As a recon pilot, one of the things that I need in my bag of tricks is a bunch of bookmarks. When I go to a new FOB or execute a PCS (like moving from Korsiki to Stacmon), one of the first things I do is take an interceptor and a CovOps frigate & start making those bookmarks. Multiple safespots, station spots, undock spots, snipes for the belts, gates & stations. It's a PITA. But it's all a part of preparing the battlefield.
I aslo like to have bookmarks in the nearby systems where I expect to be active, so last night, I chinched up tight, took an extra wrap on my rope hand, boarded my Buzzard & headed off for 0.0.
Now, I've been in 0.0 a fair amount of time with Uni fleets in many different roles. So I've been alone in a system before, but it's always been with 40-50 of my mates right behind me as a security blanket. Not this time.
I fully expected to lose my ship (and stripped it of all the 'good stuff' before setting out) and perhaps to wake up back in Korsiki, but I had work to do, so off I went.
It was interesting. From an observational perspective, there were far fewer pilots than I expected. Most systems had only a few. And it was quiet. Not much banter in local, even in the more populated systems. The belts were.... Amazing. That's the only word that I can use. As a miner, you get a sense of the size of the rocks. How big they should look when you are in mining range. That perception caused my first 'OH NOES!' moment of the trip. I warped into the first belt at 100 just to take a quick look. I dropped out of warp with an Eos on the overview and a veld rock that made me think I had mis-clicked and warped to the belt at zero. I was waiting for my cloak to drop and my ship to go 'poof'. Nothing happens. I regain enough composure to notice that the EOS is 75km from me, swap to my mining tab & see that the veld rock that I tought I was on top of was really 135km away. It was a moon! Clearly, no one mines much veld out here! ;)
From a personal persepective, it felt different... In Empire, travel is routine during peacetime and during wartime Uni intel is so good that I always knew where any nearby WT was before I undocked. So, I felt relatively safe.
This was different. At one point, I was alone in a system, making an OP bookmark on a gate at 150+ km. Multiple gate fires and all of a sudden I'm looking at 20+ red flashies right in front of me! O_O
The feelings called back to my first days in EVE when I had figured out that there were players that would shoot me and my little Merlin just because they could. It felt dangerous!
It was the most fun I'd had in a long time!
After a couple of hours of roaming, it was time to head back through low sec to our base. On the way, one pilot, who had seen me several times, and I had this exchange:
Pilot: "Carson, I don't know your new corp."
Me: "You will."