Aligned and zipping

6th June 2014 – 5.16 pm

A new day, a new constellation. Only the one signature in the home system makes my first step straightforward, and I jump through our static wormhole to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system. My directional scanner is clear from the other side of the wormhole, with two of the system's ten planets in range.

Launching probes and performing a blanket scan reveals nine anomalies and five signatures, but no ships. My notes are relatively old, listing no occupation and a static exit to null-sec. Checking for structures with my probes doesn't find anything beyond an off-line tower on a far planet. My notes remain valid, and I hope there is more than just the static wormhole to find.

Two chubby signatures give me hope for possible K162s, but they're both gas and I have to dive in to the weak signatures to look for the K346. There's the wormhole, with signature identifier ZRZ, and I enter warp off to see the wizard of nullz. Or not, with the bastard wormhole wobbling away at the end of its life.

The night's still young, I can collapse our connection and start again. I go home, grab a massive ship, and shove it through the wormhole. Swapping Orca industrial command ship for Widow black ops ship slams half the wormhole's potential mass, yet the connection remains stable. That's good, as it guarantees two more fat Orca round trips, with wormhole death assured at the end. Job's a good 'un.

Good work, Penny! Your reward is to start all over again, with nothing yet to show for your efforts. Well, once I'm back in my Loki strategic cruiser, that is. I don't fancy scanning in the Orca, and manage to belay the warp command that was taking me outside of our tower's force field to launch probes. In the correct ship, I resolve the replacement static wormhole and jump to—hopefully—a different class 3 system.

I see occupation this time, d-scan showing me a tower within range of the K162, but still no ships. There is more space out there, though, so I warp away to launch probes, performing a blanket scan to reveal nine anomalies and eleven signatures. No ships. At least my notes from just under a year ago give me the tower's location, saving me a little time. The static wormhole also exits to low-sec, which will be a nice, fat signature to resolve.

Are there any other wormholes too? I dunno about that, but a ship appears on a fresh blanket scan. I swap to d-scan and see a Venture mining frigate new to the system, just as I am warping to a far planet to check for a possible second tower. There isn't one, but at least the Venture remains when I return to the tower. He's not actually in the tower, though, which is curious.

Probes join the Venture on d-scan. Perhaps he is looking for gas clouds to suck on. Maybe I can catch him. Hmm, his distance from the tower is under 1 AU. That sounds like it will be really easy to scan his current position, and a kill is a kill, whether there's a gas cloud present or not. I arrange my probes around the planet, make sure I have decent coverage, and scan.

Easy positive scan on the Venture

That was easy. I resolve the Venture's position to 100% on a single scan, and hurriedly get my probes back out of the system, hidden from d-scan, as I warp to the mining frigate. Now, let's see how cautious the pilot is being. Pretty cautious, it seems, as the Venture is aligned to the planet, or one of its moons, and even if he isn't moving very fast it's better than my Loki can achieve cloaked.

Venture trying to stay safe when scanning

The Venture may be aligned and ready to warp, but that doesn't mean he's paying attention. Seeing that my Loki isn't going to get closer, I drop my cloak to see if I can catch the pilot distracted by scanning. I activate my sensor booster as the sensor recalibration delay from decloaking wears off, and aim for a positive target lock, burning towards the Venture to get within warp scrambler range. Nope, he's alert enough, warping clear before my target lock completes.

More ships appear shortly after my ambush attempt

On reflection, I suppose I could have got closer, bouncing of the moon he was aligned too and getting ahead of the Venture. I doubt I could have given the frigate a bump significant enough to prevent him warping clear, but it would have given me a better opportunity. As it is, the Venture disappears from the system before returning with two friends, one another scanning boat that cloaks, the other a pod that sits quite obviously on a wormhole. I'm not going to be suckered in to an ambush today, so leave the now-prepared pilots alone, instead heading home to go off-line.

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