Scouting to strategic cruisers

3rd June 2014 – 5.48 pm

Man, even our two ore sites have gone. What kind of despicable pilot would activate them just because they can, denying others their utility perhaps only because they can't make use of them themselves? I dunno, bunch of savages in w-space. At least two new anomalies have popped up to take their place, not that there's much I can do about them at the moment. There's just our static wormhole to go with them too, giving me the one direction to go.

In to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system and I update my directional scanner to see a tower and a ship. It's a carrier, the Thanatos unlikely to be piloted, let alone doing anything. I warp out, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan, revealing ten anomalies, seven signatures, and that one ship. I'll scan my way out of this system as I did with home. Data site, weak wormhole—not the static exit to low-sec—gas, wormhole, gas, wormhole.

The U210 to Metropolis is joined by a K162 from low-sec The Forge. What's the outbound connection? Hey, it goes to class 1 w-space. I like the looks of that, so ignore the low-sec exits and enter C1a. D-scan is clear on the other side of the wormhole, and a blanket scan reveals five anomalies and twenty-one signatures, no ships. There's occupation, though, on a distant planet, as well as a black hole that I'm only just noticing. That's a bit of a drag.

Scanning C1a finds lots of gas, a bit of data, and two wormholes. The first is the static exit to low-sec, the other disappointingly empty space, wagging a vacuous finger at me for apparently taking so long to scan that the wormhole collapsed of old age. Whatever, space can suck it. I head to low-sec, ending up in a system in Placid engaged in faction warfare, but with a few extra signatures. I check them, resolving two wormholes and ignoring a combat and gas site each, and giving me a choice between a pair of C3 K162s. Which to choose?

C3b before C3c, and I spy a tower and Tengu in the system. There's not much to scan either, a mere eight anomalies and three signatures present, and I can do that after I check on the strategic cruiser. Hey, it's piloted. Idling, though. I'm not waiting around like I did last night, and I'm not bothering to scan either. A blanket scan shows that only one of the three signatures is chubby, and that will be the U210, which I came through. Back to low-sec with me and across and in to C3c.

Bah, 7·6 km from the wormhole on entry is not a positive sign. A tower is visible on d-scan, the lack of ships not much of a surprise, and I'm ready to turn around and return to low-sec. I perform a blanket scan anyway, checking for ships and revealing none, but having launched probes I am tempted to use them properly. I sift through the eleven anomalies and ten signatures, focussing on the handful of chubsters, and pluck out some wormholes.

The first connection is an N968 leading to more class 3 w-space, but I haven't just opened it, given that it is wobbling away at the end of its life. A second wormhole is K162 from class 4 w-space, healthy. The third is a second outbound connection, also EOL, this one a T405 to class 4 w-space. I'll poke the K162 and call it a night.

Jumping to C4a and updating d-scan sees a tower and two ships, but the Typhoon battleship doesn't look to be creating Sleeper wrecks and the Astero frigate has no probes obviously whizzing around space. There are, however, customs offices in reinforced mode scattered around the planets. The shortest timer is a few hours from now, so even if the locals plan to come out and replace some structures I won't be waiting around.

I am about to leave when a Loki strategic cruiser appears on d-scan. I don't think it's mine. And I'm actually on my way to bouncing off a distant planet before leaving, too late in seeing the Loki to cancel warp, heading out this way expecting to see nothing but instead finding a second tower. There are no other ships out here, though, so I return to the first tower to see what the Loki's doing. He's idling in the local tower with his Tengu colleague. How interesting.

The pair of strategic cruisers are joined by a third, this one a Proteus, which decloaks near the Loki. Presumably the Proteus is back from scouting. Was I spotted on my way in? Well, I'm not currently being baited by a tanked hauler with the cloaky Proteus nearby, so maybe not. I'm not in the mood for that either, so with the strategic cruisers idling, it looks like it's time to go home.

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