Two wormholes in high-sec. Both K162s, both coming from w-space. One is from a class 3 system, the other a class 2 system. Still no hauler returns to jump past me from where he perhaps didn't go in the first place, so I stop waiting ineffectually and go looking for activity elsewhere. First stop C2b, where a Bestower and nothing else on my directional scanner looks like I have almost hit the jackpot!
But is the hauler collecting planet goo, or is he about to hit this wormhole and jump to high-sec, where I can't touch him without Concord wanting to have a quiet word with my wreck? Opening the system map to ping the nearby planets with d-scan simplifies the search, as I see just the one planet in range. And, yes, the Bestower is there. Well, I doubt I'll be quick enough to catch him before he moves on, but I throw my Loki strategic cruiser in to warp towards that customs office and hope for the best.
Nope, no Bestower here, although the hauler remains on d-scan. Did I just miss him and he's warping away? Not according to subsequent d-scan updates, refining which places the ship around one of the moons. I've seen this before, where a hauler is anchoring a new tower, or scooping an old one, so I warp across to see which one it is, and get the answer 'neither'. The Bestower is lacking a pilot, floating aimlessly in empty space. Still, it's target practice, and I bag a couple more expanded cargoholds for my collection.
Draining some epinephrine in to my pod goo, forcing me to calm down a little, a blanket scan of C2a reveals ten anomalies and two signatures—the two static wormholes—and three more ships. Exploring finds the expected tower, with a Thanatos carrier, Exequror cruiser, and Iteron V hauler all unpiloted inside its force field. I scan, because it's easy, and warp to the second static wormhole. It leads to class 3 w-space, specifically a C3 system with a tower, no ships, and a ghost site.
The ghost site is tempting, but not only is is an occupied system, my last experience with a ghost site killed my Loki. I'm pretty sure I know what I did wrong, though, and there isn't much else happening at the moment. Then again, I have another w-space system to check, which I should probably do first, in case I find actual activity. Back to C2a, out to high-sec, and through the K162 to C3b.
A corpse and frigate wreck on d-scan makes it look like I've missed the action here, particularly when there is nothing else to see. Okay, the ghost site in the occupied and unscanned system is calling me. What could possibly go wrong? I head back home, across the high-sec system in Domain, two hops from Amarr, and through C3a, to swap the fitting of my Loki at our tower. I modify it from the last ghost site fitting a little, which along with a minor change to tactics should mean I won't be leaving the site in my pod like last time.
Back I go, with any luck not to my death at the pointy end of other capsuleers' ships. Or Blood Raiders. I cross systems that show no change from previous visits until I hit C3c, and warp to the ghost site. Hmm, maybe I should have moved from the wormhole and warped in to the site cloaked. That may have given me more time than brashly warping in directly. It's done now, let's get on with it.
New tactic: scan the containers, hack the best one, and leg it. Balls to the explosion and rats, just get what I can and survive. Scanning the containers gives me an easy choice, what with an Ascendancy implant blueprint and Weta mobile depot blueprint in one can. I pick that one. I manoeuvre in to position, set a close orbit so that I'm not a stationary target, and start hacking.
Hack hackity hack. I'm tempted to call it bad hacking, but, really, what is good hacking? There are no visual cues or hints as to what is behind any individual node, so although there may be legitimate tactics in deciding what defences to attack and which to leave, it is blind luck as to whether you find the defences, helpful nodes, or the core itself. The entirely arbitrary nature of the process rankles.
Here come the rats, the Blood Raiders warping in as I still haven't
found stumbled haphazardly in to the system core. Despite what happened last time, and partly because now I am maintaining some traversal speed, but mostly because of the potential riches inside the container, I keep hacking. Naturally, I don't succeed this time, the container clearly not wanting to just hand its bounty to some unknown capsuleer, and the site explosion is triggered.
The site explodes, all the containers detonating simultaneously, but luckily my Loki does not. I am barely getting scratched this time, which, given my only modest changes to the ship's fitting, makes me wonder just what I did wrong last time. But I weather the incoming fire, the rats get bored and warp off, at which point their warp disruption effects drop and I too leave the site, soon followed by leaving the system. No loot for me, but I am actually a little excited at just being that close to the expensive BPCs. So excited that I didn't grab an image, obviously. I'll do it next time.