Nom nom nom, 100 M ISK brains are good eating. Now back in w-space, a few hours after the pair of gooing hauler ambushes, what's new? A load of fuel bricks brought in from Amarr, that's what, thanks to my glorious leader taking advantage of that high-sec connection in the class 2 w-space system connecting to our home. Fin also saw a Tengu strategic cruiser in C2a when passing through, so maybe that's worth watching for a bit.
I pop to C2a, warp to the tower where the Tengu sits, piloted by a new contact, but it turns out not worth watching after all. Well, unless you really appreciate Caldari engineering, in which case having time to examine the Tengu from every angle as it idles inside the tower's force field is time well spent. Me, I think I'd rather be exploring, and it occurs to me that we haven't taken anything more than a cursory look at the class 3 system through our static wormhole.
Jumping to C3a sees a black hole, five salvage drones on my directional scanner, and four anomalies from a passive scan of the system, none of which hold the drones or any wrecks. A lack of occupation is unsurprising, given both the black hole and static exit to null-sec, the wormhole being easily identified from the thirteen signatures thanks to its weak strength, and, I suppose, by virtue of it being the only wormhole in the system. I'll check where it leads.
Exiting w-space sends me to a system in the Outer Ring region, where two ratting pilots scutter back to the safety of a tower's force field before Fin can ask 'how far to an ORE station?' Um, I dunno. Oh, I can search the market for a Retriever blueprint to find out. There's one eight hops away, and the other is thirteen. My search also answers Fin's next question, by letting her know that it probably isn't profitable to buy one of the ORE blueprints ourselves.
The ratting Naga battlecruiser and Tengu can be safely ignored, as they clearly are more scared of me than I am of them, so I launch probes and scan the five additional signatures revealed. I resolve one wormhole from the noise of drones, a magnetometric site, and two radar sites, but the disappointment continues when I drop out of warp next to a K162 from more null-sec space. But I don't have anywhere else to go, so I poke my prow through to a system in The Kalevala Expanse, where I am alone with my thoughts to rat and scan.
One anomaly and eight signatures gives me plenty to sift through as I take on a couple of drone battleships and their frigate entourage. The K162 from class 1 w-space I resolve is at the end of its life, and not terribly appealing. But the two outbound connections to class 3 w-space and three outbound connections to class 5 w-space kinda make up for that one dying wormhole. So much space, so little time. But I can't leave without at least a superficial look through each wormhole.
I land last at the wormhole leading to C3c, so enter there first. A tower and Badger are visible on d-scan, and locating the hauler sees it piloted. But the odds are low that the ship will do something just as I turn up in his sys—oh, there he goes. The Badger aligns out of the tower and warps to a distant planet, with a Penny right behind him. Well, not right behind him, as it turns out, as the Badger merely warped to a second tower and not the customs office I aimed for.
A Drake is on d-scan with the Badger at the second tower, but warping there sees the battlecruiser lacking a capsuleer. Wondering what the Badger will do now has the predictable answer of 'nothing'. I'll leave him to it. I have other systems to explore. I jump back to null-sec and check the other wormhole to class 3 w-space, where five more drones are abandoned in space. ECM drones this time, but still left to fend for themselves, poor little blighters.
The only interesting aspect of this system, occupied but inactive, and with its own static exit to null-sec, is our previous visit. We happened upon a cluster of Drakes tussling with Sleepers in what looked like a training operation, picked the weakest of the herd, and slaughtered him whilst the others scattered. But that was then. Now there is only an empty industrial ship in a tower, which I ignore in favour of the still-more wormholes back in null-sec.
Out of curiosity, I have to chance the dying K162 from class 1 w-space. Popping in sees a tower and Prorator on d-scan, and a lucky warp to a moon locates the tower quickly enough for me to find the transport empty and return to null-sec without the wormhole collapsing. Now for the class 5 systems. C5a is occupied, with a couple of towers and far too many hangars appearing on d-scan, and my notes from four months ago simply stating 'three towers, C4 static'. That's good enough to copy, particularly as the only visible ships are a Manticore stealth bomber and Buzzard covert operations boat. I'm not catching them. Moving on.
Back to null-sec and in to C5b, where just capital ships and a tower appear on d-scan. That is, if you can call two Revelation and two Moros dreadnoughts, a Nidhoggur, Archon, and Thanatos carrier, and an Orca industrial command ship 'just' capital ships. That's a lot of firepower and ISK concentrated in to one tower. It's also probably a lot of unpiloted ISK, and certainly too much ship for me to consider engaging solo. I've finished here too. Back to null-sec and through the last wormhole, to C5c, where d-scan is clear but only showing me, huh, the innermost and outmost planets.
Neat wormhole placement aside, C5c is the simplest to explore, thanks to notes from around a week ago remaining applicable. Fancy that. The tower is where I left it, and although it has a Tengu piloted and moving inside the force field, the ship, named 'DM boost' is looping lazy circles around a hangar. The ship is boosting with warfare links obviously active, but it's not boosting anyone in this class 5 system. I think someone's had a little too much to drink, happily continuing the operation after everyone else has gone off-line. Still, I've got to give him credit, as he's only occasionally bumping in to another structure. That's some good piloting.
Well, that's it for space for tonight. Lots of it, and not much in it. I think that's by definition, so I can't be too disheartened by my explorations. Still, it's a shame that there were too many wormholes to explore in depth, and what was at the surface was uninteresting. But before I head home, I can afford one last look at that semi-active Badger in C3c. Yep, he's still playing some weird game of Pong between the two towers in the system. I watch him warp from one to the other, and see by d-scan that he returns to the first as I head back out of the system through the wormhole. And further back I go, to Outer Ring, C3a, and home.