"Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD! "
- "Joliet" Jake Blues
I didn't mean to do it. Honest. It just happened.
On Monday I wanted to build some torpedoes and ran out of pyerite. No problem right? Low sec has plenty of scordite and plagioclase just sitting around in belts. For some reason people don't like to mine in belts. That's okay, more for me, right?
So after Rosewalker cleared out some Angel Cartel battlecruisers with a stealth bomber I warped Wandering Rose into a belt and started mining. The system had a couple of pilots hanging around, but they were either high security standings pilots or faction warfare members too busy doing important faction warfare stuff to bother with a mere Procurer. A couple of times I saw local spike so I warped Wandering Rose off and hid in a station. Standard precautions. After all, I just wanted to mine, not fight.
Once while fighting a couple of Angel frigates with a flight of Hobgoblin IIs I saw a new pilot come into system. I finished killing the last frigate and was pulling in my drones when a Coercer warped into the belt. Yipes! The Coercer started to close the distance on my Procurer but I was able to warp off easily. Rosewalker stayed cloaked and watched the Coercer hang around for half a minute or so and then warped off.
I putzed around for awhile in real life waiting around to make sure only friendly, or at least uninterested people, were in the system. Moving ore and minerals around was safe enough and then real life interrupted so I didn't wander back to the belt for 30 minutes or so. When I did warp Wandering Rose back into the belt, she was jumped by two Angel frigates and two destroyers. My five Hobgoblin IIs outnumbered them and swiftly dispatched them.
After a couple of cycles my friend in the Coercer showed back up in system. I was a bit slow aligning because he warped in on top of me in a Thrasher and warp scrambled me. Yipes!
Oh, I screwed up. I was kicking myself for losing a Procurer in such a stupid way. After what seemed about 30 seconds trying to warp away, I realized I was still alive and my shields were holding up pretty well. At that point I thought maybe I could convince him to fly away. Rosewalker was stealthed in a safe spot watching the action so I warped him to 70 km from the fight. Then I realized that Wandering Rose's flight of drones was in the drone bay so I targeted the Thrasher and then sent the Hobgoblin's after the destroyer. With that out of the way, I uncloaked, lit up the Thrasher with a target painter and started launching torpedoes. Even though the range was 68 km and my engagement envelope is 73 km, I missed with my first launch, so I started moving closer.
During the fight I was really focused on one or two spots on the screen. As I moved in closer in my Hound I saw that the drones were taking a toll on the Thrasher's shield. Then I saw the shield drop away and go about 1/3 into armor. Suddenly I saw the Thrasher's icon disappear. Good, he warped off so I could go safely to the station.
I turned my attention to the window with Wandering Rose's controls and went to check on and recover my drones when I saw I wasn't alone. A pod was sitting less than 3 km from my ship. Somehow my last flight of torpedoes destroyed the Thrasher. I still don't know what happened. I know my Procurer was nestled in the middle of a lot of asteroids. Maybe the Thrasher got stuck in the roids and became a sitting duck for the torps. I know I didn't tackle him.
After the Thrasher pilot's pod warped off I scooped up the loot and then docked up, my hands shaking from the adrenaline rush. Looking at the contents of my cargo hold, I realized that the pilot was firing Barrage ammo at me. I perhaps was fortunate that I was attacked by a Minmatar ship as my shield tank is most effective against explosive and kinetic damage, the two damage types that Barrage inflicts.
I want to say I wasn't trolling for someone to attack me. I just wanted to get some minerals to make some torpedoes. If I am going to live in low sec I don't want to have to travel to high sec to get something as easy to make as ammunition. I also don't want to travel to high sec to either buy minerals or mine the minerals. I want to get them from low sec myself. Mining in a belt is risky, but I made a plan to account for if I get attacked. I was really shaky executing the plan and I'm glad that I didn't know at the time the pilot I faced had a 1300 to 120 kill/death ratio or I probably would have lost any semblance of calm I managed to hold onto during the fight.
Still, I plan on exercising more caution in the future. Getting my first low sec kill was good, but I'm a carebear. I don't need that kind of excitement in my life.