Fin's coming home. After being caught on the wrong side of a collapsing wormhole, being guided through some null-sec space, and settling in a class 5 w-space system for a night, there now exists a relatively safe path to bring our glorious leader back to our class 4 pulsar home. The route isn't even through our static wormhole but thanks to a K162 opening in to us from a class 2 w-space system, whose second static connection exits to high-sec empire space. Despite the convenience, the C2 may not be entirely safe to pass through as a Tengu strategic cruiser has been spotted there. I grab the bookmarks from our shared can and head out to reconnoitre.
There is indeed a Tengu in the C2 connecting to us, but he is sitting passively at a tower and doesn't look like he's going to move. The system is small enough that I can't get out of range of the Tengu's directional scanner, so I can't launch probes without potentially being seen, and I think it would be best if the first suspicion the Tengu had of visitors was when our Orca industrial command ship was warping across its system and almost home. Rather than scanning the C2 I simply check the exit wormhole to high-sec, finding it now to be reaching the end of its natural lifetime. I update my colleagues and then leave the system behind me, with nothing much else to do.
I have more options. Our own static wormhole has not been visited yet, giving me a class 3 w-space system to explore. Jumping in sees an Orca on d-scan, along with two towers, which I will locate. Opening the system map shows me just how easy finding the towers will be today, because the nine-planet system only has a total of four moons, and as towers can only be anchored to moons it rather limits the options. I don't bother spinning d-scan around looking for the towers, thinking it will be quicker to warp to each moon and use a process of elimination. Unsurprisingly, the Orca is unpiloted inside one of the towers' shields, making the system empty of other pilots, and I launch probes and scan.
A blanket scan of the C3 finds three anomalies, six signatures, and the Orca. I work through the few signatures systematically, resolving a wormhole, some mining sites, and a second wormhole. The first connection leads out to high-sec space, the other a K162 from class 5 w-space. I get the exit system first, jumping out to Lonetrek and a mere two hops from Jita, before delving deeper to w-space and jumping in to the C5. My notes show I've been here before, with one tower remaining in the same place and the other moved at some point in the past seven months. A Vulture command ship and a pod are at one of the towers, but as I warp to see if the ship is piloted my display corrupts and I need to force a reboot of my Buzzard covert operations boat.
Dust blown out of the systems, I am back on-line. And now the Vulture and pod have been joined by two Tengus, four Drake battlecruisers, a Chimera carrier, and a second pod. I suspect that the Buzzard's crash took my cloaking device off-line long enough for the locals to see me on d-scan, and that my presence is no longer a secret. Never the less, I warp to a distant planet, launch scanning probes, and blanket the system. Four anomalies are returned on the scan, along with the ships I know about and a bunch of signatures that I suspect are uninteresting, except for the already known static wormhole to the C3.
I warp back to the tower to see what the locals are up to, seeing the Chimera and one Tengu gone, and a Manticore stealth bomber now piloted, which moments later warps off towards the wormhole. There's not much I can do here for now either, even if my presence is still unknown, and as Mick and Fin are safely home and taking a break I think I'll do the same. I wait a couple of minutes for the Manticore to have hopefully cleared the wormhole before jumping back myself, and I get home unmolested. Time for some food.