My glorious leader has resolved a K162 from class 2 w-space as I arrive. She guides me to it before warping herself away to our static wormhole, jumping through to the class 3 system beyond. My task is to find whoever opened the wormhole to the home system. I'm not going to find it from the other side of wormhole, with my directional scanner being clear of any signs of occupation, so I warp out to explore. Launching probes and blanketing the system reveals two anomalies, five signatures, and no ships, and I find one tower on my warping around. I make a note of its position and scan the signatures.
A single ladar site sits amongst three wormholes in this C2. The K162 from more class 2 w-space is neat, a D382 to even more class 2 w-space is confusing—I can't reliably tell whether this wormhole or the Y683 to our home system is the static connection—and the third wormhole is an A239 that exits to low-sec empire space. I'll check C2b first, through the K162, and in warp think that I'm probably weirded-out by the extra outbound connection mostly because I've still yet to see one in our class 4 home. I've been assured they occur, but it must be pretty rare.
Jumping in to C2b has a tower with accompanying Orca industrial command ship on d-scan. The tower's in the same place from my last visit four months ago, and the Orca is empty. Nothing notable happened on my last visit, I know there are class 2 and low-sec static wormholes, and exploring the system has no obvious activity. With another class 2 system to explore, which itself promises another w-space connection, I won't scan here just yet. I'd rather find activity than move probes around, no matter how good I am at it. A shuttle isn't really what I am looking for, but it and two towers in C2c gives a little hope.
I locate the two towers but not the shuttle. That it's elsewhere is interesting, until I actually find it, as the shuttle is unpiloted and floating next to an off-line tower and four wrecks. Maybe whoever destroyed the other shuttles and frigates worked out their frustration by the time the Caldari ship was left, or perhaps he was interrupted. I can see scanning probes on d-scan now, and as wrecks decay after a couple of hours in space whoever was here must have been here relatively recently. And as someone is scanning, maybe I can too. I just need to find somewhere out of sight to launch my probes.
Warping in one direction doesn't find me a safe place out of range of the two towers to launch probes, just two more towers. An unpiloted Badger sits in the force field of one, so there's still no one obvious watching beyond the scanner, but I'd rather launch my probes where I'm really not likely to be seen. The next planet out has three more towers anchored around various moons, none with ships, and warping right back across the system bumps me in to yet another tower, this one with fifteen ships in its shields. The ships aren't particularly threatening, with a Vexor cruiser being as big as they get, and less so as they belong to a four-member corporation. And, of course, none are piloted.
I can actually launch probes out of range of a tower, despite the towers covering most of the system, because there is a large gap between two planets that lets me create a safe spot between them out of range of both. Now I can scan, and it seems that launching probes will be the longer of the two processes, with only three anomalies and eight signatures to sift through. And as I start scanning a Loki decloaks near me. A ship appearing was what I was hoping for, funny as it sounds, although maybe not a strategic cruiser. With so many towers so spread out I thought the best place to sit whilst scanning would be the wormhole I entered through and, sure enough, I spot the red-skulled scout as he leaves.
Fin's not found any activity in the other direction, having scanned her way out of C3a to null-sec k-space and is resolving more wormholes there, so I ask if we should hunt the Loki. But we both remember what happened the last time I suggested we hunt a Loki, so I'm not surprised or disappointed when she says no. And it turns out to be a good decision again, as my probes pick up a second strategic cruiser, just as they resolve a wormhole. It turns out to be a second Loki, which I discern only because it drops out of warp at the wormhole but with a yellow-skulled pilot. He pauses at the wormhole but doesn't jump, warping instead to where I have now moved my probes. I am failing at being discreet with my scanning, even if I'm succeeding in finding wormholes in use.
The red-skulled Loki returns from C2a and warps to join his yellow-skulled colleague, and I have finished scanning. I picked up yellow skull on an outbound connection to class 1 w-space, and him and red skull looked to go towards a K162 from high-sec. Then again, from the K162 where I was loitering there is also a K162 from another class 2 system along a similar vector. To round off all five signatures being wormholes, the second static connection is an exit to high-sec that's reaching the end of its life. So I have class 1 and class 2 w-space systems to explore from this C2, but mere minutes after two Lokis have scouted them. I doubt the pair would leave anyone alive, but I suppose space can change quickly and that it's worth a shufti, at least.
Before I explore more w-space I take a peak through the K162 from high-sec, to see if red and yellow skull are there. They're not on the wormhole, or in the local channel, but Concord are here, so I suppose that's a good indication that red skull came this way. I just don't know whether he continued this way or returned to w-space. I jump back to C2c and decide to look in C2d, where a Tengu jumps past me in to C2c before I shed my session change cloak. I can only assume the strategic cruiser saw the wormhole flare on my entrance, but that he doesn't know who I am or what I'm flying. That suits me for now, and I move away and cloak whilst I have the chance.
The Tengu returns to C2d a couple of minutes later and cloaks, only to be followed by a second wormhole flare. That would be quite exciting if the Tengu happened to be escorting a hauler through w-space, but the ship that appears is just yellow skull. The Tengu's in the same corporation as the two cloaky Lokis, so it's really good that I chose not to engage. And with both ships in this system, with probably red skull having come this way too, I think my time is best spent looking in another direction. I neither scan nor explore this C2, and merely head back to C2c and across to C1a. But, as I suspected for the Lokis to be leaving it alone, the system is empty of opportunity.
I think that's it for me tonight. There has been plenty to scan and explore, with even more left uncovered, but the hour has drawn on with all the scanning, warping, and reconnoitring. Someone will have to throw an industrial ship in front of me to stop me heading home to sleep now. Some days there can simply be too many wormholes, and you can't find time to do anything with the space you're given.