I set off up into our C5 static, but nothing is doing there. There's no incident wormholes, just its static. So I don't open the far static. Instead, I run small sites, raking in 60m ISK in about a half hour including scanning. Not bad. Now down into C4b.
C4b is also empty, and with no wormholes except its statics, it also seems likely to be zipped. OK, I'll run small sites here, too. I clean out four gas sites and one ore anom, getting lucky on nanoribbons this time for 90m ISK. Then I head back home to get back into my Manticore, and return to C4a to explore its C2 and C5 connections. I try the C2 first, under the general theory that lower in wspace I am more likely to find easy kills. Thanks are due CCP for putting in nullsec data and relic sites into C1/C2/C3. These are great places to look for ganks.
C2a, like the two previous systems, feels disused. My first clue is no towers or ships on dscan. The second clue is the pile of 20 sigs. There are also 10 anoms; not that many given so many sigs. Now I warp around to see an outer planet. No tower or ships: that's my third clue. Also a check of the system in tripwire shows that is has lowsec/C2 statics; not as desirable as a highsec.
I think I have a backwater system here, perhaps untouched for days; that's my strong intuition. More than one of those sigs are going to be data/relic sites that I can solo. So, before doing anything further, I head back home to get my exploration Buzzard. Not only can it run the sites (with both relic and data analyzer IIs), it scans considerably faster too. I scan in C4a and C4b on the way home, and back. No activity. Good.
I return to C2a, fire probes, and start scanning. After some considerable time, I find a fourth clue: this system has piled up a large number of those nullsec data/relic sites. In fact, there are ten of them (!), and also two sleeper data sites. There are also, unfortunately, a large number of wormholes: five of them, plus the one I entered through. So there is some risk in hacking. But I figure it is worth the risk, especially if I cherry-pick. And also if I cache loot. (The remaining sigs are gas sites.)
I head into each site, scanning cans to see what's there. Two of the data sites have an augmented decryptor, so I go ahead and do the better cans there. Many of the relic sites have decent tech II salvage, and I run four of them. Each time I get more than 10m ISK or so, I run out to a safespot I make in the outer system, to dump all the loot in a jetcan. If I get killed, at least I won't lose most of the loot. I don't get killed. And... it's almost dinner time in the real world. So that is enough. I head back home to J213139, 150m ISK worth of salvage and other stuff aboard. Bye EVE, for now.
And... back! Food heated, family fed, things said, time's fled, The Boy abed. Now time for some hunting. I head into C5 just for a look, including popping out into nullsec on the off chance I can find anyone there. I don't. I am eager to head back to C2a... with all those exploration sites. The six I ran will be gone, but the four I passed on should still be there. I've got the stuff I want out of there. Now I want to open it up, get explorers in, and kill them. Time to fly to those five wormholes.
All of the wormholes are outgoing. One is the lowsec static, one is a small wormhole to C2, and the other three are connections to C2. I sense a trend. I guess that just as exploration sites have dead-ended here, so have random wormholes. Interesting pattern.
I head into lowsec first. It's a faction warfare system in Minmatar control, evidently. That's not likely to attract many explorers. Then into C2b, C2c, and C2d. None of them are very promising. Towers in each, nobody home, no probes, and nothing obvious going on. Sigh.
I head back into C2a, and run out of steam. I think I'll just sit here, in the inner system, where I can dscan to all of the sites that are left. And I will join rookie chat and answer questions.
I join rookie chat. 2600+... yeah, I think they may need me. Anyway, I get some good answers in. One guy has a devil of a problem: he has no money to speak of, and he bought PLEX, but he cannot sell them because the taxes are too high. (Evidently, a sale is not permitted if you cannot pay the tax up front? Seems strange to me. But that was his report.) Anyway, I PM him and give him 10m ISK to allow the transaction to work... and it gets strange from there. But that's another story. He eventually gets it done and pays me back. Ah, not scammed by a rookie.
I am occasionally dscanning in C2a, not finding anything.
More than one question of "how do I make ISK fastest"? That's a real good question, one I don't really have a solid answer to. The boilerplate is "mining, running missions, ratting, factional warfare". I have the feeling too many of them are going to go mine, and that's not really what they want to do, but they know how, it's there. I think CCP should have a faction warfare mission in the advanced military sequence, where you have to go to a complex, fight a rat, spin a button for 15 minutes, and get bacon. Maybe have a second more powerful rat warp in on you. That would give newbs a taste of it and enough familiarity to hopefully try it out.
Anyway, the night is getting on. It's 11:15, and I'll be leaving EVE in a half an hour or so for bed. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, in C2a, but probes. Mmm. Well, probes don't necessarily mean anything. But they might. I keep more than half an eye on the dscan. I answer more questions.
Then I see a Probe. It has a character's name on it... hmm, could be a rookie. Should I kill a rookie? Well, yes. I should. I try to find it with dscan, but it is nowhere I can determine. Then it cloaks. The probes are still out there, so: patience. More questions.
Now I see the Probe again. I narrow it down to fifteen degrees on dscan, but it's in no known site. I have the feeling he is in a site, since he is not cloaked for a long time. But it must be a site that spawned since I was scanning. I could warp to the outer planet, launch probes and attempt to scan him down. But, I already know of other sites, and there is a chance that I'll blow it scanning, and he always has his chance to see probes. So, not a good idea. I'll wait. He'll get to another site eventually.
He finishes, then drops off my narrowed dscan. I widen it to full, and he's still uncloaked... probably moving to another site. I once again narrow it down, and this time, he is in a site I scanned earlier. Ha! Go time.
I warp to the site at 10km. It's one with widely-spaced cans, all of which are quite far from the warp-in. The Probe is at a can about 70km from me, hacking it.
I start moving back to get a perch, but that will take too long. Instead, I spin around the view to the opposite direction of the cans. There's a handy planet there in just the right direction, 3 AU from me. Perfect for making a perch. I warp to it at 100km, then back to the data site, again at 100km. Now I end up more than 150km from each of the cans. Perfect. I make a bookmark.
|At my perch.|
The Probe is approaching the most distant can, 200+ km from me. I can see him scanning it. I am ready to warp as soon as the overview indicates he is hacking it. But... he doesn't hack it. Uh oh. I guess he is being selective, just as I was earlier, and this is a crappy can. OK, I will wait. There will be another can.
He moves off toward another can. Microwarping, from the looks of it. I consider warping to the can to attack as he arrives, but I'd really rather attack him when he has the minigame up. He has several more cans to try, so I will wait.
There is time for me to kill. I check out the character I am stalking to see if he's a newb.
|The target is old.|
He's not new. In fact he is two years older than I am. Good. No qualms about killing and podding him, then. (What's he doing in a Probe?)
He finally gets to the can he's headed to. Again I see him cargo scan. This can, though, he tries to open.
I warp in at 10km. He is circling the can, and I end up about 13000m from him, but he is heading toward me.
|At the can.|
I approach him, then uncloak and start firing. My lock completes. He's pinned! He heads away from me. My torps hit: shields down. He heads away from me, but he cannot microwarp, and apparently does not have an afterburner. The range stays at about 4500m. His ship is little or no faster. A second volley: shields wiped, armor almost down. A third: deep structure. And zoom! He warps.
WHAT? Oh. He must have had warp core stabilizers; that's why he had to cargo scan from so close. A good trick... I might think about it for my Buzzard. I dunno. It's nice to cargo scan from afar, but it's also nice to thwart gankers.
Oh well. Live and learn. Time to go to bed.