It's time to strike out solo, my decision in no way influenced by being alone in the home system with only a static wormhole to keep me company, nopers. Jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system doesn't give me much to look at, my directional scanner giving a clear ping, and launching probes to perform a blanket scan doesn't look like I'll find friends to play with either. Nine anomalies, six signatures, no ships.
My most recent notes are from around six months ago, when the system was unoccupied, but a corporation has moved in since. There are no ships in the tower, which I may have mentioned, so I'll scan for wormholes. The signatures give me a data site, wormhole, gas pocket, wormhole, and another wormhole. Okay, that worked. Now, what are they? The first wormhole is a K162 from null-sec, the second the static exit to low-sec Aridia, and the last an N968 outbound connection to further class 3 w-space. How disappointing, in so many ways.
Outbound connections are rubbish, but the N968 at least leads to w-space, unlike the other two wormholes, so it's my first choice to jump through. And entering C3b has ships visible on d-scan, although they are not inspiring, given a tower is also visible. The Nidhoggur carrier is unlikely to be active by itself, neither is the Orca industrial command ship, and the Buzzard covert operations boat is tiny, hard to catch, and, without any probes that I can see, probably idle.
A visit from five weeks ago points me to the tower, which I ignore to warp in the other direction to launch probes. I hope to find more than the static wormhole to null-sec that was the only point of interest the last time I was here, and I'm using 'interest' in a quite loose sense. Twenty-six anomalies have built up in this system, suggesting that maybe the locals should take their Nidhoggur out more often, even if there are only six signatures. I warp to the tower, see the Buzzard unexpectedly piloted, and scan anyway. He's probably asleep.
Well, the capsuleer is clearly not as asleep as I assumed. Still, he could have made a Matrix reference out of that, or something. He's seen me, he can't unsee me, so I sift through the signatures. This chubby wormhole clearly won't be the static connection, nor will the next two wormholes—no wonder the Buzzard pilot is doing nothing but updating d-scan—or the data site, if I'm going to be pedantic, but the final, skinny wormhole will be. Then again, that's probably the wormhole I'm least interested in. At least, I hope so.
A K162 from class 2 w-space is at the end of its life, a K162 from class 5 w-space is sitting at half mass, and a K162 from class 4 w-space is not only sitting at half mass but has a wreck of a battleship floating nearby. I suppose the wormholes are all interesting in their way, but not in the way I want them to be. I think I'll leave this arm of the constellation alone, ignoring the static exit to null-sec Malpais, to check one of the exits from C3a.
Low-sec or null-sec? Null-sec, I think. No, low-sec, maybe because the null-sec system has a number of pilots and no other signatures in it. So it's out to Aridia with me, where there are more pilots but a couple of extra signatures that I would like to be kind to me. There are also core probes visible in the system, which could bring a ship to me. I'll loiter on the K162 to C3a as I scan, resolving, bleh, a relic site and some gas.
My only hope now is the scanner coming my way, as I'm not really in the right mood for collapsing wormholes. Waiting I can do. I loiter on the wormhole watching d-scan, and see the probes disappear. The scout doesn't come to me, but I see a Sarum Magnate frigate on d-scan whose position I can easily narrow down to the relic site I resolved. I think that's worth taking a look at.
I warp to the relic site to see the Sarum Magnate in front of me, nice and close, but is he really alone? Four more pilots are in the system, and although one of them visible on d-scan is a Reaper frigate this Magnate could be here as bait. Or maybe not, as two pilots leave the system. Still, that leaves a possible cloaked friend available as support, but I think my paranoia is getting the better of me. It's only a frigate.
I'm going to take a shot at the Sarum Magnate, and I'm going to do it relatively sensibly. I manoeuvre my Loki strategic cruiser to get close enough to the Magnate to activate my warp scrambler whilst being aligned to a planet ahead of me. This will either be a quick kill or quick escape. I decloak, activate my sensor booster, and wait for the seemingly interminable recalibration delay to end, the Sarum Magnate now trying to catch the spewed loot from a hacked container. Lock, disrupt his warp drive, and shoot. Pop!
Two volleys are enough to rip apart the Sarum Magnate, and I reactivate my cloak just in case. The pod flees, which is fine by me, seeing that we are in low-sec space, and nothing else looks to happen. My course has me almost close enough to loot the wreck, and I'm curious to see what's inside. Deciding that the ship wasn't bait after all, I decloak again, grab what I can from the wreck, and warp back to the K162 to C3a happy with my hold full of decryptors, datacores, and blueprint copies for data interfaces.
With half as much of what I loot destroyed in the explosion, the pilot of the Sarum Magnate must have been busy this evening. Maybe I should thank him for the sixty million ISK or so I've stolen for the cost of just a few autocannon rounds. Even my security status doesn't drop too much, which is nice, although I shouldn't overlook opportunities to keep it moving positively. But for now, I think it's time to take my plunder home and get some rest.