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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finders keepers.

To go with my maxed exploration skills I also brought recon ships to level IV. This allowed me to finally fit Peeping Tom the way I really wanted. Here he is!

I was especially pleased that I got two (2) large shield extenders wedged into the superstructure - especially since he has no armaments of which to speak. At least I'd not be alphaed - probably.

Today was the day I had time to take Peeping Tom out with his new fit for a test cruise. Unfortunately there haven't been many sights lately in my scanning window. Today was no different. All I came up with of note was another unstable wormhole. "What the hell," I thought. "I'm here to test Peeping Tom aren't I?" I warped to the wormhole.

A quick check of the database showed this to be a class 5. "I don't remember ever visiting a class 5," I said to myself. I headed on through.

On the other side I quickly brought up d-scan. This was a small system, I could see it all on the d-scan. It wasn't empty of capsuleer activity. There were POS modules and three ships on the results. But something was very odd too. The three ships, they were rookie ships. "Who the hell runs around a class 5 in rookie ships?" I asked Aura. "Please restate the interrogative," Aura replied.

"Never mind, I'll find out myself." It took no time at all to find the moon the three ships were near. It was the same moon as the POS. Staying cloaked, I warped to a safe distance from the moon to have a look. All three ships were hanging in space like they had nothing better to do.

Then I noticed there were no blue pretty blue spheres anywhere. I'd never seen a wormhole POS without pretty blue spheres. In fact, I was convinced all wormhole residences basically had chronic blue balls. I took a closer look at the station hardware.

"There's something you don't see every day," I mumbled. Ever the suspicious type, I figured it had to be a trap. Being a carebear, I decided I needed a lot more reassurance that it wasn't. I hadn't seen any other ships on d-scan bit that didn't mean there weren't cloakies like my around.

I decided I need to gather more information. I setup a safe spot and launched probes. I needed to test all of Peeping Tom's systems. Scanning down all the anomalies in the system would do that. It would also show me if the system was inhabited or not. I got down to work testing the ship and an hypothesis I was starting to formulate.

The first thing I hit was a big ladar signature. I soon had it pinpointed, and since I'd never seen a wormhole ladar site, I warped to it.

It was very beautiful!

However, I don't have a gas mining ship so this site would go unmolested. I returned to my safe and continued scanning. I found several more ladar sites, several more wormholes, and then I got a more interesting option.

"Forgotten hey," I said to no one. I decided to have a look.

"Forgotten my ass." One of these days, I'll have a go at these Sleepers. But that day was not today. I went back to my safe to ID the last few anomalies on my scan. Two of them were wormholes, making 5 total in addition to the one I'd come in through. I couldn't believe there was no other ships in the system. I'd seen absolutely no other probes. It was hard to believe but it was true.

The last anomaly I scanned down was a radar site. I needed to check it out too.

"Unsecured looks promising but knowing these damn Sleepers there're still automatics there."

"Affirmative," Aura said unasked. I ignored her. As I approached the site under cloak my suspicions were proven correct.

"Too bad," I muttered. But it was not a complete loss. My hypothesis had become an unproven theory. In more than an hour of scanning, I'd seen absolutely no evidence that this system had an active capsuleer population - of any sort. All of the Sleeper defenses were still intact. None of the anomalies looked to have been touched. If there was a capsuleer presence in this class 5, it was a very, very lazy one.

"I think someone forgot to pay their bills Aura," I said.

"Insufficient data to confirm," she replied.

"For now," I said. "Set a course back to our entry wormhole - 0 km distance. Let's put the theory to a test shall we?"

I got back to station and swapped Peeping Tom for Cab-over Pete, my Occator. He's a tough nut and hard to pin down. I figured I'd take those station modules out one at a time and see if anyone objected. I'd start with the warp disruptors just in case someone was waiting to online them. Yeah, I know, I'm paranoid. But hey, it's me.

I made my first run with heart racing. I warped to the moon; made a couple bookmarks. Then I warped to safe, turned around and dropped in at zero on the first warp disruptor module.

This was the critical moment in testing my theory. If some cloaky had been watching and waiting, I was certain they'd make their move as I maneuvered to scoop the module into my cargo hold. Nothing happen. I turned for the wormhole and was jumping back through it before I realized I'd been holding my breath.

I took a huge gulp of air as I checked the wormhole's stability. It was still solid. I dropped the module at the station and warped back for another. For the next 90 minutes I did a rinse, lather and repeat. No one ever showed up. I never saw another probe in system. I  got everything.

The total haul was about 35 million ISK. All it cost me were a few grey hairs. Not bad for my first outing with my newly refit Arazu. To those who forgot to pay the bills, yes, I know who you are. I found some logs when I scanned the Ibis. I hope you don't take offense but... finders keepers.

Fly careful.

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