Looking for a cloaked ship isn't easy

21st March 2014 – 5.35 pm

'We have visitors', says my glorious leader. Not obvious ones, perhaps, but a cloaky Tengu strategic cruiser has just jumped past Fin to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system. With a new signature in the system I sense a connecting wormhole. But, as a wise capsuleer recently said, sense can be an idiot sometimes. Launching probes to scan, as Fin watches the wormhole, only resolves a relic site.

I reveal all the ignored signatures, check our active sites, and look for a second wormhole. There really isn't one. It seems someone opened their wormhole to our system, had the common indecency to then open our static wormhole, and, not liking what they found, promptly collapsed their connection to us. The Tengu must have come across our K162 independently.

So what do we do? Take a look at C3a, I suppose. Jumping through our static wormhole doesn't see much when updating my directional scanner, just a mobile depot. Launching probes and blanketing the system doesn't find much else, just a second mobile depot, plus fourteen anomalies and four signatures. No occupation. I resolve the location of the two depots, which belong to related pilots, neither of which was in the Tengu, and judging by the lack of signatures I guess the depot owner is after the rocks and gas that were in this system.

W-space system map

Scanning resolves a wormhole that smells like null-sec, plus two K162s, one of which must be the origin of the errant strategic cruiser. Probably not the null-sec connection, but the C2 K162 looks a likely candidate for the home of the cloaky scout. I'll check the null-sec wormholes first, though, and I'm glad I do. The static exit leads to Detorid, my first visit to this region for months, and knocking one more destination off my list. Two more to go.

Back to C3a and across to the C2 K162, seeing a Purifier blip on d-scan whilst I'm in warp. I don't know if the stealth bomber came in or went out, it's pretty hard to tell, so I keep moving and jump to C2a. The wormhole looks clear, d-scan shows me a tower with no ships. I break from the wormhole and cloak. No change. Checking my notes has my last visit around eight months ago, where I drop an Onyx heavy interdictor on to a mining operation. What a glorious day that was. But back to the present, and one of the towers from that day remains, one has gone, and no ships are to be seen. I may as well scan.

The anomalies I ignore, the signatures I identify as gas, a data site, and the static exit to high-sec. 'Do we need anything?', says Fin, considering a shopping trip, until I point out that the wormhole clearly leads to Verge Vendor. 'Hah, even if we did...' I jump through the exit anyway, finding myself in a popular system. Five hundred pilots are here and there, and most must be new. I've found an academy system.

Fin asks me to check the market prices for some goods, which I am happy to do. It's all a bit bleak, though. But an orange pilot enters the system that I identify as belonging to the C2 corporation, which makes me think that maybe I'll see a ship come past, at least. Then again, I'm in an academy system, there are at least three pilots scanning that I can tell of, all looking at a healthy collection of signatures scattered around. I think I have low odds of seeing someone come my way.

My assessment is good, as it turns out. Loitering on the wormhole has no ships turn up even curious as to what a wormhole looks like, and who knows what the C2 pilot's plans are in this system. Not to return home any time soon, apparently. I can only wait for so long. I think it's a good time to call it a night.

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