I'm scanning again. There are three of us ready to scan our new connections through w-space after collapsing our static wormhole. Well, four. An ally is lost in w-space in his Falcon recon ship because the collapse went awry, which gives us motivation to find an exit to k-space. With any luck both we and he can find a way out of w-space and get him back with us this evening.
The new home static wormhole is found easily, as it generally is after collapsing the previous one, and with three of us scanning a wormhole is quickly found in our new neighbouring class 4 system. I warp to the wormhole and find it to be a static connection to a class 2 system. There are enough scanners available to continue scanning the C4 for other wormholes to let me jump onwards, hopefully to get a quicker exit.
Once through the wormhole I check the directional scanner as usual for signs of occupancy or activity and get an interesting result. There is an off-line tower in the system, as indicated by the lack of a force field on d-scan, but unlike other abandoned towers there is also a a corporate hangar and ship maintenance array! These structures could contain some juicy loot, they just need to be popped open.
Checking the rest of the system shows it to be devoid of activity. I don't start scanning, not wanting to open the system's wormhole yet. Intelligence suggests that the static connection will lead to low-sec empire space, which is less likely to have people looking for its K162 than a w-space connection, but I'd rather not be interrupted whilst breaking open the hangars and recovering what is found inside. Colleagues suggest that popping the two structures may take a while too, during which time we could be vulnerable.
I head back to our tower and swap for a ship that can deal more damage than my Buzzard covert operations boat. It turns out that I still don't really have a ship with a lot of firepower, which I ought to rectify if I could think of a suitable ship to buy. I end up taking my trusty Drake and its seven heavy launchers out to the class 2 system to start wearing down the shields on the hangars, whilst my colleagues collect the bookmarks I've copied to our shared can and choose ships of their own.
A few volleys of missiles shows that popping the hangars won't take anywhere near as long as imagined, the shields quickly depleting and my missiles cratering the armour before the rest of the fleet even jumps in to the system. I swap my fire from one hangar to the other so that my colleagues won't miss the explosions. I am joined soon enough and the first structure explodes in a beautiful fireball. But, argh, it's a trap! Despite checking d-scan vigilantly we are hot-dropped by a dozen ships all appearing at once!
I cancel my panicked warp out when I realise that we are being 'ambushed' by mining barges and industrial haulers, and that all I saw was the contents of the disintegrating ship maintenance array spilling in to the vacuum. How embarrassing. The corporate hangar is destroyed next and several cans stuffed of delicious loot are thrown in to space. We find plenty of ship fittings, a good chunk of ore, several skill training books, and other assorted items in the cans. We even find a refinery floating amongst the debris. There are also ten janitors, who I am happy to rescue to help keep our hangars clean and tidy. Now we need to get the ships and loot back to our tower.
This C2 system is sleepy, apart from our presence, and the intermediate C4 is quiet. A trip in an Orca industrial command ship seems relatively safe and the the Orca should be able to fit in to its capacious hold most of the loot spewed from the hangar. Most of the ships will need to be piloted home, though. I am able to recover a couple of Retriever mining barges and a Badger Mark II hauler, the latter also letting me take back some of the other loot. A few other ships are crammed in to the Orca's maintenance bay and some are piloted by colleagues, but as no one has skills to fly the Hoarder industrial ships they are left behind. Once the recovery operation is complete the static connection in the C2 is resolved and found to be an exit to low-sec empire space, as indicated. The destination system is recorded and relayed to our absent Falcon pilot.
It is unlikely that the corporation left these ships and modules behind voluntarily. Whether they were forced out of w-space or got isolated from this system by a collapsing wormhole, what we leave behind explains some of the other systems I've explored. A tower found with hangars floating around it will soon be looted of anything of worth, only the bare tower remaining, unable to be recovered and too hardy to be worth taking time to destroy. The next time I find a tower and nothing more floating around a moon I'll know that another fleet just happened to find it before me.