Tempest on a wormhole

10th July 2014 – 5.44 pm

It's a quiet night for the corporation, with only me on-line. I hope it's not the same in the rest of w-space. Or maybe I do, as long as I get a good exit, as that would let me bring the Bustard transport back. Have I mentioned that yet? I'm tempted to make some ISK from our mounting anomalies first, but the Bustard holds fuel and guns, and those both sound like important items to have in the home system, so I scan my way to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

My directional scanner sees nothing from our K162 in C3a, letting me launch probes immediately. A blanket scan reveals fourteen anomalies, nine signatures, and four drones. The drones are a red herring, though, as there is no activity and no occupation, so goodness knows how long they have been left out here. Still, there are four of them, and as they can keep each other company I see no reason to interrupt them. Their being basic Tech I drones has nothing to do with my decision.

I start scanning for wormholes. My notes say that the system holds a static exit to null-sec, which doesn't sound convenient, but there may be K162s from higher security-class systems. There aren't—just gas, data, relics—but maybe the null-sec exit has more wormholes for me to find. I jump out of C3a to appear in a system in Paragon Soul and launch scanning probes to find out.

There are five extra signatures in the null-sec system to check for wormholes, after ignoring the many anomalies, and as there are core scanning probes in the system, along with an Astero frigate blipping on d-scan, it may be worth resolving data and relic sites too. That is, if there were any of those sites. That there aren't may be why the pilot moves on, leaving me with two combat sites and three wormholes. I don't think I mind.

A K162 from deadly class 6 w-space is not a great find, made poorer by it being at the end of its life. The second wormhole is an X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space, not a great find normally from its being outbound, but today that means I have another exit to k-space to find, which is good. The third wormhole also being an X702 would give the same option, but this connection too is EOL. Never mind, to C3b.

D-scan is clear, but the system is vast. I can't blanket C3b with one pass of my probes, having to make two scans to see all that's out there. It's not much. One anomaly and twelve signatures, no ships and no occupation. Again my notes tell me the system holds a static exit to null-sec, so again I am hoping to find a K162. The signatures are pretty much all gas, however, plus the K346, of course. Ah, the last signature, on the edge of the system, is a second wormhole. Will I be lucky?

No luck here. The wormhole is a T405 outbound connection to class 4 w-space, stressed to half mass. Maybe the C4 system leads to a system with an exit to high-sec, but that would make a fairly convoluted route to start with, even if this stressed wormhole didn't already imply either heavy use or an unwanted connection. I approach with caution, curious as to what form the mass through the connection took, and it looks like I'm about to find out. The wormhole crackles.

As the wormhole crackles it also shrinks, now stressed to critical levels and on the verge of collapse. A Buzzard decloaks, the covert operations boat surely not that massive and merely a scout, and, sure enough, a few seconds later a Tempest battleship decloaks and jumps back through the tiny wormhole. Can I take on a Tempest in my Proteus and win? As long as the wormhole survives, he'll be polarised and I won't be, giving me an exit should I be biting off more than I can chew.

Tempest jumps through a destabilised wormhole

Of course, if the battleship has an escort they could purposely isolate themselves to leave me nowhere to go, but the odds of that are low. I think it's worth a shot. I give the wormhole a few ticks to make up its mind about whether it still exists or not, then, as it remains in space, decloak and, well, I find out that the wormhole really isn't there any more. The connection collapses in front of me. Never mind, it still gave me a minor moment of excitement. I think that's all I'll get too, particularly as the static exit in C3b is at the end of its life and not worth poking. Time to go home and try again tomorrow.

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