Me, the static wormhole, and a stray signature start my evening in w-space. The unexpected signature is just gas, though. Boring gas. And, after yesterday's coincidence, warping to the bookmark for the previous static connection has me land next to the current wormhole, saving me a whopping ten seconds or so of scanning. Totally awesome.
Jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system sees a bubble on my directional scanner, two of ten planets being in range, and I am also somehow detecting a Fin in the home system. The appearance of my glorious leader may help with making iskies tonight, as a blanket scan of C3a reveals no occupation and eighteen anomalies, as long as there are no threatening wormholes amongst the eleven signatures.
One wormhole in C3a looks to be the expected exit to null-sec, and a second is weak enough to be an outbound connection and not a K162. We can't really assume that no one has come here and opened either wormhole to its linked system, but a lack of K162s makes it a relatively safe bet. And if we didn't want any risk we wouldn't be in w-space. In fact, we'd probably be playing My Little Pony On-line.
We haven't made ISK in a while, but have spent some, so tonight is a good opportunity to boost our wallet. We return home, swap to our Sleeper ships, and head to C3a to make some profit. I'm in the Golem marauder, Fin in a Tengu strategic cruiser. I resolved a couple of magnetometric sites in the neighbouring system, but it looks like we'll be ignoring them.
The magnetometric sites have Sleeper artefacts to recover on top of the standard loot from the drones. But recovering the artefacts requires specialised equipment, which take up mid slots on ships. Rather than compromising our shields, we tend to bring a different ship in to the site to analyse the artefacts, but that takes time, both to swap ships and to do the analysing, time that could be spent clearing more sites. Were we flying purely combat ships, and needing to bring a salvager back to sweep up the wrecks, an analysing ship may not be a bad choice, but as the Golem salvages as it shoots there is much to be said for coming, shooting, and leaving in one smooth operation.
Sleeper artefacts aren't terribly conveniently converted to profit either. Whereas with Sleeper loot you merely have to hit empire space, find a sanctioned buyer, and sell everything for a fair price, artefacts have no sanctioned buyers. You either sell like a sucker, getting instant ISK but at a poor price, or create sell orders that could linger for weeks before you see the profit. In that time, price fluctuations could mean that your artefacts are unfavourably listed, and the capricious nature of wormhole exits could easily mean that you don't get close enough to adjust your orders. Of course, without the artefacts there'd be no strategic cruisers, but as we are not directly involved in their manufacture we are best served ignoring the magnetometric sites if we can.
Today we can ignore the magnetometric sites. There are plenty of anomalies, plenty even of our favoured type. We may not clear them all, but we'll give it a go. We know what we're doing, and the Golem and Tengu pairing works well to chew threw battleships and pop frigates without either ship getting in to any moderate bother. One, two, three, four, five anomalies are cleared, looted, and salvaged efficiently and without drama. Do we have time for one more? 'Sure', says Fin, and as I warp us to the sixth anomaly I hope I haven't just given potential attackers enough time to complete their ambush.
It seems we are safe. The sixth site is cleared of Sleepers, and then wrecks, without interruption. We both warp back to our K162 and jump home, my Golem stuffed with a little over three hundred million ISK. And the wormhole flares after I jump home. That's odd, because I'm sure I've just seen Fin warp towards our tower, away from the wormhole. And I don't normally see the wormhole flare on entering a system, only leaving. Oh, I see. A Cheetah has decloaked on the wormhole and jumped to C3a.
Depending on what or who is behind the covert operations boat, maybe we were cutting our excursion a bit fine after all. I dump the loot in to our hangar and swap back to my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser, warping out to launch probes and scan the home system again. A new signature is picked up, which resolves unsurprisingly to be a new wormhole, a K162 from class 5 w-space. The new connection could have been nasty, had we stayed in C3a in our expensive ships a little longer. Or it could be benign, with simply a solo scout working his way through the constellation. I'm glad I didn't find out directly, and I don't mind not finding out now. Our profit is safe, so I hide my Loki in a corner of the home system and go off-line for the night.