No chance to chase

13th June 2014 – 5.42 pm

It's a full house when I finally get my ship on-line, fashionably late to the party. 'What are we going to do?' Good question. Scan that second signature in the home system for a start, and if it's gas I can leave my colleagues to suck on it for ISK. So, of course, the signature resolves to be a second wormhole, the K162 from class 4 w-space meaning our system isn't secure. We'll be exploring.

I jump backwards, through the K162, glorious leader Fin jumps forwards, through our static wormhole. I think I have further back to go too, as C4a looks really messy in the system map and my directional scanner is showing no signs of occupation. Launching probes and blanketing the system adds two fat ships to the fifteen anomalies and twenty signatures, conveniently out by a distant planet, and warping that way sees two unpiloted Nidhoggurs float inside a tower's force field.

The local corporation is already tagged orange, perhaps because they have capital ships that can't leave the system but apparently fail to use them against the Sleepers. Either way, no one is home and there are plenty of signatures to sift through for K162s. Focussing on the chubby signatures lets me cut the list by half, letting me see that it is all gas without much delay. Well, except for that one wormhole at the end of the results. It's another C4 K162.

Cheetah warps to the wormhole as I approach

Hullo, a Cheetah warps to the K162 as I approach in my Loki. I slow my strategic cruiser down and let the covert operations boat jump unmolested, a wave of benevolence washing over me, and nothing to do with the tiny ships being buggers to catch. I follow behind a minute later, hopefully unseen myself, hoping to see if the cov-ops pilot considers the constellation safe. Probably not, not with my colleagues further down the chain, but you never know.

Updating d-scan in C4b sees nothing more but a canister in space, but the discovery scanner passively showing me two anomalies and three signatures pretty much confirms the system being occupied. With such a clean system, those other signatures may even be further wormholes. We'll see, once I've located the tower and checked for pilots.

I launch probes whilst out of d-scan range of anything, and perform a blanket scan. Two ships appear under my probes, guiding me towards the right planet, and a refined d-scan beam taking me to the moon with the tower. The Cheetah is here, along with a Vexor cruiser and Tornado battlecruiser, all ships piloted, all but the cov-ops decidedly inert.

I should be able to resolve the two signatures without anyone noticing, the tower being significantly further than d-scan's range away from them. There are simply two gas sites, making this the end of the chain. That keeps it simple. I activate both gas sites and both anomalies, because I'm feeling helpful, and sit back and wait for the locals to thank me.

Nothing's happening. Damned ingrates. Actually, something's happening, but something unwanted. Repeated blanket scans, looking for new signatures or new ships, now show me only two ships in the system, yet three still most certainly appear on my overview. That's rum. I check my ignored results, twice, and I've not done anything silly, neither are the ships being swapped and my probes glitching as a result. They're just glitching. I hope this won't become common.

Back to three ships on both probes and overview, I'm more comfortable. Well, as long as the three ships on my overview are the three ships under my probes. I'm not sure how I can tell. I shall ignore it for now, considering the Vexor has been swapped for an Imicus frigate. The Imicus even moves, and I can tell he's initiated a command to warp because my target camera reverts to my ship, preventing me from seeing the frigate's alignment.

I see where the Imicus heads, which is to the only wormhole in the system, a destination I could have guessed anyway. Only knowing this as the frigate enters warp gives the Imicus a fair old head start on my Loki, as I have to turn, accelerate, and enter warp behind it. It's frustrating to be ten seconds or more behind a ship I want to track, although no surprise that I can't beat a frigate through warp to a wormhole. Maybe he'll come back. I'll loiter with intent.

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