Dangerous black holes are messy

27th July 2014 – 3.45 pm

I fear the home system may have stagnated with time, but it seems w-space continues even without me. My ego doesn't like this revelation, so I choose to ignore it. The new signatures have clearly only just appeared, thus prompting their need to be scanned by me and only me, so I launch probes to fulfil my destiny. A wormhole, three gas sites, and, oh, a second wormhole. Maybe some other capsuleers exist external to my reality. I think I can live with that.

It seems I have options. Bouncing between the two resolved wormholes, I find our static connection to class 3 w-space and, huh, empty space. The respective signature has disappeared too, so I must have resolved the wormhole during its death throes. That's a shame, as I like watching their final struggles, the very fabric of space holding them together getting ever more intangible, until the wormhole's collapse in to nothingness is punctuated by a last desperate gasp. I'm quite sane, you know.

It seems I don't have options. At least our wormhole remains healthy, either untouched by the unknown intruders or already suffered the churn of life-and-death and respawned for my exclusive use. Yep, the latter option is probably more likely. I jump to C3a and update my directional scanner.

D-scan shows me nothing, although there is only the one planet in range. I launch probes and blanket the system, being shown thirteen anomalies, five signatures, and two ships. One ship is fat, one tiny, judging by the signature sizes. My notes also point to a tower being in the general direction of the ships, so I think it's fair to say that they will be inside the force field. I warp across to see if that is the case, and if they are piloted.

I land outside the tower and on the edge of a bubble. I'm safe, but I notice that the ships aren't at the tower. They're still probably not out in space, though, as updating d-scan again sees a second tower along with the Epithal hauler and Helios covert operations boat. I locate the new tower, pop across, and see both ships piloted and quite idle.

I'll scan, starting with the wormhole home. That's not because I got flustered after jumping in to the system, pressing buttons and pulling levers seemingly at random, and somehow managing to move away from the wormhole and launch probes prematurely, warping away in a confused state without having bookmarked my way home. No, scanning the wormhole I just warped away from is standard procedure, obviously.

The signatures in C3a are a wormhole, a tiny wormhole, some gas, and some more gas. Fascinating. I'll hit the static wormhole first and get the low-sec exit before reconnoitring what must be an outbound connection. That's what I do too, because I certainly don't warp to our K162 so that I bookmark the wormhole itself and not its scanned result, but forget this mid-warp and wonder why I've managed to find a K162 to class 4 w-space and not an exit to low-sec. Obviously.

Wormhole from class 3 to class 6 w-space

C3a's static wormhole takes me to a system in Kador, where a bunch of signatures could be interesting, but I've already found a potentially interesting wormhole. Back to C3a and across to an A982 connection. Okay, an outbound wormhole to deadly class 6 w-space is definitely interesting. The blood-red pulsating tear in space-time is about as welcoming a sight as you get in w-space too, so without hesitation I approach the connection and jump through.

Updating d-scan in C6a sees a tower and ships, but no wrecks, and the discovery scanner shows me a messy system. I locate the tower and find no pilots, and as the mess is mostly the twenty-five anomalies, not the seven signatures, I think I can spare the time to scan. Two wormholes are found, which seems like a good result until I warp to them. The static wormhole to class 5 w-space is only joined by an outbound link to null-sec. C5a, then.

Mess of a class 5 w-space system

Jumping in to C5a has d-scan clear, a black hole looming ominously below, and even more mess. I'm not feeling positive about occupation or activity, even before I see that only one planet is out of range. Nope, no one here. I sift through the twenty-seven anomalies and fifteen signatures, again getting two wormholes as a result. My notes already let me know the static wormhole leads to more class 5 w-space, and this time the null-sec connection is a K162. Great. In to C5b.

Another mess of a class 5 w-space system

Another clear d-scan, another black hole, another messy system. Even as I am presented with a striking visualisation of my optimism being red-shifted through the butt-hole of w-space, I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. Twenty-two anomalies, twenty-two signatures, no ships, no occupation. No interest. I'm going back.

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