Scanning for the source

16th May 2014 – 5.27 pm

There's not much left in the home system. A couple of ore sites, a crappy anomaly that only the desperate would care to clear by itself, our static wormhole. And one other signature. The system is clean because my glorious leader kicked the Sleepers out of the last good anomaly, but that other signature is new to her. I'm already scanning it.

The signature is a second wormhole, a K162 to class 4 w-space, as I find out when resolving and warping to it. I'll go through, see what could have jumped Fin had she been a little unlucky. Not much, according to my directional scanner, but the scanner doesn't extend far and only one planet is in range. I launch probes, blanket the system—revealing six anomalies, six signatures, and no ships—and explore. A couple of towers are present but, of course, no one's home. The constellation almost certainly extends backwards.

Three signatures are chubby enough to be K162s, the only wormholes to be uncovered in a class 4 w-space system with a known static wormhole, and one of those signatures will be the X844 itself, also fairly chubby. That leaves two signatures, one being gas, the other the K162 I'm expecting. I wasn't quite expecting the bloody pustule of class 6 w-space, but whatever. I jump through to see who's around.

D-scan is clear again, this time with two planets in range. A blanket scan reveals fourteen anomalies, thirteen signatures, and still no ships in the space spreading out in either direction of the wormhole. Exploration finds a tower, but that doesn't matter when no one's in it. 'Where are these people?' says Fin, bored with waiting for me to find them. 'I'm heading downstream', and I'm back to scanning trying to work out who opened these wormholes.

Four possible K162s lie amongst the signatures, although there could be other outbound connections too. Data, relic, and gas sites abound, and amongst them two wormholes. The K162 from class 5 w-space seems a more likely source of activity than the Z142 outbound connection to null-sec, but I poke out to Paragon Soul anyway, because nothing's come through the K162 so far. I'm alone in the null-sec system, so find myself a rat to pop, and scan the two signatures because it's habitual now. The Sansha battleship warps away from my three points of warp disruption in a wake of haxxx, and the signatures are boring sites and not wormholes.

Watching a Phantasm rat get away

Back to C6a and on to C5a, where d-scan is clear again. Wormholes don't just open themselves, I'm sure. No occupation and no activity either, just sixteen anomalies and seventeen signatures. Okay, I'll scan again. And, damn, I resolve a wormhole just as a Venture appears on it. Well, at least the mining frigate is activity, even if it must be assumed that my probes have been spotted. I get them back in to a blanket scan configuration, out of range of d-scan, but the Venture is gone.

Scanning a Venture on a wormhole by accident

At least I resolved the Venture's position, which lets me warp to the wormhole, a K162 from more class 5 w-space. I lurk by the wormhole for a bit but nothing passes me, updating my probes occasionally, and there's the Venture again, somewhere in the system. He doesn't jump back to C5b but loiters somewhere, presumably one of the gas sites I've already ignored. That's cool, I can call them back.

It's weird that the Venture didn't go backwards, but maybe he was trying to be deceptive by heading in the wrong direction, or smart and avoiding polarisation. Either way, he's probably on to me already. No matter, I can still hunt his position and see what happens, hopefully without being countered myself.

I narrow down the Venture's position in space, the frigate not appearing to be warping around, and gauge his range. 7·25 AU from me is quite far, and will result in some inaccuracy in placing probes, but sitting on the C5b K162 assures me that nothing else jumps through, not yet. Now to scan for the Venture and see if he is paying attention. Perfect scan on the ship, not so much on the site, but this is the good gas and hard to find.

Successful one-hit scan on a gassing Venture

My Loki strategic cruiser is in warp quickly, having aligned it roughly to the site already, but Ventures are quicker. Quicker still when they have a head start. I drop in to the gas site to see gas—what else?—and no Venture. He's gone, from the site and from the system. At least there's no counter-ambush, considering the gas cloud decloaks my Loki, and I got some more hunting practice. But I think that's it for tonight. I won't blindly follow in to C5b, not when someone is expecting me, and not when I have a headache. I'll just go home and lie down.

Nothing but gas

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