Nothing's happening. Well, nothing to involve me, as far as I can tell. Fin and Aii are on-line but there are no bookmarks currently made, so no exploration has been done so far. That smells like rock chomping or gas huffing to me. Then again, I've been wrong before. 'It seems Aii ran afoul of high-sec—it is dangerous out there!' I take Fin's sitrep as a merry jest, but she's serious. Someone took a dislike to our colleague and podded him in high-sec empire space, and now he'd like to get back to the security of w-space. That sounds like something that could involve me.
We even have two new ore sites waiting for Aii, giving us even more impetus to bring him home, so we start scanning for an entrance. Fin resolves our static wormhole and jumps to the neighbouring class 3 system, reporting 'd-scan clear, three planets out of range', as I pootle around the home system trying to work out which button launches probes. I should get myself in gear and help with scouting or scanning, so warp to the newly bookmarked wormhole to join my glorious leader in C3a.
With nothing in directional scanner range of the K162 I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. Two anomalies, fifteen signatures, no ships. Fin finds one tower as I start sifting through the signatures, discarding plenty of gas, resolving a wormhole—the static exit to low-sec, could possibly lead to The Citadel, but I'm not sure—and wallowing in the time-wasting mire of identifying relic and data sites.
The system is scanned, we have just the one wormhole, so out I go. Ah, I see The Cloud Ring as I'm pulled through the wormhole, which takes me to a system in Black Rise. I still need improvement in my wormhole colour identification skills. Or I could continue jumping through them to find out where they go. Or just not care if I don't find out. Whatever I decide, the exit doesn't look great, being in faction warfare low-sec and fairly far from Aii. Still, there are two more signatures in the system, they could offer an alternative route.
Scanning the two signatures resolves two wormholes, a K162 from class 1 w-space and an N944 outbound connection to more low-sec. And more low-sec in Black Rise, now that I know what I'm looking at. I poke through, as our primary goal is to get Aii home, to appear nine hops from the other system. 'Nine hops closer to Aii?' Nope, four further away. But, again, extra signatures catch my attention, as Fin dives in to C1a behind me.
Wormhole, wormhole, wormhole, and relics—get with the programme, square. I may still get closer to Aii, but probably not with an S199 outbound link to a null-sec system in Syndicate. The other two are a K162 from class 3 w-space and a K162 from another C1. We're getting good wormholes this evening. Having exhausted our empire space connections I think I can spare a few minutes checking them out.
Jumping to C1b has my being spat in to the system over eight kilometres from the wormhole, which isn't a positive sign. But today I think that just means this connection hasn't been visited in hours, as a Tengu strategic cruiser, visible on d-scan with a tower, is piloted. He's inside the tower's force field and almost probably not got any intention of becoming active any time soon, but sometimes it's just nice to see another pilot.
C1b holding thirty anomalies lowers my optimism a few notches, as the Tengu pilot clearly doesn't get busy with the Sleepers, and I don't care to scan the few signatures for possible further wormholes. I'd rather go back and check C3b. So I do. D-scan is clear from the wormhole, but exploring locates the near-mandatory tower lacking ships elsewhere in the system. A blanket scan reveals nineteen anomalies and seven signatures, and I think I will scan these for wormholes.
Gas, gas, gas, data, gas, and a wormhole. It's about time, but it's also a tiny T405, the outbound connection to class 4 w-space already stressed to critically destabilised levels. You could say that the wormhole is on the verge of collapse. So that's probably it for our current exploration. 'Okay Aii', says Fin, 'you have a long route to Black Rise, or a longer route to Black Rise'. Or, I add, in case null-sec tickles him, an even longer route through Syndicate. But Black Rise it is, and after some uneventful stargate hopping Aii returns home. Mission accomplished.