All looks quiet. And it is. Or, without wanting to repeat myself, it looks quiet. All I can say for now is that there are no obvious ships in the home system. Only after I launch probes and take a more careful look around am I actually convinced the home system is quiet, as the only unknown signature that my probes pick up is our static wormhole. I resolve the wormhole and jump through to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to look for activity. It's possible I've found some too, with a Hyperion battleship and Noctis salvager visible on my directional scanner, although it's just as likely they are sat unpiloted inside the tower, floating next to the Taranis interceptor that rounds off my d-scan result. Even so, I perform a passive scan of the system and bookmark the seven anomalies here just in case the ships are active.
My notes don't help me find the tower here, as my last visit eight months ago had this C3 unoccupied, but towers are straightforward to find. And the Hyperion and Noctis turn out to be piloted after all, which makes me hope that they are pairing up to clear some anomalies. I warp out and launch scanning probes, mostly out of habit, blanketing the system to see six signatures and the three ships I know about, to accompany the anomalies I've already bookmarked. There's not much to scan but I'll leave my probes dormant, in the hopes that the ships will become active but, la la la, time passes and nothing happens. I'm not spending my evening watching other people's ships do nothing, so I start resolving the signatures.
I'm expecting to find a static connection to null-sec k-space, so resolving two chubby, definitely not null-sec wormholes is a positive sign for further exploration. A couple of rock sites get in the way before I resolve what must be the static wormhole, just as the locals show that they are awake and active. Sadly, they don't demonstrate this by warping out to an anomaly, or taking a hauler to collect planet goo, but by spotting my probes on d-scan and telling me, rather curtly, to get out of their system. I have to admit that I'm a little upset by this. Not because of this pilot's demeanour, but because I've finished scanning and have wormholes to reconnoitre, which means recalling my probes and leaving the system moments after being rudely told to do just that. I'd almost rather stay. He's not the boss of me.
As much as I don't want it to look like I'm kow-towing to this pilot's unreasonable instructions, there's little point staying in this system. Were I petty—or, rather, had I thought about it sooner—I could have left my probes floating in the system, reconnecting to and recalling them when coming back this way, just to irritate the locals, but I leave the system clean. Well, not right away, as the first wormhole I warp to is a K162 from high-sec empire space that's at the end of its life. The second wormhole being an N968 outbound connection to more class 3 w-space has me jumping through it, though.
The other side of the N968 doesn't look as exciting, and not just because of the uninspiring K162 designation. All d-scan shows me is a tower and an Orca, the industrial command ship most likely unpiloted at the tower. My last visit to this system was also seven months ago, where I miss popping a warp-stabilised Mammoth hauler, which evokes a memory of a gravimetric site fiasco. It doesn't look like I'll have any such encounter today, so I simply locate the tower, with empty Orca, and scan. One anomaly and six signatures makes for quick scanning, and only the static exit to low-sec crops up as a wormhole, which takes me out to the Derelik region. There are two other pilots in the system, so I'm not going to rat, but I can scan further.
The first two signatures are of 'unknown' type, but being outside of w-space that's no guarantee of finding a wormhole. It's not until the third signature that I find one, a K162 from class 3 w-space, but a wormhole that is EOL. Another wormhole gets me another class 3 w-space connection, and this K162 is stable and healthy. But before I jump through it, a third wormhole appears from a really weak signature, which is interesting, and I resolve an outbound connection to class 5 w-space. A quick poke in to C3d, through the stable K162, has me looking for some obvious targets, but all I find are a couple of combat ships floating unpiloted inside a tower's force field. I won't bother scanning here, not with more systems already found and waiting to be explored.
I jump back to low-sec and in to C5a, where I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. My probes show me eleven anomalies and only eight signatures, and the system map shows me there is nowhere to hide, so I'm in an unoccupied and inactive system. I've been here before, ten months ago, when I resolved a connection to null-sec, but I suspect that wasn't the C5's static wormhole. Taking a more thorough look around finds what must be the actual static wormhole, an H296 wormhole to more class 5 w-space, and as it too is EOL it looks like scouting is at an end.
I return to low-sec, where my curiosity for exploration overcomes the sense of risk, and I warp across the system to take a look through the dying connection in to C3c. Except it's gone. I suppose it's good that I resisted the initial temptation to take a look, although what I would have found, both in the w-space system and on my inevitable and tortuous route through empire space to get home again, remains a mystery. I still have to get home now, but it's a pretty short trip. Jumping in to C3b sees no change, just the tower and Orca on d-scan, and although returning to C3a now has a Proteus to replace the battleship and salvager the strategic cruiser looks about as active as the other two. I ignore him and jump home to get some sleep.