It is going to be a quiet few days at the tower in w-space. The main body of our fleet is ditched in high-sec, probably being pestered by mission agents, scammers, and the lure of buying shiny new ships on the market, and that's where they are going to stay until a route back from New Eden can be found for them. I have my new Buzzard covert operations scanning boat ready, bought specifically for this purpose. I could use a colleague's Buzzard, but I like playing with new toys. I warp out of the tower's shields and start scanning, finding our home system's wormhole quickly enough and jumping through.
The neighbouring system is small, only around 10 AU across. The directional scanner shows two cargo containers in deep space somewhere, but no sign of inhabitants. I warp off, after bookmarking my way home, and start scanning. I am still trying to find a more reliable way to select possible wormhole signatures as early as possible, my 'most likely percentage' (ML%) theory needing to accommodate my unrigged ship. Taking note of wormhole positions within the solar system looks to be unlikely to help, partly because of the uncertainty in the initial scanning position compared to the actual location of the signature, but mostly because there seems to be no correlation between signature position and type.
The third signature I resolve turns out to be a wormhole, using an iterative ML% method. The first is before I realise my scan strength is a little weaker, the second signature with the promising Red Dwarf tag JMC is just gas. In retrospect, I should have known it would be a mining site. The wormhole leads to a lower-class w-space system, which probably increases its signature strength a little. I jump through to continue looking for an exit to get the fleet back. Starting to scan, I flip the display out of the system map to check the background colour of the system, and when I return to the map the irritating bug surfaces where the positioning arrows of the probes disappear. I don't know why this happens, but it wastes time. I normally only notice the bug when I initially launch probes, which I resolve by recalling the defective probe and launching another, becoming annoying when so many launch bugged that I have to reload. Having switched to the map when I hit the scan button makes me think that maybe the situation can be resolved without needing to recall the probes and launch new ones. I start a new scan and switch between the map and back, and the arrows reappear. I'm glad I don't have to mess around too much because of the bug, but it is still annoying when it happens.
A wormhole is found quite quickly, leading to a class 1 w-space system. I understand that wormholes leading in and out of class 1 systems don't allow the mass of a battleship through them, which scuppers recovering all of the fleet, but the Guardians could at least be brought back. I look for a different wormhole anyway, just in case a more suitable route can be found. It turns out there is another wormhole in this system but it leads to null-sec space, which we'll not use to ferry ships. I jump in to the class 1 system and have a look at what's there. The signature with the POD tag catches my eye as suitably threatening, but this just leads to more gas. A wormhole leading to low-sec space is soon found, and with a bit more looking a second wormhole to low-sec is also found, this second one reaching the end of its lifetime.
There are only five signatures left in this class 1 system, I may as well finish the scan. All I end up finding are mining sites and a third wormhole, leading to dangerous parts of unknown space. I could continue my search for a route to New Eden there, but it will likely not lead directly to a suitable exit and my time is running short. I check the stable low-sec exit and find it leads to Molden Heath, my old if brief stomping ground. I have twenty jumps to get my Crane, or nineteen to pick up the Guardian, with a bit of dangerous low-sec to pass through first. I don't much fancy the extended journey for now. I head back to the tower and drop off the bookmarks anyway, just in case the alt who is also still at the tower would like to use the information I've gathered. I'll try again tomorrow.