Trying to count ships

30th May 2014 – 5.41 pm

All looks well. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the home w-space system as I warp to an arbitrary safe spot to place my Loki strategic cruiser in a more central position. At least, I think it's an arbitrary safe spot, one bookmark plucked out of the many scattered around, but I drop out of warp next to our static wormhole. It seems to have respawned on the same spot as yesterday. I suppose that saves my having to scan it. Now for that other, new signature.

Naturally, the other signature is a second wormhole. I feel the discovery scanner ticking, almost pulling me to the neighbouring class 3 system through our static connection. I can always get ambushed on the way back by today's visiting corporation. But, no, I am able to be pragmatic, and warp across to investigate the other wormhole first. After all, they've almost certainly opened our static wormhole and already triggered the discovery scanner's update in C3a.

The K162 comes from class 5 w-space, and exploring in to the system sees five towers and some inconsequential ships on my directional scanner. Sure, the Archon carrier isn't often called inconsequential, but with only a Buzzard covert operations boat and shuttle for support I doubt the Archon is up to much. I launch probes to perform a blanket scan of the system, and reveal eight anomalies, three signatures, and seven ships. Hmm, something's not adding up.

One of the extra ships is a Viator transport I failed to notice the first time, the others are probably out of d-scan range. My previous visit to this C5 was only four months ago, so my notes should be good, and I warp around the towers to look for the missing ships. Ah, my last visit was also after I popped a Noctis salvager in our home system, having seen a pair of Tengu strategic cruisers stealing our loot and a Purifier being not as stealthy as it could have been. I then wandered in to the fleet's home C5 system, got myself isolated, and left w-space via null-space to get home. Great days. I wonder if they remember me.

One tower has the Viator, Buzzard, Archon, surprisingly all piloted. Another tower is brought in to d-scan range, already showing me two Iteron V haulers, and warping across finds one piloted. I'll be watching this industrial ship for now. I don't know how likely it will be that the Iteron will move, or do so without an escort, or what the odds are that I'll end up polarised and dead. Let's find out!

Sitting and watching a hauler do nothing gives me a chance to examine the signatures in the system. I don't probe deeply yet, keeping my probes out of d-scan range of the system in a blanket-scanning configuration, and that's enough to see that neither signature is strong enough to be a K162. I don't think it's worth scanning. I also have no idea what's happened to that seventh ship, having only found six and now only seeing six under my probes. Maybe that's the cloaky Proteus strategic cruiser waiting for me.

I keep waiting, updating d-scan to see the Buzzard and Archon disappear. The Archon has almost certainly gone off-line, I can't say whether the Buzzard has done the same or has warped away cloaked. Fin keeps alert, having gone the other way to our neighbouring class 3 system, but all she sees is a Heron frigate unpiloted at the local tower.

An Anathema is around somewhere in C5a, I can't say where, and looking for it finds a third tower, this one with an empty Noctis floating inside the force field. I have no idea how this adds up to the scan results I've been seeing, but it's good to know all the same. The Iteron's still not moved, although he's brought a couple of mobile laboratories on-line. I hope he heads out to high-sec, through C3a, to buy some more. I doubt he will.

I'm not doing anything. Less than the Iteron, in fact. Or, rather, I'm not making anything happen. It's fine to loiter with intent when finding a target, but unless the target also shows intent, or is already vulnerable, there's often not much point hanging around for so long. Then again, you only find that out in retrospect. Either way, I'm not waiting for this Iteron to do anything, as it seems like he's done all he wants to. So have I. I'll make it an early night and try to be more active tomorrow.

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