhole

On the other side of the wormhole, in C1a, I don't know if it is my jump that causes the Magnate to pause, or the Executioner still being seventy kilometres from the wormhole. Either way, when the frigate decides to make his move it is only to head straight back to C2a. Somewhat unwisely, I immediately follow, polarising myself again, and naturally don't manage to stop the agile frigate from warping clear.

Failing to stop a Magnate from warping clear

Oh well, the frigate's evading me was almost inevitable, and there is probably little point in chasing him to the next wormhole. But, then, I am polarised. I may as well use the time to reconnoitre the wormhole I cared to resolve. And it's an outbound link to class 5 w-space, one with an Apocalypse battleship jumping through and Dominix battleship cloaking on. It's probably sensible to leave it alone. I'll just wait for this polarisation effect to end and head home.

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