Since I've started playing EVE Online this is how The PvP has usually happened to me: surprise-sexed and blown to bits, surprise-sexed but put up a good fight or even defeated my attacker, next door to HQ after a huge roam, next door to HQ 5 minutes after leaving for a huge roam (which either goes on if the initial fight is won or started from scratch if it fails - I've seen all PvP activity cancelled after a particularly bad fight), basically never when I either expect or want The PvP to happen. Such is the nature of EVE's sandbox. And this is exactly how The PvP happened yesterday night.
Realizing that spending a lot of time in a mission hub wouldn't be the greatest thing for a newbie miner, I set up a Dock 94 office in a previous BOZO Hi-sec port of call back in the days when one had to be at a corp's office in order to apply to it. It's Hi-sec and close to the market, it's not too populated, there are plenty of asteroid belts, the true security rating of the system is lower, we're two jumps from Low-sec, ideal place for a newbie to sink his teeth in. Hell, it's the area were I myself spent a lot of time ratting up a storm waiting for some key skills to get just a bit higher to better help my BOZO brothers and sisters in my own noob days. It's also the area where I got burnt trying to get the tougher (!) Low-sec rats. So Alakgur is a perfect school system; Hi-sec but close enough to trouble. I wouldn't have it any other way :)
So after anchoring a few cans out in the middle of nowhere and moving some ships into the system, si Gong proceeded to use his Retreiver while I practiced using my D-scan and landing my Taranis at his location. We did this for a bit while shooting the shit, testing the Retreiver's tank, or lack thereof, until I noticed the time and decided to dock up because of my stupidly awful 5H30 AM wake-up call. But as my 'Ranis was approaching the station, si Gong calls out on comms: "There's a Rifter here with me and he just turned red!" Ah ha! Can-flipper alert! I immediately reminded si Gong not to pick up anything from the now-turned can and to GTFO. By this time I was reshipped into my Jaguar and started the old D-scan thing I had just practiced in search of a Rifter. si Gong was nice enough to link the character so I also knew WHO I was hunting, and thankfully the system wasn't a mess of traffic so it didn't take long to notice there was only a single Rifter in space. And here si Gong almost made a big mistake: he was warping back to the belt in his Orca to pick up the 2m ISK worth of rocks... "NEIN!" says I who was already in the belt next to the yellow can, and he remembered the mechanics of can-flipping so he warped back as soon as he landed, and in a timely fashion too because our customer landed right on us. The range was perfect. I threw down my gloves and the fight was on!
And a particularly good one it was. The character was a year or two older than me so this was a maxed out Rifter and a maxed out Jaguar going at it. This was my W-space hunting fit so it didn't have a neut, therefore it was tougher breaking the NOS/armor rep tank, but once in a while my Hail S was digging in just a bit more. It was pretty clear I was gonna get this one with some overheat magic, but to put an end to this dance si Gong arrived in his own Rifter. Our bad guy instantly switched target, which was the right decision for him; si Gong's Rifter isn't maxed out and his fit had some... flaws. But the extra DPS, even if only for a little time, did its job and a few seconds after si Gong's Rifter popped, so did the bad guy's. GF's were shouted in Local as great fun was had, and then I wait to wait the aggro timer in order to dock, even if I had no GCC (damn vikings again...). One part of the fight that kind of scared me was the possibility of this pilot having buddies, especially when a Scythe landed next to us just before my side's Rifter's arrival. But the Scythe was neutral and not corp-aggro red and he decided that this belt was a lot too hot for mining and left!
All in all this was some very good practice in corp operations as small a corp as we are, and it was a great lesson for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience in EVE. It was too bad our pure noob wasn't around to see and hear this as he would've taken notice that "high security space" does not necessarily mean "safe space". si Gong and I will make sure he is promptly debriefed about yesterday's little frig party. Yep, I think we have moved into some interesting space after all!
Fly ready, always
PS: sorry if I'm missing links and my attacker's name and corp. See next post-scriptum.
PPS: the Wednesday of Fail will be posted later tonite when I'm free of a crazy firewall. And Blogger.com couldn't suck more today.