Tale of two Iterons

9th April 2014 – 5.33 pm

I see no change in the constellation on my way home. It's all quiet on the w-space front. Or the w-space behind, considering I've only explored through a K162 connected to our home system. I'm hoping I can find something better, anything really, through our static wormhole. A decent exit, for example, one that Fin can use to come home after getting isolated last night when getting fuel. Speak of my glorious leader, here she is.

The backwards arm of the constellation has provided us with a few exits already. One goes to Khanid, but as the replacement high-sec exit to Khanid yesterday was poor I'm guessing this low-sec one will be worse. Another exit to Aridia would be bad enough by itself, made worse by it being at the end of its life, and not helped along by my not passing through it to get the exit system. The other side of the dying wormhole could be anywhere in the region. Null-sec Fountain probably isn't even worth mentioning.

Our neighbouring system holds another hope for a good connection, given that class 3 w-space always exits w-space. I jump through our static wormhole to find out, although seeing a tower and Iteron V hauler when updating my directional scanner on the K162 has my pausing to resume scouting for activity. Sweeping d-scan around to locate the tower finds it, but not the Iteron. Is it out collecting planet goo? Maybe not, as d-scan puts it in empty space. D-scan also shows me the Iteron's name, 'Try to catch me'. Challenge accepted! But I'm doubting the ship is even piloted.

I'll just scan for the Iteron. It's a fat old ship, this won't be difficult. Indeed, two scans later and I have its position, as well as identifying a wormhole near to the ship. Near to, not coincident with, so the Iteron isn't loitering on a connection. I resolve the wormhole as I warp to the industrial ship, dropping slightly short to see that, yep, the ship is empty. Well, empty of a pilot, but I imagine that means it is also empty of cargo. Still, I should probably nick it.

Empty Iteron in class 3 w-space

I finish scanning, given the apparent lack of activity in the system, plus my notes informing me that there should be a static exit to high-sec to be found. That bodes well for bringing Fin home. I think I just resolved it too, identifying and resolving a second, chubbier wormhole in the process. A third wormhole, skinnier than even the high-sec exit, and a fourth also-chubby wormhole round out my scanning results.

The exit to high-sec is first, and it looks good, the colours shimmering through almost certainly showing me a connection to the Tash-Murkon region. I have also resolve a K162 from null-sec, an outbound link to class 5 w-space, and a K162 from low-sec Khanid. Naturally, the high-sec exit looks like the best option for Fin, so I jump through that first and relay the exit system to my colleague. 'Twelve jumps, on my way.' Excellent, and w-space is inactive. But I have just opened a wormhole to a C5.

I probably ought to check the other wormholes in C3a, in case there are hostiles that could intercept a returning industrial ship. The null-sec system first, because it's probably empty. Yep, the system in Pure Blind has no pilots, no other signatures, and I can't even find a decent rat to pop. Back to C3a and on to C5a, with the perverse hope of not finding anyone still, but with my hopes dashed before even getting there. D-scan has combat scanning probes in C3a.

I wonder. Will the scout look for that abandoned Iteron too? Will they send someone to collect it? Rather than get a low-value industrial ship, maybe I can get a low-value kill out of already having scanned its location. I warp back to the hauler and loiter with intent. With any luck, this scout will think the Iteron being bait to be as ludicrous an idea as I did.

Keeping d-scan updated, to catch sight of any wormhole transitions or incoming pods, sees a different sight. A Miasmos hauler is in the system. Using the high-sec wormhole? Nope, he's at the tower. I doubt he'll do anything with combat scanning probes whizzing around, but I've seen pilots act with rather less care to their environment. I can probably loiter by the tower and watch d-scan for possible Iteron-jackings, so move my ship to do that.

Fin makes it to the high-sec exit, notes an orange pilot in the system, but makes a dash for home. As she does, a new Iteron appears on d-scan. I can't find it, it doesn't warp to the tower, and it's gone. That's almost certainly because it was Fin passing through, apparently not in the Orca industrial command ship that I expected. It gave me a minute of excitement, though. Ignorance really can be blissful.

Fin collects the errant Iteron

Still the Miasmos does nothing, still the combat probes are scanning... something. There really aren't that many signatures. As we now have a spare pilot, Fin drops to her pod and comes to collect the abandoned Iteron, with me shadowing her movements. It's a simple collection, though. Fin warps in, boards the Iteron, goes home. 'There's nothing in it, but it's fit for cargo.' I'm sure we can make use of it. And with Fin home, the Iteron claimed, and the Miasmos remaining stationary, I think that's a good time to call it a night.

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