Crossing with a Crane

26th March 2014 – 5.51 pm

Back in my Loki strategic cruiser, mostly ignoring the customs office-bashing fleet in a class 2 w-space system behind me, I head towards our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system. My directional scanner gives me the all-clear from the K162, so I launch probes, blanket the system, and warp off to explore. The scan reveals six anomalies, ten signatures, and no ships, but exploring finds a tower, different to the one that was here a year ago, and bare as anything. There aren't even any hangars. Maybe the locals got hit recently.

Checking the information of the tower owners has it owned by a tiny Russian corporation, perhaps explaining the off-hand comment made by the C2 fleet after I launched a bomb at them. Oh, and my name, I suppose. Never mind. I go back to ignoring details and call my probes in to scan the system. There's not much to see, just gas, a K162 from low-sec Metropolis being used by a Legion strategic cruiser, a couple of data sites, and a static exit to low-sec Genesis.

Legion on a wormhole from low-sec

That Legion sighting could be interesting. He left C3a for low-sec, but maybe he'll be back, and in greater numbers. I'll give him a few minutes to get organised, and in the meantime check the low-sec exit for opportunity. No pilots in the system in Genesis and four signatures encourages me to rat and scan, and I launch probes and warp to a rock field. Two combat sites and a wormhole are resolved before bouncing around the different rock fields finds a rat I can be bothered to pop, so I give up on that and see where the wormhole takes me.

A K162 from class 3 w-space is good enough, and jumping in sees a tower and pair of ships, plus a large number of ECM drones that can only mean a seeded bubble trap. The Scythe and Ashimmu cruisers are probably not up to much, not with a lack of wrecks in the system, but wouldn't it be neat if it's the same Scythe that repaired the battlecruisers after my bombing run? Actually, probably not, as I'm trying to ignore that fleet. So it's good that neither ship is piloted, or matching the C2 fleet.

Finding the first tower bumps in to a second too, this one with a Typhoon battleship and Coercer frigate floating empty inside its force field. No one's home. I scan quickly, sifting through five anomalies and six signatures to resolve a wormhole that dies before I can reach it, a K162 from null-sec, some gas, a data site, and a second K162 from null-sec. Even the Helios on the second K162 can't make up for the dreary result, with my not being in the mood to try to catch the agile covert operations boat.

Helios jumps in to w-space from null-sec

I remain uninterested when the Helios launches probes to scan, as that just means I may miss it on a different wormhole and not this one. Instead, I investigate the null-sec systems, but neither has any signatures beyond the wormhole I use. Never mind, backwards I go, to check C3a for activity. Hey, there's some, right on the wormhole as I enter. A Crane transport ship, local to the system, drops out of warp and jumps to Genesis almost as soon as I appear in w-space. That's bad timing.

Crane exits w-space for low-sec Genesis

There's little point chasing the Crane. It can evade me pretty easily under normal circumstances, and as I'd just polarise myself he could return through the wormhole unthreatened if I somehow managed to stop him warping. That's my reasoning, anyway. As he's exited to the Genesis region I can almost guarantee that he won't be back any time soon, leaving little point in waiting too. His presence and blasé attitude to cloaking probably means that Legion hasn't come back from low-sec to plunder any of the sites here.

If the minor activity in C3a wouldn't deter the Legion from doing something, perhaps the way that the K162 from Metropolis is now wobbling away at the end of its life would. Well, it was fine half-an-hour ago, which will make it fine for another couple of hours at least, so I know I could explore through it safely. But, at this point, why bother? The Legion probably got there first, and I'm tired. I think it's time to head home and go off-line.

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