The w-space system runs dry. The asteroid fields are barren of exotic rocks, leaving only ores already plentiful in high-sec, and all Sleeper sites have been explored and pillaged of their antiquities. It is time to move out of this secondary system. Although getting back to k-space is a relatively simple matter of going through the current wormhole leading to high-sec, moving out permanently means pulling down the tower we've been using as a base of operations. Everything needs to be transported back to high-sec, ready to be moved to the next promising w-space system.
Dismantling the tower is a slow task but, somewhat paradoxically, must be done with some speed. Although we are safe because of the shields of the tower there are more defences to consider. The gun batteries, disruptors and scanners all need to be taken off-line, un-anchored and hauled, and when these defences are removed the tower becomes more vulnerable, as do we by proxy. Thus, pulling down the tower is not a matter of taking out bits and pieces when convenient, it is an operation that requires coordination and focus.
When the call comes up that a suitable high-sec exit is present and that the tower is being moved, I am ready to help. There may be forty one jumps between me and the wormhole but I have my trusty Crane. I use auto-pilot to get to the entrance to w-space, to make the journey quicker, perversely enough. The automatic warping to and jumping through stargates is quicker than my fumbling with various controls, leaving me only needing to flick the micro-warp drive on as I drop out of warp. The fifteen kilometre gap to the stargate disappears quickly at over 1,500 km/s. I reach the wormhole in good time.
At the tower inside the w-space system, my Crane once again shows how easily it is worth the training time and ISK. The blockade running transport ship may not have a huge cargo hold, but the micro-warp drive-boosted speed makes a huge difference. I zoom outside of the shields to take defences off-line, un-anchor them and pluck passive packaged containers out of the vacuum, zooming back inside the shields to drop my cargo off in a hangar. I could carry a couple more modules in a Badger but it would be significantly slower to go in and out of the shields. Not only would the process likely have taken longer in a Badger but the less-interactive nature of the extended travel time would have made this seem more of a chore. The Crane is such a joy to pilot that I am glad to be zipping all around the tower. The only delay is waiting for each module to be un-anchored.
All the defences are dismantled and stored. Before we pull down the tower, all the ships and modules needed for engaging Sleepers and extracting ore are transported safely back through the wormhole. Most of the items are squeezed in to an Orca or two and, in a fleet with the bigger ships, piloted out to k-space separately, everything parked temporarily in a nearby station. And with the tower dismantled, we say goodbye to another w-space system that has supplied us with plenty of action and profit. The tower, In The Event of Survival, has served us well again and will be reconstructed in a new w-space system soon, probably with a new name. For now, I just need to pilot a few ships the twenty-odd hops back to corporation headquarters in preparation.
I wonder, though, if there is an analogue to Sleepers here. Maybe it is possible that wormholes opened to w-space from a different galaxy to New Eden at first, through which the Sleepers came to harvest the rich materials found parsecs from home. Something shifts in the physics of the wormholes and they end up connecting w-space to New Eden instead. And now what we see as artefacts of the Sleepers are merely abandoned towers and bases, thought safe against any threat, and the Sleepers themselves merely lost travellers unable to return to their own galaxy.