I've scanned the w-space constellation and found it bare. I had to stop with the minimal route, our neighbouring class 3 system having a single wormhole exiting to low-sec empire space, and the low-sec system also holding no other wormholes. I am returning after a short break with the intent to roam the C3 in a stealth bomber, hoping to find vulnerable ships pottering around in any of the sites there that I already have bookmarked. Instead, glorious leader Fin reports that all remains quiet and dull. On the positive side, glorious leader Fin is here, giving us options.
The main option is to collapse our static wormhole and start again. Whilst this means abandoning all of my earlier reconnaissance it is still the best option, particularly with little opportunity to shoot Sleepers for profit, or capsuleers for fun, in the C3. We also have available two Orca industrial command ships to push through the wormhole at once, now that I have trained to fly one, which should speed the process along somewhat. Maybe we're pushing too hard, though, as the second trip, with me in a Widow black ops ship this time, has the wormhole become critically unstable when Fin exits the system.
Thankfully, despite us both being in the C3 in massive ships with our wormhole looking like it may not survive the return of my Widow, I manage to squeeze through to get home without killing the connection. Fin returns after me, her Orca easily over-stressing the wormhole to collapse it, and we both end up safely in the home system. It was close, though. Maybe we should revisit our calculations. Not now, obviously, as I have a new static wormhole to find and potentially targets on the other side of it, so I board my covert Tengu strategic cruiser and scan again.
There are no new signatures in the home system apart from the expected wormhole, giving us no surprises. Fin and I warp to the new connection and I jump through to the C3 beyond, reporting lots of warp bubbles and an off-line tower on my directional scanner but otherwise the system appearing clear. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. Two ships appear on the scan, and I warp around to reveal them as a pair of strategic cruisers, both the Loki and Legion piloted but nestled inside the force field of a distant tower. I bookmark the six anomalies my probes also picked up, but probably in vain as it doesn't look like either of these ships is about to shoot Sleepers.
We think about actively luring the ships out of the tower but realise this would only work if the pilots are themselves watching d-scan, which is unlikely if they are not doing anything else. Hullo, the Legion's awake at least, as the ship moves to a hangar and swaps in to an Anathema covert operations boat. The cov-ops warps out of the tower and launches probes, with me behind him but unable to locate the ship in what sensibly looks like a safe spot. There are only three signatures in this C3, one of which must be the static wormhole and another our newly opened K162, and Fin is keen to catch the Anathema should it come our way.
Fin swaps ships to an Onyx heavy interdictor, adding a cloaking device so that she can sit on our K162 in the C3 to act as scout on top of providing the warp bubble to trap our prey. I return home and board my Malediction interceptor, planting it on our side of the wormhole, relying on Fin for information as to the Anathema's whereabouts. Using d-scan, she detects the probes moving around the system, the scout probably resolving their static wormhole, before they all cluster around our K162. He seems to be taking his time about scanning, although I suppose there's little sense of urgency with only three signatures to resolve. The probes finally disappear, and now we wait to see what the Anathema will do.
It's been a while since I've waited to ambush a scouting cov-ops, and even longer since I've had a HIC along to give me a chance of catching one, but this experience seems much like the others. Many scouts apparently don't have the explorer spirit, apparently content with merely resolving the wormholes found without feeling an unrepressible urge to see what lies beyond. Today's Anathema looks to be no different than the others. If he visits our wormhole it is only from a distance where he remains cloaked. Fin and I wait a little longer with nothing happening before I swap back to my covert Tengu and reconnoitre the tower in the C3 again.
The Loki remains where he was in the force field, the Anathema returned to the tower and sitting stationary. Whether he caught a glimpse of my Tengu or Fin's Onyx on d-scan and knew not to explore further, or is waiting for his colleague to become active again before putting his scouting to use, I can't say. All I know is that he is stubbornly refusing to die to us, which just isn't cricket. And the hour is getting late once more, leaving us little option but to both return home and get some sleep. Maybe we will find adventure tomorrow.