I abandon my wormhole vigil, get back in my Proteus, and jump back through the wormhole to our neighbouring class 3 system. The covert operations boat didn't bother to come to me, so maybe I need to go to him. Wherever he is. And I'm not sure what I can do to the cov-ops in my strategic cruiser anyway. Either way, I'm pretty sure the first step is to scan this system for wormholes.
C3a looks clear, just the tower visible on my directional scanner. I warp to the distant planet, half-checking to make sure the tower from a previous visit actually has been dismantled, but mostly to find a quiet place to launch probes. Nothing's out here, letting me get my probes in to space and performing a blanket scan of the system. Still the five anomalies and six signatures, still lacking ships.
Resolving the signatures reveals two wormholes, two gas sites, one data site. The static exit to low-sec looks like it leads to Aridia, from the golden-brown stain seeping through from the other side, and the other wormhole is only a K162 from high-sec, the Sinq Laison region if I had to guess. Maybe that makes the Cheetah a tourist, one curious enough to poke around a class 3 system, but not to delve deeper in to w-space. I won't see him again.
Jumping to high-sec puts me in a system in Sinq Laison with no oranges and, more importantly, no other signatures. No problem, as the low-sec system probably holds better opportunities, and I return to C3a long enough to cross to the U210 and jump through. The system in Aridia has two pilots somewhere, and three extra signatures. Two are combat sites, one a wormhole. Huh, it's a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space.
Deadly w-space or not, I'm going in. And hello, Mr Prorator, sitting on the wormhole in C6a. My ship recognition synapses do a double-take between Procurer and Prorator, trying to work out how obviously bait this ship is. It's not the mining barge but the transport ship, but it still looks very much like bait.
Updating d-scan should give me a better idea of what will happen if I engage this curiously stationary industrial ship. Well, look at that. Towers on towers on towers, and so many ships scattered amongst them, from capitals down to interceptors. Whether the Prorator is bait or not, this cannot be considered a friendly system. Still, it makes my options clear. I'm leaving, and if I'm leaving I may as well poke the bait on my way out.
I decloak, moving my Proteus towards the wormhole, even though I'm already in jump range, and target the Prorator. I get a positive lock and start shooting, the first live firing in my new ship, wearing down the shields of the transport. Sure enough, not only does the Prorator jump through the wormhole, a Hound decloaks nearby. That's fine, as I'm already following the transport to low-sec.
I don't give chase, merely follow. As soon as I am back in low-sec I am moving, cloaking, jinking. The Prorator doesn't show itself immediately, holding its session-change cloak like good bait should, and it's not long before the wormhole crackles with another transit. Two ships appear, the Hound and a Crow interceptor.
Now I'm wondering if I can successfully engage an interceptor in this Proteus. Maybe. The Hound shouldn't be a problem either. I have a brief pause where I think I shouldn't have run so quickly, perhaps taken on the Hound, but then remember all the other ships potentially available in the C6 system. Maybe they aren't coming to chase shadows, but if their tackle caught a Proteus I imagine I'd be swamped by strategic cruisers within seconds. I made the right choice.
I warp away as the Crow starts burning tight orbits around the wormhole. He's unlikely to find me, now that I've pulled some range, but there's no point taking the risk. I warp back to C3a's K162 and make my own orbits, watching the local communication channel for changes. The three C6 pilots go back to their system, I go back to mine, reflecting on what a neat early warning system they have.