High-sec orange

21st August 2014 – 5.36 pm

Moving on. Having missed my chance at catching a planet gooer in a silly ship, I head back through one class 2 w-space system, in to and across our home system, and in to another class 2 w-space system. My directional scanner shows me nothing from the wormhole in C2b, the discovery scanner almost nothing. Two anomalies and four signatures is a strong indicator for occupation, if not current activity, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system.

One ship is added to the discovery scanner's annoying omniscience, the ship looking to be coincident with a planet that has a single moon. I take a punt and warp across to that moon, dropping out of warp to see nothing on my overview. That will be a result of scanning probe inaccuracy, I suppose, and my ship is in another castle.

Not much to see in the w-space system

My notes look to help me locate the ship, assuming it is inside a tower's force field. A previous visit three months ago lists a choice of two towers around a different planet, and it seems reasonable that they would still be there. They probably are, but the towers have been multiplying like Gremlins with water pistols. I don't see two towers on d-scan, but seven. Bastards.

I warp to one of the two towers in my notes, seeming as good a place to start as any, and drop out of warp next to a tower, but without the ship present, a Mastodon transport. I'll locate the other towers manually, sweeping d-scan around with a narrow beam. Pinging the moons, I locate the towers individually, all but one. I am sure I've done two complete sweeps with d-scan, checking each moon in turn, but I only count six moons with towers in my notes.

There are definitely seven towers on d-scan, I even use a second hand to help confirm this fact. Being smart, I reduce d-scan's range to 1 AU to also confirm that all seven are around this planet. They are. Where's this seventh tower? I make another sweep of the moons, and realise that although I made a mental note of all the towers, I didn't make a written note. That's why one kept on registering as there without my written tally totting up. Silly Penny.

All towers located, I warp to the one with the Mastodon. The transport is piloted but idle, almost thankfully idle, as it would be frustrating if he did something silly whilst I was struggling to count properly. Still, my notes also point out that my previous visit had my surprising a hauler coming in through a high-sec wormhole, not just by decloaking in front of him but popping his mineral-laden ship. That must have been quite the surprise. I should probably scan for the second static wormhole, on the off-chance that the same circumstance occurs today.

There's not much to see, and it takes little time to resolve a gas site and two wormholes. One is the static exit to high-sec, the devilman of Heimatar shining through, along with a K162 from even more class 2 w-space. I check the exit first, hoping to find a target, and there is an orange pilot in the system. We're only five hops from Rens, the orange pilot is local to C2b behind me, so it's possible he's hauling goods.

I hold my cloak for as long as it lasts, hoping for the pilot to drop on to the wormhole and return to C2b, but my Proteus strategic cruiser reveals itself before anyone else appears. I activate my cloak, but not before launching probes and throwing them off the wormhole. There's an extra signature in the system, and I may as well scan that whilst I'm waiting. It's a wormhole, and warping across sees an R943 outbound link to more C2 w-space. That's worth a look, particularly as the orange pilot hasn't shown himself yet.

Jumping to C2d and updating d-scan sees nothing but a rogue drone, with a single planet loitering out of range. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan, revealing two ships to go with the nine anomalies and seven signatures. The tiny signatures are for a pair of covert operations boats, the Anathema and Helios piloted but inactive inside a tower's force field at that far planet. That's mildly interesting, about as mildly interesting as my notes pointing out the system's static wormholes leading to class 1 w-space and high-sec.

I don't care for another high-sec exit, and the C1 system may be interesting but I can reasonably assume the local pilots have opened their wormhole and explored through it recently enough for there to be little point in my doing it. I have more w-space behind me to check, and rather than dive down a dead end, I head back to high-sec Heimatar and across to the K162 to C2b. Disappointingly, the orange has disappeared from high-sec, although it gives me hope that he's now waiting for me on the wormhole in C2b.

Jumping in to an ambush would be interesting, as I wouldn't be polarised, giving me an easy escape route, and my Proteus is fairly capable. If the ambusher doesn't know what I'm piloting, I could come out on top. That is, of course, if someone is actually waiting for me. I jump back to C2b with some anticipation to see nothing and no one on the wormhole with me, and still only the Mastodon on d-scan. Moving away from the wormhole and cloaking doesn't reveal anyone either. Never mind, it was a long shot. Time to move on again.

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