Finding a cloaky Protey

9th August 2014 – 3.41 pm

I'll just have a poke around tonight, I think. There's not much to see in the home system, giving me a simple start. Our gas sites have been blown away by the solar wind and no new ones have come to replace them. I have just the new static wormhole to scan and resolve, and I warp to it and jump through to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

My directional scanner is clear from the K162 in C3a. That's no surprise, as opening my system map shows only one planet in range, the star 90 AU away, and the other planets in suitably large orbits far apart from each other. I launch probes and am just about able to blanket the system with them by ignoring the nearest planet. The silly discovery scanner is already showing me there is only the K162's signature nearby.

Checking my notes has a tower listed near the centre of the system, and as soon as I launch my probes I am in warp to it, thinking I'd best start sooner rather than later. My probes complete their scan, revealing a fat ship somewhere, a carrier maybe. No, not a carrier, a Drake battlecruiser, still pretty chubby, and not at the tower I've warped to. This one is now reduced to a warp bubble, but thankfully the warp has brought me in to d-scan range of the new tower and ship.

Locating the tower finds the Drake lacking a pilot, and I settle down to scan my way out of the system. Fifteen anomalies and seven signatures are reduced to data, gas, gas, relics, a wormhole—that will be the static connection, I'd best start the warp now—and some more relics. I drop out of warp near the exit, the gold of Domain seeping through from the other side of the wormhole. It leads to low-sec, though, so may not be particularly convenient.

I jump to low-sec, appearing in a system nine hops to Amarr and with two extra signatures to scan. I'm also alone, so once I've launched probes I warp to a rock field looking for a clone soldier. I don't get far before a new contact appears in the system, making me abandon my half-arsed ratting and concentrate on scanning. I identify and ignore a combat site, and identify and resolve a wormhole. A wormhole with a pod on it.

Scanning a wormhole in low-sec with a pod on it

The other wormhole in low-sec is a weak signature too, making it an outbound connection. I don't think it matters. A pod is using the wormhole, my probes were right on top of it, and my face is plastered in the local channel. My chances of remaining covert are pretty much nil. Even so, I've resolved the wormhole, it would be churlish not to at least warp across to see what I've found.

The wormhole is an N432 outbound connection to class 5 w-space, one stressed to half mass too. It's obviously being used. Do I wait here, or on the inside? If I wait here, I can see who is coming and in what, but they can see me too, and can either force me to become polarised or easily evade me. If I wait inside, I have no idea who will come, what they will come in, or when they are coming, but at least I won't get polarised. I'll go inside, if only to take a look around, as I don't think I can wait for an eighteen-hop round trip to Amarr.

Jumping to C5a sees nothing on the wormhole, and a tower and Legion strategic cruiser on d-scan. My last visit seventeen months ago had no occupation, so I don't know where the tower is, but at least I know the system connects to class 6 w-space. I think that makes the locals not to be messed with. As I'm considering that, a new Proteus strategic cruiser appears on d-scan, but only for a moment. Now he's on my overview. The pilot makes a mistake, though. He cloaks his Proteus, only to land on top of the wormhole and be decloaked again, having to manoeuvre slowly away to cloak once more.

Covert Proteus warps to the wormhole I'm lurking on

I know the Proteus is here and covertly configured. I know he hasn't gone through the wormhole. I'm assuming he knows I'm here, and probably that I'm covertly configured. That's a stalemate already, if it weren't for my needing to get through that wormhole at some point and him not. A pod warps in and jumps to low-sec, making that at least two pilots to return at some point. I am now a little concerned about a massive ship being brought in, collapsing the wormhole in the process. Well, whatever, if I wanted a simple evening maybe I shouldn't have jumped through an active and mass-stressed wormhole.

The appearance of the Proteus and pod suggests other towers or another wormhole. I have a bit of time, I'll find out which. Warping out bumps in to two more towers, with a piloted Probe frigate and Buzzard covert operations boat in one, neither affiliated with the wormhole activity. There are no other towers either, and checking the first sees the Legion piloted and not matching the Proteus or pods. That means there's a wormhole to be found. Curiosity piqued, I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system.

My probes reveal that out of the six anomalies and four signatures only one is fat enough to be a K162, and that will be the wormhole I came through from low-sec. The active pilots are from further down the chain, probably the C6, maybe a random null-sec connection. Either way, I've decided to leave them alone. They can thank me with donations of ISK, or just by leaving me alone. I warp back to the low-sec K162, jump through, and get clear without seeing the Proteus, let alone being molested by it. That's a little anticlimactic, but whatever.

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