Turning away from a trap

26th August 2014 – 5.33 pm

No anomalies have sprung up overnight, but four new signatures accompany our static wormhole this evening. They can't all be sites, surely, and I launch probes to scan them hopefully. Then again, an initial blanket scan, which I find to be a good security precaution, shows that two signatures are chubby, one is middling, two are weaklings. As our static wormhole has a fat signature, that gives only one chance for having an extra wormhole. That signature is a gas site.

Four new sites. Two gas sites that I activate and ignore, not wanting to suck more than I already do, and a data and relic site that I activate and ignore, not wanting the extra danger they hold without much extra profit. Our static wormhole is even in the same spot as it was yesterday, simplifying the scanning a tiny bit. I warp to the signature, bookmark the wormhole, and jump through to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system.

A tower and no ships appears on my directional scanner from our K162, no one to startle with the appearance of a new signature. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan, not moving away from the wormhole to do so. There is only one planet and one signature out of range, and there seems little point in warping anywhere yet. Three anomalies, ten signatures, no ships. All the signatures are relatively strong, and it won't take long to sift through them.

Wormhole, wormhole, gas, wormhole, wormhole, gas, gas, gas, and wormhole. It's like a weird w-space version of Countdown. From what I've given, I can make a static exit to what looks like low-sec Genesis, a K162 from class 5 w-space, a dying K162 from class 4 w-space, a K162 from high-sec Sinq Laison, and a dying T405 outbound link to class 4 w-space. The dying connections limit my options a little, but it's a good result. I doubt I'd have enough time to fully explore the constellation if all the wormholes were healthy anyway.

I get the exits before moving on. The U210 takes me to a system in Genesis with no one else around and seven extra signatures, which I note in case I hit dead ends elsewhere. The high-sec system in Sinq Laison is three hops from Dodixie and has one extra signature. Fair enough, I suppose. Now, how about that C5 K162?

Jumping to C5a and updating d-scan sees nothing, although opening the system map sees just the one planet in range. I launch probes and scan, revealing three anomalies and six signatures, still no ships. Switching filters to show structures sees a few scattered in the inner system, and a whole bunch on the other side of the system, roughly where my notes say a tower was three months ago.

I warp to where I'm expecting to see a tower, and see a tower. This C5 is occupied by reds, damn them, and they have a fairly good bubble trap outside of the tower. I am pulled to the edge of the bubble, where my Proteus strategic cruiser narrowly misses scattered cans, narrowly enough to make me call up my tactical overlay to help me manoeuvre safely out of danger. Once clear, and with no one home, I scan.

Manoeuvring out of a decent bubble trap

Three gas sites and two wormholes are in this C5, the wormholes being K162s from class 5 and class 6 w-space. Reconnoitring the wormholes also brings me in to d-scan range of the inner system at last, having forgotten to refresh d-scan when warping to the tower earlier, where I see a tower with hangars and no force field. That's interesting. More interesting is the mobile tractor unit also on d-scan. I'm sensing trouble already.

I locate the apparently off-line tower, but before I do anything too rash I take a careful look at the tower and its defences. Sure enough, the tower is not accidentally off-line but on-line and with active defences, just deliberately left with its force field down. The corporate hangar array and ship maintenance array are almost certainly empty and being used as bait. The mobile tractor unit is understandable, wanting to collect the loot from ships the trap tower snares, but that greedy desire too easily tips off that this is a trap.

Tower configured solely as a trap

I am not falling for this obvious trap. I don't even feel any curiosity as to what could be left inside the hangars, knowing that they are definitely empty. I just turn my Proteus around and leave the trap untriggered. I appear to be learning and adapting. I think I should reward myself with a sammich before exploring through the two K162s.

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