I'm out for some early reconnaissance, looking to map the w-space constellation before others wake up and blithely warp around in haulers made of little more than tinfoil. It's interesting to find a second wormhole in the home system today, until I warp to it and see it is merely the decaying connection of a K162 from class 5 w-space, no doubt the wormhole used by yesterday's late-night interlopers. And with that reminder I am pleased to see all of our anomalies still present, the Sleepers still waiting to be ripped in to profitable little chunks of loot. There's nothing else of note at home, so I resolve and jump through our static wormhole to the class 3 system beyond.
There are some big ships in this system, as viewed from afar using my directional scanner. A pair of carriers in the form of an Archon and Thanatos are the biggest hulls I can see, but two battleships, a heavy interdictor, and a recon ship are also somewhere here, probably inside the local tower, if the lack of wrecks in the system is any indication. My last visit here was ten months earlier, which seems like a while ago but getting carriers in to a class 3 w-space system may mean the locals are quite settled. I have two towers listed in my notes, one still being in the same place and holding all the ships, none of them piloted, the second out of d-scan range. Warping to look for it finds nothing, giving me a single tower to monitor and no pilots obviously in the system. It's time to scan.
Ten anomalies mirror ten signatures, which for a C3 with two carriers available makes me think the corporation isn't terribly active. Systems with even a single carrier available often have no sites at all to pillage, in my experience. And with all the rocks, rocks, rocks, rocks here I don't think they're miners either. A couple of gas clouds also get in my way of scanning before, like buses, three wormholes turn up on the trot. What I find is promising, even if the static exit to low-sec empire space is boringly at the end of its natural lifetime and a second wormhole is a dull K162 from null-sec, as I also resolve a K162 from class 2 w-space. I like that.
I ignore the other two wormholes for now and jump in to explore the C2. I have a Nighthawk command ship, Orca industrial command ship, Magnate frigate, and Exequror cruiser on d-scan, which I find all unpiloted inside a tower. That's not too depressing, as I'm only scouting for now with an aim to surprise them later. And this corporation looks busier, the C2 itself holding only two anomalies and four signatures, giving me one gravimetric site full of rocks and three wormholes. One is the static connection to class 3 w-space I came through, the other static wormhole for this C2 leads out to high-sec but is reaching the end of its life, and the third is another high-sec connection, this one a K162 and stable. I exit w-space through the stable connection to see where it takes me.
Yesterday's exit from w-space may have been close to Dodixie but today's is Dodixie. That's rather convenient, a little too convenient to ignore. Instead of considering my scouting expedition complete I feel I must take advantage of this connection, and soon, whilst the systems remain quiet. I head straight back to the home w-space system, swap my covert strategic cruiser for a spacious and relatively safe Bustard transport ship, and head out to market. As luck would have it, the last convenient exit I used for selling Sleeper loot put me close to Dodixie too, so the expired contract from our missing industrialist is right on our w-space doorstep. As well as buying fuel and other supplies I can inflate our wallet a bit.
I retrieve the uncollected Sleeper salvage and put it up for sale on the general market instead of recontracting it. As it happens, there seems to be a buyer with a good price for the salvage, maybe because of competition for the items or maybe I just don't know what a good price is, and the corporation wallet gets a decent boost. I feel much more comfortable buying further fuel stocks now, although this ISK will only last for so long. I stuff the Bustard's hold full of tower fuel and head back to w-space, happy to see the C2 and C3 staying quiet. I could probably make a second trip, particularly as my efforts to balance the stored fuel are crude enough to create an imbalance that could be levelled out a bit.
I take the Bustard out again, but get as far as the C2 before getting stopped on the wormhole. Core scanning probes are on d-scan, and although they may not detect my ship directly the scout could see me leave the system to high-sec and be waiting for my return. I don't see the point in taking such an unnecessary risk and simply turn the transport around, jumping immediately back to the C3 and returning home. I'd still like to return to empire space briefly, if only to buy a couple of skill books for a diversion in my training plan, but I'll take a different ship. My stealth bomber should suffice, being able to warp cloaked and agile enough to avoid most attempts at capture.
Passing through our neighbouring class 3 system again and jumping in to the C2 sees more scanning probes in the system now, combat probes alongside cores. I was probably right not to risk the Bustard, but even my Manticore may not be entirely safe. Then again, whoever is scanning here is likely to be a tourist from high-sec, one from Dodixie no less, and realising this makes me feel safe again. I jump to high-sec, buy and collect my skill books, and return to the C2 without seeing any other pilots loitering on the wormhole. A Cheetah has appeared on d-scan in the C2 but I'm not looking for it. The covert operations boat is benign enough and my mere scouting mission has lasted long enough already.
I get home, modify my skill queue, and go off-line to get some food. It has been a good start to the afternoon, finding some decent connections and adding more fuel supplies for the tower. But even though we're fairly well stocked for now I really need to make some more iskies, and I'll need help to accomplish that, or our presence in the C4 will eventually wither and die. Until that day, which is a while off admittedly, I can continue to roam and hunt in w-space. And whilst I chomp on my sammich maybe the constellation will start to wake up for my return.