Replacing the Manticore

24th April 2014 – 5.51 pm

There's nothing to report on coming on-line. Gas, anomalies, the static wormhole. I resolve the wormhole and jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system hoping to find more, but only the black hole is obvious from the K162. My directional scanner is clear. It's a big system, though, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan. Six anomalies, nine signatures, and a bunch of drones. No ships, so the drones are either abandoned or in a bubble around a tower.

My notes tell me where the tower should be, and as the location is in range of our K162 and d-scan shows me nothing it looks like the tower is gone. Except I see that my overview remains in PvP mode from yesterday, set to not show me anything inconsequential, only threats that are likely to kill me. I switch back to my standard overview and, lo and behold, a tower and drones blink in to view.

So there's a tower and drones on d-scan. There are still no ships. I warp to where the tower is and, well, it's not exactly here. A tower is, but it is off-line and all but a couple of incapacitated defences float nearby. Still, the new tower is around the same planet and is straightforward enough to find, where the drones aren't in a bubble trap after all. It doesn't matter, I'm not going to look for them. I will look for wormholes, however, and scanning bags me five of them.

A K162 from low-sec is at the end of its life and uninteresting, a K162 from null-sec is healthy and possibly Plan B, the third is the static exit to high-sec and leading to Kador, the fourth a dying K162 from class 2 w-space, and the last is a K162 from high-sec Domain. It's a fairly standard spread of connections, nothing particularly inspiring, but the link from Domain takes me to a system only two hops from Amarr. This is a good opportunity to replace the stealth bomber I lost.

Popping rats in a high-sec anomaly

Or I could pop some rats in a basic anomaly whilst scanning the two extra signatures in the system. Pop pop pop. No fancy rats appear, but I resolve a pair of wormholes. Still, responsibility kicks in and I decide I really should get a replacement Manticore, so I take my Loki strategic cruiser home, dump it at our tower, and return to high-sec in my pod. Hop, hop to Amarr, buy a ship and fittings, and take the stealth bomber back towards w-space.

I pause in the exit system, knowing that I could roam effectively in my new Manticore through the pair of wormholes I have scanned here. I won't be able to scan further back, but a quick look won't hurt. The first wormhole is a K162 from class 2 w-space, which I return to and jump through after seeing the second, a K162 from null-sec with the upside-down 'A' of Malpais that signifies the Perrigen Falls region.

Taking my Manticore to class 2 w-space and updating d-scan shows traces of activity, some drones and two combat scanning probes. I move from the wormhole and cloak, loitering to see if the probes start moving around. They do, but it takes a while to see any change. At least someone is active. I hold on the wormhole, waiting for the scout to finish scanning, and when the probes disappear I wait for a ship to come past me. With any luck, he'll jump out to reconnoitre the exit and return polarised to me. And he'll be in a tricked-out frigate. With a head full of expensive implants. And be carrying a pony.

Pod drops on to the wormhole and jumps to high-sec

Just as I think no one is coming my way a pod appears on d-scan. The pod unsurprisingly drops on to the wormhole and leaves w-space for high-sec. Well, we're close to Amarr, maybe he's gone to get his own stealth bomber. I hear all the cool kids are doing that now. Or maybe he's gone to get a new hauler, which he'll stuff full of capital parts. And a pony. With sparkles in my eyes I continue to loiter on the wormhole, waiting for the pilot's return, but after a while I realise he probably isn't, and that I'm essentially doing nothing.

Maybe something else is happening in this class 2 system. I've not had a look around yet. I leave my position to explore, locating a tower on a distant planet, with an Omen cruiser, Drake battlecruiser, and Buzzard covert operations boat inside its force field, the Drake and Buzzard piloted. The two capsuleers are doing about as much as I was, and I realise how much time I've consumed. I should probably have been more active. Maybe I should have brought a scanning-capable ship along after all. I head back to high-sec and, seeing no oranges in the local channel, decide to head home.

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