Fin's here, and my glorious leader has been scanning. I wonder what rich systems she's found for harvesting Sleeper loot, or if she's spotted any half-awake haulers pottering inside force fields waiting to collect planet goo. 'We got nothing.' Okay then. Our static connection takes us to an occupied but inactive class 3 w-space system, with an exit to low-sec and a dying K162 from null-sec. We could just kill our wormhole and start again. 'Sounds like a plan.'
Two pilots halve the time when crashing a wormhole. We can also halve the wormhole's mass allowance in one go, which then only needs one more pair of staggered jumps to collapse it. It all seems so much easier when it's not just me. And hopefully we'll now connect to a better constellation, with pilots, miners, salvagers. Or, at least, someone to watch as they sit motionless inside a tower. We never know until we look.
We get the tower but still no ships, after resolving the replacement static wormhole and jumping to the new C3. Locating the tower sees that it's owned by ducks, which makes its being empty a better result, and it's a tower that wasn't here fourteen months ago. The old one is off-line, which I find from a reference in my notes, which also reminds me of the Drake that escaped from me thanks to some ECM drones. I think I remember that. Nothing's happening now, though, so I launch probes and scan, whilst Fin discusses recruitment.
Two anomalies don't offer much, even if seventeen signatures could making scanning a drag. I soon get them whittled down to one magnetometric site and three wormholes amongst the rocks and gas, and checking the connections gives me a static exit to low-sec, a K162 from high-sec, and an N968 outbound wormhole to more class 3 w-space. Fin's followed me to the system now, so heads to reconnoitre beyond the high-sec connection, giving me the option to see what C3b holds. Not much.
I see a ship on my directional scanner, but I suspect the Chimera carrier is lacking a pilot and is floating inside the tower also visible. Again my notes hint at times more exciting than today, as five months ago in this system I missed locking a Hound stealth bomber in my Loki, thanks to a lack of sensor booster. That was an early outing in my strategic cruiser, and my fit has been altered since. Pray I don't alter it further. I locate the tower in the same position as before, confirm the carrier is empty, and start sifting through the ten anomalies and five signatures.
Rocks, gas, and an exit to low-sec are typical Schmosby, but the K162 from class 2 w-space is a nice surprise. And poking through even finds pilots. Not straight away, as d-scan is clear on the other side of the wormhole, but I locate a couple of towers when exploring, one of them with four ships and three pilots. The Hulk exhumer is sadly empty, but the Drake battlecruiser, Purifier stealth bomber, and Helios covert operations boat all offer their own opportunity and challenge. If they leave the tower, which it looks like they're not about to do.
I warp out, launch probes, and blanket the system. One anomaly and three signatures doesn't promise much activity from the locals, and as C3b through their w-space static connection is almost as sparse they may not feel like going abroad either. And after a few minutes of watching ships sitting stationary I decide to resolve the other two signatures. Rocks and the second static wormhole, an exit to high-sec. I check high-sec for oranges, but see none in the system in Lonetrek, so return to w-space and continue watching the pilots do nothing in the tower.
Dumb C2 pilots, making Penny act dumb. I leave them behind, not caring to waste more time, and return to C3b to see a change of circumstances. No longer is the Chimera alone and empty, as now d-scan is showing me a Dominix battleship, Tengu strategic cruiser, and a pod. It almost makes me rue the wormhole being in d-scan range of the tower, or hope that Fin magically becomes unsleepy and returns on-line, as she disappeared home after scanning high-sec and finding only a wormhole connecting to low-sec. Then again, it's better if she gets some rest, as warping to the tower sees the pod gone and the ships empty.
No, I don't know either. I warp out and back again, in case the lack of pilots in the ships is merely a glitch with my overview, but they still look empty on my return. If I had to guess, I'd say that a pilot came on-line, jettisoned the Dominix and Tengu from the hangar in a drug-induced haze, thinking it would be wicked funny for reasons I can't imagine, then slumped unconscious on to his controls, which coincidentally logged him off again. It's the only reasonable explanation.
Moving on, I leave the hangar jetsam of C3b behind for the still-sleepy normality of C3a, where no ducks have yet woken up. I poke to low-sec through the static wormhole, hoping to find piloted ships being active by scanning for more wormholes, but only resolve a radar site, a Sansha's Fortified Outpost, and a second radar site. Nothing's happening tonight, and I don't want to force anything. Mistakes happen that way. I'll just accept the quietness and head home.