This trip was some what more eventful than my first foray into Pure Blind. The unusual amount of lag in Torrinos should have given me a clue that something was up but I had not yet learned to read the signs. As I materialised out of hyperspace into EC-P8R I found myself surrounded by ships.
Comparisons of a 0.0 gatecamp with a low sec gate camp:
1. In low sec everything flashes a violent criminal red. In 0.0 your assailants do not bear the criminal red marking to pre-warn you of their murderous intent.
2. In low sec a fast frigate has some chance of escaping a gatecamp.
I didn't even try to save my pod. I had earlier taken the precaution of moving my clone to X-70MU deep in the heart of Pure Blind. In a way the Red Alliance gate camp I had stumbled into did me a favour. I immediately woke at my destination with a brand new ship. It was my first experience of suicide travelling that evening. It wouldn't be the last.
I am determined to run some missions in 0.0 There is absolutely no logical reason for this. The rewards do not justify the risk. This character has almost no combat skills and and I have no intention of investing more than the bare minimum of training time in it. Nevertheless, like the mountaineer who pits himself against the challenge of Everest simply "because it is there" I must try this. (The Everest analogy is perhaps a bit stretched, perhaps the small hillock down the bottom of my garden is a more equivalent challenge.)
The first mission was a courier mission requesting me to fetch something from a neighbouring star system. In Empire space courier missions are a boring yawn. Not so in 0.0. I knew I stood a good chance of being shot down before I could delivered my cargo. Losing the cargo would fail the mission and cause me to lose standing with my agent.
Before collecting the cargo I flew the route to look for any unwanted surprises. The pick up point was the only station in its solar system and seemed to attract a bit of traffic. There were a few ships flying around as I arrived. I managed to dock safely but I was concerned that they could pick me off easily as I struggled to regain control after my ship was fired out of the undocking bay.
I had previously read about using bookmarks to create a safe spot directly opposite the exit point of a station at a warpable minimum distance of 150 km. A ship is fired out of the undocking port at considerable speed and it usually takes quite a while to slow it down and re-allign for your intended warp destination. Having a warpable book mark directly opposite the exit means that you are already aligned and the extra speed from undocking eve helps to propel you into warp quickly.
The only problem about using safe exit bookmarks is that you have to fly to the spot at sub-warp velocity to make them . This trading alt cannot even use an afterburner so slow-boating the 150km required at 300kms/s was going to take a long time.
Long enough for a passing battlecruiser to blow up my ship and pod me.
No matter, back with another free ship and clone I tried again.
Shot and podded three times by three seperate pilots from three seperate corporations. I had hoped that the paltry thrill of shooting a noob in a free ship would be beneath the battlehardened denizens of 0.0. It seems not. Podding noobs is quite the sport in 0.0.
I abandoned my plan at that point when I noticed that these brave souls seemed somewhat reluctant to shoot me while I was actually close to the station. In high security space stations have defences which punish unauthorised aggression in their environs. Does the same apply in 0.0? I don't know but the station had guns so I figured it was worth the risk.
I collected the cargo and undocked. The agonisingly long wait to allign for warp began. Somebody targeted me but no shots were fired. Perhaps I was correct about the stations defences. My little ship zoomed into warp ... I was away.
The rest of the trip was uneventful I flew back to base and delivered the package. My agent expressed delight.
Somewhat emboldened I asked for another mission. I was offered "World's Collide" which I remember to be one of the tougher level 1 combat missions. I had little hope of completing this mission with a noob Pilot who's 800k skill points are all invested in trade.
Little hope indeed but the adrenaline of being a "0.0 pilot" was coursing through my veins. I accepted the mission.
Some preparation is now required .. I need a better ship with some kind of guns and a tank of some kind. An afterburner would be nice if I had the skills to fly it. This is an Amarr character. What the heck do Amarr use anyway? ... some kind of lasers. Can I get these in 0.0 or must I try and get them past the red alliance gate camp in EC-P8R?