My head's a bit woolly. I suspect I have a cold coming. Hopefully w-space will be kind to me, and give me a simple constellation to scan and map, just to keep me in practice. There's not much to practice on in the home system, but it is straightforward with two signatures. Gas and the static wormhole is just the start I was after. I can do this! Let me go next door.
The view from the K162, offered by my directional scanner in our neighbouring class 3 system, is of a tower and Talos. There are no wrecks in range, but I don't really expect a glass-cannon battlecruiser to be out shooting Sleepers by itself. Locating the tower turns out to be as easy as I'd like. I don't even need to look at my probably out-dated notes, as opening the system map shows one planet in range—the next is 55 AU distant—and that holds one moon. It is simplicity itself to warp to see that the Talos us unpiloted and of little interest.
The battlecruiser is owned by a pilot in a one-man corporation, the tower by an eight-capsuleer corporation. It's a small outfit. Exploring shows no one and nothing else in the system, and a blanket scan gives me seven anomalies and ten signatures to sort through. Gas, rocks, magnetometric and radar sites. The usual. A second wormhole pops up at the end, to keep the constellation interesting, although I am disappointed to see the colours of k-space wobbling through from the other side. But, as it turns out, that's the U210 I'm looking at. Woolly Penny.
Warping to what is actually the second wormhole gives me more class 3 w-space to explore, through an N968 connection. Jumping through and updating d-scan shows me two towers and no ships, so I locate the towers and tag them—Penny wuz ere—and sift through the three anomalies and seven signatures. C3b is much like C3a. Some anomalies, some sites, two wormholes. The static exit to high-sec empire space is jellying away at the end of its life, which makes me unsure whether the K162 from high-sec is a good result or not for the second wormhole.
Whatever it is, I exit C3b through the K162 to find the exit system, turning up in the Gerbil system in Heimatar. It looks boring, and far from anywhere, so I turn around and jump back to w-space. As I cross C3b for C3a, Aii comes on-line. Where are you? 'High-sec.' Gerbil? 'Thirty-three jumps.' Okay, I have the low-sec exit in C3a to check. And exiting through C3a's static wormhole puts me in The Citadel—oh, I know this place. The system's part of a small low-sec island, a couple of hops from an old manufacturing base of mine. I'm pretty sure Fin and I lost a pair of Drakes in this island to incomprehensible low-sec rules when venturing out of w-space some time ago too.
The low-sec system is a shorter route for Aii, which is unsurprising, only thirteen jumps this time. We may see him back in the home system, if he can deal with some distractions he has. Me, I scan. It's what I do. Well, it's what I do when the wormhole behind me doesn't unexpectedly flare. I stop what I'm not yet doing and wait, seeing a Cheetah covert operations boat appear and warp away. The pilot's from a state corporation and leaves the system within a minute, so he's probably not part of a fleet, or coming back. I can ignore him.
Three extra signatures in the low-sec system give me rocks, and a really weak wormhole that turns out to be an outbound connection to class 5 w-space that would be much more interesting if it weren't EOL. And one more signature will have to wait, as a pod warps to the C5 wormhole, perhaps indicating that the connection is still being used. Or not. Or maybe. I dunno, the pod's just sitting there. What the hell, I don't need no stinking security status.
I decloak, lock on to the pod, and don't quite get the shot off as the pod notices what's happening and warps clear in the nick of time. No chewy centre for me today. Okay, the last signature in the system is identified as a radar site, giving me no more w-space to explore without stargate-hopping or collapsing our static connection. As Aii will need our current wormhole to make his way home, I'm calling it a night. I got what I wanted, with a simple constellation to map, and a bit more too. An extra system to scan, a helpless pilot to aim for, and helping a colleague. It's been a good evening.