'Hey, just in time'. Glorious leader Fin is happy to see me, as always, somehow tolerant to my little foibles and sociopathic tendencies. I ask if we're ready to shoot someone, but apparently not. Fin has, however, isolated the home system's static wormhole from the noise of the forty-one sites we currently are neglecting. The good news is that there are no new sites spawned, which at least keeps us in equilibrium. And I perhaps accidentally activated a second ladar site yesterday, when confusing the 'warp to' and 'ignore result' menu options in the scanner, meaning we have more gas to harvest before it goes to waste.
Fin grabs her mining boat, a Maller cruiser, and warps out to the clouds. I do my best to avoid harvesting more gas and feign status as 'protector', boarding my Tengu strategic cruiser to destroy the Sleepers that will inevitably arrive to protect their resources. I loiter in the ladar site until the Sleepers warp in and jump in to action. Two Sleeper cruisers pop quickly, the other two are gits. The Sleepers are wise to my choice of short-range heavy assault missiles, bringing webbers to slow me down enough to keep themselves thirty kilometres away. I can't get close enough to shoot them, making me a rather poor protector. But I can warp back to our tower, refit with standard heavy missile launchers, and return to mete out malevolent justice.
The two other Sleeper cruisers are popped and Fin is free again to harvest gas. Of course, I'd join her, but the wrecks need to be looted and salvaged, and I may as well use the Noctis salvager to grab all the wrecks at once. And even when salvaging is complete there is still our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to explore, so I swap in to my Buzzard covert operations boat and warp to our static wormhole. Jumping in to the C3 sees a tower on my directional scanner but no ships. The entire system is devoid of activity, in fact, leaving me free to launch probes and scan. Wow, there's nothing here—at all. The only two signatures in the whole system are the wormhole home and the static connection, which turns out to be an exit to high-sec empire space, one that is reaching the end of its natural lifetime.
Even exiting the class 3 system leaves nothing to do, finding myself in the Derelik region and many hops from anywhere I recognise. I suppose I may as well keep Fin company, and harvest gas with her. It has the makings of a pleasant enough evening, as long as we're not hunted, popped, and podded by ruthless pirates for a cheap thrill. I try not to think about it too much as I continually refresh d-scan, looking for ships or probes, and set my Osprey cruiser to harvest gas alongside Fin's Maller. At least we're making iskies, and clearing another site in our overpopulated home.
My mind naturally wanders a little whilst harvesting gas, as there is only so long I can fear a heavy interdictor warping in hot. Every class 3 w-space system we've connected to since moving in to our class 4 home has had a static connection to k-space. Whether it's high-sec, null-sec, or the more common low-sec destination, checking through my records and asking Fin confirms this. I have known for a while that class 2 w-space systems all hold two wormholes, one to k-space and one to w-space, but the unusual consistent presence of two wormholes is a fairly easy attribute to notice. I have not yet heard the notion that all C3 systems lead out to k-space.
On the one hand, connecting to a system that terminates w-space exploration can make for a fairly shallow experience, as scanning will, in general, be identical one day to the next. Home, C3, exit. We won't even find any other w-space systems of different classes, relying instead on the activity of other capsuleers to open K162s. On the other hand, having a reliable exit to k-space is convenient, even if the exit itself isn't. I remember going many days in our previous C4 home without resolving an exit, even though I scanned my way through half-a-dozen systems each day, which can be frustrating when wanting to buy supplies or a new ship. And although I am quite capable of scanning I don't want it to dominate my w-space experience, so it is beneficial to be 'forced' in to other activities when exploration ends early. Relying on K162s to appear for greater opportunity isn't so bad either, because they are better indicators of activity than finding a tower in our neighbouring system.
I like our new situation. It isn't as involved as in our old C4 home with a static connection to another C4, or in the C5 where a significant fleet was required to even think about warping in to an anomaly. The PvP opportunities are reduced, but I seem to be muddling on just fine stalking miners and salvagers, with the occasional scrap cropping up with an actual combat ship. And the company is the best. Speaking of which, 40% of the larger gas cloud is now in a jet-can and the hour is late, so Fin and I warp out to call it a night. I go back to the ladar site in a Bustard transport ship to haul the gas back to our hangar, before settling down to sleep in my Buzzard. There is more gas to harvest, so we remain at forty-one sites.