We have an extra sig in our home system. I deploy probes, and quickly discover the new sig is a wormhole, and a K162. (It's signature is "fat".) I get it 100% then resolve our new static wormhole. I won't fly to our static yet, since it may be uninstantiated. I fly to the K162. It's bluish -- a C2. That might be nice for transporting stuff. But it is wobbling. This means EOL. I get info to verify. Yep. Well, I am not going to transport anything via a wormhole that might close at any minute. I go in anyway, to check for Epithals and other easy targets. I am in for long enough to dscan; there are no ships on scan. OK, forget it. I jump back, polarized. Nobody there to kill me, good.
Now I fly to our static, maybe opening it, and jump through into C4b. Several towers, no ships. It is another C4/C4 system. It's got only two sigs. One is my system's K162; the other must be its own static. I deploy probes and find it. I leave it unopened for now. I have noticed via dscan that one tower has a hybrid reactor. Is it processing? The only way to know is to find the tower and look. So I do that. Looking at the reactor shows that it is indeed going. Of course, it may or not actually have inputs; but it's rare that I find one on at all. I run back home and come back with a siphon, which I deploy and bookmark. I'll return later to see if it will pay out.
Now, onward. I jump to the system's static, perhaps instantiating it, perhaps not. The system, C4c, is similar to the last system. Another C4/C4 with nobody home. There are five sigs this time: two gas, the K162 I came in, the static, and a third wormhole. Investigating it finds a reddish K162 to "dangerous" space: C5. I go in.
C5a has two pilots present at a tower: a guy in a pod, and a Loki. The Loki is aligned to the tower. This means it has probably been sitting there for an hour. But the pod just warped in. After I watch the guy in the pod do nothing for a minute or two, I figure it is time to scan. Scanning reveals, among other sites, an Instrumental Core Reservoir. For those not in the know, this is the most lucrative gas site in the game. It has a large cloud of C320, the mining of which pays on the order of 100m/hour. Whenever I find one, I get excited and want to yell out "Gaaaaas!".
Greed fills my dwarvish heart. But fear restrains me, ultimately. The guy in the pod has swapped into a Venture. Is he going to go to the site? Killing a Venture in a stealth bomber is not likely, but it can be done if the victim is not paying attention. I watch for another few minutes, where he does not move. Forget it. I consider triggering the site to prevent him from getting it today (at least without bringing a fleet to kill the sleepers). But I figure he may be going for some other site, or not going mining at all. I'll keep going and maybe come back later on to check again. When I come back he may be in the site (I'll try to kill him) or maybe he'll be gone (and I can mine it).
I back out to C4c, then go onward into C4d. As with the previous C4s, there is nobody home. This time the static is not a C4, but C5. After resolving a bunch of medium value gas sites in C4d, I head into C5b.
Nobody home in C5b. There are five medium ECM drones out somewhere, but I cannot find drones with core probes and tech-I drones are not worth looking for in any case. Five sigs. I scan. One signature is an Instrumental Core Reservoir; another a Vital Core Reservoir. Gaaaaas!! Two good gas sites! It's fairly rare to find even one. This is definitely worth doing.
I head back upstream towards home. On the way, I drop in on the siphon I planted. There is some small amount of loot, an hour's worth. I uncloak, grab it, and quickly recloak. It's worth about 800k. Looks like this siphon won't pay for itself. Bummer. I jump back home.
It's time to gather my mates. Jeedmo, the new guy, is easy. He's already on. He's young, but has recently trained gas mining enough to fly a gas miner with tech I miners. I also ping Jayne with a text, and he wants to go too when I inform him that one of the sites is the Instrumental. While we wait for Jayne to log on, I log off Von. I log on with Otto and my alt who is at good at gas mining. I get both characters into tech II gas mining Ventures. The fit, for those curious, is this:
[Venture, Gas Miner II]You can rig it if you want, probably for slightly improved agility, but we don't.
Emergency Damage Control I
Medium Subordinate Screen Stabilizer I
'Dactyl' Type-E Asteroid Analyzer
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Gas Cloud Harvester II
Gas Cloud Harvester II
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Jayne eventually appears, and gets his ships ready. We get on coms, and start heading downstream to the gas.
|Aaaand, they're off.|
|Ventures are beautiful.|
Landing in the site, there are no sleepers. There are also the five ECM drones we have seen on scan, and the small C320 cloud is gone. Someone has mined here already. But we microwarp to the C540 cloud and start in on it. Jayne scans it: it's already been partly mined. But there is plenty for us, too. Back to dscanning.
|83% full, 43m ISK.|
The run took less than an hour, netting us five full Ventures carrying about 250m in gas. That's a nice evening's work in wspace. After a bit more chit chat on coms, I do my PI and head to bed.