I'm hoping to be lucky tonight. Some poor timing had my ship just crossing paths with a couple of potential targets yesterday, so perhaps I can be more decisive tonight. 'Perhaps', right. With that kind of decisiveness I think I know how the evening's going to pan out. The home system's clear, anyway, so to find any action I have to head through our static wormhole to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system.
A bubble, some canisters, and an off-line tower is not a great result on my directional scanner. One planet sits out of range of our K162, but there's no current occupation there either. What else can I do in an inactive system but scan? I launch probes, blanket the system, and start picking through the seven anomalies and sixteen signatures.
My first hit is a wormhole, which is handy. But are there more? Yes, a second wormhole pops up almost directly above our K162. If I find any ships there I doubt one will be the Reliant, not with this three-dimensional positioning, so I am probably safe from genetically modified super-humans. A third wormhole marks the last of the interesting signatures, the others being rocks, gas, data sites, so I recall my probes and reconnoitre the connections.
C3a's static exit leads to a low-sec system involved in faction warfare in the Black Rise region, making it remarkably dull. But heading back to C3a and checking the other two wormholes only finds an outbound link to class 1 w-space that would be pretty nifty if it weren't at the end of its life, and a K162 from the other end of the spectrum, with the connection to class 6 w-space also being EOL. It doesn't take a genius to work out a scout passed from C6a to C3a and opened the C1 connection many hours ago. Still, someone had to point it out to me.
What the hell, I'm going to look in C1a. The C6 wormhole persists, so the C1 wormhole probably has enough life left in it for me to poke through. And the view with d-scan looks promising from the K162, with a Mammoth and Iteron hauler, Brutix battlecruiser, Nemesis stealth bomber, and Imicus frigate all visible, along with four towers, although being spat in to the system over seven kilometres from the wormhole gives an indication to the contrary.
Looking for the haulers finds the Iteron at one tower, along with all the other ships but the Mammoth, which is at a second tower. There are precisely zero pilots, though, which somewhat reduces my hopes of catching one of the ships, and enough to send me back through the dying K162 to C3a and ponder my options once more. I suppose I'm going to low-sec to scan. I'll leave the C6 system alone. It's probably just as bustling as the C1, and I don't trust that wormhole to hang around for me.
Four signatures in low-sec look promising. That is, until I resolve them. Data, relics, relics, relics. Yeah, get bent, low-sec. So, what now? Collapse the wormhole, says Fin, which does seem the best course of action, and one we regularly do. But my ship doesn't seem terribly responsive at the moment. I'd feel happier taking it in for maintenance before continuing with our five-year mission. And as it's a Minmatar design, tightening every bolt and gaffer taping every weld could take a while.