Scouts passing by

17th March 2014 – 5.43 pm

Do new signatures in the home system mean new opportunity? Only if I want to dig up some space relics in space, or huff on space gas in space. Which I don't. So it's through our static wormhole with me, where my directional scanner shows me the unlikely pairing of a Nidhoggur carrier and Buzzard covert operations boat. There's a tower in range too, which is where I expect both boats to be, even before I check to see that, nope, there are no wrecks in the system.

It's my eighth visit to this class 3 w-space system, the last being around sixteen months ago. There was no occupation then, and the locals having moved in and built their carrier seems to have been done in a suitable timeframe. Rather quicker than we are managing with our dreadnought, anyway. I wonder what's happening with that. Anyway, I start to find the tower manually, as combat scanning probes appear on d-scan. I suppose our K162 is not a surprise any more. I may as well warp out and launch my own probes.

A blanket scan reveals fourteen anomalies and eleven signatures, so do I scan them or wait for the Buzzard to find our wormhole and make his move? Well, scanning won't take long, most of the signatures being chubsters, so I call in my probes and resolve three wormholes amongst the gas. That's probably why the Buzzard doesn't come our way. Then again, it may not even be the Buzzard scanning, not with additional wormholes in the system. Oh, he's gone from d-scan. Maybe he is active.

Reconnoitring the wormholes finds an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space that's a bit lame, the expected U210 exit to low-sec—where I pause to get the exit, in Aridia, where there are extra signatures if I need them—and a K162 from class 4 w-space. The K162 offers perhaps the best chance for finding activity, depending on how fresh it is. I jump through to find out.

A tower, no ships, and one anomaly and sixteen signatures to poke for more K162s. I don't find any, just gas masquerading as opportunity, so it's back to C3a and on to C3b. D-scan shows me a tower and Ishtar heavy assault cruiser in the system, but no wrecks and, a few seconds later, no Ishtar. Scanning reveals three anomalies and seven signatures, and exploring finds a second tower with no other ships and no sign of the HAC. Just the static exit to low-sec is pulled from the signatures, leading to a busy faction warfare system in The Bleak Lands.

Orange helios passes me on the low-sec K162

I ignore the single extra signature in the faction warfare system to return to Aridia, where an orange in the system catches my interest. Where's he from? I dunno, but I'm pretty sure he's heading to w-space, given that the pilot appears in a Helios cov-ops and jumps past me to C3a. It's not worth chasing that in my Loki strategic cruiser, so launch probes and scan. Two wormholes are resolved, and two crappy wormholes. Both are outbound connections, paradoxically worse than K162s, one to class 2 w-space, one to class 3 w-space. I don't think I'm finding anything today, but I can still look.

C2a is uninspiring, with a tower and no ships visible on d-scan. Trying C3c instead isn't much better, indeed looking bleaker on entry, with a clear d-scan result, a black hole looming below, and only one planet out of range. Is it worth checking that? Not to find a tower lacking ships, no. All is quiet, and I can't be bothered to scan for further outbound wormholes. I turn around and head home, realising a bit late that the Helios that passed me is probably from C4a. I poke my prow through the K162 to see if he's up to anything, but there isn't even sign of the cov-ops. Okay, never mind. It looks like it's time to head off-line.

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