Today's wormhole is sitting on top of where yesterday's was. I wish I'd known this before resolving the signature completely, but no time is really lost. Jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system has a clear result from my directional scanner, and the two planets out of range don't hold occupation either. A blanket scan of the system reveals twenty anomalies and twelve signatures. It's not busy around here. I start sifting through the signatures.
A weak wormhole sits amongst the usual sites. Although that would normally offer a decent outbound connection I know from five months ago that this C3 holds a static exit to null-sec, and I've likely only found that. A second wormhole is a more promising sight, but as it turns out to be merely a K162 from null-sec the third wormhole gives me more hope. False hope, it turns out, and my last hope, as I've uncovered a K162 from high-sec. It's a decent safety net, I suppose, not that it looks like I'll be getting in to any trouble today.
Poking out to high-sec puts me in Kador, four jumps from Amarr, but as we have lego bricks piled up in our hangar I don't think I need to get more tower fuel. Instead, I return to w-space, if only to warp across to the static wormhole to null-sec. Exiting C3a again puts me this time in a system in the Outer Ring region, and by myself. I can rat and scan. One extra signature gives me something to resolve whilst I set my Loki strategic cruiser to automatic—which for a Minmatar ship means tying ropes to keep the controls in set positions—and engage some rats in a rock field.
The signature turns out to be an uninteresting magnetometric site, but finding a rat battleship will give my security status a decent little boost. And shooting the battleship, flanked by two cruisers, with a gorgeous view of the Cloud Ring is visually much more pleasing than concentrating on moving probes around the abstracted system map. It's almost a shame to have to move on, but I will. As null-sec seems empty out here I'll risk hopping through a stargate to look for wormholes in an adjacent region.
Hop. I'm still alive. Good-o! Scanning doesn't reveal any signatures, and the rats are cruiser-based. Never mind, they all count, and popping one lets me hop another system across, where again there are no wormholes. But I notice that I'm creeping closer to an ORE station, where I understand some valuable blueprints are sold. It would also be a system almost guaranteed to hold other capsuleers, but I don't think I've ever been this close to an ORE station before, and I'd quite like to at least take a look. I set a new course.
As I hop through null-sec I rat when I can, and scan as I go. It's what I do. One system holds two signatures, one of which is a wormhole, but being so close to the ORE station I ignore it for now and press ahead. I can come back to that later. And in the destination system I do indeed see other pilots. Three reds, two neutrals. I don't have any tactical bookmarks around the stations, nor really understand station games, but sometimes I'm just a naive fool. I enter warp to dock at one of the stations.
It looks clear as I dock, and I quickly buy a few blueprints for the new Venture mining frigate, although balk at the cost of the BPs for the mining barges. I have no idea if I'll make a profit, so there's little point in throwing ISK away. I undock quickly, seeing that all was clear when I got to the station and there are currently no other visitors, and my hunch that being quick will see no change in circumstances pays off. I warp away from the station towards the stargate homewards without issue.
I have a wormhole to explore, but I would rather not do so with BPs in my hold. Hey, I have a connection close to Amarr, back through C3a, so I can even see if I can unload the blueprints with little delay. It's worth making that trip, so I head back through null-sec, across w-space, and to empire space, where a few stargate hops sees the Venture BPOs being sold for less than they cost. I don't understand that, beyond realising that I have probably just wasted some ISK. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme, though. I simply turn around and take the blueprints back to store in our tower for now. Maybe Fin or Aii can work out what to do with them.
I still have a wormhole to explore. I head back through C3a's static exit to null-sec, hop across a few systems, and warp to what turns out to be a rather lovely outbound connection to class 1 w-space. But before I jump through the wormhole a new pilot in the system catches my eye, particularly as he's in an Imicus frigate. The frigate isn't cloaking yet, making him a target, and a target I can see is better than the unknown in w-space. I sweep d-scan around to look for the Imicus, and the pilot appears to have parked around a planet. That's a little careless.
I warp to the planet at range, hoping to bump in to the Imicus, but land a hundred kilometres away from him. The ship appears to have parked at the zero kilometre point. That too seems a little careless, even if has tripped me up already. No matter. I warp out and back again, as I see on d-scan the Imicus throwing probes everywhere. I hope I can get back before he finishes, and maybe cloaks. I can. I drop on top of the frigate just as the probes warp away, and get close enough to stop the Imicus from cloaking.
It's a formality to pop the Imicus. Getting the pod too is a nice addition, although finding the corpse to be six weeks out of the clone vat gives me a slight pang of guilt. I shake that off though, and instead realise that at least this capsuleer has got himself out to null-sec quickly. I can't think how long it took me. Now back to the wormhole, and in to C1a, where a Probe frigate, Mammoth hauler, and a tower tempt me with more ideas of destruction.
Sadly, neither of the ships is piloted, and scanning the six anomalies and eight signatures only offers a connection out to high-sec. Checking the exit puts me in the Placid region, and closer to the null-sec systems I've visited than C3a's exit in Kador. I'll be heading home back through C1a. It's time to get some rest anyway. I rat my way back through null-sec, and return home via our neighbouring system. I dump the new corpse and what little loot I recovered from the Imicus and rats in to our hangar, and admire my newly raised security status of 0·2. It's been a good evening, and one where I made some explosions again. It feels like it's been a while.