Less coming back than going out

1st August 2014 – 5.49 pm

I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the home system. I'm watching out for the nefarious threat of a shady Helios, the covert operations boat entering our home yesterday and maybe not leaving. I dunno, I wasn't paying full attention and, filthy casual that I am, went off-line to get some rest shortly afterwards. I'm glad Fin wasn't around to witness that utter lack of professionalism.

My scan doesn't reveal anything out of the ordinary to start with, but I won't head out to shoot some Sleepers just in case. It would be embarrassing to lose a marauder to a Helios, and if anyone could it would be me. That leaves me only our static wormhole to explore through, so I explore through it, where my directional scanner shows me a tower and some ships. They all look suitably tame too, being a Tayra and Mammoth hauler, Mastodon transport, and Heron frigate.

I locate the tower and warp to it, keeping my cloak active this time, where I see a stunning lack of pilots. Nice ships, shame nothing's going to happen to them. Still, this is just one system, I can probably find others. I warp away, launch probes, and start sifting through the twelve anomalies and twenty signatures. This may take me a few minutes.

The system is mostly full of gas, which is curiously common for what should be space, along with a bit of data, some relics, and a couple of wormholes. The static exit to low-sec looks to lead out to Black Rise, the colours being fairly distinctive, and it looks like I'm heading that way, with the other wormhole being a dying K162 from null-sec. I poke through the K162 anyway, still looking for Period Basis, but I am already sure I'll find myself in Outer Ring. Yep, those colours are distinctive too.

Back to C3a, out to a faction warfare system in low-sec Black Rise, where there are some stinkin' pirates, some loyal citizens who will be proudly rewarded for their efforts, and three extra signatures. I leave the fighters to fight, and scan. Wormhole, combat site, wormhole. Reconnoitring the wormholes finds a K162 from class 3 w-space and an N944 outbound link to more low-sec. Let's call the N944 Plan B.

In to C3b, where d-scan shows me three towers, a Thanatos carrier and Imicus frigate, and some core scanning probes. It could be the Imicus scanning from inside a tower's force field, so I check my notes to hopefully get me to it quicker. My notes should be relevant too, my last visit only being six weeks ago, although they only list two towers. The new tower is by itself and holds the Imicus, killing two birds with one stone by letting me update my notes and finding the frigate piloted. He may not be the one scanning, though, as I saw a Helios blip on d-scan as I was in warp.

That Helios has to have come from somewhere. I should take a look around. There are no planets out of range of the towers where I could launch probes covertly, but an anomaly is. I warp across, making an off-grid bookmark as I decelerate, and return to that to sneakily get my probes in to space. Genius, Penny! Now, if only I could scan the ten anomalies, six signatures, and one ship using the same principles I would be a w-space ninja.

Um, one ship? The Imicus has gone, it seems. Out of the system or off-line, I have no idea, but I don't suppose it matters. I loiter on the exit to low-sec whilst scanning, though, in case he returns. One wormhole and lots of gas. The wormhole is a K162 from class 4 w-space, which has got to be worth a look. Indeed, occupation has found its way here since two years ago, although I can't say the locals do much. Forty bloody anomalies! Get it together, people.

Mess of a class 4 w-space system

Thankfully, C4a only holds eight signatures, which is not much of a scanning chore, and an initial blanket scan identifies only two potential wormholes. One is gas, one is indeed a wormhole, a K162 from class 2 w-space. Further backwards I go, in to a system where d-scan is clear and I appear over six kilometres from the wormhole's locus. Never mind those negative indicators, though. I launch probes and blanket the system. Seven anomalies, six signatures, no ships. Okay, that's a firmer indicator of no activity.

Not quite giving up yet, I scout C2a for occupation and scan for wormholes. A tower from three months ago has been torn down and replaced by a new one, and scanning resolves two wormholes. A K162 from high-sec Heimatar—Devil Man!—joins the static exit to, I'm guessing, Genesis. Well, I guess Khanid, but exited to Genesis, so I'm using the power of retroactive continuity to appear right. That doesn't make the system any more interesting, unfortunately, and I'm not scanning further. I turn around and head home, through systems that are depressingly emptier than when I found them, to go off-line.

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