I'm ready to take a poke around tonight's w-space constellation, with only one caveat. I need to reveal it first. Two extra signatures at home may indicate an extended constellation, and they do, kind of. A K162 from class 2 w-space connects in to our home system, but the wormhole is already reaching the end of its natural life, and as I don't want to isolate myself recklessly I'll head through our static connection first. Once I have the exit to empire space I can think about exploring the C2, knowing I can find my way home should the wormhole die of old age.
My directional scanner shows me a tower in our neighbouring class 3 system, which is just bad luck, considering only one planet is in range of the wormhole. At least there are also no ships in range to see me move away from the wormhole, but that could also mean there are none to find in the system. I warp away to launch probes, blanketing the system so that I can see for myself there is no activity here. I locate the tower, a different one from eight months ago, to see it rather poorly defended. Only four guns protect the tower, and it's a small tower too. But before I get ideas of staging a third siege in little over a week I resolve the six signatures here to find four wormholes. Oh good, I can explore instead.
The static exit to low-sec is joined by a K162 from null-sec k-space that's on its last legs, and two T405 outbound connections to class 4 w-space. Those are pretty nifty, but I'm still inclined to see if anyone is being careless in the C2 behind us, so I jump to low-sec to bookmark the wormhole in empire space. A brief visit to a system in Molden Heath is all I need, and I return to w-space and bounce off the tower in C3a to see a Dominix appeared. I didn't quite expect to see a battleship here. I suppose I won't be heading home straight away.
The Dominix isn't at the tower long before he warps out, and he could have gone either to the wormhole from null-sec or to C4a, it's difficult to tell. I assume he's going to the w-space link, thinking an EOL K162 from null-sec wouldn't hold much appeal, but I see no Dominix. There's an Ares on scan, though. I warp across to the K162 to find the new contact in the interceptor, burning away from the wormhole. I think he's just aresing around, and not operating under any particular flight plan. The interceptor gets over 150 km from the wormhole, flips, and burns right back again, jumping to null-sec when he hits the cosmic signature.
Space sits empty for a minute, then the Ares returns and warps. I head back to the tower to find the Ares there, but not for long. It's tricky to keep up with interceptors. Another ship must be around too, as now there are scanning probes in the system. I can't place where they are, and don't know who launched them, and they are soon gone. And so am I. The Ares is making me a little nervous and I'd still quite like a look in the class 2 system, so that's what I do. What I find is not particularly interesting, just a tower with no ships and no activity in the system, and rather than scan I simply return home through the wobbly wormhole.
And here's Fin. I update my glorious leader with what I've found so far and head back to C3a to lurk. The Ares is now stationary in the tower and looking to stay there, giving us an opportunity to explore the other connected systems. I head to C4b, where I am pretty certain the Dominix didn't go and hopefully where I won't get any surprises, whilst Fin gets her bearings and watches the interceptor in the tower for a bit. C4b looks dull from the K162, with d-scan showing me nothing, but the big system holds ships, and pilots. I locate a tower on the far planet, holding a Prorator transport, Tengu strategic cruiser, and piloted Manticore stealth bomber. Maybe something will happen here.
A Buzzard warps in to the tower as I watch the Manticore for movement, but I can't tell if the covert operations boat has just come on-line or is returning from reconnaissance. Whichever it is, he's doing nothing now, either indicating a pilot who's making himself a sammich to steel himself for scanning, or one who's come back from exploring a particularly demotivating constellation. But nothing is nothing, either when doing it or watching it, so I'm happy to hear that Fin has found her own ships, and miners too! Some Hulk exhumers, a hauler, and an industrial command ship are all somewhere in C4a, along with some jet-cans. That sounds like an operation in progress.
I leave the dull C4b behind me, jumping back to C3a only so that I can reach C4a, but it looks like the miners are being vigilant with d-scan, spoiling any ambush before we can even mount one. By the time I jump in to the system, haulers have appeared on d-scan and the jet-cans start disappearing, no doubt chomped by the industrial ships, and my appearance, however brief as I move away from the wormhole to cloak, only spurs the locals in to a weird kind of inaction. Vulnerable mining and hauling ships are swapped for combat ships, including a Nighthawk command ship and Drake battlecruiser, but that sabre-rattling is about the extent of home protection the pilots will go to.
There are hints of movement from the combat ships in the local tower, but only towards hangars and other arrays, either to swap ships or to make it look like they are choosing the right ammunition. Apart from obviously showing our own ships, which they probably already know about, there is not much we can do to provoke a fight, and, besides, showing what we have will only let the other side counter us more effectively. We've interrupted their quiet night mining, and that looks like all we'll achieve here.
We leave the system alone, and I take another look in C4b, only to see the same Buzzard and Manticore in the same positions in the tower. Nothing's happening here either and, considering the time interval, I don't think it's worth waiting to see if anything will happen. We head home, through an unchanged C3a, and, with little other option, settle down to go off-line. There was some promise of action in w-space tonight, just none of it converted. Maybe we'll have better luck tomorrow.