Hopping back in to my Proteus strategic cruiser to go scouting through our constellation, it's oddly comforting to be able to cloak again after a spell in a Golem marauder and a test firing in our Revelation dreadnought. No one can see me fly! Maybe I can sneak up on others. Probably not through an outbound wormhole, but you never know. I jump to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to find out.
Nothing appears when I update my directional scanner from our K162, which isn't a terrible result yet, not with a couple of planets out of range. I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system, looking for ships and finding two, along with seventeen anomalies and eight signatures. The two ships don't look exciting, though, having tiny signatures that already convince me they are covert operations boats floating empty inside a distant tower.
I should at least check to see if there are pilots potentially watching for me, and warping across the system indeed sees a tower on d-scan, but no cov-ops ships. Instead, I see a Sabre interdictor and Drake battlecruiser. The interdictor, sure, it is based on a destroyer hull and isn't particularly big, but what Drake has such a small signature? Not this one, in fact, as updating my probes pings the fat ship now.
Obviously a ship swap has taken place, so it is no surprise to see the Drake piloted when I locate the tower. The Sabre is empty. Is the lone pilot considering an excursion to exterminate some of the Sleeper population? I'd like that, as it could be fun to spend an hour or so chipping away at a Drake's shields. Or maybe I'll spend an hour watching a pilot idle. I should scan whilst I wait.
All of the signatures in C3a are far enough from the tower that my probes will remain out of d-scan range, and there aren't many either. I resolve four gas sites—which I bookmark, in case the Drake wants to clear one of those of Sleepers—a data site, and two wormholes. A second wormhole already would suggest the Drake pilot isn't going to be up to much, even if the silly discovery scanner hasn't alerted his non-scanning ship to our K162. The pilot's swapping to a Corax destroyer—perhaps the first ship I saw under my probes—is another good indicator that the Drake won't go anywhere.
I'll check the wormholes. The static exit to low-sec looks like it leads to Metropolis, but the reds are softened somewhat, more suggestive of Molden Heath. The second wormhole is a K162 from null-sec, which I use before the U210, taking me to a system in Esoteria which I share with two other pilots. One appears to be scanning, with core probes visible on d-scan. I loiter on the wormhole for a minute, but the scout isn't interested in w-space, recalling his probes and leaving the system, not past me. Scanning the other signature identifies a combat site, so he didn't go that way either and must have used a stargate.
With nothing in null-sec for me, I head back to C3a and across to the low-sec exit, jumping through to appear in Egbinger, Molden Heath, with a dozen stinking pirates roaming the system. There are the same number of signatures, surprisingly, and I ignore the locals to scan. A quick check for wormholes pulls up a few, not that I'm optimistic about the results.
The first is as I suspect, a K162 from more low-sec, the second a K162 from null-sec. A third wormhole connects to w-space, being a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space, and a fourth is an N944 outbound link to more low-sec. I don't know if empire pilots like all these extra wormholes, but they are frustrating non-results for me. It's almost a return to the days of the 'unknown' signatures that resolved to be combat sites, wasting scanning time when looking for w-space.
I can at least check the C6 system for activity that will squash me like a Sleeper frigate, because that's fun, and I warp across to the C6 K162. Before I jump, though, the wormhole crackles with activity. A Sabre appears in low-sec, alone, and warps to the N944, judging by his direction. Well, whatever. He's gone from the system, no one follows, so I continue onwards and jump to C6a. The wormhole is clear, d-scan is clear, and, oh, the system is tiny. Nothing sits out of range, giving me no occupation and no activity. Okay, it's time to go home.
I jump back to low-sec and, huh, the Sabre looks to be waiting for me. I am almost certainly polarised, so even though the other ship is only a Sabre I don't want to be caught by anything else. I still have my session change cloak for a little while, so I tag the Sabre pilot and check the other pilots in the system. He appears to be alone. That's only weird because another ship decloaks at that moment, a Viator transport revealing itself on the wormhole without the Sabre doing anything about it.
Maybe the Sabre isn't alone. Maybe he is. I don't think I want to gamble my Proteus over it, though, and simply move from the wormhole and cloak. The Viator jumps through to C6a, the Sabre waits a moment before following, and all looks to be clear. That works for me, as I was going home anyway. I make a diversion to check the tower in C3a on my way back, the Drake/Corax not in the force field or the system as a whole, leaving me to return home to get some rest. Or to scan the new signature the silly discovery scanner insists on showing me. Thankfully, it's just a relic site. I'm going off-line.