Nearly getting myself stuck in empire space yesterday has given me an idea. I spend a fair amount of time trying to repair the criminally large reductions in my security status by looking for anomalies or other sites that will have bounty-holding rats to pop. It takes time and effort just finding the rats to start with, time that perhaps should be better spent actually repairing my status. Maybe I'm finding rats the hard way, when instead I could be talking to just the right person who could point me to a never-ending supply. I have mission agents available to me. Given the opportunity, instead of scanning a system I could take the short time necessary to travel to an old agent and run a handful of missions, probably gaining more security status in the process than would ratting in simple sites.
Of course, running missions is still rather dull, but it should at least be more efficient and reliable. I can't put my plan in to action until I get out of w-space, so I start this evening by scanning as usual. I resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system, where I realise space is still dicking with me. I was last in this system ten weeks ago, where I note a blue-occupied tower, which isn't really a problem and actually makes travelling safer. The problem is the static exit to null-sec k-space, which will probably be completely useless for getting to high-sec empire space and a mission agent. Then again, a quiet null-sec system with a few anomalies would suit my purposes well enough, so I launch probes and take a look around.
Resolving one anomaly and four signatures can hardly be called scanning, and I soon have bookmarks for the static wormhole, a magnetometric site, and a second wormhole, which I hope to be a K162 from empire space. And it is! But the connection from low-sec is reaching the end of its natural lifetime and hardly useful for a prolonged excursion. Never mind, let's see what the null-sec system is like. It's in the Providence region and populated with both anomalies and pilots. I won't be able to do anything here without forceful interruption, leaving me little option. I'm going home to collapse our wormhole and start again.
The first time I collapsed our static wormhole by myself I managed to shut myself out by failing to count properly. The second time went more smoothly, as I made a note of each trip and mass added as I went, which is what I'll do again this time. I stress the wormhole with an Orca industrial command ship, watching as the wormhole destabilises to half-mass on schedule, and critically on my final outward jump. I return home to drag the wormhole behind me, collapsing it. It takes a while to do and no time to summarise, and now I can look for an exit to empire space again.
Our new neighbouring system has six little ducks, but not Drake battlecruisers this time. I jump in to J222222 to a clear result from my directional scanner, letting me launch probes from the wormhole before warping away to explore. I find a tower on the far edge of the system, where no one's home. Scanning has a piddly two anomalies but sixteen signatures, making me think the locals don't care much for industry. Nor me, and at the moment I'm just looking for wormholes, so I ignore what is mostly gas to resolve the static connection. And what a stupid wormhole this is. Despite it leading out to low-sec, being somewhat of an improvement to the previous C3, it is reaching the end of its life and rather useless. That looks like all I can do for now.
Wait a minute. A final blanket scan of the system reveals two signatures at a planet 86 AU away, one of which turns out to be an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space. That could be promising. I jump to C3b to take a look around. The system is inactive and unoccupied, with fifteen anomalies and thirteen signatures to sift through. I find a wormhole quickly, but it's a K162 from class 5 w-space and not really helping my getting to empire space, and judging by the lack of occupation and strength of the remaining signatures the static connection will lead to null-sec again.
'A plan is just a list of things that don't happen.'—Parker
I may as well take a peek in the class 5 system to see what's happening, but getting the message when trying to jump that the connection is stabilising tells me all I need to know. I don't bother trying to jump a second time. I head homewards, swinging past the EOL wormhole in C3a in the vain hope that, by some coincidence, it has died in the few short minutes since I was last checking it, but of course it remains clinging on to life just to spite me. The only change is that it appears to be surrounded by scanning probes, at least according to d-scan, indicating a scout from somewhere. A quick blanket scan shows no new signatures, so sod it. I'm unlikely to catch a covert operations boat. I'm heading home for a break.